Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Championship Tuesday


Championship Sunday has come and gone.  The Super Bowl line up is set.  Philadelphia vs Kansas City.  The odds makers believe it will be a close game, and I'll have my pick on February 10.

Today's topic is the AFC and NFC championships.

If Buffalo made it out of the divisional round, and because of the game where Damar Hamlin was badly hurt, a potential Kansas City/Buffalo AFC championship game would have been held in a neutral site, in this case, Atlanta.

Tickets sold fast, but it was all for naught.  Buffalo lost to Cincinnati, and that set up the Sunday night contest that sent the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.

Color me intrigued.  The neutral site game was set up as a mini Super Bowl.  It likely would have been played after my bed time.  I did see it as a cool concept.  

Apparently, people at the NFL offices on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan agreed, and the league is said to be considering moving the NFC and AFC championship games to neutral sites in the years to come.   Like everything else involving the National Football League, follow the money.  Increased TV ratings mean a higher cash flow.  Potential host cities would bid on the games, sending even more cash to the NFL.  Much like the Super Bowl, there would be ancillary events connected to the games-- concerts, festivals, shows, etc.  Radio stations would broadcast from the host cities in the days leading up to the game.  Publicity, exposure.

The AFC games could be held in NFC cities and vice versa, to reduce the chances of a "home" game for one of the teams.  I'm sure they would be played in warm weather cities, or domes.  That takes bad weather out of the equation.  Fairness.

On the down side, there has to be some advantage to being top seed, and a home championship game is the best way to do it.  Plus, you hate to see home town fans screwed out of a game.  Not everyone can afford to jet off to another city to watch football.

In the end, I favor keeping things as-is, but I think the NFL will experiment for a year or two. 

Money talks.