Does Parity Help or Hinder Greatness In Sports?

Posted: July 9, 2012 in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL
Tags: , , , , ,

Apologise for the three week absence – found myself touring all over Spain for two weeks and have been playing catch up for the last week or so before piecing something together, but here we go! So it’s no secret that I have several theories in life – most that I care to share with you on this blog. Before leaving for Spain, I thought about North American sports and when you think about it, the NHL is really the only league in North America with parity. In baseball, Kansas City, Oakland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle…they simply cannot compete financially, let’s quit that argument right now. In the NBA nobody disputes that you really need a star in order to get to the next level. In the NFL, parity is widely overstated and exaggerated – New England has 5 Superbowls in 11 years, Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England and the Giants…you know that they are always going to be good.

But the NHL has got ultimate parity, a strong rigid salary cap – 9 different Stanley Cup winners in 9 years, won by often young, dark horse teams. The lower seeded usually sneak in, get momentum and win. What does all this parity get the NHL? A rating on a Monday night  which is a great television night, with nothing else on and I mean nothing else on, you get an invisible league with mostly starless teams and a lower rating that your average college football game on a terrible TV night like a Saturday.

Canada has got parity but the U.S. doesn’t have it as much. But the 20 best hospitals in North America, 19 of them are in the U.S. Of the 20 best universities, all 20 are in the U.S. Parity squishes everything in the middle; it valiantly protects the bottom and handcuffs those at the top – affecting ultimate greatness. Some would call that socialism – is sports really better than for that? Or with that? Really? Is sports really better with everything smushed in the middle? And if you love that in sports – why are you so deathly afraid of socialism in the form of a government? At least I’m consistent in that I believe parity and socialism are both garbage! But parity fan – to me, reeks of socialism fan to me.

To me sports are better with stars, people not only to root for but against – real villains! I don’t want a jungle where every animal is equal, I think Africa is more interesting – the Lion and the Tiger chase the Gazelle every day. Parity guy roots for all Gazelle’s. I love the Lion, by the way, the Lion doesn’t always win, and it sometimes gets killed by a horn or other predators. Even Hyenas have killed Lions! Why should the Yankees have to suffer for being born a Lion? Life isn’t equal, why force unnaturally sports to be. Milwaukee will never be Chicago – don’t like it? Get on a car, train, bus or plane and move!!  But at least with a Lion in the jungle you’ve got a formidable presence to root for or against.

I hear about parity all the time “Andrew, you’re an elitist!” noo, you have the wrong word! I’m a traditionalist. I like the Lakers, I like the Yankees, I like Ohio State football, I like Duke Basketball – they’re just interesting. Sometimes I root for them and sometimes I root against them! But I like villains because life becomes more interesting. Why punish New England for having a better head coach in Belicheck, a better quarterback in Tom Brady and a better receiver in Wes Welker – all of those 3 men were available to the entire league. Belicheck was fired, Brady went late in the draft and Welker was available to all other teams.

You go ahead and support socialism and parity, salute the NHL and the Los Angeles Kings. I enjoyed Oklahoma City vs. Miami for two weeks or so – 2 guys who will probably meet each other in 4 of the next 5 NBA finals. Parity is for people afraid to compete, afraid to move to a better place …and I should congratulate that? No thanks! Go ahead and knock yourself out. Parity stinks, socialism stinks, cramming everything into the middle stinks. Greatness is what I want to watch on my television screen and the culture I want to live in my life. Life has never been even – my parents try to tell me that every single day. If you think it is, you are delusional and it’s a horrible message to ever give a kid. Life’s not fair or even and you don’t deserve squat nor do my future kids, you earn everything!

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Comments
  1. Mike Crack says:

    While the NHL has the most parity and the least success, I don’t think that correlation is the reason why it’s not popular. From 1994’1995 to 2003’2004, (between the two most recent lockouts) Detroit and New Jersey combined to win six of the 10 Stanley Cups. That didn’t really do much for the sport’s success.

    I will concede that it’s true that the NFL’s parity is overstated. The AFC has seen only three champions since 2003, NE, Pit, or Indy. Still, I think the fact that most teams have made the playoffs in the past say five seasons, and every year most team’s fans think they have a shot to make the playoffs in a year or two.

    I do think a lack of parity helps in individual sports like golf, tennis, track, motor racing, and heck, even basketball. Basketball isn’t an individual sport, but the league feeds off of individual players. And like I’ve stated before, there are rarely any true fans of teams in basketball. Your current Miami Heat (read: LeBron James) fans were Lakers fans (read: Kobe fans) before “The Decision” two years ago.

    I do agree that we should incentivize success and not failure. I think that is a problem with *some* of the government assistance programs that are out there.

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