There are few more dedicated NFL fans than the Green Bay Packers.
The Green Bay Packers feature a famous season-ticket waiting list, with more than 75,000 names. According to the Packers’ web site, the wait time to buy tickets is 35 years. Season tickets have been sold out since 1960. Transfer of tickets to relatives is permitted.
But the Packers provide evidence that the antiquated NFL playoff system for rewarding division champions with a home game is broke.
You must wait decades for a Packers’ season-ticket. But anyone could still buy a game ticket for Sunday’s home playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Thousands of tickets were available Monday, providing more evidence that the NFL playoffs need to be reseeded. Even the Packers fans weren’t excited about the prospect of playing the 49ers.
Green Bay finished 8-7-1 and San Francisco finished 12-4.
It makes no sense that Green Bay should be rewarded a home playoff game against a team that tied for second-best record in the NFC. The 49ers should be seeded third and play the No. 6 seeded Packers at home. The NFC West was 30-10 against other divisions, while the NFC North was 17-23.
It easy to see why San Francisco should easily beat Green Bay and earn a showdown with No. 1 seed Seattle next weekend.
The wild-card New Orleans Saints (11-5) also should not be forced to play at the 10-6 Philadelphia Eagles.
San Francisco and New Orleans are penalized because they compete with the top two teams in the NFC.
A win by either the Eagles or Packers Sunday would mark the sixth year in a row that a home playoff team beat a wild-card qualifier with a better regular-season record.
The NFL playoffs are long overdue for revamping.
Simply put, the NFL teams with the best records should earn the top seeding and home playoff games. If the top two teams play in the same division, they should be seeded first and second — not first and fifth.
By seeding playoff teams by record, the NFL would create the incentive for teams to play their best throughout the season.
Had that been the case, the Kansas City Chiefs would have played their best players rather than sitting them out to avoid a potential injury Sunday. Kansas City could’ve pushed for the second seed rather than be sentenced to the fifth seed, which makes no sense.
Had Kansas City won Sunday, they would’ve had an incentive to finish with the third-best record behind Denver and New England. With a win, No. 3 seed Kansas City would’ve earned a home playoff game against Pittsburgh.
Home field makes a huge difference in the playoffs.
In 2011, the underdog 8-8 Denver Broncos upset the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a fluke outcome that would have never happened in Pittsburgh, which finished behind Baltimore that year.
In 2009, the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks upset the 11-5 Saints and the 10-6 Arizona Cardinals beat the 11-5 Packers. That was the same year a pair of 10-6 teams missed the NFL playoffs.
In 2008, the 8-8 San Diego Chargers beat the 12-4 Indianapolis Colts at home.
I properly argued for years for changing the college football rule about being able to advance a fumble before it finally got changed.
My logical crusade for a more efficient NFL playoff system has begun.