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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; It has been said a lot that the NFC isn't an example of league wide parity, rather the conference is just plain bad. Two questions: (1) A possible result of parity is that all the teams are not only roughly ...

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Old 01-04-2005, 02:17 PM   #1
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

It has been said a lot that the NFC isn't an example of league wide parity, rather the conference is just plain bad.

Two questions:

(1) A possible result of parity is that all the teams are not only roughly equally good but they are also equally bad - just ask the NHL about this. Thus, I argue that one possible result of pairity is that teams will suck equally.

(2) If the NFC is actually worse than the AFC, is it because the AFC has somehow managed to get the better players, better coaches, or better something else? I'm just wondering how it can be that one conference is so much better than the other when all teams draft together, enter the same free agency, and have the same salary cap?
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:19 PM   #2
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

If I remember correctly, I think the NFC had dominated the SuperBowl for along time in the 80/90s. Maybe what goes around comes around.
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

(1) A possible result of parity is that all the teams are not only roughly equally good but they are also equally bad - just ask the NHL about this. Thus, I argue that one possible result of pairity is that teams will suck equally.
Maybe. I\'m not sure I agree that everyone sucks equally. But I prefer parity as a means of avoiding the problem in baseball where everyone ends up playing for the Yankees anyway.

(2) If the NFC is actually worse than the AFC, is it because the AFC has somehow managed to get the better players, better coaches, or better something else?
Good question. I\'m not sure. But if you break it down by team the AFC is doing several things right.

Patriots--build great TEAMS, everyone knows their role and is ready to play every week.

Steelers--old school offense, run the frigging ball and great defense.

Colts--The best QB of the year with the most offensive weapons to chose from.

Chargers--Might be a fluke, too early to tell if they are one year wonders.

Buffalo--Finally have a #2 WR, 2 great RB\'s and several seasons worth of key defensive FA\'s.

Jets--Curtis Martin had a career year. Nothing else there seems THAT great. The defense is good, not great, the passing game is good, not great.

Other than 3 of these, I don\'t see that the AFC is that much better than the NFC. I would argue that the Pats are the best designed team in the league. The Steelers are winning the old fashioned way, but I think they benefit from consistency at the HC position. The Colts have the best group of offensive players the league has seen in a long time. Peyton has too many people to throw to and too hard to defend in the play action game.

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Old 01-04-2005, 03:13 PM   #4
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

The NFC dominated the 80s and 90s. AFC did the 70s. The NFL runs in cycles. That being said, I read an article about the old NFC West that said teams in the NFC West, such as the Saints, tried to build teams that could keep up with the Rams with speed and such while teams in the AFC did not rush to follow this formula and thusly are having success now while teams like the Rams and those that followed them(again such as the Saints) have fallen off. Doesn\'t seem like the whole answer but it probably played a part.
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:39 PM   #5
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

I agree with Dberce - what goes around comes around. Up until recently, the AFC couldn\'t buy a Super Bowl. Think about the dominant teams and dynasties from the 80s and 90s. Single teams - the Bears, Giants, and even the hated Falcons. Longer term - the 49ers, Cowboys, and even Rams. The closest thing that any AFC team has come to that before the Patties was the Bills, and we all know what happened to them. I think it\'s just a swinging pendulum, and right now it\'s in the AFC\'s favor.
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:00 PM   #6
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

I agree that there has been a cyclical trend in which conference is better, but I\'m not willing to believe that is all there is to the explanation. There is a REASON (or CAUSE) that it is cyclical - and I was wondering what it is.

Nice work BMG. Prima facie, I\'m willing to agree that the AFC isn\'t that much better than the NFC. I was really wondering also about whether this claim that these teams that are going 8-8 and 7-9 being the result of being plain bad or being a result of pairity made any sense. I\'m inclined to think they don\'t - since I don\'t see that these two ideas can be separated.

Whodi, nice point. One reason for the odd swings in conference dominance maybe the copy cat syndrome. It effects the teams that have to play the team that is being copied more strongly than those who don\'t.

Also, it may be the case that teams are \"damaged\" by having to play against certain teams. E.g. teams that have to play Vick regularly will have to build speed on the D-line (which will prevent them from building up elsewhere). I remember back in the early 80s it was claimed that the NFC was \"smash mouth\" and the AFC was more of a passing conference (while I\'m not convinced that this was true, I recall hearing it many times) - this would mean teams would have to design their defenses around stopping these attacks AND when it came time to play teams from the other conference, defenses wouldn\'t be build to defend them.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:54 PM   #7
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

Your last point is important Kool. Analysts used to call Kansas City an \"NFC Style Team\" cause they had Word and Okoye, and pounded the ball. That is exactly right. I think having to play the Patriots has helped the AFC while having to play Vick and McNabb and Culpepper has hurt the NFC. Speed is seen as the most important when you are playing these qbs. AFC teams are not built around speed, except Indy. They are built off of players how know thier jobs and know how to do them. More cerebral than athletic. That\'s the model they followed cause of the Patriots and it\'s working.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:18 PM   #8
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

I don\'t think parity has anything to do with the overall good or bad play of teams. The overall strength of the teams is not damaged because the teams are more equal than in the past. For example in the 80s the 49ers were tremendously stong and there had to be a equally tremendously weak team to offset that. When teams become more equal the ere are no tremendously strong teams, but there are also no tremendously weak teams.

I don\'t believe that parity is the reason that the overall quality of the teams are worse than in the past. The real reason is the addition of new teams. It wasn\'t long ago that there were only 28 teams in the league. Now there are 32. That results in over 200 additional players (lesser talented) that would not have been in the league just 10 years ago. This is called watering down and is why the league isn\'t quite as good overall as it once was.

I also don\'t believe that the AFC is \"bettter\" because of anything but better coaching/drafting/FA. It has nothing to do with the conference and everything to do with what each org is doing better than the rest.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:59 AM   #9
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

I agree with ScottyRo that the addition of new teams could only hurt the talent level. This has become apparent in basically every other professional sport (MLB, NBA & NHL most obviously). More teams simply require more players, and thus the exceptional players are spread more thinly around (unless, like BMG said, you\'re the Yankees). The salary cap also has a tremendous, though significant, effect on the number of quality players one team can retain (that\'s what\'s wrong with baseball). While this promotes a more competitive game, it in turn presents often baffling results in the realm of parity.

Given the nature of the draft - that being the worst teams draft earlier - it\'s only fitting that a cyclical trend should develop. If a conference is down for a significant amount of time, more quality players will theoretically be drafted by the weaker conference. This isn\'t necessarily a bad thing, as it serves to break the monotony and ultimately makes the decisions of the GM and head coach vitally more important. The rules remain the same - talented players and smart coaching will inevitably prevail.

While I think the \"copy cat\" syndrome is not without significance, I\'m tempted to wonder if that is not simply a lack of imagination. I\'m sure teams do it, but I wonder if they wouldn\'t be better served - at the end of the day - to develop a formula for their respective teams and stick to it (drafting/signing players to fit the scheme). A league full of eerily similar teams is not necessarily a good product.

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Old 01-05-2005, 11:43 AM   #10
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Parity versus Being Plain Bad

I wonder if they wouldn\'t be better served - at the end of the day - to develop a formula for their respective teams and stick to it (drafting/signing players to fit the scheme).
You just described what I believe to be one of the major problems with the Saints\' defense. It seems like almost every year since Haslet came on board that he has changed his plan for the defense - ususally following on the heels of some other team\'s success. I say he needs to figure out what our guys do best and stick with it.
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