The Problem with Modern Sports: Too Many Teams

rich mathewsContributor IMay 15, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25:  Former NBA players Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier attend the premiere of 'Black Magic' at The Apollo Theatre February 25, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Frazier and Monroe, Chamberlain and Russell, Koufax and Mays were all great matchups.  But these were match ups from the 60's and 70's.  One of the main reasons I enjoyed these match ups was that those great athletics met on many occasions.

This is now lost.  Never again do I believe the major sports(basketball, football and baseball) will attain to the level of excellence that fans deserve to witness.

The reason--too many teams for the love of money.  Money talks and excellence walks.

Imagine if we just had 8 basketball teams, 8 football teams and 8 baseball teams.  I know that this is a pipe dream but we would be better off for it.  Take basketball for instance.  Imagine if you had 2-4 team conferences.  A team would play each team in their conference 14 times and each team in the other conference 10 times.  You can set the playoffs up anyway you want.  I do not care.  What I care about is that you will see the 8 best point guards going up against each other time and time again.  Same with 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's.  Kobe vs. Lebron maybe 14 times a year.  Boston vs LA 10 times a year.  Teams might hate each other, players might end up hating each other but that is OK.  The quality of play would be so much better.

Imagine the quality of play.  Or how you could really build up true rivalries.  Only the good coaches would get jobs.  It would be a privilege to play or coach in the league.  It would be a privilege just to be a role player.  It would be a privilege attend a game as a fan.

I also believe the character of the players would improve because they now would realize that if they mess up there would be someone more than happy to take their place.  And that someone would be a good player.  

Basketball should do what the English soccer league does where the best teams would play in one league and the next best set of teams would play in a lower league.  And at the end of the year you could drop the 2 worst teams in the best league to the lower league and elevate the 2 best teams in the lower league to the better league.

Anyway I am just dreaming.