This year, the NFL decided to clamp down on concussions and so as a result, they turned professional football into a semi-full-contact game. Defensive linemen barrel through the QB’s protection only to let him slip by out of fear of being penalized for actually hitting the opposing QB. You are no longer allowed to actually tackle opposing players (unless you are playing the Patriots and are tackling Vince Wilfork, in which case you will NEVER be penalized, despite the fact that he’s a defensive tackle and is not supposed to be held.
But I digress…
That’s not my biggest beef with the NFL this year – that dishonor belongs to the NFC west and the complete mediocrity of that division. The division will be won this year by the 7-8 St. Louis Rams. Yes, they are not even at .500 this season. While four teams in other divisions have better records (New Orleans Saints, NY Giants, Green Bay Packers and my Tampa Bay Buccaneers) only two of them will get into the playoffs because the Rams are guaranteed a playoff birth.
Let me ask you a question. If you were in a class of 32 students, divided into eight study groups of four students each, and if the top grade of each study group was guaranteed to graduate, how would you feel if after getting a B+ on an exam, you still failed because the leader of the worst study group passed because the rest of the students in his group got worse grades than his F?
This is the situation the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in this season. Despite the fact that they are 9-6 going into their final regular season game against the Saints, the Bucs will probably be eliminated from the playoffs. In their place will go the Rams.
Is it really a successful year if you are under .500? If it weren’t for the absolute mediocrity of the rest of their division, the Rams would be considered a terrible team. But because the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals are absolutely awful, the Rams get rewarded for their terrible play.
I know – I know. Life isn’t fair. But this is just plain wrong.