It wrought Minnesota a playoff berth with an 8-7-1 record, because 1) neither Minnesota nor Green Bay could score in 15 minutes of overtime on Nov. 26, and 2) the Vikings lost to Oakland last Sunday while the Packers lost to Los Angeles.
Parity, it would seem, could be dealt with if it were not combined with the game's other modern evils. Length of the season, for one. Football players who can demand more money than beach-front property, for two. More and more injuries, of course. And an overcomplicated rule book that makes for far too many hasty judgments by the officials.
It appears that what the NFL has fashioned in the name of progress is a sport with a runaway infection. It is a game in which athletes, who are wealthier now than ever, have even more weeks to guard against injury while playing a greater number of uninspiring opponents—all of it in front of a more confused gang of officials.
Terrific. Maybe the NFL will get really lucky some year and have the San Francisco 49ers (6-6-4) playing the Kansas City Chiefs (5-5-6) in a Super Bowl decided at the end of regulation play by a combined double-chuck, taunt and holding call.
They could even play that game in Canton.