Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fight for your right to parity

So I'm a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals. That happened in late October of 2002, when they opened their season 0-and-7. I thought they had a chance of having the first-ever "defeated" season (what's the opposite of "undefeated"? "Unvictorious"), but on November 3 they routed the Houston Texans (of Houston Texas), and finished the season 2-14. It was at this time that everyone started pointing to the Bengals as the prime example of "the downside of parity". Cheap teams could be bottom-feeders, living off the league's largesse without contributing, or even trying. From 1991-2002 they went a combined 55-137, with zero playoff appearances, and since the owner showed no sign of selling, they were doomed to stay this way. In other words, the argument was: "parity is communism, and communism doesn't work".

And yet, just 3 years later, with the same ownership, the Cincinnati Bengals are AFC North Champions, with a 11-4 record. They haven't been dominant (2-3 against playoff-bound teams...which suggests a pretty weak schedule), but that particular "parity doesn't work" argument is pretty much shot. I suppose people can try to apply it to the Arizona Cardinals, or the Houston Texans, but neither of those would be anywhere near as convincing.

It'll be interesting to see what the next "parity doesn't work" argument is. I imagine someone, somewhere, is going to mention the Pats. Which is silly.


  1. Football? Well, I guess the guy who put up a post on Horse Breeding has no right to comment.

    Any stats yet on penis washer and Stud searches?

  2. Well, it's not entirely unrelated; we were talking about parity a while back, and in the comments the NFL/MLB comparison was made.

    No searches yet. Most people arrive here searching for "hazel mae nude".

  3. In terms of parity...

    The Bengals aren't a great argument for it. Maybe they are an example of how being guaranteed great picks when you finish last every year helps you build for the future. Last year they were 8-8 (and Baltimore was better). This year 11-5.

    A team like Tampa Bay that went 5-11 last year and made the playoffs this year...well, that's more like it.

    I happen to think that with a much shorter schedule that more random things can happen (luck plays in to things more)...Injuries can wreak way more havoc...In baseball the season is long in terms of games...all around better teams seem to have more success...That is why the Os were awesome for half the year and then sucked...Their talent level caught up with them...If you are awesome for half the year in the NFL and then suck for the second half, you still have a chance to make the playoffs...