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wdm1219inpenna

Before the Seahawks & Buccaneers

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I selected my favorite helmets of the 26 teams that were in the league and aligned them accordingly...

1975_zps34e24389.png

I realize that all successful businesses inevitably have to "grow", still there was something nice about this alignment. I also remember baseball a little bit before the Blue Jays & Mariners were added to the A.L.

I also realize I am in a very very small minority (perhaps a minority of 1 or 2 even) that believes in "less is more". This baseball season, we had a 4 and a 5 seed make it to the World Series, the second time that two wildcard teams made it. Neither team had more than 89 wins during the regular season. It to me diminished the importance of the regular season.

The NFL, with just a 16 game schedule, lends itself to the need of having wild card teams qualify, especially when you consider how many 8-8 teams, and even a 7-9 team won their division. This year the Falcons and Saints lead the NFC South with a 5 win 7 loss record. They have to play one another again later this month, meaning one of them will definitely have 8 losses, barring a tie of course.

The NBA & NHL to me are a complete joke with a regular season that seems preposterous given the fact that more than 50% of the teams make the post-season in those leagues, and their playoffs last for 2 months or more.

Too much mediocrity or parity or whatever you want to label it as in MLB and NFL in my opinion. Sometimes I long for fewer teams as that would give us a less watered-down product.

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NIce. That Oilers helmet is still my all time favorite.

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Looking at that alignment it almost makes sense to switch the chiefs and oilers

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Looking at that alignment it almost makes sense to switch the chiefs and oilers

How about that NFC "West" with Atlanta and New Orleans in it?

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As far as alignment goes, it's nearly perfect now. Four divisions in each conference. With the exception of the NFC East and AFC South, kept intact to preserve old rivalries, there's a geographic balance to the entire league.

Can't agree with you about baseball, though. The Wild Card has made the whole last month of the season much more relevant than it used to be. We've had years where half the playoff spots aren't decided until the final games of the final week of the season. I was adamantly opposed at the time, but it's brilliant.

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Patriots' helmet is wrong.

I think he was just picking his favorite for each franchise. It just so happens that most of them are from the 70s.

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Patriots' helmet is wrong.

The OP listed his (or her) all-time favorite helmets of each team, not era-specific helmets.

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Patriots' helmet is wrong.

I think he was just picking his favorite for each franchise. It just so happens that most of them are from the 70s.

Patriots' helmet is wrong.

The OP listed his (or her) all-time favorite helmets of each team, not era-specific helmets.

Ok... I misunderstood, I guess. It's odd because the line up is from the 70's and almost every helmet is from the 70's.

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Patriots' helmet is wrong.

I think he was just picking his favorite for each franchise. It just so happens that most of them are from the 70s.

Patriots' helmet is wrong.

The OP listed his (or her) all-time favorite helmets of each team, not era-specific helmets.

Ok... I misunderstood, I guess. It's odd because the line up is from the 70's and almost every helmet is from the 70's.

Except for the face masks.

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LOVE that Bills helmet. Wish they would bring back the blue facemask.

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Agreed, it is odd seeing New England's helmet in there, but then I am odd :D

I too loved and still miss the Houston Oilers. When Houston got a new franchise back in 2002, I had so hoped Apollos would have been the team name. Instead they went with the blah bland "Texans". At least 2 other (maybe 3?) pro football teams had that generic nickname.

And notice too in my original post, I have the Bengals striped helmet, not the one from the 70s with just "BENGALS" written across it.

I remember as a youth Monday Night Football really seemed larger than life. Then again, when one is 5 or 6 years old, heck even 10 years old, many things seemed larger than life to me. It felt like such an event back then, when ABC still had it. Now it feels like "just another football game" with ESPN doing it.

Seems when the league had just 26 teams, only 14 weeks, and just 4 playoff spots per conference, it was somewhat better, although I know in 1970 the Bengals started 1-6 and were considered out of it, then they won 7 in a row and ended 8-6 to be the upset winner of the then newly formed AFC Central Division, over the heavily favored Cleveland Browns.

I'm glancing through my NFL Record & Fact Book now, and I see in 1970, the Bengals were the 4th best team in the AFC that year at 8-6. The Chiefs were 7-5-2. Prior to 1974, there were no sudden death overtime periods, which is why 2 ties were not that uncommon. The winning percentage, according to the book, was different too. The ties were ignored, and the Chiefs were considered to have been at .583 (7 divided by 12, rather than 7/14, or 8/14), while the Bengals had a lower winning percentage of .571. In the NFC the Los Angeles Rams at 9-4-1 and the New York Giants at 9-5 did not qualify for the post-season. Of all the teams who made the post-season from 1970-1975, including wild card teams (only 1 per conference at that time), the Bengals had the worst record of them all.

In 1978, just three years after the league expanded to 28 teams, the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC Central with a mediocre 8-7-1 record. Then in 1985, the 8-8 Cleveland Browns wore the AFC Central crown, while the 11-5 Denver Broncos did not even qualify for the post-season.

So from 1976-1989, 14 seasons, only those 2 division champion anomalies took place. In 1990 a third wild card team was added to the mix, but still only 3 divisions through the 2001 season.

During those 11 seasons, of the 60 division winners (remember 1982 had no division winners due to the 7 week player strike), only 2 teams who won their division did so with a 9-7 record. Everybody else had at least 10 wins.

Since 2002, and from 2002-2013, 12 seasons, times 8 division champs, a total of 96 teams, we've had...

6 Division winners 9-7

2 Division winners 8-8

1 Division winner was 8-7-1

1 Division winner 7-9

Even if New Orleans wins out this season, best they can do is 9-7 too. So I would argue since the advent of a 32 team league, far more teams (over 10 percent) win their division with less than double digit wins.

It's still unclear to me if the NFL is in fact going to have a 7th team per conference qualify for post-season. To me that is a huge mistake. It was a mistake to over-expand by four teams over the past 20 seasons. But even when the league had 30 teams (1995-1998), all the division winners had at least 10 wins. When the league expanded again in 1999 with the "new" Browns, you had a 9-7 team, the Seahawks, win the AFC West (back when they were still in that division).

To me, 32 teams is far too many. Seems a disproportionate amount of mediocre records now win division titles.

And while someone argued that MLB is better having more teams alive at the end of the season, to me MLB now rewards the team who is "hot at the end", rather than the team who won the division. It's like taking a marathon race and turning it into 2 races. Someone who is a very good long distance runner going 25 miles, while a sprinter going 25 miles is way behind, but you allow the sprinter to catch up, then after a day or 2 break, changing the rules saying "Okay, now the last 1.2 miles will be a sprint!". It devalues far too much winning a division title in MLB, and seems to render the regular season more pointless. In MLB, in my opinion, a highly disproportionate number of wild card teams make it to, and win the World Series.

In 20 MLB seasons with the wild card, you had a wild card team win it in 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011, and 2014.

Of the 40 Pennant winners:

AL - 4 out of 20 were wild card teams

NL - 8 out of 20 were wild card teams

So 12 out of 40, darn near one third, second place finishers advanced to the World Series. Again I blame over-expansion in MLB for this. While the NFL went from 28 teams in 1994 up to 32 teams just 8 years later, MLB went from 26 in 1992 to 30 in just 6 years.

I realize businesses (pro leagues) are meant to grow (expand), but sometimes they expand too much too fast is my argument, and it results in mediocre teams, or at least mediocre or even losing records winning division crowns or worse, World Championships, especially in baseball. MLB and NFL are already too watered-down for my taste. By adding still more playoff teams, it waters down the product even further in my opinion. .

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You should probably have a mod move this to the "sports in general" - you might get more responses there.

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I like the 28 team thing better from 1978-1994.

I liked how the four last place teams in the AFC and NFC would have to play each other twice.

For example,

AFC

East:

Miami Dolphins - 11-5

New York Jets - 10-6

New England Patriots - 7-9

Baltimore Colts - 5-11

Buffalo Bills - 2-14

Central:

Houston Oilers - 12-4

Cleveland Browns - 10-6

Cincinnati Bengals - 6-10

Pittsburgh Steelers - 5-11

West:

Denver Broncos - 11-5

Seattle Seahawks - 10-6

San Diego Chargers - 9-7

Oakland Raiders - 8-8

Kansas City Chiefs - 4-12

NFC

East:

Washington Redskins - 12-4

New York Giants - 11-5

Philadelphia Eagles - 8-8

Arizona Cardinals - 5-11

Dallas Cowboys - 3-13

Central:

Chicago Bears - 13-3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 10-6

Detroit Lions - 7-9

Green Bay Packers - 6-10

Minnesota Vikings - 5-11

West:

San Francisco 49ers - 12-4

Los Angeles Rams - 9-7

Atlanta Falcons - 6-10

New Orleans Saints - 4-12

Where the four last place teams end up in the next year schedule like this,

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 5)

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (Week 14)

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings (Week 4)

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (Week 9)

Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings (Week 1)

Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 12; TURKEY DAY)

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (Week 16)

Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills (Week 7)

I miss that type of schedule. :(

Oh and the last place team with a higher loss and win record usually always got the call on heads or tails. Remember that?

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If I owned the NFL, I would only allow two expansions and I would keep the Oilers in Houston and the Colts in Baltimore with a new stadium called Art Modell Field and have Art Modell trade teams with Robert Irsay getting the expansion while another owner takes over Cleveland.

AFC

East:

Buffalo Bills

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Colts

Central:

Indianapolis Racers

Houston Oliers

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers

West:

Kansas City Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks

San Diego Chargers

Oakland Raiders

Denver Broncos

NFC

East:

Philadelphia Eagles

New York Giants

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Washington Redskins

Central:

Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings

Green Bay Packers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Detroit Lions

West:

Carolina Panthers

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

New Orleans Saints

Atlanta Falcons

And if I saw 6 last place teams, I would treat it like the 1978-1994 style. For example;

Los Angeles Rams schedule (last year the Rams went 4-12, so)

Week 1: San Francisco 49ers

Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (another last place team)
Week 3: at Oakland Raiders (another last place team)
Week 4: at Carolina Panthers

Week 5: Bye

Week 6: New Orleans Saints

Week 7: at Atlanta Falcons

Week 8 Dallas Cowboys

Week 9: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 10: Cleveland Browns (another last place team)

Week 11: at Arizona Cardinals (another last place team)
Week 12: Carolina Panthers

Week 13: at Buffalo Bills (another last place team)

Week 14: Arizona Cardinals

Week 15: at New Orleans Saints

Week 16: at San Francisco 49ers
Week 17: Atlanta Falcons

They would only play one team from another division (East with Dallas Cowboys) while they are playing most of the last place teams. What do you think of this example?

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