Competitive Balance and Magic

So we have a new deal. Woo!

One of the most important demands from the owners was a system wherein they could achieve a competitive balance. I have my doubts that that is achievable. I read something where the players gave back something like $3 billion in total. It was more about achieving competitive profitability than anything else.

Still, the constant stream of chatter on Competitive Balance –whether from the lockout beat writers or the college football people– had it on my mind.

It really is a philosophical question: how do you wish to establish your champion and furthermore, how equal of a chance do you want each of your teams to have?

I hadn’t yet sorted through my thoughts on the subject when I stumbled on the always-excellent Futfunatico and his thoughts on the efficiency and lack of flair of Messi and Ronaldo:

Messi is fast. Ronaldo is strong. Both accelerate rapidly. Yet, in my personal opinion, they are tasteless, hollow entities. Their football, while inspired at times, lacks flavor.

He linked to Run of Play’s 2009 article wherein we find this beautifully written sentence.

… [T]hose of us who are reading their research primarily as fans of the game, it’s an opportunity to remember that there’s more to soccer than its ability to select the right winner, and that the aesthetic aspects of the sport can’t simply be ignored in any real-world discussion of its accuracy or fairness. A football game isn’t always a good way to judge the footballing abilities of two football teams. That’s what’s so great about it, don’t you see?

Replace “soccer” with “basketball”, “football game” with “basketball season” and “football teams” with “a league” and you have my thoughts on the subject.

Tags: Competitive Balance Links Lockout

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