Well, a couple of things:
I am kinda on the fence
on Bill Simmons. He can be incredibly annoying and his jokes can feel incredibly forced, especially when he is doing his Boston homer shtick again. Also, his main interests seem to be, in this order, the NBA, the MLB and then the NFL, so it always seems he talks even more out of his ass when he writes about football.
That said, sometimes, he can be funny and a suprisingly insightful writer, but in my experience reading him, this only happens in two scenarios: Either he has a totally wacky, far out
idea and manages to run with it (his levels of losing is something I found pretty interesting, for example), or his Boston teams have to lose
For some strange reason, I think his writing is much better when he describes and explains a crushing loss from one of his teams, which only gives me more reason to root against him and his teams
Now, his idea with the realignment is nothing new and of course has a few good points for it, but like all proposed fixes for some perceived "broken" playoff system, I believe they are not necessary
because those trends have always been cyclical and will even themselves out over time
. His specific example would have the big problem of diluting division rivalries
, because you will then not play all your division opponents twice a year. That could seriously damage some great and long-standing rivalries which a great for the NFL. Think for example, that Cowboys-Redskins or Bears-Packers or other rivalry games would not be guaranteed to have two games each year? Ridiculous.
A different example that comes up with regularity would be a perceived AFC-NFC imbalance. This topic came up so often with playoff seeding because one of the conferences was perceived as weaker and so it was an injustice that teams from that "weak" conference should get playoff spots while more deserving teams from the other conference (sometimes even with better W-L records) had to stay home. A few years ago, this was the case where the AFC was perceived as much stronger, but again, those things are cyclical. During the Niners glory years, the NFC championship game was considered the "real" Super Bowl because the NFC had the dominant teams at that time. I am pretty sure during that time, the very same discussions popped up, just flipped around.
Finally, Simmons bemoans the weak NFC West and how those teams are dreadful. Well, as a Patriots fan, he should not cry too loud, because the Patriots had a dreadful division
for quite some time. Having patsies like the Bills or older, incompetent versions of the Dolphins (which have been 1-15 just a few years ago) and Jets in the same division surely helped the Patriots get easy division wins and padded their stats for playoff positioning. So he should remember that saying about stones and glass houses
Edit: I forgot to mention one of my funniest Bill Simmons observations: A few years ago, he convinced his wife (who is not a sports fan at all) to pick NFL games against him. In exchange for her cooperation, she got a little guest column part in his weekly picks column. Long, short story: Not only did he get humiliated by his wife in picks (I think at the end of the year she had a pretty sizable lead), but I think even her guest columns were funnier than his
[ Edited by NoOffseason on Sep 24, 2010 at 5:42 PM ]