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-   -   Why are the NFL, MLB, and NBA considering major format changes? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=889876)

FlikTheBlue 02-11-2020 06:59 AM

Why are the NFL, MLB, and NBA considering major format changes?
 
Iíve been reading about the NBA wanting to add a midseason tournament and expand the playoffs. The NFL wants to add another game and expand their playoffs as well. Now I see this story about MLB and some goofy (to me) ideas about expanding their playoffs and adding an element of the top seeds selecting which opponent they play.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...umber-teams-14


Whatís going on with these three leagues wanting to make major changes? Sure, every so often teams are added, and MLB added the wild card a while back. However, I donít recall ever seeing a trend for changes this major in all three leagues all at the same time, and Iíve been following them since I was a kid in the 80s. Is this due to falling TV ratings? The owners of major sports teams all simultaneously becoming more greedy? Whatís going on here?

DCnDC 02-11-2020 07:24 AM

I believe the deal with the NBA is they are trying to find a way to boost TV ratings and to raise the profile of the lesser teams. The NBA is, and always has been, a top-heavy league; any given season there are really only a handful of teams that have a legitimate shot at a championship, and everyone else is just fodder, and everyone knows it before the season even begins. This means the majority of the league is basically shit.

It's just going to be a secondary playoffs where the same shit teams are eliminated immediately, and the same 6 good teams will be playing in the end.

kenobi 65 02-11-2020 07:52 AM

The NFL was looking at declining ratings for several years, but I believe that their ratings rebounded in both 2018 and 2019.

In that league's case, it's a matter of:
1) Another game (or two; they've proposed going to 18 over the past few years, as well) means more money for the league -- mostly, additional TV revenue.
2) Preseason games don't make as much money as regular season games (since most of them aren't carried by the national TV networks), so part of the proposals have included considering preseason games to regular season games.

The players' union has, up until now, been strongly opposed to expanding the schedule, mostly due to injury concerns.

Damuri Ajashi 02-11-2020 08:27 AM

I think it's driven by TV revenue.

Live sports is about the only thing keeping live cable going and if these leagues can bring more revenue generation to the table, they can probably keep a big chunk of that additional revenue.

zimaane 02-11-2020 08:42 AM

It's easy to see why the NBA is considering the mid-season tournament idea - there is little interest in the league until the playoffs start. As pointed out above, there a few consistently good teams, who are more or less guaranteed to make the playoffs and advance through the first rounds. There isn't a lot of drama until the Conference finals.

Bijou Drains 02-11-2020 09:05 AM

3 reasons: Money, money , money. :)

NFL ratings are good but the main thing is that ads targeted to men work well on NFL games. You don't see viagra, truck, beer,etc ads on Lifetime network.

cmkeller 02-11-2020 09:17 AM

In the case of MLB, I think (in addition to money, which drives everything) it's driven by Rob Manfred's desperate need to define himself as a commissioner that did things. Bud Selig made significant changes to MLB and left it in good condition, Manfred probably doesn't want to go down in history as a guy who did nothing but maintain the status quo.

kenobi 65 02-11-2020 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmkeller (Post 22132420)
In the case of MLB, I think (in addition to money, which drives everything) it's driven by Rob Manfred's desperate need to define himself as a commissioner that did things. Bud Selig made significant changes to MLB and left it in good condition, Manfred probably doesn't want to go down in history as a guy who did nothing but maintain the status quo.

There are some clear things that MLB can do to make their game better, particularly speed up the damned game. But, the players' union has consistently rejected any moves to do this, and Manfred either feels that he really can't do anything about it, or he doesn't see it as a real issue.

Instead, we get things like this.

bump 02-11-2020 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 22132177)
I believe the deal with the NBA is they are trying to find a way to boost TV ratings and to raise the profile of the lesser teams. The NBA is, and always has been, a top-heavy league; any given season there are really only a handful of teams that have a legitimate shot at a championship, and everyone else is just fodder, and everyone knows it before the season even begins. This means the majority of the league is basically shit.

I suspect that's because with roughly 150 NBA starters, and the sort of one-on-one nature of basketball play, you have a situation where the relative impact of a standout player is huge. A team who gets a LeBron/Kobe/MJ/Yao/etc... has a HUGE advantage.

Contrast that with baseball, where you have about 270 starters and their relative performance is best determined statistically, or football, where you have 704 starters, and each one has a very defined role to play and consequent limited impact.

That said, I suspect that the NBA suffers from the same problem that baseball does- the season's too long, and nobody really cares until fairly late in the season. 82 games may be appropriate to let the teams shake out in terms of who is and isn't good, but if you're not a hardcore fan, you may as well wait until the playoffs and start watching then, as watching a game in early December is going to be for the sheer love of watching people play basketball, not because the game itself has any real import.

The NFL is just straight up greedy, if you ask me. They have fine ratings, and a polished product. Anything about more games is just trying to squeeze the fans a little bit more.

silenus 02-11-2020 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 22132424)
There are some clear things that MLB can do to make their game better, particularly speed up the damned game. But, the players' union has consistently rejected any moves to do this, and Manfred either feels that he really can't do anything about it, or he doesn't see it as a real issue.

Instead, we get things like this.

Bullshit. You want a faster game? Cut back on the TV commercials. Anything else is just jerking off.

kenobi 65 02-11-2020 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silenus (Post 22132456)
Bullshit. You want a faster game? Cut back on the TV commercials. Anything else is just jerking off.

Cutting down on the commercials would help. Cutting down on batters stepping out of the box after every pitch, and pitchers constantly stepping off the rubber, would make an even bigger difference.

Atamasama 02-11-2020 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 22132482)
Cutting down on the commercials would help. Cutting down on batters stepping out of the box after every pitch, and pitchers constantly stepping off the rubber, would make an even bigger difference.

Yes, this.

FlikTheBlue 02-11-2020 10:17 AM

I get that theyíre doing it for money. The question is are the leagues doing worse than in the past and trying to right a sinking ship, or did the owners just wake up one day even more greedy than usual? I think a lot of people who do watch do so because of the traditions of the respective leagues. Major changes seem to run the risk of alienating hardcore fans while doing little to attract new fans or increasing the interest of casual fans. If the leagues are really in good shape, why run this risk?

kenobi 65 02-11-2020 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue (Post 22132590)
I get that they’re doing it for money. The question is are the leagues doing worse than in the past and trying to right a sinking ship, or did the owners just wake up one day even more greedy than usual? I think a lot of people who do watch do so because of the traditions of the respective leagues. Major changes seem to run the risk of alienating hardcore fans while doing little to attract new fans or increasing the interest of casual fans. If the leagues are really in good shape, why run this risk?

None of this is "new" -- all of the North American leagues have been regularly tinkering with things (expanding playoff fields, adding "alternate" uniforms, different overtime formats, etc.) for decades, all in the name of driving fan interest, but really in the name of getting more money. They didn't suddenly and recently get more greedy; they've been increasingly greedy for a long time.

It's not like MLB or the NFL have been doing things exactly the same way for decades, and the "traditionalist" fans in all of the sports are a dying breed.

BobLibDem 02-11-2020 10:32 AM

It should be hard to make the playoffs in MLB. I personally think enough teams qualify as it is. When you have 162 games to prove yourself a top team and fail to do so, your season should end.

They've made two asinine rules- the instant intentional walk, which saves a negligible amount of time, and the three batter minimum, which ruins some of the strategy. I do approve of the new roster limits, teams are carrying too many pitchers and not enough position players.

D_Odds 02-11-2020 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue (Post 22132590)
I get that theyíre doing it for money. The question is are the leagues doing worse than in the past and trying to right a sinking ship, or did the owners just wake up one day even more greedy than usual? I think a lot of people who do watch do so because of the traditions of the respective leagues. Major changes seem to run the risk of alienating hardcore fans while doing little to attract new fans or increasing the interest of casual fans. If the leagues are really in good shape, why run this risk?

Part of it is the dinosaur-nature of management. Entertainment markets have fragmented and evolved, and they don't know how to recapture the market. So they go back to what they believe worked in the past (and it may have)...more playoffs. IMHO, if they want to revive interest, how about making attending the games live affordable? Maybe it's just me, but being in the stadium is much more conducive to building strong fanship. Instead, most tickets are stupid expensive, food and drink are stupid expensive, and licensed souvenirs and apparel are beyond stupid expensive. Wage growth has been fairly flat vis-a-vis inflation. The leagues are losing their base.

Munch 02-11-2020 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silenus (Post 22132456)
Bullshit. You want a faster game? Cut back on the TV commercials. Anything else is just jerking off.

Why did you say ďbullshitĒ to him? He didnít suggest Manfred has done anything to help the pace of play.

Atamasama 02-11-2020 10:35 AM

The NFL in particular seemed like it was dipping in popularity and revenue before it ticked back up again. (I say “may” because I’m not sure that declining TV viewership wasn’t due to people watching through webcasts instead.) That may have spurred some urgency to innovate. Now that there is less of a need to make changes that might increase revenue and interest, would you stop the initiatives that you already started? If I’m the NFL I wouldn’t; it doesn’t matter if the urgency is gone, more money is more money.

To recap; I think the reason they are changing is because they want more money (and as a business, making money is their primary job). The reason why it’s happening now is because of the recent slip in ratings that spurred the changes.

enalzi 02-11-2020 10:53 AM

Regarding the NFL, another aspect is that they're about to do a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is really the only time they could make a big change like adding more games. The "Let's do a 17/18 week season" topic comes up every time there's a new CBA. It's a bargaining chip.

Quercus 02-11-2020 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bump (Post 22132440)
I suspect that's because with roughly 150 NBA starters, and the sort of one-on-one nature of basketball play, you have a situation where the relative impact of a standout player is huge. A team who gets a LeBron/Kobe/MJ/Yao/etc... has a HUGE advantage.

Maybe more importantly, there are so many more scoring chances in basketball, luck matters less. In a seven-game NBA playoff series, each team would have about 700 possessions; in a NFL playoff each team would probably have less than ten. One bad bounce is much more likely to change the outcome of an NFL game than an NBA playoff series. So upsets are a lot more likely in the NFL playoffs.

Atamasama 02-11-2020 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enalzi (Post 22132682)
Regarding the NFL, another aspect is that they're about to do a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is really the only time they could make a big change like adding more games. The "Let's do a 17/18 week season" topic comes up every time there's a new CBA. It's a bargaining chip.

Thatís true. The players ask for something like the ability to smoke marijuana and fewer preseason games, the NFL counters with a longer regular season, then the haggling begins. The reality might end up with none of these changes happening after the negotiations.

Skywatcher 02-11-2020 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmkeller (Post 22132420)
In the case of MLB, I think (in addition to money, which drives everything) it's driven by Rob Manfred's desperate need to define himself as a commissioner that did things.

Except he already did something: scrap Selig's ill-advised attempt at making the ASG meaningful.

Atamasama 02-11-2020 01:06 PM

I always liked that the All-Star Game actually had a purpose. I found that clever. I was disappointed when it stopped.

dalej42 02-11-2020 02:01 PM

I don’t think the NFL really wants a longer season but it’s a bargaining chip. They have the perfect season length, starting right after Labor Day when everyone’s back from vacation and ending in early February, when everyone is ready to give up their no alcohol and healthy food resolutions for a day for the Super Bowl. At 16 games, each game means a lot except for the absolute worst teams. Adding more games which feature a 4th string QB won’t keep the interest going.

There’s just such an imbalance in the NBA that it makes the regular season a slog along with the first round of the playoffs.

Bijou Drains 02-11-2020 05:26 PM

any other major league sport in any country have 2 sets of rules depending on where the game is played? DH rule.

John DiFool 02-11-2020 06:11 PM

I am all in favor of such changes. After all, the NASCAR playoffs went off without a single solitary glitch.

Omniscient 02-11-2020 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue (Post 22132150)
Iíve been reading about the NBA wanting to add a midseason tournament and expand the playoffs. The NFL wants to add another game and expand their playoffs as well. Now I see this story about MLB and some goofy (to me) ideas about expanding their playoffs and adding an element of the top seeds selecting which opponent they play.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...umber-teams-14


Whatís going on with these three leagues wanting to make major changes? Sure, every so often teams are added, and MLB added the wild card a while back. However, I donít recall ever seeing a trend for changes this major in all three leagues all at the same time, and Iíve been following them since I was a kid in the 80s. Is this due to falling TV ratings? The owners of major sports teams all simultaneously becoming more greedy? Whatís going on here?

Short, cynical answer.....they aren't. It's just noise that someone floated in order to keep the clicks coming and to stay in the news during the winter doldrums of sport.

The NFL wants to go to 17 weeks (unclear if it's adding 16 more total games or if it's just adding a second bye week to goose the TV revenue) simply to make more money. It's not a big structural change. They also will never further expand the playoffs, the NFL playoffs are near-universally considered a perfect balance.

The NBA isn't going to add a mid-season tournament either. It's just food for the bloggers. Many will concede that 82 games is too many, but no one is signing up for a pay cut. Adding a tournament doesn't really do anything to replace the ticket revenue and it doesn't fix tanking.

The MLB is just doing a bit of "me too" action. They saw the NBA getting a bunch of free press and decided the spring meetings were the time to float a crazy idea to the media. There's a very small chance that they'll add more playoff teams, but I highly doubt it. The flagging interest in baseball has way more to do with the bloated number of games, pace of play and the horrible umpiring at the plate than it does the postseason format. The only meaningful change you'll see out of the MLB will be robot umps and DHs in the National League (which is when I exit baseball, stage right, for good).

silenus 02-11-2020 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Munch (Post 22132631)
Why did you say ďbullshitĒ to him? He didnít suggest Manfred has done anything to help the pace of play.

He got a (probably undeserved, but who knows what evil lurks... etc., etc.) "bullshit" for suggesting/inferring/implying that in-game solutions would be within an order of magnitude as effective in speeding up the game as curtailing excess broadcast advertising.

Velocity 02-11-2020 07:04 PM

The NBA's solution to disinterest would be simple, just shorten the season to 40-60 games. But they don't want to lose the money.

kenobi 65 02-11-2020 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 22133720)
The NBA's solution to disinterest would be simple, just shorten the season to 40-60 games. But they don't want to lose the money.

Yeah -- cut the regular-season income from ticket sales and TV contracts by 25-50%? It's never going to happen.

silenus 02-11-2020 07:13 PM

Don't the NBA playoffs already run for 6-8 months? Cutting back the regular season is but a bagatelle.

UltraVires 02-12-2020 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 22132945)
Except he already did something: scrap Selig's ill-advised attempt at making the ASG meaningful.

The All Star Game used to be very meaningful before interleague play and rampant free agency. As I kid, I couldn't wait for the All Star Game and was excited for the entire week before. You got to see players, fighting for league pride, face each other who would never face each other in their entire careers.

Now it is an MTV clown show.

But I think that is just keeping with modern society. For better or worse, the owners decided years ago that having two distinct league where the champions meet in the World Series (or later a modest two division winners playing each other first) was just too boring for people and have tinkered with almost every aspect of the game. I want baseball back not more of the same.

Bijou Drains 02-12-2020 07:33 AM

Interleague play makes sense because there is no good reason why fans should not be able to see all the teams and big name players. That doesn't happen in any other US sport. With so many people living in a place other than where their favorite team is located they should be able to see their fave team in person . Most National league teams love it when the Red Sox and Yankees come to town since it boosts ticket sales.

Damuri Ajashi 02-13-2020 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bump (Post 22132440)
I suspect that's because with roughly 150 NBA starters, and the sort of one-on-one nature of basketball play, you have a situation where the relative impact of a standout player is huge. A team who gets a LeBron/Kobe/MJ/Yao/etc... has a HUGE advantage.

Contrast that with baseball, where you have about 270 starters and their relative performance is best determined statistically, or football, where you have 704 starters, and each one has a very defined role to play and consequent limited impact.

That said, I suspect that the NBA suffers from the same problem that baseball does- the season's too long, and nobody really cares until fairly late in the season. 82 games may be appropriate to let the teams shake out in terms of who is and isn't good, but if you're not a hardcore fan, you may as well wait until the playoffs and start watching then, as watching a game in early December is going to be for the sheer love of watching people play basketball, not because the game itself has any real import.

Basketball is definitely driven by stars. You see it from youth basketball all the way through the NBA. In youth leagues, you can almost predict who is going to win games depending on who has the most dominant player. AFAICT, this holds true all the way through high school. In college it is harder to come by overwhelming dominance. Even harder in the NBA. But it is still very star driven.

Football is also driven by stars. At the youth level, a single dominant running back can carry a mediocre team to championship after championship. A fantastic quarterback paired with a few decent receivers can really light it up. As they get older, you need more competence from everyone but it is still driven by stars.

This sort of thing is true of most sports. Having the best forward in soccer means you probably win a lot of games, same with hockey.

Baseball is really the only sport where having the best player in the world does not even guarantee a winning season (see the Angels). OTOH, you can cobble together a consistent playoff team from the right combination of odds and ends (see Oakland A's).

I don't know that the baseball season is too long. If you have a good team, every game will earn you money and have reasonably high attendance/viewership (see Dodgers). On the flip side, Football has very few games but if your team is unpopular, you are not making much money from each game (see Redskins).

Having 162 games makes baseball games a lot more accessible. Almost anyone can afford to go to a handful of games over the summer. This is not true of Football, at least not around here.

Quote:

The NFL is just straight up greedy, if you ask me. They have fine ratings, and a polished product. Anything about more games is just trying to squeeze the fans a little bit more.
I am not a packers fan but I love their structure. They are largely owned by their fan base and that allows a tiny city like Green Bay to have a credible professional sports team.

madmonk28 02-13-2020 10:11 AM

I think that every MLB proposal should be titled, "Let's Stop Talking About the Astros Cheating." Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted to the MLB commissioner "No idea who made this new . . . proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You are a joke."

kenobi 65 02-13-2020 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi (Post 22136369)
I am not a packers fan but I love their structure. They are largely owned by their fan base and that allows a tiny city like Green Bay to have a credible professional sports team.

In fact, they're entirely owned by their fan base. There are currently about 360,000 shareholders (I'm one of them :) ), owning a total of just over 5 million shares. Team bylaws prohibit any one person from owning more than a 4% stake in the corporation, and I'm not sure that any one person even has that big of an ownership stake -- if anyone does, it's probably a descendent of one of the people who participated in the early stock sales (1923, 1938, 1950). Also, one effectively can't sell one's shares (which makes it even more difficult for anyone to amass a lot of shares) -- you can pass them on to a descendent, but the team holds the first right to buy any shares that shareholders might want to sell.

RickJay 02-13-2020 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi (Post 22136369)
Baseball is really the only sport where having the best player in the world does not even guarantee a winning season (see the Angels). OTOH, you can cobble together a consistent playoff team from the right combination of odds and ends (see Oakland A's).

I mean, if you look at a list of the greatest baseball players of all time, a truly shocking number of them either never won a World Series, or won it just once. Here's the best hitters ever as ranked by WAR, a rough metric but as you can see there really are all time greats, and how often they won a series (Babe Ruth's pitching WAR aren't counted here or he would be first)

1. Barry Bonds - Never
2. Babe Ruth - 7
3. Willie Mays - 1
4. Ty Cobb - Never
5. Hank Aaron - 1
6. Tris Speaker - 3
7. Honus Wagner - 1
8. Stan Musial - 3
9. Rogers Hornsby - 1
10. Eddie Collins - 4
11. Ted Williams - Never
12. A-Rod - 1
13. Lou Gehrig - 6
14. Rickey Henderson - 2
15. The Mick - 7
16. Mel Ott - 1
17. Nap LaJoie - Never
18. Frank Robinson - 2
19. Mike Schmidt - 1
20. Joe Morgan - 2

I have never heard anyone seriously suggest Willie Mays wasn't as great a player as Jack Morris because he won the World Series fewer times, or that Ty Cobb wasn't a great player at all, but in any other major sport this would be a significant part of the argument.

Quote:

I don't know that the baseball season is too long. If you have a good team, every game will earn you money and have reasonably high attendance/viewership (see Dodgers). On the flip side, Football has very few games but if your team is unpopular, you are not making much money from each game (see Redskins).
I mean, the seasons are clearly not too long for the leagues. Baseball's season has been this long for SIXTY YEARS. Prior to that it was just a bit shorter, 154 games instead of 162, dating back to the days when Teddy Roosevelt was President. If there was some business reason the season should be shorter they'd have done it by now, and surely the same as true of other leagues? The NHL has been playuing 80+ games a year for a long time now and it was as long as 70 going back to 1950. Basketball's current season length dated back over half a centry and wasn't much shorter for many years prior to that.

So when people say they're too long, too long for whom? Apparently not for the leagues or the players, since they seem fine with it. They may be too long for individual fans - but people who don't wanna watch, won't. And some people seem to be fine with it.

dalej42 02-13-2020 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22136803)
I mean, if you look at a list of the greatest baseball players of all time, a truly shocking number of them either never won a World Series, or won it just once. Here's the best hitters ever as ranked by WAR, a rough metric but as you can see there really are all time greats, and how often they won a series (Babe Ruth's pitching WAR aren't counted here or he would be first)

1. Barry Bonds - Never
2. Babe Ruth - 7
3. Willie Mays - 1
4. Ty Cobb - Never
5. Hank Aaron - 1
6. Tris Speaker - 3
7. Honus Wagner - 1
8. Stan Musial - 3
9. Rogers Hornsby - 1
10. Eddie Collins - 4
11. Ted Williams - Never
12. A-Rod - 1
13. Lou Gehrig - 6
14. Rickey Henderson - 2
15. The Mick - 7
16. Mel Ott - 1
17. Nap LaJoie - Never
18. Frank Robinson - 2
19. Mike Schmidt - 1
20. Joe Morgan - 2

I have never heard anyone seriously suggest Willie Mays wasn't as great a player as Jack Morris because he won the World Series fewer times, or that Ty Cobb wasn't a great player at all, but in any other major sport this would be a significant part of the argument.


I mean, the seasons are clearly not too long for the leagues. Baseball's season has been this long for SIXTY YEARS. Prior to that it was just a bit shorter, 154 games instead of 162, dating back to the days when Teddy Roosevelt was President. If there was some business reason the season should be shorter they'd have done it by now, and surely the same as true of other leagues? The NHL has been playuing 80+ games a year for a long time now and it was as long as 70 going back to 1950. Basketball's current season length dated back over half a centry and wasn't much shorter for many years prior to that.

So when people say they're too long, too long for whom? Apparently not for the leagues or the players, since they seem fine with it. They may be too long for individual fans - but people who don't wanna watch, won't. And some people seem to be fine with it.

I think itís the expanded playoffs in all sports that makes the regular season seem so long. Plus, with expansion, you have more teams that are just playing out the season and shutting guys down early.

Baseball now flirts with November. Hockey in June? And yes, the NBA plays all those games just to let everyone in the playoffs and then those go on forever including obvious mismatches.

Bijou Drains 02-13-2020 04:18 PM

Speaking of long seasons I was surprised that junior hockey teams in Canada (which is for 16-20 year olds) play 60 games per season. Almost all NHL players from Canada play junior hockey before the NHL. Some Euro and American players play there too.

RickJay 02-13-2020 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dalej42 (Post 22137007)
I think it’s the expanded playoffs in all sports that makes the regular season seem so long. Plus, with expansion, you have more teams that are just playing out the season and shutting guys down early.

There's a bit of a contradiction between your first sentence and your last. Expanded playoffs simply means more shots at glory. Back in the day, two out of 16 teams made MLB's playoffs; now it's 10 out of 30.

The percentage of teams that have basically given up is NOT any higher than it used to be. There really aren't that many sports franchises that have clearly just decided not to try anymore or who seem totally unable to accomplish anything; a team might tank it for a few years, but it makes perfect sense to accept going 62-100 a few times if it means you have a chance to win later than going 79-83 every year in perpetuity. But sports have always had a few teams that were perennial disasters. No baseball team today is as totally hopeless as the Phillies once were. The Orioles look so, so bad, but hell, they made the playoffs in 2016.

OldGuy 02-13-2020 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22133556)
any other major league sport in any country have 2 sets of rules depending on where the game is played? DH rule.

Japan's Central and Pacific Leagues do the same one DH the other not.

The NFL and CFL used to play some exhibition games with mixed rules.

Back a century ago, the western hockey leagues used 7 players a side while in the East the NHL used 6. They mixed it up in the Stanley Cup.

Before that I suppose Ruby Union and Ruby League might fit before they completely separated.

AlTraina 03-10-2020 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldGuy (Post 22137727)
Before that I suppose Ruby Union and Ruby League might fit before they completely separated.

Rugby?

Atamasama 03-15-2020 03:42 PM

Bumping this because the new CBA for the NFL was approved by player vote today.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ls/4878786002/
So there will now be a 17 game regular season, only 3 instead of 4 preseason games, teams will go from a roster of 53 to 55 players, and there will be 3 rather than 2 wild card teams from each conference in the playoffs (7 total teams in the postseason per conference, and only the top seed in each conference gets a bye).

Ellis Dee 03-15-2020 09:05 PM

Is increasing the active roster size on game day from 46 to 48 a significant change? It feels like a big change to me, like it greatly reduces some of the coach's tough decisions. Am I reading too much into that? Expanding the roster to 55 doesn't seem to change much, but I kind of thought that having to choose which 46 dress was a non-trivial element of football strategy.

I guess the idea is to help distribute the extra load of the 17th game. It would be weird and awkward to give a starter a whole game off, but if you could dress one more defensive lineman, say, you could lower a starter's plays per game from 40 to 37 and end up with the same 640 plays per season in terms of injury risk. (Those numbers obviously made up.)

It makes sense, I guess, but I don't love it.

EDIT: Nice, practice squad players get 30% raise to $10,500 per week. That's not a bad deal if that means $178,500 for a 17-week season. Good on them, that's actual money.

Atamasama 03-15-2020 10:34 PM

Between the increase in roster size and raising the minimum salaries, teams are seeing a reduction in their cap space.

Luckduck 03-16-2020 02:44 AM

They're trying to get more eyeballs on their product and remain relevant during the offseason and slow parts of the regular season. Looking kind of picture, the NFL is now a "year round" sport if you consider the combine, free agency, and the NFL draft. Adding one more game and more teams making the playoffs makes fans tune in for one more week and offers more playoff hopes to fans of teams that don't win their division. The NBA has really struggled to keep fans watching recently since the regular season almost doesn't seem to matter. Good teams need a star player to compete and those teams always make the playoffs so why bother. They need people watching to get fat tv contracts and revenue from advertisers.

RickJay 03-16-2020 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 22191564)
Bumping this because the new CBA for the NFL was approved by player vote today.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ls/4878786002/
So there will now be a 17 game regular season, only 3 instead of 4 preseason games, teams will go from a roster of 53 to 55 players, and there will be 3 rather than 2 wild card teams from each conference in the playoffs (7 total teams in the postseason per conference, and only the top seed in each conference gets a bye).

I find the idea of an odd-number-of-games season bizarre. Does ANY other league do this?

kenobi 65 03-16-2020 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22193012)
I find the idea of an odd-number-of-games season bizarre. Does ANY other league do this?

Not any of the major North American sports leagues (MLB 162, NHL and NBA 82, MLS 34). And, I agree, it feels asymetrical and strange, especially since the scheduling system which the NFL has used since its 2002 realignment is a thing of beauty.

The NFL has deseprately wanted to add additional regular-season games for several years (since more games = more viewers = more money), but previous pushes for an 18-game season were a non-starter for the union. I suspect that the 17-game season was a compromise, arrived at by sweetening the pot for players with larger roster size and higher salary caps in trade for the extra game.

It also means that the idea of the .500 team will be close to extinct, unless we get a team that finishes 8-8-1.

Ellis Dee 03-17-2020 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 22193329)
And, I agree, it feels asymetrical and strange, especially since the scheduling system which the NFL has used since its 2002 realignment is a thing of beauty.

Agreed, but there is an elegant way to handle 17 games with 32 teams. I figured it out this season, lemme see if I can find it...here it is, but I just enumerate a functional example instead of explaining how it works.

Same as the schedule we have now. The 17th game is a third strength of schedule game, where you play the "offset" team in one of your strength of schedule divisions. (Same conference, but not the division where you play everyone.)

"Offset" strength of schedule matchups:
1st plays 1st and 2nd instead of just 1st
2nd plays 1st and 2nd instead of just 2nd
3rd plays 3rd and 4th instead of just 3rd
4th plays 4rd and 4th instead of just 4th

This does work out properly, as the enumerated example in the linked post shows.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi
It also means that the idea of the .500 team will be close to extinct, unless we get a team that finishes 8-8-1.

Nice! I hadn't thought of that before, but I love it.

enalzi 03-17-2020 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellis Dee (Post 22195317)
Agreed, but there is an elegant way to handle 17 games with 32 teams. I figured it out this season, lemme see if I can find it...here it is, but I just enumerate a functional example instead of explaining how it works.

Same as the schedule we have now. The 17th game is a third strength of schedule game, where you play the "offset" team in one of your strength of schedule divisions. (Same conference, but not the division where you play everyone.)

"Offset" strength of schedule matchups:
1st plays 1st and 2nd instead of just 1st
2nd plays 1st and 2nd instead of just 2nd
3rd plays 3rd and 4th instead of just 3rd
4th plays 4rd and 4th instead of just 4th

This does work out properly, as the enumerated example in the linked post shows.

I'd rather add one strength of schedule game with an out-of-conference rotating division.


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