Monday, December 18, 2006

Sports Socialism

Yesterday my wife and I attended a Minnesota Vikings (National Football League) versus New York Jets football game with a fraternity brother (Pete) and his wife. Thankfully we had our friends to talk to during the game since the Vikings did not give us anything exciting to watch on the gridiron!! Ultimately the Vikes lost to the Jets by a score of 26 to 13 thus it appears the Vikings won't even make the playoffs this year.

During the game I leaned over to tell Pete my prediction that -- " the 2018 NFL season all teams will have the same season win/loss record since the league insists on PARITY not competition........." It is this NFL policy that inspired me to coin the phrase "sports socialism" since the socialist model is to use centralized authority (the Commissioner's office and the NFL team owners in this case -- the "politburo") to equalize everything. I would rather see a dominant football team when the Super Bowl with a perfect season record rather than today's current situation this week where the bulk of NFL teams have .500 win/loss records. Where the excitement in such a world??

Personally having studied and worked in Europe for nearly 4 years of my life I can honestly say there is not a lot the USA can learn from the European model in terms of economics and politics. However, in terms of sports I do love the "relegation" system used in football/soccer in the United Kingdom. In this system all football/soccer teams that finish in the bottom tier of their league are "relegated" to the next lower level league which is completely devastating financially and for loyal fans BUT the system does drive competition in the sport which provides a much better product for the sports fans.

My friends and colleagues know that I love football so they will understand that I want to help save the NFL from becoming the MFL -- the "Mediocre Football League" -- by suggesting they give up their policy of parity to adopt some form of "relegation" to inject some true competition back into the sport.

Arena Bowl is July 29,



Todd said...

An update based on today's sports page box scores (December 18) -- currently 16 out of the NFL's 32 teams have .500 season records/are only one win/loss away from a .500 record (such as the division leaders, Seattle with their 8 and 6 record).

Gotta love parity!!


jdsqrd said...

Gotta disagree with you on this one. hYou want the NFL to be more like the Big 12? Texas, Nebraska, and the also-rans? At least with parity a team that doesn't reside on a coast wins every once and a while.