Would switching up divisions do the NFL good?
The Chargers will start the 2012 season just the same way they ended the 2011 season, without a single fan in attendance.
The Raiders fans will gloat in approval, and call Chargers fans fair weather, and say they aren't loyal to their team, and say intelligent sayings like " at least we keep it real" and "represent".
In case you are wondering what I'm referring to, just youtube " visiting fans in Oakland", and you will soon find out.
I've seen so many articles talking about misunderstood Raiders fans, and complaints of how they're judged unfairly. They seem to care a lot about being respected by other fans, but give very little ( if any) to any other fan bases.
I used to think this was primarily a division rivalry riff, until I started talking with other fans.
As a Merchant Mariner, I work with people from all over America, and they all tell me the same thing. " They dislike Raider fans, and won't even go to a game featuring Oakland. Season ticket holders even sell their tickets dirt cheap on line whenever their team meets the Raiders, and as for Oakland, no other fans even go in there any more.
Furthermore, security is doubled , and even tripled whenever the Raiders are in town, and all alcohol sales shut down before half time at every Raiders game.
I understand that. I realize that some fans need to " Keep it real". They need to risk injury and livelihood and possible jail time for a team of guys they don't even know personally. A group of guys that are in all actuality playing for the highest bidder and just happened to end up in their uniform.
But what I don't understand is why Chargers fans have to be burdened with this dilemma twice a year.
I understand a division, and its regional principle, but teams aren't going from stadium by bus anymore, and even if they were, it would make more geographical sense that the Chargers played Arizona, and Oakland played San Francisco.
Divisions really hamper the game more than help it anyway. When teams that are 11-5 miss the playoffs (2008 Patriots), and (7-9) teams "2010 Seahawks" make the playoffs, it shows just how lame divisions really can be.
Teams that are 12-4 are forced to travel to face teams that are (8-8) in the playoffs simply rewards the weaker divisions and punishes the stronger divisions.
I do understand sports rivalries, and spirited competition, and I understand the intent of divisions, but it would be pretty cool if the divisions switched up every year or two. Each team could play 16 games against 16 different teams, and conferences sent their best 6 teams to the playoffs based on record, not just who got lucky in a weak division.
I'm sure there will be a lot of people who disagree with that, but then again there's a lot of people who won't, those are the people who have listed their Raiders home game tickets on ebay.