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Old 02-21-2020, 11:36 AM
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Thank you NFL for instituting “Steelers Rule”


The NFL will now have 7 teams from each conference in the playoffs - a move clearly designed to make sure the Steelers make playoffs every year. Excellent! Perhaps this was done as a make-good for reinstating Miles Garrett.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:39 AM
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Ugh.......sigh.

Oh well, the Cowboys, who have gone 8-8 and 9-7 so many times of late and falling on the doorstep of the playoffs, might have it better now. Of course, knowing Dallas, what will likely happen is that they will simply lose one more game than before and continue falling on that doorstep.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:48 AM
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Just to note that this is in the NFL's proposed new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union (as is a 17-game regular season), which the owners have approved. Though, from what I can tell, while the NFLPA hasn't yet commented on it, what I've seen suggests that the players are unlikely to endorse this draft of the CBA.

It will all then go into negotiation, and expanded playoffs are just one aspect of the CBA which will be negotated. In other words, it's by no means a done deal right now.

SI story on the topic: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/02/20/nf...s-will-players

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Old 02-21-2020, 02:06 PM
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If they do put seven teams from each conference into the playoffs, and don't change the scheduling formula, then, for the first time, it will be possible for a team to go 20-0 in a season.

Only two teams in each conference can go 16-0 in the regular season; under the current system, all four of these teams would get first-round byes.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:12 PM
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Players currently don’t get paid for the first round bye, playing the playoff game puts money in their pocket. While I don’t think the union will go for 17 regular season games, I do believe they have already expressed interest in the playoff change.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Just to note that this is in the NFL's proposed new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union (as is a 17-game regular season), which the owners have approved. Though, from what I can tell, while the NFLPA hasn't yet commented on it, what I've seen suggests that the players are unlikely to endorse this draft of the CBA.

It will all then go into negotiation, and expanded playoffs are just one aspect of the CBA which will be negotated. In other words, it's by no means a done deal right now.

SI story on the topic: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/02/20/nf...s-will-players
Possibly.

But:
According to a source, the NFL and owners "probably" will move forward with their plans to implement the expanded, 14-team playoffs in the 2020 season even if the players fail to ratify the proposed CBA. The owners, in their view, don't need to the players' approval of that.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:08 PM
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So baseball wants their playoffs to run till Thanksgiving and now the NFL wants their playoffs to run till April 1, huh?
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:12 PM
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This’ll be awesome for the 7th seeds.

This’ll suck for the 2nd seeds.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:15 PM
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From what understand there is a big raise/bonus to the minimum salary line. Which is an interesting strategy. They guys who make millions(and get interviewed or TV and radio), may have a very different opinion than the silent mass of players. "Hmm I get a 30% raise to sit on the bench one extra game next year? Hell yeah."
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:18 PM
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Just to note that this is in the NFL's proposed new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union (as is a 17-game regular season), which the owners have approved. Though, from what I can tell, while the NFLPA hasn't yet commented on it, what I've seen suggests that the players are unlikely to endorse this draft of the CBA.

It will all then go into negotiation, and expanded playoffs are just one aspect of the CBA which will be negotated. In other words, it's by no means a done deal right now.

SI story on the topic: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/02/20/nf...s-will-players
Possibly.

But:
According to a source, the NFL and owners "probably" will move forward with their plans to implement the expanded, 14-team playoffs in the 2020 season even if the players fail to ratify the proposed CBA. The owners, in their view, don't need to the players' approval of that.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:24 PM
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So baseball wants their playoffs to run till Thanksgiving and now the NFL wants their playoffs to run till April 1, huh?
The 7th seed wouldn't add a week to the playoffs; you'd just have six games during the Wild Card round instead of four.

The proposed addition of a 17th regular-season game would also include the elimination of a pre-season game (going down to 3 games, or 4 for the teams which play in the Hall of Fame Game). What's not clear if the league's proposal would change which weekend on which they start the regular season (currently the weekend after Labor Day). If the league kept "opening weekend" in the same spot, then, yes, a seventeen-game season would push the entire playoff slate one week later (assuming that it would become an eighteen-week season with a bye for each team).

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Old 02-21-2020, 04:38 PM
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The 7th seed wouldn't add a week to the playoffs; you'd just have six games during the Wild Card round instead of four.

The proposed addition of a 17th regular-season game would also include the elimination of a pre-season game (going down to 3 games, or 4 for the teams which play in the Hall of Fame Game). What's not clear if the league's proposal would change which weekend on which they start the regular season (currently the weekend after Labor Day). If the league kept "opening weekend" in the same spot, then, yes, a seventeen-game season would push the entire playoff slate one week later (assuming that it would become an eighteen-week season with a bye for each team).
And there’s no doubt they’ll start the season on that Thursday after Labor Day. Leave August for college football and capture the market when everyone’s back at work and kids are back in school. Plus, a decent Thursday night matchup gives you something to look forward to when the office gets back from vacation and you’ve spent the past two days in useless meetings wanting to spin your blowhead boss around by his shiny tie!
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:42 PM
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Ugh.......sigh.

Oh well, the Cowboys, who have gone 8-8 and 9-7 so many times of late and falling on the doorstep of the playoffs, might have it better now. Of course, knowing Dallas, what will likely happen is that they will simply lose one more game than before and continue falling on that doorstep.
My first thought was "doesn't matter, NFC East will still send only one team to the playoffs." At least, until the NFL figures out how to exclude sucky division leaders too.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:04 PM
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The proposed addition of a 17th regular-season game would also include the elimination of a pre-season game (going down to 3 games, or 4 for the teams which play in the Hall of Fame Game). What's not clear if the league's proposal would change which weekend on which they start the regular season (currently the weekend after Labor Day). If the league kept "opening weekend" in the same spot, then, yes, a seventeen-game season would push the entire playoff slate one week later (assuming that it would become an eighteen-week season with a bye for each team).
Every time I hear about them adding a 17th week to the season, it usually involves them adding a 2nd bye week as well. I haven't heard if that was part of this offer, though.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:45 PM
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Every time I hear about them adding a 17th week to the season, it usually involves them adding a 2nd bye week as well. I haven't heard if that was part of this offer, though.
A second bye week would be a headache, think of how many teams bitch about getting that 4th week bye. But the system kinda works with the byes over by Thanksgiving. With two byes, you could have a team with a 2nd week bye and then one in December. And yes, I do think the NFL would want to front load the byes to make sure they’ve got as many teams as possible playing from November 1 onwards when the World Series is wrapped up and weather turns cold in most of the country.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:36 PM
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A second bye week would be a headache, think of how many teams bitch about getting that 4th week bye.
After the NFL started the bye week system (1990), they did try a season with two bye weeks per team (in 1993). The fact that they only did that for one year does suggest to me that it wasn't a popular thing. As I look at the Packers' 1993 schedule on Pro Football Reference, I see that they had their byes in Week 3 and Week 7, which definitely feels odd.

Also, that was back when the NFL also had their opening weekend during Labor Day weekend, so the second bye week didn't push the Super Bowl as far into February as it would today, with the regular season typically starting one week later. (In fact, they played the Super Bowl on January 30th that year, as they also didn't have an off week after the conference championship games.)

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Old 02-23-2020, 05:53 PM
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I don't think the NFL cares about college FB that much that they would not decide to play labor day weekend. Yes, almost all the players come from college but college FB is doing OK now with all the TV money flowing in.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:38 PM
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I don't think the NFL cares about college FB that much that they would not decide to play labor day weekend. Yes, almost all the players come from college but college FB is doing OK now with all the TV money flowing in.
As I understand it, that's not why they delayed the start of the season a week (i.e., the week after Labor Day) - it was because they felt that TV ratings were depressed on Labor Day weekend, because a lot of people are traveling or doing things outside for the three-day weekend, and thus not glued to their TV screens.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:24 PM
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Yeah, I know I'm paddling against the current and turning into an old man, but this playoff expansion keeps getting out of hand and I understand that it is all about money.

But I miss the old days in baseball and football: win in the regular season and keep making the playoffs be a special thing.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:13 PM
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As I understand it, that's not why they delayed the start of the season a week (i.e., the week after Labor Day) - it was because they felt that TV ratings were depressed on Labor Day weekend, because a lot of people are traveling or doing things outside for the three-day weekend, and thus not glued to their TV screens.
Exactly, it gives people their last week of vacation and allows college to have their neutral site big games.

I know Chicago isn’t the whole USA, but I know a lot of people try to grab one last weekend out of the city over Labor Day. At my last job, it wasn’t considered being a team player to take off a lot of time in September/October after the office came to a crawl between 4th of July and Labor Day.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:45 AM
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But I miss the old days in baseball and football: win in the regular season and keep making the playoffs be a special thing.
It's becoming NBA. I think every team makes the payoffs. And when they went to best of seven in each round, well, I think they're doing NBA playoffs in July.

Or at least it seems that way.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:16 AM
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Yeah, I know I'm paddling against the current and turning into an old man, but this playoff expansion keeps getting out of hand and I understand that it is all about money.

But I miss the old days in baseball and football: win in the regular season and keep making the playoffs be a special thing.
Simply stated: the more teams you admit into the playoffs, the less meaningful you render the regular season. Personally, I'm against the idea of adding more teams but I don't make the rules.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:25 AM
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My first thought was "doesn't matter, NFC East will still send only one team to the playoffs." At least, until the NFL figures out how to exclude sucky division leaders too.
In my opinion, allowing division winners into the playoffs is a holdover from an earlier era when the league had about ˝ the teams that it has now and "divisions" were more like conferences are, now (in terms of what they represented as far as league balance of power went). Back then it was unlikely that an entire division would be poor and that a division winner would seem unworthy of a shot at the league championship but that's no longer the case. Unfortunately I read not too long ago that as far as league owners are concerned there's no appetite for eliminating "division winner" as a criterion for making the playoffs so for now we're stuck with the likes of that team from Texas making the playoffs even when the competition within its division is so weak.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:49 AM
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Division winners getting into the playoffs automatically is a way to force rivalries and make divisions relevant. I don’t like it either but at least there’s a reason behind it.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:16 AM
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Division winners getting into the playoffs automatically is a way to force rivalries and make divisions relevant. I don’t like it either but at least there’s a reason behind it.
To me divisions can be "relevant" in this day and age (providing rivalries, as you stated, and as an aid to scheduling) without giving their "winners" an automatic berth in the playoffs.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:06 AM
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To me divisions can be "relevant" in this day and age (providing rivalries, as you stated, and as an aid to scheduling) without giving their "winners" an automatic berth in the playoffs.
Sure, in the sense that you are guaranteed to play 6 games every year against them, and I believe division wins count more than other kinds of wins when calculating tiebreakers for seeding purposes. (Though I might be misremembering that last bit, that might only apply to calculating division winners, but I’m too lazy to look that up right now.) I’m not arguing that they’d be irrelevant otherwise, but you have to admit that it makes divisions a lot more relevant.

That being said, if Goodell and the owners and player representatives all came to me and asked me if division winners should continue to get automatic playoff spots I’d say no.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:31 PM
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Back then it was unlikely that an entire division would be poor and that a division winner would seem unworthy of a shot at the league championship but that's no longer the case.
Was that the case this year? Who was the team that won a division but didn't deserve the playoff spot? Looking at the standings for 2019, I see the Eagles won a division at 9-7 while the Rams missed the playoffs despite also having a 9-7 record. Is that the great injustice you want to do away with? Did the Rams deserve it more than the Eagles?

Also, your pet whipping boy team "The team from Texas" (can I just say how I cringe for you every time I read that petty appellation?) didn't actually make the playoffs, but that didn't stop you from citing them as an example of why the current system is bad.

Make the case for why division winners getting playoff spots is bad. The current format started in 2002. How many times has a division winner had a worse record than a (potential) third wildcard team?
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:48 PM
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Make the case for why division winners getting playoff spots is bad. The current format started in 2002. How many times has a division winner had a worse record than a (potential) third wildcard team?
The one case I can think of is 2010, when the 7-9 Seahawks won the NFC West. That year, the wildcard teams were the Saints (11-5) and Packers (10-6), while the Buccaneers and Giants (both also 10-6) were on the outside looking in.

(Also, the Packers, as the #6 seed, won the Super Bowl.)
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:15 AM
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The one case I can think of is 2010, when the 7-9 Seahawks won the NFC West. That year, the wildcard teams were the Saints (11-5) and Packers (10-6), while the Buccaneers and Giants (both also 10-6) were on the outside looking in.

(Also, the Packers, as the #6 seed, won the Super Bowl.)
I went through the season summaries on Pro Football Reference, and found five other instances since 2002 where the weakest division winner had a worse record than a team in their conference that didn't get a wild card berth:

2008: San Diego (8-8) wins AFC West, New England (11-5) misses playoffs
2011: Denver (8-8) wins AFC West, Tennessee (9-7) misses playoffs
2013: Green Bay (8-7-1) wins NFC North, Arizona (10-6) misses playoffs
2014: Carolina (7-8-1) wins NFC South, Philadelphia (10-6) and San Francisco (8-8) miss playoffs
2015: Houston (9-7) wins AFC South, New York Jets (10-6) misses playoffs

So, in 18 seasons under the current playoff format, it's happened six times, or one out of three seasons -- it happens more often than I realized.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:05 AM
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The NFL will now have 7 teams from each conference in the playoffs - a move clearly designed to make sure the Steelers make playoffs every year.
It sure would if only they could... travel back in time and institute the rule ten or twelve years ago.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:32 AM
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Was that the case this year? Who was the team that won a division but didn't deserve the playoff spot? Looking at the standings for 2019, I see the Eagles won a division at 9-7 while the Rams missed the playoffs despite also having a 9-7 record. Is that the great injustice you want to do away with? Did the Rams deserve it more than the Eagles?

Also, your pet whipping boy team "The team from Texas" (can I just say how I cringe for you every time I read that petty appellation?) didn't actually make the playoffs, but that didn't stop you from citing them as an example of why the current system is bad.

Make the case for why division winners getting playoff spots is bad. The current format started in 2002. How many times has a division winner had a worse record than a (potential) third wildcard team?
"Petty appellation"? Trust me, when I refer to that team as "that team from Texas" I'm being as kind as I absolutely can bring myself to be.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:36 AM
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I went through the season summaries on Pro Football Reference, and found five other instances since 2002 where the weakest division winner had a worse record than a team in their conference that didn't get a wild card berth:

2008: San Diego (8-8) wins AFC West, New England (11-5) misses playoffs
2011: Denver (8-8) wins AFC West, Tennessee (9-7) misses playoffs
2013: Green Bay (8-7-1) wins NFC North, Arizona (10-6) misses playoffs
2014: Carolina (7-8-1) wins NFC South, Philadelphia (10-6) and San Francisco (8-8) miss playoffs
2015: Houston (9-7) wins AFC South, New York Jets (10-6) misses playoffs

So, in 18 seasons under the current playoff format, it's happened six times, or one out of three seasons -- it happens more often than I realized.
Good work. So you folks who are still "on board" with division winners getting automatic playoff spots - if a single division in any given year happens to have, say, the 9th, 12th, 13th, and 15th best teams in a conference you're still totally okay with that division's "winner" receiving a playoff spot, huh? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And here I thought only *smart* people tended to contribute on the SDMB.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:47 AM
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A division winner (no scare quotes needed) being the 9th place team in a conference is not a reasonable concern. Even the hapless 7-9 Seahawks in 2010 were 8th.

It feels like you're imagining a much bigger problem than there is in reality, if there is even a problem at all. For example, I remember you personally complaining about the NFC East winner not being a valid playoff team multiple times in multiple weekly NFL threads this season. And in the end, it turned out that you were completely wrong, seeing as how the Eagles went 9-7 and nobody who missed the NFC playoffs had 10 wins.

Maybe acknowledge how wrong you were before disparaging the intelligence of other posters.

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"Petty appellation"? Trust me, when I refer to that team as "that team from Texas" I'm being as kind as I absolutely can bring myself to be.
It's as childish and inane as those dopey insult names like Cowgirls, Gnats, etc... Any and all of that broadcasts information about the person using it, none of it good.

Sort of like the douchnozzles who refer to their favorite team in the first person. ("We need to draft a..." ) Epic douche chills.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:43 AM
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Does something like this (more games, less breaks) potentially impact the likelihood or severity of health damage to the players, like concussions? It seems to me that if, say, 10 years down the road after a change like this, it comes out that it correlated with a 5% increase in serious debilitating injuries to players, and the NFL didn't consult the players, the optics would be pretty bad.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:07 PM
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Does something like this (more games, less breaks) potentially impact the likelihood or severity of health damage to the players, like concussions? It seems to me that if, say, 10 years down the road after a change like this, it comes out that it correlated with a 5% increase in serious debilitating injuries to players, and the NFL didn't consult the players, the optics would be pretty bad.
It's probably not known with absolute certainty, but it definitely stands to reason that, if more games are played, more injuries will occur. I know that a big part of the reason why the players have been fighting against proposals to increase the number of games has been injury risk.

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Old 02-26-2020, 12:21 AM
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It does seem like a distinctly bad idea in the age of CTE awareness to add more games to the schedule.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:43 AM
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I would like to apologize to racepug for being an asshole. That was uncool, and totally my bad. I'll report it and take a warning for it, fair play. It was intended as a personal attack. Over the line, and again, my apologies.

I'll try to dial back the personal attacks in general in here.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:49 AM
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[Moderating]

While that post was rather heated, it appeared to me to be on the correct side of the (admittedly blurry) line between "attacking the post" and "attacking the poster", and so I will not be Warning for it. And even if it were, the fact that you self-reported and apologized would be a mitigating factor. That said, cooling off is in general a good thing, and the apology is a step in that direction. Let's just enjoy a shared hobby, shall we?
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:23 PM
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Good work. So you folks who are still "on board" with division winners getting automatic playoff spots - if a single division in any given year happens to have, say, the 9th, 12th, 13th, and 15th best teams in a conference you're still totally okay with that division's "winner" receiving a playoff spot, huh? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And here I thought only *smart* people tended to contribute on the SDMB.
The point of giving division winners an automatic bid is to help correct for the situation where teams are playing in a particularly difficult division. If the teams within a division would be the best 4 teams, you can EASILY end up in a situation where they all have close to 0.500 records.

It could also mean all the teams within the division are terrible, as has happened. Unless you can come up with a test to differentiate the two scenarios, the best bet is to let the playoffs sort out the teams.

If a team with a better record than a division winner doesn't make the playoffs, it means they not only didn't win their division, it also means at least one other team in the conference was better (including tie breakers). They are, at best, 3rd in the conference. Meh.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cmosdes View Post
The point of giving division winners an automatic bid is to help correct for the situation where teams are playing in a particularly difficult division. If the teams within a division would be the best 4 teams, you can EASILY end up in a situation where they all have close to 0.500 records.

It could also mean all the teams within the division are terrible, as has happened. Unless you can come up with a test to differentiate the two scenarios, the best bet is to let the playoffs sort out the teams.

If a team with a better record than a division winner doesn't make the playoffs, it means they not only didn't win their division, it also means at least one other team in the conference was better (including tie breakers). They are, at best, 3rd in the conference. Meh.
There is no "point" to giving division winners an automatic playoff berth. None whatsoever. It's simply a holdover from an earlier era that the N.F.L. has been too lazy or stubborn to change. In my opinion, playoff berths should go to the 6 teams with the best record in the conference. Period.
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