You might recall that a couple weeks ago, before the Bears lost the face of the franchise and picked up a black unicorn, we were getting ready to re-align the NFL, primarily for the pure giggles of it.
Well we're back, and it's important to keep in mind: we're keeping the current NFL structure, current division names, current scheduling structure, and everything. We're trying to facilitate travel time, energy, and costs. Additionally, we'd like to build up some of the rivalries that should exist, but don't, as well as find a way to even up some divisions that have been historically dominated by one team. Yes, some teams will jump conference, and some fans won't like that. The goal isn't to make them happy short term, the goal is to extend the life of the NFL.
|Current Lineup||New Lineup|
|New York Giants||New York Giants|
|Wash .Redskins||Wash. Redskins|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Pittsburgh Steelers|
Out with the old: We covered the Dallas move a couple of posts ago. It doesn't make any sense logistically for the Cowboys to be in a division with three teams that are 1300+ miles away, when they have teams closer that make more sense to play. Everyone else in this division stays in this division, and they get a new buddy...
In with the new: ...a new buddy that is sure to make a lot of people very upset. Yes, we have uprooted the Steelers from the AFC, even though they are a former AFL team, and put them in the NFC. Why, you might ask?
Well, for starters, proximity. We'd like to see that rivalry in Pennsylvania grow, and that's not going to happen when the teams only play each other once every few years. Also, it's just close. Imagine seeing the terrible towels travelling to Philly once a year. Well, maybe that might turn out bad. But the football? It would be oh so good.
|Current Lineup||New Lineup|
|NE Patriots||NE Patriots|
|NY Jets||NY Jets|
|Buffalo Bills||Buffalo Bills|
|Miami Dolphins||Baltimore Ravens|
Out with the old: The Dolphins are in Florida. Nobody calls that the East. We lumped them into the new look South last time. They fit in there better, and reduce travel within the division considerably.
In with the new: And we add the Super Bowl champs! Not to mention how close they are together (very close), this will provide some a new twist to some action. The Ravens have been competitive in their division for a long time now, and could provide a new challenge for the Patriots, who have long dominated this division.
But really, it's proximity more than anything. Foster those regional match-ups. Unite the teams of the North east as you cause them to divide themselves. Plus, I think it would frustrate Belichick.
That leaves us with two divisions--they're probably pretty obvious, but we'll talk about them next week. Til then, rip these new divisions apart, folks!