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01-19-2005, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fletch
I think if you took a poll at the beginning of the season most would've said that the Eagles, Pats or Indy are still the favorites while giving no credibility to teams such as the Browns, Bengals, Raiders, Giants, Cardinals, 49ers and even Bills, among many others. There were a handful of teams thought to make it to the Superbowl at the beginning of the season, and not much different than hockey those teams have been going to the playoffs the last few years (Philly's now hosting its third straight Conference Championship Game, yeah, great parity).

In hockey, about 85-90% of the teams have a legit shot at making the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen, and anything has happened.

Since 1987 there have been 10 different Super Bowl winners. During that same period, there have been 10 different Stanley Cup winners. What is it we're really looking for? It's not parity.

You make the parity argument...Nashville makes the playoffs and has the third worse attendance in the league. Islanders have the fifth worse. The Devils the seventh worse. Boston's #22. All pretty far off capacity. How does parity help these teams bring in more people and thus more revenue? They're already winning and going to the playoffs. Parity could make them even more mediocre and will there be additional attendees. In '01-02, when Carolina made it to the finals, their attendance was #24 in the league.

There already is parity. And parity isn't going to make the game more popular. The NHL has a very competitive balance, despite some 'super powers'.
I'll add that half the reason even the worst NFL teams sell out all of their games is a) only 8 games a year and b) going to a football game is an experience. There is tailgating and such, a lot of people go to the game more excited about tailgating than the game itself. Hell, some people even go to the game without tickets just to tailgate. Because of scheduling, the nature of the sport etc. football teams will continue to sell out because of the experience of going to a football game. But this is something that no other sport has, especially not hockey.

Also, very good point about attendance of some of these NHL teams. It just goes to show that in hockey there will be no correlation between parity and attendance, because even a team like the Devils, that has been the most succesful team over the last decade and you know is going to be good year after year, don't get good attendace. If the prospect of a succesful season is the difference between sellouts or no sellouts, than why do the Devils struggle with attendace? If it's not a rich hockey market attendance will be slow growing, with or without a cap and forced parity.

This disproves the argument from pro-cap people that the parity to come with a cap will increase revenues in small markets that don't sell because some years they aren't competitive. Obviously if the intrest isn't there, even a succesful team isn't going to attract it. The other problem is that some of the small markets that would benefit from consistenly being competitive through a cap are markets that already sell out, the Canadian teams especially. Therefor, forced parity would not help them either.

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