Has anyone ever wondered why the heck the Miami Dolphins are in the AFC East? Or why the Dallas Cowboys are in the NFC East? Maybe it is just an East thing, but thank God the Rams got moved to L.A. because St. Louis playing in the NFC West was suspect at best. The NFL Divisions could definitely use a rework.
Why does it matter where teams are located anyways? The locations of teams affect the players and fans. Players would benefit greatly from division teams being closer for away games as it would cut down on the travel required weekly. I know what you’re thinking, “NFL players get paid so much that this shouldn’t matter.” Well if you are a fan of a team that has players jet lagged or worn down from constant road travel you should reconsider your stance. The players are human! Even though they are phenomenal athletes that have risen to the top of their field they still have emotions and everyday problems just like us average people. I am all about making life better for the players. If cutting down on travel meant an extra win per season fans would be all in.
Speaking of the fans, have you ever traveled to see your favorite team play at an away game? Heck, even going to a home game is a nightmare just to find decent parking. If you have traveled to an away game then you should understand the hassle involved. I’m not talking about how cool it would be to see the New York Giants play the L.A. Chargers, I’m talking about the Giants having to travel once per year to play at Dallas for a division game. Or for the Dolphins to travel to Buffalo in December. THEY DON’T EVEN OWN COATS!
For any fan with a normal job, it can be tough getting from city to city to support your team. They often have to decide whether to drive or fly, should they bring the kids, are we going just for the game etc. Since the fans are the ones supporting the NFL they should not be the ones to suffer. Just rearranging the NFL divisions could make it easier for fans to make it to more games.
So what is a possible solution? Here is what I think the NFL divisions would best be in terms of location.
NFC North – Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers.
NFC South – Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
NFC East – Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, and Tennessee Titans.
NFC West – San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, L.A. Chargers, and L.A. Rams.
AFC North – Cleveland Browns, Pittsburg Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills.
AFC South – Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints.
AFC East – New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Philadelphia Eagles.
AFC West – Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona Cardinals.
What do you think about this NFL division setup? How would your team do compared to now? Is their schedule easier or harder? Comment below and let me know your thoughts on a possible change up of teams.
The AFC or NFC switches could go either way for teams that used to be in the other conference. Rivalries would still exist within 6 divisions and create a lot of bad blood between new teams facing off regularly against one another (like the Patriots and Eagles squaring off twice next season).
With the NFL’s current scheduling process each team plays their division twice in the regular season, one home and one away game. They will also play each team in two other divisions once, one AFC and one NFC division. The final two games are intraconference match-ups which will be based on the previous year standings. More variety of schedules would create intrigue and buzz around the league. Everyone who has been watching football the past few years has slowly seen it turn from the NFL to CNN/Fox News. We need to get the political crap out of the league and inject some excitement while getting back to hard nose football.
Have a great day everyone.
NFL Fan Map – Photo Credit 50-Best