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Own up to it (cont.)

Posted: Monday March 27, 2006 10:33AM; Updated: Monday March 27, 2006 11:40PM
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Years NFL Teams Playoff Teams
1920-1932 No playoffs  
1933 10 2
1934 11 2
1935-1936 9 2
1937-1942 10 2
1943 8 2
1944-1949 10 2
1950 13 2
1951-1959 12 2
1960 13 2
1961-1965 14 2
1966 15 2
1967-1969 16 4
1970-1975 26 8
1976-1977 28 8
1978-1981 28 10
1982* 28 16
1983-1989 28 10
1990-1994 28 12
1995-1998 30 12
1999-2002 31 12
2003-present 32 12
*Players' strike cut season to nine games, and the league decided to hold a 16-team playoff tournament.

I keep coming back to this: Show me a good reason why teams that deserve a significant playoff advantage, the ones that win 13 or 14 games in the four-month grind of a season, should have no edge other than playing at home the first weekend of the playoffs. It's a dumb idea that comes up dumb no matter how long it's discussed. And to even think of expanding the playoffs by two per conference ... well, that's a 7-9 disaster waiting to happen. Imagine you play the whole year striving for excellence, go 15-1, and your reward -- perhaps even on a short week -- is to have to play a game against some 7-9 stumblebum with nothing to lose. It's just plain unfair.

Finally, history says there's already too many teams in the playoffs. Look at the number of playoff teams through the years.

One final point: Playoff expansionists like to point out how few teams, relatively speaking, make the postseason in football compared with basketball and hockey. There's room for more playoff teams, they say. And I say: You mean you actually want to emulate the two most bastardized postseasons in sports history?

Quote of the Week

"The face of professional sports will probably change as much in the next 10 or 15 years as it's changed in the last 30 to 50 years, and I think a lot of that change is going to be driven by the digital media, the globalization of media, the internationalization of sports and the demographic changes in the United States. I think it's a very exciting time. I wish I was 40 instead of 65.''

-- NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, upon announcing his retirement from the NFL last week.

Factoid That May Interest Only Me

Jim Burt Jr., the son of the former Giants and 49ers nosetackle, is a minor league first baseman in the Mets' system. In two seasons as a pro, Burt has hit eight home runs. Last week he batted in a simulated game against ace Pedro Martinez -- and hit a long home run.

Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week I

I was scheduled for a colonoscopy on Thursday in West Paterson, N.J. If you've had one, or if you've had any intestinal procedure, you know that the day before such an internal snaking you've got to be, well, cleaned out. One problem for me: On Wednesday, I was covering the Vince Young workout in Austin. My cleanout was due to begin at 1 p.m. My flight was due to leave Austin three hours later, and I was scheduled to get home by 8. In other words, I was not going to have the home-bathroom advantage for a good portion of the internal preparation.