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For sports fan in NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA: Why have wild cards/low seeds won titles in last few years?

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This is a question for any of the fans of the '4' major sports leagues i.e NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL? With the NY Football Giants just winning their 2nd NFL world title in 5 years as a lower seed/wild card, it has continued a trend in recent years of lower seeds and wild cards have won their league championships. For 2nd straight year in NFL a low seed or wild card won the super bowl as Big Blue followed the Green Bay Packers win.

 

In the NHL, the Boston Bruins 'upset' the Cancuks last season as a lower seed to win the 2011 Stanley Cup. While in MLB, the St. Louis Cardinals winning only 91 games as a wild card won the 2011 World Series. And let not forget in pro basketball, the Western Division's # 3 seed, the Dallas Mavs winning the 2011 NBA title along the way upsetting the Lakers and Lebron's Miami Heat.

 

 

So the question has to be asked as was done on ESPN, WFAN and other sports outlets since the Giants won the super bowl. Why has WILD CARDS or Lower seeds now reguarly winning their league titles? Has the '4' major league talent pool started to dimish? Is the quality of these leagues are best so-so where the regular season means almost nothing? Or is the gap between the elite aka championship teams and the rest of the league very close? Just was wondering so feel free to discuss this?

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I think a great deal of it has to do with the talent being spread out between the teams due to clever trading. The talent is just as good as it has been (or better), but it is not concentrated in only a few teams. For example, in the NHL, there is no 1970s Canadiens or 1880s Islanders or Oilers. These dynasties don't exist anymore, and kind of sadly.

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I'm only speaking in terms of the NFL; since the Giants having won the superbowl, being a factor as to why this thread was even made.....

 

I think a lot of it has to do with oversight (with the 1st/2nd seeds in the playoffs)..... See, wildcard teams more often than not, gotta fight til the bitter end, just to have a chance to get in.... Whereas a team that's already won their division or w/e with 2-3 weeks remaining in the season, has zero to lose (in terms of playoff ranking) by playing subpar football in those last couple weeks.... They're not always on that grind, so to speak.....

 

This is why I was never fond of resting your star players in the last couple, or even the last game..... You risk injury everytime you step onto the field - I don't care if it's week 1 or week 17... Mgmt, coaching staffs, and players themselves done got too lax/petted, and it's costing franchises titles.... IMO anyway.....

 

This trend keeps up, and we're gonna have more 5th & 6th seeds winning superbowls....football is the one sport you can't get away with resting players... you're talkin bout 50+ players that all gotta be on the same page come playoff time.... that's a lot of personalities.

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Bro (B35) you make great points about the NFL. However it's not just pro football but also in the MLB, NBA and NHL with low seeds/wild cards now reguarly winning the championships. So maybe you can explain why in those other sports as well?:confused:

FYI. Tokkemon I bet you mean the 1980's Islanders and Oilers lol? I don't think the NHL was around in the 1880's.

 

 

I think a lot of it has to do with oversight..... See, wildcard teams more often than not, gotta fight til the bitter end, just to have a chance to get in.... Whereas a team that's already won their division or w/e with 2-3 weeks remaining in the season, has zero to lose by playing subpar football in those last couple weeks.... They're not always on that grind, so to speak.....

 

This is why I was never fond of resting your star players in the last couple, or even the last game..... You risk injury everytime you step onto the field.... Mgmt, coaching staffs, and players themselves done got too lax/petted, and it's costing franchises titles.... IMO anyway.....

 

This trend keeps up, and we're gonna have more 5th & 6th seeds winning superbowls....football is the one sport you can't get away with resting players... you're talkin bout 50+ players that all gotta be on the same page come playoff time.... that's a lot of personalities.

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Not sure what else to tell you... The age of dynasties reigning supreme in pro sports are gone... and quite frankly, I hope it stays that way.....

 

The creation of superteams is a last ditch attempt to create a dynasty....

Which is why I'm not fond of them... at all.

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Not sure what else to tell you... The age of dynasties reigning supreme in pro sports are gone... and quite frankly, I hope it stays that way.....

 

The creation of superteams is a last ditch attempt to create a dynasty....

Which is why I'm not fond of them... at all.

 

You seen it in the NBA over last decade or so starting when the Lakers got Shaq in '99 from the Magic. Also the "Big 3' with the Celtics i.e Allen, Garnett and company and more recent the Heat aka the super team with Lebron joining Wade.

 

Now MLB also trying to create a super team structure. Look at the Angels getting "King Albert" and CJ Wilson in a AL west 'war' with the Rangers. Also the Phillies getting Cliff Lee to create the pitching staff of the ages. So far only '1' world series win in 2008. And dare we mention it started at the turn of the century with the Yanks/Red Sox arms race?:eek:

 

On the NHL, it remains the closest to a team sport but the salary cap has made it very diffcult to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. In the pre 2006 hard salary cap world, the Blackhawks or Peguins might have repeated as champs.

 

In the NFL, with their salary cap also makes it much harder to repeat as super bowl winners. If this was 1995 or earlier, the Packers probable repeat as NFL champions. However with all of the issues (B35) talked about earlier, if a team wins 2 super bowl in 4 years like the Giants have, that might be as close to a dysnaty you get in the 21st Century world of the NFL.

 

Guys agree with this commentary or not?

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I wonder why so many are against dynasties. It is so cool when a good team dominates a sport.

 

1 thing is certain Andrew. The days of say the Yanks or the NHL Habs winning 5 straight championships in their league is over. Also the Celtics winning 8 NBA titles in 10 years, as they did in the 1960's are now extinct as dinosaurs lol.

 

The last real dystanty in my lifetime will probably be the Bulls of the Micheal Jordan era winning 6 NBA world titles in the 1990's. If a team in any of the '4' major sports wins back-back crowns that might be as close as we get now.;)

 

 

Back to oringal topic. It getting to point now it becoming an huge issue to being a #1 seed in the post season of these leagues since the teams get to become 'fat cats' and have a target on their butts for the lower seeds lol. Being fair, before the other '3' leagues joined in, hockey because of the goalie for decades have reguarly seen top seeds in the Stanley Cup playoffs get upset. Now even a #1 seed in MLB, NFL and now NBA can now lose in the 1st round. Thus it makes you wonder why some people now believe if it matters now for doing well in the regular season.:eek:

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I'd also point to the dominance of a few teams like the Yanks-Sox or Steelers-Ravens who, unfortunately, are in the same division in their respective sports. The way the leagues' playoffs are set up it's become common to see two relatively equal teams end up seeded #1 and #5 or #6 (or wild card) while the teams seeded 2,3, or 4 are division winners but not as good as the dominant ones. Just think back to the MLB playoffs when the Yankees and Red Sox won the AL in alternate years. Everyone knew these were the dominant AL teams but the Sox were relegated to wild card status. In the NFL parity comes into play a little more. That, coupled with a shorter season and injuries, makes it more of a crapshoot IMO. This season teams like the Bears, Eagles,Colts, and Steelers, among others, were hit by the injury bug which ended up turning the season into a wide open affair. Some teams I named couldn't even make the playoffs while the Giants got healthy at the right time and made that run to the SB and the championship even as a low seed. Don't forget that Big Blue beat 2 teams they lost to in the regular season to get to the SB. The Pats lost to the Steelers in the regular season but PITT got Tebowed in the playoffs due to health issues, so they got a easier( IMO ) matchup with the Ravens. They were the top seed in the AFC because they play in a weaker division and because of health. In other words, LUCK. In the NFL luck plays a bigger part in playoff seeding than it does in the NBA ,MLB,or the NHL who have longer seasons. To me a longer season gives a team time to jell together, make trades and integrate new players into their system while getting healthier. In my opinion that's why a team in MLB, NBA or NHL who acquires a Billups, Gallinari, or a Cliff Lee, for instance, mid-season may be a lower seed come playoff time but are not really as weak as an NFL team with a similar seed. BTW when the injury bug finally bit the PATS it made Gronk, their MVP this year, relatively invisible in the SB. Lady Luck works in mysterious ways. Big Blue beat them with or without the Gronk this year. So much for favorites in the NFL. Just my opinion. Carry on.

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Well stated as usual Trainmaster. In NFL a team most 'lucky' these days is if their have little or no major injuries. If everyone was healthy on the football Giants, they win at least 11 games this season. I did pick the Eagles in my pre season pick to win the NFC East. How wrong I was on that pick lol. I have underestimted how the NFL has become 'showtime' an offense league not seen since the AFL days in the 1960's.

 

On MLB, the 2011 St Louis Cardinals are similar to the NY Giants who got in the playoffs on the last night of the regular season. Like the NFL Giants, the Cards younger star players like David Freese had career years in the playoffs. Freese became a 'breakout star' such as Mr. Cruz was for Big Blue.

 

So in a nutshell the Giants and Cardinals run to their championships are scary similar.

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I wonder why so many are against dynasties. It is so cool when a good team dominates a sport.

 

It becomes too predictable/boring after a while, regardless if it's a team I like or dislike.... don't care to see the same two... or three... or four teams circulate in meeting up in a championship game year in/year out... and don't get me started on the influx of bandwagon fans that often comes from it....

 

The one thing in "team" sports that irks the heck out of me is when the term "defend their title" arises - especially when that team is in the middle of a year in year out championship reign (a dynasty)...... Always found that to sound stupid.... leave that phrase for those that play "individual" sports....

 

and more often than not, franchises that's had dynasties, fall off.... It's slowly starting to happen to the patriots, (lmfao @ the people that have the patriots as favorites to win the superbowl next season).... Same thing happened to the Cowboys when they had their run in the 90's.... Same thing's happening to the Celtics as we speak.... I don't even have to mention the Canadiens & the Islanders during & after the decades of their respective runs....

 

IMO, had the AFC not been so weak this year, there's no way this 2011/12 patriot team makes it to the superbowl....

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It becomes too predictable/boring after a while, regardless if it's a team I like or dislike.... don't care to see the same two... or three... or four teams circulate in meeting up in a championship game year in/year out... and don't get me started on the influx of bandwagon fans that often comes from it....

 

The one thing in "team" sports that irks the heck out of me is when the term "defend their title" arises - especially when that team is in the middle of a year in year out championship reign (a dynasty)...... Always found that to sound stupid.... leave that phrase for those that play "individual" sports....

 

and more often than not, franchises that's had dynasties, fall off.... It's slowly starting to happen to the patriots, (lmfao @ the people that have the patriots as favorites to win the superbowl next season).... Same thing happened to the Cowboys when they had their run in the 90's.... Same thing's happening to the Celtics as we speak.... I don't even have to mention the Canadiens & the Islanders during & after the decades of their respective runs....

 

IMO, had the AFC not been so weak this year, there's no way this 2011/12 patriot team makes it to the superbowl....

 

 

Bro(B35) we can add the Kobe Lakers to this list of mini dynasties they will have a hard time rebuliding once Mr. Bryant retires in next 3-4 years.

While as Andrew said former 'dysanties' from the Yanks, Habs, Celtics and Cowboys being the gold standard for whether a so-so club is worthy to challenge them, the NFL has amazingly stayed at the top with near record tv ratings. While the NFL is the most popular spectator sport in US, it's hard to compare it to say baseball that has 162 games to the NFL's 16 games.

 

As a whole with all of the '4' major leagues i.e NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL now with 30-plus teams, the difference between teams in all of the formentioned leagues is now marginally.

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Short line not sure what you want me to say but it shows you don't have to be a number 1 seed to automatically be a shoe in to win.

 

553 you can talk as our nba expert anaylst lol. Seriously even in the NBA in recent years lower seeds i.e 2011 Mavs, 2006 Heat, 1995 Rockets have won the title and wondering why? When i was growing up in the '80's/early '90's the top seeds i.e Lakers(Magic era)Celtics, Pistons and later the Bulls would always be in the NBA Finals. That what i was looking foward to your comments bro(553)?

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It becomes too predictable/boring after a while, regardless if it's a team I like or dislike.... don't care to see the same two... or three... or four teams circulate in meeting up in a championship game year in/year out... and don't get me started on the influx of bandwagon fans that often comes from it....

 

The one thing in "team" sports that irks the heck out of me is when the term "defend their title" arises - especially when that team is in the middle of a year in year out championship reign (a dynasty)...... Always found that to sound stupid.... leave that phrase for those that play "individual" sports....

 

and more often than not, franchises that's had dynasties, fall off.... It's slowly starting to happen to the patriots, (lmfao @ the people that have the patriots as favorites to win the superbowl next season).... Same thing happened to the Cowboys when they had their run in the 90's.... Same thing's happening to the Celtics as we speak.... I don't even have to mention the Canadiens & the Islanders during & after the decades of their respective runs....

 

IMO, had the AFC not been so weak this year, there's no way this 2011/12 patriot team makes it to the superbowl....

 

Not sure if the Jets would've beaten the Ravens, but this year was certainly 'easier' than last year. If not for the steelers, maybe they could've done well against the Packers last year. This could've been a Jets-Giants SB had things lined up for the Jets. Disappointing really as the Jets went to 2 strait AFC games and were just short in getting to the SB.

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While I do not mind wild cards in the NFL, NHL and NBA, for some reason I do not like them in MLB.

In the MLB, I like to see first place teams playing. I am glad that the Yankees have never gotten to the World Series as a wild card.

In 2002, I rooted for no one.

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