The Fallacies of the NFL Parity Theory

jesse lombardoContributor IAugust 19, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 12: An NFL logo as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on October 12, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

You hear it all the time: "The parity of the NFL is so much better than the other major sports."

Most people are quick to point out that it is because of the salary cap. I am here to dispel that theory.

The NFL is no doubt the most competitive sport out of the bunch, but it is not because of the salary cap, revenue sharing or any other reason. 

The NFL is so competitive because of a mere 16 game schedule. This is the reason that your team always has a chance to turn things around. If the NFL wasn't such a grueling sport, and theoretically played at least 82 games like the other sport leagues, there would be absolutely no parity.

Every year there are at least a few horrible teams in every sports venue. The difference between the NFL and the others is that the NFL can have one team play all 10 of those bad teams and make up 62.5 percent of the whole schedule. That is a recipe for instant success in the NFL. All of the other sports play really similar schedules so the cream always rises to the top.

Need more proof?  Let’s look at examples:

1) The Miami Dolphins. Two years ago they were 1-15. They played a tough schedule and were exposed on every level. A year later with very few improvements they go 11-5, win the AFC East, and are basically the same team. This year, they will be a way better team and will have nowhere near that many wins.

2) Brady Goes down. Cassel might have everyone fooled that he is a great QB but not me. What he did was great, winning in the NFL is not easy, but when he played a good team like the Chargers, Steelers or Colts he was horrible and did not score one touchdown.

3) Atlanta Falcons. Everyone had this team pegged to go 1-15 last year. I think that the falcons are going to be great soon, but there is no way that this team goes 11-5 last year with a tougher schedule. They are way better this year, but will have no more than 10 wins in my opinion.

4) 2007 Cleveland Browns. Had the same schedule as Miami and New England in 07. They came into the season with the same team and got clobbered right out of the gate in 08. What was different? The schedule.

Last year all the moons and planets aligned for the AFC East. They were fortunate enough to play the NFC West and the AFC West.  The Year before it was the AFC North with those honors. Who is the next Fraud Team?

Who will have the best chance to turn things around this year?  Let's Guess who is really going to stink. 

Here is my list in no particular order:

a)  Denver Broncos

b)  Kansas City Chiefs

c)  Saint Louis Rams

d)  Tampa Bay Bucs

e)  Miami Dolphins

f)  Cleveland Browns

g)  Detroit Lions

These are teams that in my opinion will be fighting for the number one pick in the draft. Now let's see who has the most games against any of these teams that wasn’t good last year but can look stellar this year based on the competition.

The first one that comes to mind is the Redskins.  But they Play in the NFC East and weren't too bad last year so not them.

That leaves me with... wait for it... the OAKLAND RAIDERS.  I know, I know. I feel like kicking my own ass for writing this but you will see.  Inferior competition makes teams look better than what they really are.

Also in the running are the Seattle Seahawks.