Another thing I've seen, of course, is the NFL playoffs. Last week the Steelers were booted after a dismal performance, and this week another four teams got sent home early. I'm writing this before lunch, so I'm not sure how the day will end, but as of right now, all the Wild Card teams have been sent home, as well as two of the 3/4 seeded teams. All that remains are the two #1 seeds, the two #2 seeds, a #3 seed and a #4 seed. I wouldn't be surprised if we're just left with the 1's and 2's by the end of the day. In a way, that's really boring (there won't be any huge underdog wins this year), but in another way, that's at least finally just. As much as I enjoyed watching the Steelers run the gambit in 2005 and win Super Bowl XL, the Colts were the best team that year. The purpose of the playoffs should be to allow the best of the best to compete for the title of the Champion of the League. What they've turned into, however, is a money-grab random-chance tournament which pits the best teams against the average teams for a few games before finally getting serious. You can dominate the regular season, but if you slip up in an early round against a lower seeded team, you're sent home because clearly you weren't the best team that year. Clearly the lower-seeded team was superior. Because of one game/series. (Seriously, were the SF Giants the best baseball team in 2014? Were the NY Rangers the top Eastern Conference team last season?)
It's great for TV, and great for drama, and it's exciting to watch an underdog every now and then...but it's no way to pick a champion. Champions aren't Champions because they were undefeated, nor flawless, nor able to beat every single team, but because, over the course of a large number of games, they were able to separate themselves from the crowd. Take the top two, or four, or even eight teams from the league and have a "final tournament", but when that number swells to ten (baseball), twelve (football), or sixteen (hockey and basketball), you're not really choosing a champion, you're picking the luckiest/streakiest team in the final weeks of the season.
So this March when President Obama meets with the Super Bowl XLIX Champions and picks up his annual free jersey, are the leaders and champions really meeting...or are they just the best at beating the system?