Unprecedented 2020 season will have a familiar ending, hopefully

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As the NFL prepares to unveil a 256-game regular-season schedule, the possibility of losing one or more weeks hovers over the sport and everyone connected to it. The schedule surely will include clues regarding the plans that the league may have for a more limited season.

No matter what happens, competitive advantages and disadvantages will arise. If, as some believe, the first four weeks will include interconference games only, that will help some teams and hurt others if those games are canceled. The teams of the AFC East would avoid running the gauntlet of the NFC West, while the teams of the AFC North wouldn’t face the four teams from the NFC East, currently the weakest division in the conference. If those four games were wiped off the schedule, the AFC East teams would likely benefit from that in the competition for wild-card berths and overall playoff positioning.

Other potential inequities arise from the possibility of playing some games in empty stadiums and some in stadiums with fans. Home-field advantages would disappear for some teams, but not for others. That definitely would impact the usual competitive balance.

And none of these things ultimately matter. Beyond the fact that there currently are far bigger issues about which to be concerned, the NFL twice before in the Super Bowl era has endured very unusual circumstances. In 1982, a strike reduced the regular season to nine games. In 1987, another strike wiped out one week of the season and resulted in multiple weeks of replacement players of widely varying levels of capability.

In both years, Washington won the Super Bowl. And no one has ever suggested than an asterisk should be applied to those trophies.

The same thing will happen this year. No matter how many games are played, no matter the playoff format (in 1982, the league expanded the postseason to eight teams conference, seeded without regard to division), there will be a playoff field (hopefully) that produces two Super Bowl teams, and there will be a Super Bowl champion. That team will receive the newest Lombardi Trophy, no different than every other Lombardi Trophy that ever has been awarded.

8 responses to “Unprecedented 2020 season will have a familiar ending, hopefully

  1. If we actually do have a 2020 NFL season, it will be tainted similar to 82 & 87.

  2. As a diehard Redskins fans, I’m fairly sure we are in no danger whatsoever of winning this year’s SB.

  3. Stop with the hoopla! The NFL season will go on with a full schedule. That’s pretty evident by now.

  4. The most familar ending is the Pats going to the SB again like in 9 of the previous 18 years!

  5. I do not see a season happening. Some players are already saying they do not want to play unless it’s 100% safe. No vaccine will be ready until spring or later next year. I understand they have to go through this process in hope that something can be done I just cannot see how it can. I do not think any sport will be back until summer/fall 2021.

  6. I cannot see the league moving forward without the blessing of the science and health experts, in which case I highly doubt players will decline to play.

    But assuming there is controversy regarding the safety it will be much like a strike, the players will play as soon as they realize they will miss game checks if they don’t.

  7. Yes it will be a familiar ending.
    With the Kansas City Chiefs hoisting the Lombardi again……in a repeat.
    Although this time it will come at the expense of the Saints

  8. dal1as says:
    May 7, 2020 at 12:20 pm
    I do not see a season happening. Some players are already saying they do not want to play unless it’s 100% safe.

    If the players don’t want to play until they know it’s safe that’s fine, give them the year off = WITHOUT ANY PAY!

    Remember those are “GAME” checks!

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