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What's in a name?


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I've been watching NFL football since 1974. Throughout that time, all the way back to 1970, perhaps even before, the current second round (formerly first round) of NFL playoffs are collectively known as the "DIVISIONAL" Playoffs. I can sort of understand why they were called that, as you had (up until 1990) the 3 divisional champions all participating in the playoffs. This week, you have 2 wildcard survivors making it and thus, not all 4 division champions playing. Were all 4 division champions participating, I could understand the name being used. On the other hand, calling this round the "Conference Semi-Finals" gives it an almost amateur sound to it.

So my assignment to you, should you choose to accept it, is to rename the "Divisional" Playoffs something else, something better. The Wild Card round makes sense, as there are wild card teams playing in all 4 games. The Conference Championship Game name makes sense, as it is self explanatory. But "Divisional" playoffs just seems to be kind of "there", kind of blaise, and it is arguably the best weekend of pro football.



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I too think that there could be a better name for this round, but I can't think of what that name should be.

I also think that the NLDS should be renamed, but again - I can't think of anything better.

To me, a "division series" or "division round" means that it's an intra-division game / round, not an inter-division game / round. I guess I could buy that it's a battle of division champions, but that's just not the case, as the OP pointed out.

In the end, I'm not losing sleep over this - but I think it could be done better.

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

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Once upon a time fewer teams made the playoffs.

Before the Super Bowl in the NFL only two teams made it the winner of each division. However, if the division ended in a tie, there would be a divisional playoffs.

A few years later before the merger the NFL had four division and they would face off the week before the championship game.

When the AFL joined the NFL this four team format lived even though it was now three division winners and one wild card, but the name divisional round lived on.



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To my knowledge and I could be proven wrong, but the only league that's had true Divisional Playoffs in North America was the NHL. I don't know of any other league that had it's divisions battle it out to find out the best of the division and then face another division winner to get to the Championship. Of course I guess you could call the NCAA Conference Tournaments "Divisional Playoffs" if you wanted to stretch the terms a lot. Why not call them the Conference Semis?



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Can we expand this? Why's it called a "fair" catch? Wouldn't "free catch" be more accurate?

So let me get this straight...

I wave my arms...

I catch the ball...

You don't tackle me...

I can't run it back...

...fair enough.



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