Reviewing from yesterday, for any given NFL season, the In-Record guarantees a playoff spot…all teams with this record or better are in. An Out-Record is the opposite…all teams with this record or worse are out. Ideally, these 2 records should divide the 32 teams, listed best to worst, into 2 groups, with no overlap. When there is an overlap, I call it the Bubble Zone, and it’s there that the inequities and arguments are born.
Fortunately for the purposes of analysis, since the merger in 1970, the NFL has changed the number of Divisions and Wild Cards at approximately regular intervals. This chart spells it all out…
I am not an expert in Statistical Analysis, but I know enough to know that 8, 12, 12, and 9 are dangerously small “sample groups.” You’d be much more confident with 100, or even 1000. But we must work with what we have. Notice that from the 6+2 to the 6+4 era there was a big bump in the Bubble Zone. And remember, 3 of the 5 “clean” seasons, with no Bubble Zone at all, were in that first era. Was this something inherent in the structure of the system or just mere coincidence? I honestly can’t tell you…I suspect it had something to do with getting into the “bulge” of the Bell Curve, the typical statistical distribution for random events…look that up if you’re interested, but your head might hurt. But you can see that the addition of 2 Wild Cards turned what could have been considered an inconvenient fluke into a serious inequity.
Now we move to the 6+6 era, with the addition of 2 more Wild Card slots…and the Bubble Zone average shoots down. By design? It wouldn’t surprise me if something similar to my analysis here was done by the NFL’s eggheads at the time. I’m sure the addition of 2 Wild Cards was based on something more than just a vague notion of “giving more teams a chance.” But now look what happens when Divisions go up and Wild Cards go down in the 8+2 era…up goes the Bubble Zone, now worse than before.
When an 11-5 team is out of the playoffs, and an 8-8 team is in, and that’s happened twice, 1985 and 2008…or when 2 10-6 teams are out and a 7-9 team is in, as this year…it’s one thing to chalk it up to “bad luck,” or to say: “Those are the rules, you knew them going in.” But clearly, the basic idea of the best teams going to the playoffs is seriously subverted the way things stand. With 32 teams, 12 playoff contenders seems to be the right number, altho they are talking about expanding that to 14, Heaven help us. The question is, how are those post-season slots to be allocated? And it’s hard to disagree, given the scope of the inequities, that we need a better way. Ah, but the devil, as always, is in the details! Wrap-up tomorrow…
(1) Bert Blyleven in the Hall of Fame? I can live with that…Roberto Alomar? No so much,
would have preferred Tim Raines…but where’s Richie/Dick Allen & Rocky Colavito?
(2) …oh, and I almost forgot…Roger Maris!…those would be my 3 Stolfpicks…
(3) …plus, it looks like “Steroid Era” players are getting the thumbs down from this
crowd of voters…but I don’t think fans care about steroids any more, if they ever did.
(4) Classic graffiti: Do not adjust your mind…the fault is in reality…
(5) What do The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, and The Red Skelton Show have in
common? At one time or another, they were all aired in 30 and 60 minute formats…
(6) …and Gunsmoke was also on the radio from 1952-1961…Floyd the Barber was Doc!
(7) English proverb: “Creditors have better memories than debtors.” To which I reply,
Yeah, except when it comes to remembering they shouldn’t do it in the first place!
(8) As I’m getting older, there’s something people are saying to me
more often: “Don’t worry about it, you were always like that!”
(9) Robert Morley said: Beware when you hear “in other words”…they are starting afresh!
(10) The Eleventh Hour was a doctor show on TV in the early 60s about psychiatrists…
here’s a real blurb from TV Guide: “On his wedding night, a man is seized by an
overwhelming urge to cry.” Whoa…must-see TV for sure, am I right?
(11) …and not for nothing, but the 11th (or 23rd) hour of the day
is not the last hour of the day…the 12th (or 24th) hour is…no foolin’…
(12) Ain’t it the truth, what Samuel Johnson said: Mutual cowardice keeps us at peace.
(13) >>>>> May the best day of your life…be constantly changing! <<<<<
As far as I’m concerned, ya just can’t beat pix of cats…here are 2 cuties.
To all my friends and readers, all the best in 2011! & may Ceiling Cat lik u
Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and http://thewholething.podbean.com
Daily blogs at https://stolf.wordpress.com and http://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com
More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi