Have you had a look at the NFL standings lately? Are you surprised at what you see? If you are, don’t be.
There is a trend beginning to take the NFL by storm- and that trend is called parity.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has to be grinning from ear-to-ear with the obvious parity that has taken shape just in week two of the football season. It is apparent in the NFL standings.
Of the eight remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, seven of them were teams that did not make the playoffs last year, with the exception being the Indianapolis Colts.
No Buccaneers, Eagles, Raiders, Dolphins, Steelers, 49ers, or Titans have survived through the second week.
None of those teams are undefeated. And probably no one person can tell you off the top of their head who the eight undefeated teams are. Mainly because a lot the teams you wouldn’t consider perennial contenders.
Honestly, who would predict that the Bills, Panthers, Vikings, Seahawks, Redskins, Chiefs, Broncos, and Colts would be division leaders after week two? Certainly not me.
That is what makes these stories so compelling. That is what makes the NFL great. Year in and year out there is no clear-cut favorite.
This wasn’t the case a decade ago. You could count on the Cowboys and the Bills to be in the Super Bowl.
The same could be said of the Packers of the 60’s, Steelers and Raiders of the 70’s and the 49ers of the 80’s.
That can’t be done in the new millennium, if it’s still new.
Look at last season for example. Entering the last week of the season, 11 of 16 AFC teams still had a chance to make the playoffs. How can that not be exciting?
A better statistic than that is the fact that eight of the last nine Super Bowl champions have been first time winners. That is parity in its prime.
The salary cap and free agency system has brought parity and excitement to what was once a predictable and boring season NFL season.