When we talk about sports and which team is the best in a given sport in a given year, there’s only one way to find out: the playoffs.
The playoffs is what every fan of every team in every sport lives for.
Each sport has a unique playoff structure and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Unless you’re a college football fan, you don’t dispute the results.
So, which system is the best?
My personal belief is hockey.
Hockey clearly has the best playoffs.
Even though I think it’s a little too long, it does last over a month and a half.
The results of the playoffs are clearly the greatest and leave you on the edge of your seat from the start.
First, unlike baseball and the top heavy NBA, every series goes six to seven games.
There are few occasions where a team gets swept or blown out in a seven game series.
Also, there’s the fact that the league is so even throughout that an eight seed can beat a one seed like the Kings are doing to the Canucks so far.
Hockey top to bottom is the most evenly competitive sport and in the last 20 years, hockey has had 12 different teams win the Stanley cup; the NBA had seven.
The NHL also has the most energy and passion during the playoffs.
The hits are harder, the goals more impressive, the fights are more brutal; this is what the players live for.
If you’re not convinced hockey is the best I have saved the best for last: playoff beards.
Yes, it is the one league where every player on every team, and even every member of the organization, will not shave until the playoffs are over.
Trust me, I love baseball and I think the structure of 5-7-7 should be in all leagues, it’s short, sweet and to the point, but baseball at times can get one-sided.
What fun is the world series if a team wins in four games?
The NBA, I believe, is the worst.
I find it boring, and chances are if you have half a brain, you can guess the finals before the playoffs start.
It’s too top-heavy and there are rarely surprises.
With the tournament, NCAA basketball might be the only close one, but to be honest there are so many games it can be overwhelming at times.
Yes it is exciting, and we always have Cinderellas, but if you’re a casual college fan like I am, it might just not do it for you.
The playoffs for any sport are like Christmas for me. It’s a new season and a new day. New life is given to a team.
Being a hot team is always key in any sport, this was made apparent when the Rockies went to the World Series a few years back.
The NFL playoffs allow for a hot team to take a wild ride.
If you’re hot in the NFL, a SuperBowl run is a very easy task. The Pittsburgh Steelers proved that when they won after being seeded sixth.
The NFL is also “do or die.” One loss ends your season and dreams of a ring. There are no excuses at the end of the day, you either win or lose.
This is why the NFL is unique. All other major sports involve series, while football is one game.
So much preparation and concentration are involved in one game. Coaches and players prepare for a whole week before they face an opponent.
When game day comes, everything is put on the line.
I love the hockey playoffs. I even had a hard time picking the NFL over them, but there is something special about football playoffs.
Whether it be the video packages, pregame parties, postgame festivities, the NFL playoffs is intense yet comforting.
I believe the NBA playoffs are the worst
There is too much time in between games. Sometimes teams wait two days between contests.
The NHl waits one day between competitions, and these guys beat each other up really bad.
The NBA short be shortened.
I love baseball, and nothing should be changed. Alternate playoff uniforms would add a little flair though.
I am also an adovcate for a NCAA football playoff.
It would add more excitement and drama, the good kind, to an already rivetting sport.
The BCS ranking system can stay, but a bracket must be created.
I would love to see an undefeated team get knocked off by a Cinderella team.
The playoffs are an all-around great event, no matter what sport.
My choice for the best system is the NFL. Nothing compares to huge hits and the passion exuded by players in the weeks after a hard fought season.
We are currently, however, amidst the NHL playoffs so I must say: GO FLYERS!