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Best season arrangement

The NBA and NHL seasons just concluded within 3 days of one another. Their season will start up very shortly.

This takes me to a conversation I have had before as to the length of professional sports seasons. I was one who thought that these sports seasons were ridiculously long, while others enjoy it. That brings me to the poll question:

Which pro sports league has the most ideal season?

NFL: Mid-Sept to early Feb with training camp starting in July
NBA: Early-Nov to Mid-June with training camp starting in late Sept
NHL: Early-Oct to Mid-June with training camp starting in mid Sept
MLB: Early-April to Early Nov with pitchers and catchers reporting mid-Feb

I went with the NFL, with MLB being a close 2nd. I like Spring Training but the 1st month of real baseball kills it for me. I can’t watch games while there’s snow falling on the field…it just doesn’t feel like baseball.

Don’t forget the MLS! ;D

MLS: March - November

I like the NFL season the best, and I don’t even really want them to add two more regular season games. I don’t want to watch NFL football in August, and the season goes plenty late enough as it is.

I think the NBA, NHL, and MLB are all way too long.

The nice thing about the NFL is that every game every week is meaningful. I don’t want to miss a single one. For the other sports, I intentionally don’t pay much attention for the first couple MONTHS of each season because it isn’t all that meaningful.

JMHO.

[quote=“blue2blue, post:4, topic:2503”]I like the NFL season the best, and I don’t even really want them to add two more regular season games. I don’t want to watch NFL football in August, and the season goes plenty late enough as it is.

I think the NBA, NHL, and MLB are all way too long.

The nice thing about the NFL is that every game every week is meaningful. I don’t want to miss a single one. For the other sports, I intentionally don’t pay much attention for the first couple MONTHS of each season because it isn’t all that meaningful.

JMHO.[/quote]
Agreed. I also factored the single-elimination playoff structure of the NFL into my decision.

Is this poll factoring in post-season structures with the regular season, or is it strictly for the regular season length?

Sitting in the cold and wet to watch baseball in April sucks. Sitting in the cold and wet to watch baseball in late October is an incredible experience, as long as you have a rooting interest in one of the teams.

They’re all too long – It would be nice to go back to 154 games in baseball. The WS should end in mid-October.

The Super Bowl should not be played in Feb.

Winter sports should end closer to the winter.

If you have a long season, it needs to mean something. Baseball got away with regular seasons over 100 games because few teams made the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the NBA & NHL play long, meaningless regular seasons to eliminate just a small number of teams.

Baseball is talking about dumping the divisions and just go to straight league play, 15 per league (meaning one team jumps leagues). I believe it was top 4 make the playoffs in each.

[quote=“TomF, post:8, topic:2503”]If you have a long season, it needs to mean something. Baseball got away with regular seasons over 100 games because few teams made the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the NBA & NHL play long, meaningless regular seasons to eliminate just a small number of teams.[/quote]

I agree with that, and one other item; baseball gets away with it because for a very large part of the season, they are the only game in town.

I also think that all the seasons are too long, and they are only getting longer.

NFL: Thinking of adding games
MLB: Does the World Classic every 3 years, interupting the regular season
NHL: The season is alreay WAY too long, but I believe they may start interupting the season for the Olympics
NBA: I can’t think of any expansion, but if they thought they could get more revenue, you can bet they would

Golf.

Gold is a different animal.

1.) They really don’t have a “championship” that is of any importance. It’s not a “season”. Every tournament is a season onto itself.

2.) Golf, like tennis, has only about 4 big tournaments that you really have to care about if you are a fan, and they are spaced throughout the year.

[quote=“Skeeza, post:10, topic:2503”]I also think that all the seasons are too long, and they are only getting longer.

NHL: The season is alreay WAY too long, but I believe they may start interupting the season for the Olympics[/quote]

Start? They already did.

MLB - I’m missing the point on why they think they need to tinker with the current alignment. What does having two 15 team leagues do for the sport? Then it starts to look like Big East basketball. I think the current three division alignment is fine with a wild card is fine. If they wanted to add a second wild card, that may workable. I think baseball attendance is at an all time high - I’d be really careful with messing with that. They need to resolve some ownership issues, not screw with the schedule.

If baseball wants to do something, they should eliminate the designated hitter.

NFL - they’re taking a real risk with the weather. It was marginally acceptable to hold games in Buffalo and Green Bay when the winters were relatively warm; now they’re talking that winters are colder, which means frozen games in northern cities. If there’s cold weather in April for baseball, they can postpone. It’s really hard to postpone a football game - logistics are a nightmare. If they add two games, they should expand the rosters because these guys are going to be maimed in an 18 game regular season plus three or four playoff games.

NBA - already has an 82 game elimination/play in tournament. Mess with it all they want and it will (a) still be too long and (b) be largely uninteresting until the playoffs. Interestingly, when I first started watching the NBA, there were 8 teams and 6 made the playoffs - the regular season eliminated 2 teams and 75% of the teams made the playoffs.

NHL - sort of the same comments as the NBA. IIRC, when the NHL had six teams, four made the playoffs - once again play the regular season to eliminate two teams. The experiment with NHL teams in southern cities has had mixed results. The fan base is in Canada and the northern US. Demographics infer that the fan base with shrink in the northern US - a real problem for the NHL.

MLB - I'm missing the point on why they think they need to tinker with the current alignment. What does having two 15 team leagues do for the sport? Then it starts to look like Big East basketball. I think the current three division alignment is fine with a wild card is fine. If they wanted to add a second wild card, that may workable. I think baseball attendance is at an all time high - I'd be really careful with messing with that. They need to resolve some ownership issues, not screw with the schedule.

If baseball wants to do something, they should eliminate the designated hitter.

Why they think they need to tinker, I’m guessing, is because of the obvious disadvantage in the way the system currently plays out. Consider how the wild card works right now…

Compare the plight of a team like Baltimore vs a team like Minnesota. Baltimore not only has to compete for a division title against two of the biggest spending teams in the league, they also play a tougher schedule by comparison when compared to other wild card teams in most years. It almost always works out this way for one team/division or another, so I apologize if this isn’t 100% true of this current season in particular but stick with me…

If you’re Baltimore and you’ve won 90 games against a schedule that has the Yanks and Bosox on it 18 or so times, and you’re competing for a wild-card spot with Minnesota who has played Kansas City and Cleveland 18 times instead.

It’s like comparing PSU’s final record to Butlers in college basketball and crowning the better win% the winner, it’s not a fair comparison because the schedules are not close to equal.

So you either eliminate the wild card altogether or you have to come up with a fair way to compare wild card contenders.

The NBA has the worst arrangement. The season is very long and there is virtually no interest in the regular season. Half of the teams get into the playoffs, and it’s just boring to follow until May. Unlike baseball, where visiting the stadium alone can make it fun to go to an early season game, the atmosphere of most NBA arenas is no reason to make the trip to a November/December game. That’s a shame because pro basketball has some of the best athletes on earth and can be very entertaining when it matters. The NHL has a similar problem. NFL probably has the best setup.

Agreed, I’ve said it so many times here but there’s no point in playing 80+ regular season games if you’re just going to let half the league in the playoffs anyhow. At least in baseball they play a lot of games but they only allow 8 teams in the post-season so the games are more meaningful.

I will be really upset if they continue expanding the NCAA tournament for the same reason - it will further invalidate the regular season and in turn make the post-season more of a crap shoot. Football does a great job of having a medium length season and medium sized playoff pool, it’s pretty much perfect right now.

Can’t see NHL or NBA ever shortening the seasons or playoff teams being diminished just because there’s too much money to be made - fans will come out regardless and players pay would probably be cut… so it’s not happening. You can really only move one direction in sports now.

I would love a relegation system to be put in place though. I think baseball is the only sport even close to being ready to move to that, but they are so traditional it will never happen.

No sport should allow more than half of its teams to make the playoffs. Imagine if they added four more wildcard teams to the NFL playoffs. Or if they added eight more MLB playoff teams. Yuck.

[quote=“Great Santini, post:14, topic:2503”]MLB - I’m missing the point on why they think they need to tinker with the current alignment. What does having two 15 team leagues do for the sport? Then it starts to look like Big East basketball. I think the current three division alignment is fine with a wild card is fine. If they wanted to add a second wild card, that may workable. I think baseball attendance is at an all time high - I’d be really careful with messing with that. They need to resolve some ownership issues, not screw with the schedule.

If baseball wants to do something, they should eliminate the designated hitter.[/quote]

I think I saw where they were talking the top 5 in each league make the playoffs. It has to be geared towards more playoff games, especially involving the Yanks and Sox.

[quote="Great Santini, post:14, topic:2503"]MLB - I'm missing the point on why they think they need to tinker with the current alignment. What does having two 15 team leagues do for the sport? Then it starts to look like Big East basketball. I think the current three division alignment is fine with a wild card is fine. If they wanted to add a second wild card, that may workable. I think baseball attendance is at an all time high - I'd be really careful with messing with that. They need to resolve some ownership issues, not screw with the schedule.

If baseball wants to do something, they should eliminate the designated hitter.[/quote]

I think I saw where they were talking the top 5 in each league make the playoffs. It has to be geared towards more playoff games, especially involving the Yanks and Sox.

The playoffs is where the big money is at, with both TV dollars and ticket sales.

I think I heard that the cheapest seats in the Mavs/Heat championship games in Dallas went for a FACE VALUE of over $250 in the nose bleed sections.

BTW… I think it was the late '80s when the NHL had 16 teams make the playoffs, and only 21 in the league. An 80 game season, and only 5 teams were eliminated, and one of those teams was almost always Quebec.