The NFL and the Myth of Parity (The NFL on REO)

Mike Lytle does the heavy lifting this week with an examination of parity in the NFL. (828 words)

It is pretty much universally accepted that the NFL wants parity around the league.

In 1992 the league introduced unrestricted free agency which gave every team access to the same pool of players. In 1994 a league wide salary cap was adopted. That meant that every team had the exact same limit on what they could spend on players. No matter how deep the owner’s pockets were or how much money the team generated from their fans the playing field was, at least theoretically, level. I don’t dispute these facts. I completely agree that the NFL wants every team to have a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. This is not like college football where teams like Alabama and Ohio State are simply more talented than just about every team they play and should compete for a title just about every year. While teams like Indiana and Vanderbilt will be lucky to post a winning record once every five years.

Anyone who follows the league knows that on average there are six new playoff teams each year (out of twelve). And each fall just about every fan base feels like their team has a chance to do something special if things break right for them. It is one of the reasons that despite negative publicity and a recent drop in the ratings the NFL is still the highest rated sport in our country by a pretty wide margin.

If we left it at that I think we would all agree that there is parity in the NFL and most would agree that that is a good thing.

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Random Musings (The NFL on REO)

We say goodbye to a Nashville Sports Radio host, analyze Marcus Mariota’s play, and talk playoff outlook. (1,312 words)

Goodbye Fitz!

Earlier this year, a few of us from the Rambling Ever On (REO) staff worked on a Power Rankings for Nashville Sports Talk Radio. We assigned points to every show in four categories. We took the averages of each of those ratings. Then we used that data to come up with our final rankings.

Before we had a chance to finalize the article to present our rankings, one of the major radio stations in Nashville made some major changes to their lineup, which obviously rendered our previous rankings pointless. We decided to go back to the drawing board, allow the new iterations of shows some time to come into their own, and then re-rank everyone.

Sadly, that delay is costing us again as one of the local shows. Braden and Fitz on 102.5 The Game is coming to an end. Jason Fitz is moving to a nationally syndicated show with ESPN Radio, and Braden Gall will probably be part of whatever show 102.5 The Game puts together once Fitz departs.

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All Roads Lead to Nashville (The NFL on REO)

When all else fails, I talk about the Titans. (1,131 words)

I’m too hyped about tomorrow’s game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to get any real work done this week. It is easily one of the best matchups of the season with two division leaders squaring off in prime-time. If you have read this column before you know that I am a die-hard Titans fan. Have been since 1999. More on that in a bit. For today’s edition of The NFL on REO, my brain naturally turned to all things Titans – even in ways that probably won’t make much sense to anyone else. But, as I have said before, it’s my article and I will do whatever I want.

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Midseason NFL Superlatives (The NFL on REO)

We hand out the midseason superlatives. (532 words)

It has been a long week and I don’t have the time or the desire to churn out another 1,500 words on the NFL. Instead, I have opted for the lazy man’s way out of this problem and have decided to do a list of superlatives at the half-way point of the 2017 season. I realize that we just watched Week 9 and it sounds weird to say this is the half-way point, but if you actually look at the records and how many games teams have played, this is a much more natural mid-way point than the end of Week 8. Plus, it’s my article and I can do whatever I want.


Most improved team

The Los Angeles Rams. There is no other answer here. If you said anything else, go to the end of the line and take a long, hard look at your life. Bonus points to the Rams for being coached by a former Boy Band Member!

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Who Watches the Watchmen? (The NFL on REO)

Catches, media incompetence, and bad wins. We cover it all this week. (1,687 words)

In Watchmen, the genre-defining masterpiece by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, there is a slogan that can be seen throughout the graphic novel, spray-painted on walls, “Who watches the Watchmen?” It’s a message about keeping those in power accountable and if that is even possible. While the things I examine this week are much less important in the grand scheme, I believe they belong in the conversation. It’s too often that we find incompetence or worse coming from those that are in a place of power in the sports’ world – whether it be the leagues, the teams, or the media that covers it all. So here is my attempt to watch the watchmen.

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