NFL doesn’t need additional playoff teams

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It’s cliché, but I believe that conversation truly does rule the nation.

I think that simply talking to people allows us to learn about topics, and through that education, we’re able to generate newer, fresher ideas to create a better world.

OK, now that all of my Captain America stuff is out of the way for this week, let me quickly snap out of it and get back to the real world and explain why the above cliché needs to be amended when it comes to the world of sports.

According to multiple reports among several different mainstream media outlets, the NFL is considering a proposal that would expand its playoff format by two teams, a jump from a 12-team tournament to a 14-team tournament.

In summary, one additional playoff team would be added per conference – an extra Wildcard in both the NFC and AFC.

If approved, it would water down what is already one of the most irrelevant regular seasons in the entire sporting world – another step down in the NFL’s slow, gradual descent to becoming the second-best sport in the country behind college football.

Let’s just start this off with a strong, but accurate statement: the NFL regular season is pretty much pointless.

It’s too long. The best team isn’t the true best team – it’s the team that can remain most healthy.

And once that’s established, a ton of the games in the back-half of the 16-game slate are irrelevant and completely unimportant in the grand scheme of crowning a Super Bowl Champion.

By the final weeks of the year, the top four or five teams are resting starters for postseason because their spots in the bracket are already sealed. Likewise, the worst teams of the bunch are tanking, intentionally playing younger players to lessen the chance of victory, thus ensuring a better draft pick.

College football is king because every, single game matters. Any one loss is heartbreaking and season splattering.

In the NFL, victory and defeat is pretty much irrelevant – almost every team goes into the homestretch knowing that it has a decent shot to compete for the Super Bowl.

What this system does is attract subpar teams into the 12-team field.

In this year’s playoffs, I can count three or four teams right off-top that had absolutely no chance to win the Super Bowl.

The Eagles were a joke – one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Their offense is a gimmick. They won their division, but are average at best.

Likewise, the Chargers are fraudulent. They needed to win in Week 17 to get into the tournament. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs’ backups – by just three points.

Oh yeah, it was in overtime.

Oh yeah, if the Chargers are fraudulent, what does that say about the Bengals? You know, the team San Diego beat in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs?

Adding an extra team to that mix this year would have placed the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals into postseason play.

That’s right – the same Miami team that scored seven total points in the final two weeks of the season – losses to Buffalo and the Jets.

Arizona is a little better, I suppose. But can Carson Palmer anchor a team to the Promised Land?

I suspect the Cardinals’ 10-6 regular season record had a little more to do with its last place schedule than it did with actual on-field prowess.

Detroit, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee are six of their 10 wins.

In a monstrous division, the red birds showed their true colors and were just 2-4 against NFC West opponents.

Of course, there will be the naysayers out there who will (accurately) point out that the Super Bowl Champion often comes from one of the final teams in the playoff bracket.

That is a fact. Recent history shows that Cinderella teams like the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers have recently risen from the Wild Card ash and have ascended to the Lombardi Trophy.

But just because it happens that way doesn’t mean it’s right.

The regular season should matter – a lot.

And if a team can go 8-8 or 7-9 and reach the postseason, then it obviously doesn’t matter as much as it should.

In life, mediocrity is never rewarded – society always urges its people to reach for more.

So why doesn’t the NFL do the same?

Why can’t the NFL playoffs remain an exclusive club where only the absolute cream of the crop have access?

The NFL blabbers all of the time about how attendance is down – something they say will be rectified once they create an experience for fans that makes the game feel better than the experience of watching at home.

But to do that, they should forget the gadgets, gizmos and the crazy camera angles. They should instead focus on making the games matter again.

Because THAT is the true reason why fans choose to watch from home. It’s cheaper, and much easier because there is no sense of urgency to attend a game that matters very little in the grand scheme of a ginormous season.

Of course, none of this will be taken into consideration because the NFL is interested in its bottom line, and more games means more TV – and more TV means more commercials (more money).

I understand that – business is business.

But no one wants to see a premier playoff matchup between the Carson Palmer-led Arizona Cardinals versus the wretched Philadelphia Eagles and their 32nd-ranked passing defense.

No one at all.

It’s just another example of the league caring only about its bottom line and not about anything else.

It’s another in a long list of examples of why Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in professional sports history.