It is often said that the difference between the best player in the NFL and the worse player (at the same position) is about a quarter step. These are the best 1600 football player in the world.
Sometimes people say that a Florida or an Alabama team could compete with a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This notion is absolutely ridiculous. If Alabama played Tampa Bay, the score would be something like Tampa Bay 49 – Alabama 7. If Alabama scored at all.
The speed, the size, the power, the technique, the maturity of the NFL player is so superior then a college player, the younger players would get simply steam rolled.
This weekend, two of the NFL’s worst teams, Detroit and Cleveland met. If this game was a Sunday Night Game with playoff implications it would have been seen as an epic game. In fact Peter King led off his popular weekly MMQB article this week about the game anyway it was so good. Even the bazillion NFL recap shows were swooning over this game.
Detroit won the game 38-37 on the last play of the game.
Brady Quinn looked like the coming of Joe Montana throwing for 304 yards and 4 TD’s. Was this the same guy who was in a Cleveland uniform on MNF who looked totally lost?
Matt Stafford was a warrior, leading Detroit on a 88 yard drive, throwing a Hail Mary pass that resulted in a pass interference call, getting off the ground with a separated shoulder to throw the winning TD on the last play of the game. Unbelievable!
Though Detroit and Cleveland are not anywhere near the NFL elite, these teams were evenly matched, have NFL caliber players, and put on a fantastic show.
This game me a great idea to bring even more football to the insatiable football nation in January.
I actually got the idea from the way we run our fantasy football league. We have 12 teams in our league, 2 Divisions of 6 teams. The top four teams in each division make the playoff and go through a playoff tournament just like the NFL. The winners of each divisions’ playoffs squaring off in our Super Bowl.
But we have a consolation bracket as well. The bottom two teams in each division play against each other with the winners going to the consolidation bracket’s bowl game. We call this the Toilet Bowl.
So why not have the bottom four teams in each of the NFL conferences have their own consolation playoff system. The winners in each conference in the consolation games would ultimately face off in their own Toilet Bowl. In fact, the NFL could get Roto Rooter to sponsor the bowl game. The Roto Rooter Bowl! The marketing potential is limitless, but I won’t go into all the ideas here.
The games could be played on Thursday and Friday nights so as not to interfere with the regular playoff games.
And in addition to the players earning additional dollars, the outcome could impact the draft order of the next year. The winner could be awarded the first pick in the draft, the loser the second pick. The others could fall into the slots based on their season’s record.
The NFL is thinking about expanding to 18 games to get more of that TV money. This would help them toward that cause. Seven extra games with potential high TV ratings would line the NFL owner coffers.
The NFL has also prided itself on parity. Often as many as 20 teams are in a possible playoff hunt up until the past two weeks of the season. This format would ensure interest in the lower echelon teams would remain high.
So, if the season ended today, the teams and matchups would be as follows:
AFC – Kansas City would play Cleveland and Oakland would play Buffalo in the first round. And let’s just say the Chiefs and Raiders won their respective games. The matchup between these two original AFL teams and give their long time rivalry would bring as much interest as any playoff game.
NFC – Washington would play St. Louis and Detroit would play Tampa Bay.
We could see a Redskin – Raider rematch. Not in the Super Bowl this time. But instead, facing off in the first annual Roto Rooter Bowl.
I can see Al Davis smiling now.