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Lowell Cohn: NFL shouldn't add more playoff teams

  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell listens to audience questions during a safety clinic hosted by the NFL and the Chicago Bears for the mothers of youth football players on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

The brain trust of the National Football League will consider a proposal to further screw up their product.

At next week's league meetings, the NFL competition committee will suggest adding two teams to the postseason lineup beginning in 2015. If you're keeping count — and you may need a calculator for this — that would raise the number of qualifying teams from 12, already an inflated number, to 14.

If I were on the competition committee I would fight to the death against this playoff inflation — call it postseason bloat. Understand, I am not philosophically against change. But I am against bad change. And this change would be very bad.

There are 32 teams in the NFL. Currently, four division winners and two wild-card teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. That's enough. That's more than enough. Add two more and almost half the league makes it to the playoffs. What a joke.

If the NFL enacts this rule change, it will be committing NBA on itself. To commit NBA is one of the gravest sports crimes. The NBA is comprised of 30 teams. How many make it to the playoffs? Sixteen, that's how many. More than half the teams in that silly league get into the playoffs. Thirty teams play an 82-game regular-season schedule to eliminate 14 teams. You just want to fall down laughing.

There should be a law against committing NBA — especially in the NFL.

Major League Baseball has the right idea. Thirty teams. Ten get into the playoffs. One-third in. Two-thirds out. See you later, losers, and do better next year if you can.

FYI: Baseball allows into the postseason three division winners and two wild cards in each league. I'd prefer only one wild card per league, but that's quibbling.

OK, back to the NFL. This is how a 14-team arrangement might work in the postseason. There would be six games instead of four on the first playoff weekend. This might include two Saturday games, three Sunday games and a Monday night game. Big revenue increase for the league.

Why is it awful to invite 14 teams to the big postseason party?


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