The NFL schedule is like a perfectly Taylored machined. With the addition of the Houston Texans in 2002 the schedule seems to work almost magically.
There are eight divisions and four teams in each division. In each regular season there are 16 games in total. Each team plays the teams in their division twice, one home and one away game. Example – the Eagles play the Bears, the Cowboys, and the Redskins twice each year. They also play 4 games against teams in another division but still in the NFC. The divisions that play each other rotate each year, so that in three years they are guaranteed to play all the teams in the NFC. 4 more games are allocated to play the teams in one division of the AFC. This also rotates each year so that the Eagles are guaranteed to play all the teams the AFC in four years. The final 2 games work as such: if the Eagles win their division in 2010 (my glass is definitely half full), then in 2011 they will play the other NFC divisional winners from the previous year that they are not scheduled to already play based on the rotating divisional play.
Besides the schedule fitting together so nicely, I see no reason why additional teams should not be added to the league. I pick on the NFL in this post because I was just discussing the upcoming draft with my brother. I was looking at some of the draftees for the weekend and their accomplishments during college are all very outstanding. I know that the difference between a college team and a pro team is very different but I believe the talent pool for athletes in the United States if very large and is defiantly capable of supporting additional teams. Considering the revenue pro teams bring into cities and the already existing athletes, I have to believe that a few additional teams would keep the competition high and have great benefits to the cities they are placed in. I think soccer, on a much grander scale, is a great example of this. There are hundreds of teams worldwide that are part of the FIFA and the competition all culminates in a grand World Cup tournament consisting of only 32 teams. I think if American professional sports could emulate professional soccer we would be able to increase revenue from the industry.
I don’t have too many great statistics on this because I was just shooting the breeze with my brother when I was thinking about this, but I think it is great food for thought, and maybe even a Sports Econ project.
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