Friday, September 05, 2014

Something to think about

Way back in 1983, the Mighty Dolphins, just off a SuperBowl appearance, had a new rookie QB and sights were set high.

They made it to the playoffs that season, and went up against a young, upstart team that had only been in the league for 7 years at that point.  I remember hearing then-Dolphin commentator Hank Goldberg talking about how there was *no way* that a team with Dan Doornink as its running back could beat the Fins, only a decade removed from greatness.

And the Seahawks won 27-20, in a game that defied logic.  I was making jokes at the time about how I was going to be a Seahawks fan....I didn't, but I have kept one eye on the team that is as far away in the continental US from Miami as you can get.

And then they won the Superbowl after last season, and as luck would have it, I visited Seattle over the summer....and it got me to thinking about how fortunes have turned.

If we look at both teams success since that game, we can see this:

Miami's record 1984-2013: 258-221, with 12 playoff appearances, and one Superbowl appearance (a loss, waaay back in 1984)

Seattle's record: 245-234, with 12 playoff appearances, and two superbowls (one win)

Statistically, Miami was slightly better (by about a half win a season), but really, they are the same team!

Something about that struck me as really strange, and perhaps surreal.  Now as you might expect, between 1984-1999, Miami had more success and more playoff appearances; while Seattle has done better since 1999.

How is it that a team that couldn't possibly beat the mighty Fins not only beat them, but has had more long-term success?  The NFL is a strange place....



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5 comments

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Almost makes you think you need to run out the most successful coach we ever had and make a run of bad moves like Nick Saban, Tony Sporano, Cam Cameron as well as squander a pile of draft picks. The Parcells/Sporano/Ireland years were the hardest for me. Watching other teams evolve while we were installing a system from the early 90's. Running Reggie Bush up the middle at Vince Wolfork.... At least we are once again a competitive team and using a offense that is advanced. Maybe we will actually get to enjoy a season rather than suffer through another one

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Well said both of you.

How cyclical the sports world is...unless you're a Cubs fan

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KNick - perhaps a little cynical, but you are on point. The NFL is a business, and is all about entertainment and distribution of wealth.

In thinking back, until the maybe early 1990s, there were a handful of teams that were always good (Dolphins, Raiders, Steelers, Cowboys), a few that were always bad, and then the rest which could bounce up to good and be competitive...

And there was no real parity. The NFL made every effort to change that, through free agency, salary caps, and more emphasis on the draft....and I would argue have succeeded. Teams bounce from good to bad, and there are no perennial great teams. Yes, teams can be good for a while, but its much more competitive.

So it evens the playing field in terms of dollars as well. Every franchise is profitable (in spite of what they tell you).

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