Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Playoff Plan

I really do not consider myself an NBA fan, however the past few Mays, I have found myself tuning in and thoroughly enjoying the Playoffs. But, this always makes me wonder why I watch ZERO regular season games.

This morning on the Sports Reporters, one the discussion points was on how insignificant the regular seasons are becoming for every major professional sport.

Almost half the teams make the playoffs for each of the major sports, thus the regular season is getting diluted. And I strongly agree.

But this is something that I have thought for a while, and I think I have a relatively decent solution.

Keep the number of teams in the playoffs, keep the seven game series (obviously this will not apply to NFL), but only play the games on the higher seed's home arena/stadium.

What? Yea, I'll say it again, all games played at the higher seed's home.

It really is not that difficult for a lower seed team to win a series nowadays. All they have to do is steal ONE game on the road and then the 82 game NBA regular season is nullified and the lower seed now has the advantage. It is happening more and more often. Lower seeded teams are winning.

Let's look a little deeper. It is a well known fact that some teams will rest players with nagging injuries, not give their maximum effort, and generally cruise through the regular season should they be good enough o be in the playoffs. Why? Because the seeding carries very little weight. If you had the top team in the NBA, and you had a one game lead on the second place team, but your star tweaked his ankle late in the regular season? Would you rather have your star 100% for the playoffs by resting him, or play him so you can hold on to the top seed? Everyone will do the former.

But, should that team potentially have to play the final series at the No 2 seed's home arena/stadium should they lose the final few games, I think more of them would play.

This plan will put significant emphasis on the regular season and the battle for the seeds.

Of course, you are probably thinking about the lost revenue for the lower seeded team? I have a plan for that too. Pretty simple really. All ticket, concessions, sponsorship, and ancillary revenue produced by the higher seeded team will be split right down the middle with the lower seeded team.

The few drawbacks include taking playoff home games away from half of your markets could jeopardize some of the fan avidity come postseason time. But I think this will be offset by the increase in attention and focus paid to the increased significance of the regular season.

My plan certainly has a few holes, but I think there is not enough on the line during the regular season, and having to play all games on the road of the higher seed's turf could make the regular season a bit more important.

Take care.

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