Monday, February 04, 2008

More AFC Suckitude

Although I wanted the Giants to win last night, a small part of me wouldn't have minded the Patriots winning so that the AFC could get another win in a contest that, historically, has been completely dominated by the NFC. Check it out, starting out with Denver's impressive win over Green Bay back in 1998, the AFC has won 8 out of the last 11 Super Bowls. Impressive? Maybe, unless you fire up the way-back machine even further to see that the last time the AFC won a Super Bowl before that Denver victory was in 1984. Looking back on it now, that may have had something to do with my drought in interest in football as the teams I watched all season would repeatedly make it to the Super Bowl only to get clobbered by some NFC juggernaught.

It would seem that in the era of free agency and whatnot those disparities shouldn't appear. However, the main goal of a team is to make it into the playoffs and not necessarily to win while they're there. The easiest way to do that is to steal players and coaching talent from the other teams in your division. In fact it's preferable to steal a good player from a team in your division rather than ponying up and signing a really good player from elsewhere since you're making your opponent weaker at the same time. The easiest way to see a manifestation of this is in divisions like the NFC South where crappy teams continually bum from each other and turn out 40% win rate while their division champ goes to the playoffs with a record only one game above .500. In the end the team that won the NFC South, Tampa Bay, subsequently lost to the Giants, a team that comes from a division where the worst team finished with a .500 record and the division finished with a win rate of 63%.

Just looking the AFC rolls, I see several teams that aren't as good as they once were (San Diego, Pittsburgh, Indy) while their one good team, New England, is under continuous assault from the other teams in the division via theft of talent. On the other hand, the NFC side has a bunch of established and up and coming teams, so I fear it might be time for another AFC drought. I hope I'm wrong...*

*I'm probably overly concerned. The win split for Super Bowls is 20 wins for the AFC and 22 wins for the NFC

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