Parity Lost in the NFL

Colin MehiganCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders is helped up after getting hit against the Denver Broncos on September 27, 2009 during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
The NFL has always prided itself on the principle of parity. That is to say the idea that any team can win on "Any Given Sunday."

With the franchise structure of the NFL, the college draft, and free agency this should indeed be the case.

However, a pattern is developing whereby parity is fast disappearing and being replaced with predictability.
The likes of the Raiders, Browns, Lions, Rams, Chiefs, and Bengals have been horrible for a long time and seem to be perennial lost causes. Also this year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like they are the train wreck of all train wrecks.
There will be a lot of points in London on Oct. 26, all from the Patriots.

The above teams need total overhauls. Some need completely new directions, general managers, coaches, and even owners.
Admittedly the Bengals have some hope and have been semi-competitive when aided by a fit Carson Palmer for the last number of years, but when did they last challenge for a Super Bowl? 1988 I believe.

I would contend that an average Division 1-A school, say Florida State, would give some of these woeful sides a decent game.

As a Raiders fan, for example, I see no quick fix. There is a malaise afflicting the franchise that is both permanent in nature and seemingly eternal in timeframe. The current team has one of the worst assembled offenses in living memory.

It is sad to note that perhaps at no other stage in the history of the NFL have we had so many pathetic franchises.