Salary Cap in Sports: Parity or Possible Greatness?

Daniel MaderContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) talks with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) before testifying on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports.(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

The salary cap promotes parity throughout the sports that use this method of finance. The cap does not just promote parity between big and small markets, but it also creates parity in talent among franchises in different sports today.

So the question becomes: parity or possible greatness?

Parity has created an almost pathetic mediocrity among sports teams. This is most notable in the NBA and NFL.

Since the salary cap era in the NFL, there has been only one team that has been able to create a dynasty. That team was the New England Patriots—who, besides Troy Brown at the end of his career, had no-name receivers running about as Tom Brady dinked and dunked his way to three Super Bowls in four years.

They were a good team, but they were not a great team. They were not a team that the common sports fan would go out of their way to see the highlight reel. In fact, for the most part, the dynasty Patriots were quite boring to watch.

The system was to dink and dunk as a substitute for the lack of running game they possessed and play good defense.

What happened to the great dynasties and teams? The dynasties such as the 49ers of the '80s, whose 1989 team had an offense like today's Saints combined with a defense comparable to today's Jets.

The 70's Steelers and the 60's Packers were also incredible teams with multiple Hall of Famers on both sides of the ball.

The modern dynasty of the Patriots had one, maybe two, future Hall of Famers. That is not the greatness in teams that make people feel as though they are watching history set in front of them.

The only Patriots team that had a chance to produce greatness in the salary cap era was the 2007 team that lost by three in the Super Bowl.

Do people really enjoy the parity throughout the NFL?

Parity makes the league more average, and average is not special for anyone to watch. Let go of the salary cap and let teams use their own resources they create for themselves. The league would become much more special.