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Expanded Playoffs a No-Go.

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Expanded Playoffs a No-Go.

Postby Guttpuppy » Thu May 15, 2003 12:07 pm


The NFL playoffs, primarily for the league's elite, are expected to stay that way for now. Expanding the postseason to 14 teams from 12 is extremely unlikely after the league's influential competition committee voted unanimously against letting any more teams in for the 2003 season.
The vote goes to NFL owners at next week's league meetings in Philadelphia.

"There is almost no way I can see it passing," Giants vice president John Mara, a member of the committee, said yesterday. "I think it's doomed for this year."

The main fears: making the road to the Super Bowl too easy for the No. 1 seeds in each conference, which would be the only teams to get first-round byes in the new format, and diluting the product by potentially adding 8-8 teams.

The committee, which makes recommendations to league owners, voted 8-0 on a conference call two weeks ago against adding one wild-card team per conference for this season.

"It's very rare a 10-win team fails to get in the playoffs," Mara said. "To me, with the current system, it's still a meaningful achievement."

The vote of no-support by the competition committee combined with commissioner Paul Tagliabue's stance at the league meetings in March not to mess with a good thing is virtually certain to result in the proposal being defeated.

Owners tabled the vote at the March meetings in Phoenix. The proposal had picked up surprising support, but more study was ordered. The competition committee did its homework and deemed it a bad idea for this season. That doesn't mean it won't pass in the future, especially with more games equaling more money.

The committee will give owners a memo next week detailing why it's against expanding the playoffs this season. There are three objections:

When the league realigned for the '02 season, the decision was made to wait two seasons to see how it played out before considering more playoff teams.

Adding a seventh playoff team to each conference would give only the No. 1 seed a bye, as opposed to the current format, in which the top two seeds get byes. "Nobody wants to give that big an advantage to the No.1 seed," Mara said.

Allowing a third wild card to qualify in each conference invites mediocrity. Studies going back to the early '90s show that "more than a third of the time, you will get 8-8 teams. Most of the time they will be 9-7," Mara said. "Nobody thinks that's a good thing. I think the system is good the way it is now. I don't think it needs to be changed."
The supporters say more playoff teams will bring more exciting races as well as the prestige and marketing possibilities that come with being a playoff team.
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Postby Arlo » Thu May 15, 2003 12:34 pm

"Studies going back to the early 90's"... hmm, do you think it took a large research team to look at - gasp - a dozen years' worth of standings? :-B

Seriously, though, I think not expanding the playoffs is the right way to go. Good call there, and yet another great heads-up courtesy of GP! ;-D
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Postby Homeless » Thu May 15, 2003 1:27 pm

It would clearly favor the underdogs, teams who couldnt pull their act together in the regular season would be in with a chance of glory that they didnt earn. Im against it. :-t

Good find GP.
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Postby slowkidz » Thu May 15, 2003 4:19 pm

i agree. lets keep it the way it is...or we may end up with like all but two teams making the playoffs...
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Postby The Sandwich » Thu May 15, 2003 4:46 pm

I like the fact that there are no dogs in the playoffs. Not like bball and hockey wehre so many teams make it it is just silly.
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Postby Roseman » Thu May 15, 2003 8:48 pm

I dont know I liked the idea of the expanded playoff format. It is also two more games on the season and it just increases the chance for more upsets. Who can disagree that the Packers-Falcons game last year wasnt exciting last year
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Postby Canadian Seahawk » Fri May 16, 2003 11:51 am

everytime I have brought this up,,,I get shunned....I kinda....that is kinda like it simply for the fact that I hate byes in the playoffs,,,but if only the conference leader got a bye then to me its ok...but I don't like the 4team bye in the Playoffs...just me and my two cents.
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