Everything about sports screams competitive spirit. Sports are all about testing your mettle to see who is best. So it only makes sense that one of the biggest arguments year to year is based on how we go about the business of selecting a champion come season’s end. As it turns out, not all champions are created equal. Likewise, not all sports have the ability to say their champion is of the highest quality–because, what does “best team” mean? Does it mean, best all year long? Best team within the last two months? Even worse, some sports do a down right terrible job of selecting a champion, and historically, others have not even tried to address the issue.
Simply put: professional and college leagues are all over the map when it comes to evenly and fairly selecting a champion from amongst their ranks. Some are closer than others. But almost all are off by at least a noticeable margin.
When it comes to the length and layout of postseasons it’s easy to highlight the outliers. Looking at you, two-month-long NBA post season! And you too, overly exclusive NCAA Football post season! You guys have the wrong amount of people invited to your respective postseason parties and for the wrong amount of time, too. Let’s fix it, whaddya say?
Baseball has overcooked its regular season since the Braves were Beaneaters (125 Years!!). Plain and simple, the Major League Baseball Season is way too long. Every other professional and college sporting season has their regulation year in order. Except, that is, for baseball. So, let’s go back in time and reduce the baseball season to 120 games and call it a season in mid-August and thereby, shorten the season by one and a half months. Sounds great? Of course! What’s next?
College Football? Wow. Just wow. I mean, you did so well in designing your regular season that one would believe you could actually rope in the prize for a playoff. Not so much. NCAA Football does a tremendous job of maintaining a dramatic and wide following throughout the regular season–though, some of that may be due to the finality that even a loss or two may cripple a team’s season also due to the postseason–but has historically had a terrible relationship with crowning what the meat-eating public would consider a true champion. Keep in mind, even a two team championship game is technically a playoff; it’s simply a really really small playoff—as small as one can be. But even before the despised BCS system was in place, fans were still distraught come crowning season as previously the sport simply surveyed the field at the end of the season and the polls decided their own champion. See that last note as: “Each poll deciding its own champion.” So, I suppose you could say that there’s at least SOME progress being made, but, when you consider that us humans run this damn thing you would believe that if we didn’t like it we could just change it. Not so, my friends. Not so.
Ok NBA, you’re pretty good overall when it comes to deciding a champion. You have a pretty good sized regular season, you play a ton of games close together throughout your season, you don’t take up the national attention too much throughout the calendar year, but damned if you don’t take all of 2 months deciding who your freaking champion will be. I mean, COME ON, MAN!!! Get on with it already and pick somebody.
So with all that in mind, it would be a fool to approach the table without being able to provide some reasonable solutions. It’s a rule you know.
Really it’s simple. Suck it up and change some stuff folks. Let’s start by removing a few inches (feet, really) from your regular-season waistline, baseball. NBA? You invite too many people to the after party. Get more exclusive!!! Instead of letting them come to the after party, send them seats to the All-Star game. Right next to Chris Bosh. Ha. (Because he won’t be there…Won’t be there playing the game! The All-Star Ga—nevermind.) College Football, open up your crowning party, will ya!?!? You guys are acting like freaking skull and bones, for Pete’s sake!
And while we’re at all this, March Madness, get rid of that Tuesday Wednesday play in garbage, ok? Great, all fixed here.