Updated: Jan 22, 2021
The NFL playoffs are, hands down, the best playoff structure in professional sports. From teams battling to get a 1st round bye, to losing teams winning their pitiful divisions to get a chance to dance. The do or die nature of only playing one game and not a series just adds to the insanity of it all.
The playoff format as I’ve always known it, was 6 teams from each conference. With all 4 division winners earning at least 1 home playoff game, the top 2 earning a bye. Then there were the 2 wildcard teams that did not win their division but had the best records of non division winners. We all had a good grip on it and honestly I saw no problem with it.
As we all know, money makes the world go around. The NFL is always looking for a way to make more money. Which I totally understand. They are a business. That being said, this year, amongst all the Covid-19 nonsense, the NFL added a 7th playoff team in each conference.
Not sure about everyone else, but I honestly didn’t know that 7 teams were going to make the playoffs until about week 8. After I heard someone say it, i had to get on the old Google machine to confirm.
I’m not one to complain about more football, which is what we are getting here, but I hope this playoff expansion thing doesn’t go too far.
How can it go too far you ask? Well, let’s take a look at the worst playoff structure in professional sports today. The NBA playoffs.
The NBA playoffs is a mess. In a league that contains 30 teams, 16 of them make the playoffs. Now, I’m not a theoretical particle physicist or anything, but that is more than half of the league. In no way, shape or form should more than half of any league make the playoffs. That means you just can’t be terrible to make the NBA playoffs. And with all the “super teams” that the NBA likes to form, terrible teams do make the playoffs. Not only are there way too many playoff teams, the NBA playoffs last what seems like 15 months. With every playoff series being 7 games and having huge breaks between series, there are definitely a lot of fans that sit out the first rounds and just wait for the big games. This fan fatigue costs the league money rather than making it. If most of the teams make the playoffs, what is the point of the regular season? If they insist on having so many teams, why don’t they just take a page out of the NCAA’s book and just make it a league wide tournament. Do or die games. That I’d watch.
All that NBA bashing aside, all I’m saying here is that the NFL should use the NBA as a cautionary tale. Adding a team adds money, but it is a very slippery slope.