If you’re not watching Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network at 5:00 p.m. every Monday through Friday, you’re in a continuously-shrinking group. In our second month, folks are watching the show — and a surprising number are enjoying it, despite my involvement in it.
One enjoyable segment in which I wasn’t involved came Friday, when cohost Erik Kuselias interviewed Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. Among other things, Smith has a very pragmatic view of how a team achieves success in the NFL.
“I think if you don’t get to the Super Bowl and win it, you know, it’s not successful,” Smith said. “That’s just my personal opinion. That’s just my personal opinion, I don’t know if everybody thinks about it that way. In my opinion, there is 1 winner every year and 31 losers. You know, so if you don’t get there and win it all then that season was a waste. I’m sure there are a lot of guys in the league that feel the same way.”
He’s right. Unlike college football, where plenty of teams finish their season with a bowl win and the lingering sense of satisfaction that comes with it, the NFL has only one ultimate winner every year.
For that reason, some owners define success not by trophies but by treasure — as in how much cash they can earn and keep. Many players, too, realize that even without the Super Bowl reward the profession of professional football is very rewarding.
For true competitors, though, there’s only one way to ultimately feel good about how the season ends. And only one of 32 teams gets to truly feel good about it.