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Why So Many Playoffs
September 7, 2010 - Al Stephenson
I remember the days when, if you wanted your team to win the World Series, they had better win the pennant. Only two teams got in the Series. The American League winner versus the National League winner. No divisions. Certainly no wild cards. No interlopers allowed.
I will admit that I have grown accustomed to the extra games to determine who gets to the Series and am OK with it. The biggest drawback is how long the season has been drug out. If the Twins make it to the Series and a game gets snowed out, well maybe they will rethink things.
Despite the success baseball has had with their playoffs, I am more of a traditionalist. If they went back to the old way, it would be all right with me.
What I cannot undestand is why other sports feel the need to have playoffs. The PGA Tour has one week left in its season ending FedEx Cup playoff. Why does golf feel the need for it? The only drama for me is to see if Tiger can rebound from his self-induced fall from grace and make it back to the top of the golfing mountain. Other than that, a playoff for golf... My only question is why?
Nascar has one week to go in its race to the Chase. After 26 races the top 12 in the points race will be reshuffled. All will be equal except that each driver who has won a race will be given 10 bonus points for that achievement. Kevin Harvick's big lead will have disappeared and any of the 12 have a chance at being the points champion. Sorry, I just didn't see the need to change the previous system.
Perhaps the most controversial situation is college football. People are clamoring for a playoff to determine the REAL national champion. Well I have news for you. It won't work. The problem is determining how many teams would go into a playoff.
If you take 4 there will be a deserving fifth. Take 8 and the ninth team will scream foul. How long do you want to extend the college football season?
The BCS system is shaky at best. I for one had no problem with letting people vote on the champ. It certainly gave us some water cooler fodder.
The view from my seat suggests that we stop begging for a playoff for college football. Let the bowl games stay and the controversy rage.
Golf, Nascar and baseball has proven that more is not necessarily better.
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