Parity in the NFL? More Like Parody
Not too terribly long ago, in a league that is far far away from what we know today, there were 'dynasties.'
Anyone old enough to remember the NFL prior to free agency remembers players staying with one team for an entire career, and certain teams 'owning' certain periods of time … sometimes whole decades.
Then came free agency, and we were all introduced to the word parity.
Parity … equality, uniformity, par…
The league made a concerted effort to make sure that the fans knew this meant that every team, each year, has an equal shot at the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
Sounds like a great idea.
But, is it really true?
In the past 10-15 years, so many of the same teams keep showing up, teams that had strong pedigrees from past dominance: the Packers, Giants, Steelers, and Colts. These days, those teams -- along with the Patriots -- just keep rolling.
And these days, the league has never been more quarterback-driven and quarterback-dependent than it is right now. The days of winning a Super Bowl with a Brad Johnson or a Trent Dilfer are long gone. Certainly, the days of making it to the Super Bowl with a Jake Delhomme have also vanished.
No, unless you have a Brady or a Rodgers, a Flacco or a Manning (good thing there’s two), you do not have an equitable shot at glory.
As the other major sports have discovered, free agency is good for shuffling the deck, but unless it's a tried-and-true quarterback making the shift, it really doesn't make much difference.
And so, to those teams that perennially find themselves on the outside looking in …cheer up. At least we all have Fantasy Football to keep us interested in the product you are putting on the field.