Monday, January 13, 2014

The NFL Season vs. Predictability

So, we're a couple weeks away from the end of the season. Four teams remain. In the AFC, the Broncos and Patriots will battle it out. In the NFC, the Seahawks and 49ers will battle it out. These are four strong teams that have deserved their passage into this rung of the playoffs, defied all obstacles, and proven themselves to be strong.

The only problem is that these are the exact four teams everyone thought would be in this stage of the playoffs back in September.

All of us were just waiting for one of the meeker teams to sweep in and take somebody out, or someone unlikely like San Diego to weasel their way in. But it didn't happen. San Diego got their asses kicked yesterday. And the Broncos came in unbeaten.

No. Last year that didn't happen. Last year the Ravens defied every obstacle and managed to sit them on their asses. And then when they played New England THEY DID IT AGAIN. And that Super Bowl you had two underdog teams, by the standards of what people had seen coming.

And maybe last year spoiled me. Because this year, you have four teams that were REALLY supposed to be there getting to the end, no harm done. And everybody would have seen this coming, too. Ask any NFL fan, any unbiased, sportswriter-type NFL fan, who is making the Super Bowl, September 2013. They'll tell you it's a Seahawks-Broncos series. And ask them who else makes the championship series', and this will make them think. They'll guess the 49ers, and then, after they hesitate for a few seconds, they'll answer the Patriots, because they always win.

And this isn't my basis for predictability no. Do you want actual, printed proof that these four teams were DESTINED to be in this rung of the playoffs? SPORTS ILLUSTRATED PREDICTED THIS EXACT MATCHUP!

You look in the NFL Preview issue of Sports Illustrated, and what four teams do they say are gonna make it to the end? Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers, Patriots. ESPN predicted the Seahawks and Broncos to win it, not the other two. They said the Packers and Texans would make it to the end. Why? Because it was unpredictable what would happen to the Texans, and to Aaron Rodgers this season.

Now I'm not gonna cry foul and say they were playing Nostradamus. Why? Because you didn't NEED to be Nostradamus to guess the outcome. The four teams you would THINK would make it to the end, MADE it to the end.

And that's why this NFL season is probably gonna go down as a disappointment. In every playoff game, the team that everyone thought was going to win, won. I was just predicting the teams I wanted to win, because I didn't want it to be too predictable. There was really nothing out of the ordinary in the last few weeks. And I wanted there to be, too. I wanted the teams that nobody would think to get too far, to do so. I wanted the Colts to beat the Patriots, I wanted the Eagles to beat the Saints, I wanted the Bengals to beat the Colts, etc, etc.

I mean, don't get me wrong, this weekend's games will be exciting, and the Super Bowl will be a nail-biter, but that's because the outcomes are the only things that are unpredictable, the scores. I can take a wild guess and say that the Broncos and Seahawks will be in the World Series, however, I can't tell you who wins by how much. And that is why people watch.

The Super Bowl is the one thing no one can predict. Not even Sports Illustrated.

(Footnote- for those of you who think that just because SI got this one right, they're officially world-renown soothsayers, I direct you to their 2012 and 2013 MLB previews. Both years they predicted the Los Angeles Angels to finish first in the AL West. And we all know how well that turned out.)

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