Sports

The Panthers Belong In The Playoffs

… ASSUMING “RECORD DOESN’T MATTER” By FITSNEWS  ||  This website has never disguised its contempt for the NFL’s Charlotte Panthers.  They play on natural grass, but they’re as contrived and artificial a franchise as you’re ever going to see in professional sports.  That’s why roughly a third of the fans who…

… ASSUMING “RECORD DOESN’T MATTER”

By FITSNEWS  ||  This website has never disguised its contempt for the NFL’s Charlotte Panthers.  They play on natural grass, but they’re as contrived and artificial a franchise as you’re ever going to see in professional sports.  That’s why roughly a third of the fans who show up at their bailout bank stadium on any given Sunday are rooting for the other team.

Our disdain for the Panthers soared when they chose Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the first overall pick of the 2011 draft.

At the time the team’s owner, Jerry Richardson, told Newton he shouldn’t get any tattoos or body piercings – as that wasn’t consistent with his vision for the team’s new franchise quarterback.  Allegations of “pay-to-play” scheming involving Newton and his father, Cecil Newton?  Those were apparently no big deal …

Anyway, this week the Panthers became only the second team in NFL history (after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks) to qualify for the NFL playoffs with a losing record.

Head coach Ron Rivera‘s team finished the 2014 season with a 7-8-1 mark – good enough to bypass the 7-9 New Orleans Saints and the 6-10 Atlanta Falcons to capture the NFC South division.

“The beautiful thing – (our) record doesn’t matter,” Rivera said.  “That’s the best part.”

He’s right … the Panthers’ record doesn’t  matter.   According to NFL rules, each conference’s fourth playoff seed goes to “the division champion with the fourth-best record.”

That means the lowly Panthers are in the playoffs.  Not only that, they are actually hosting a playoff game on January 3 against the 11-5 Arizona Cardinals.  It also means the 10-6 Philadelphia Eagles – who beat the ever-living crap out of Charlotte last month – will have to watch the playoffs on television with the rest of us.

Is that fair?  No.  Not even a little bit.

In fact one Denver Broncos’ fan described it as “complete bullsh*t.”

But those are the rules …

Despite their lowly record, football prognosticators can’t get enough of the Panthers.  They love Newton – and they especially love the Charlotte defense, which held its final four opponents to an average of 10.8 points per game.

“You don’t want to be facing the Carolina Panthers this weekend,” we’ve heard countless NFL talking heads say, referring to the so-called dominant unit that catapulted a 3-8-1 squad into the post-season.

Really?

Never mind that Charlotte beat just one team with a winning record in 2014 – the Detroit Lions.  And never mind that two of the franchise’s seven wins came against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who tied for the worst record in all of football).  And never mind that the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers all thumped the Panthers handily.

Just like the non-playoff bound Eagles did …

It’s not just that the Panthers have a crappy record.  They have a crappy record against a crappy schedule.

As Rivera said, though, none of that matters.  Nor will it matter until the NFL changes its rules – which is something it clearly needs to do.

No team with a losing record should ever be allowed to participate in the playoffs – let alone host a playoff game.  The six best teams in each conference – regardless of their divisional affiliation – should be seeded according to their records.  Hell, we wouldn’t even use a team’s divisional affiliation as a tiebreaker.

If two teams finish with the same record, we believe the tie should be broken based on head-to-head results and strength of schedule (which incidentally is how the NFL determines its draft order).  If those metrics fail to yield a result, flip a coin.

The Panthers may get lucky and win a playoff game.  Or two.  Or lightning could strike and they could actually win the Super Bowl (100-1 odds, according to the early Las Vegas predictions).  But that doesn’t change the fact more deserving players and coaches are being robbed of their chance to compete – while fans are being robbed of the best possible match-ups.

It’s a fundamentally unfair arrangement, but until the NFL changes it there can be no argument: The Panthers belong in the playoffs.

What do you think?  Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …

YOUR VOICE

RAPID REACTION

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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37 comments

Frank Howard December 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

Actually the record does matter. It matters a lot. It matters conclusively. They won their division and they play in the Wild-card round.

Why would you re-write the rules after the fact?

Reply
sparklecity December 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

As you know I do not support or follow professional and college football due to the hyprocrisy that it has become due to the obscene amount of money devoted to the game and that all the players are the 20th & 21st century version of Roman gladiators not to mention the tragic consequences of brain and other body injuries resulting from the way the game has evolved.
That being said, I do remember with a good bit of nostalgia watching the Panthers in the Superbowl in a big assed tent in Iraq at dawn break in 2004.
The week before the Superbowl, I had talked to my wife during one of our alloted “morale calls” and she told me that everybody in the GSP was fired up about the Panthers. GSP is smack dab in the middle of the NC & SC I-85 corridor and a lot of folks identify with the Charlotte metro area a shitload more than they do the middle or coastal regions of South Carolina (i know i definately do). When she told me that, i thought it was pretty cool.
So in that context, I would pull for the Panthers if for no other reason than regional loyality if I were supporting professional football (which I definately do not).
But again due to my strong feelings concerning regarding professional & college football (as posted above), I do not have a team I “pull” for
Let it be posted for the upteenth time, from what I have read, 30% or more of the players in professional and college football will suffer brain damage in some point in their lives due the the bullshit that professional and college football has become.
Kindly consider that that while you have your ass in front of a TV or sitting in some stadium that is milking it for all that is worth.

Reply
Smirks December 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

Players get injured in sports, it’s just the nature of the game. Getting a concussion sucks but at least you’re not at risk of having a major artery sliced in football:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Malarchuk

(Note that a similar incident to this happened in 2008 as well.)

Reply
sparklecity December 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

Smirks,
I know you are a fan of football and injuries happen in just about every sport, (well maybe not curling, but then again…………)
My opinion is backed up with more and more reports about what is happening to football players (I’m sure you have read about the survey that now over half of parents are against their kids playing football and I can understand why).
Plus it is my opinion that most professional and college sports has been hopelessly corrupted by scads of money from so many sources that it is nothing but a shell of what it once was and I for one will not be a part of it.
A lot of sports have gotten out of hand, I’m not a big fan of NASCAR but look what happened to NASCAR, the bullshit got so bad that the fans who were the reason for NASCAR could no longer afford to go to the very tracks they helped to create. I understand that since the 2008 implosion of the economy that that has kind of reversed itself but you get my point.

Reply
shifty henry December 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Does anyone else here enjoy watching those hot babes in the Olympic curling competitions? They have some sweet moves.

Reply
Mr. Misogynist December 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

I love it when they bend over and sweep. It’s like the perfect housewife fantasy.

It’d only be better if they were barefoot.

shifty henry December 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

Yep — and they get prettier and sexier with each succeeding Olympics!

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm

We get older and older, but, much like college coeds, Olympic curling babes stay the same age.

shifty henry December 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

TBG, please…..just leave me to my fantasies and dreams.

Mr. Misogynist December 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm
shifty henry December 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Many thanks —- saved some of them for desktop display!

idcydm December 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

Isn’t this a great country, everyone has a choice, to play or not to play, to watch or not to watch.

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Agree 100% but... December 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Unless that fat bastard from North Korea decides to threaten us.

Reply
shifty henry December 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Some team should use him as a hockey puck….

Reply
willblogformoney December 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Stick downloading porn you holier than thou douchebag.

Reply
Party Foul December 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Dude, why do you have to bag on downloading porn?

Reply
sparklecity December 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

At least the female porn stars understand that they are displaying their looks and talent for someone’s pleasure and entertainment untill the time comes when their looks are shot and they are no longer a hot commodity.
Sadly college and professional football players have failed to grasp that reality

Reply
STFU December 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

your first sentence ” I do not support or watch”. You disqualified yourself from making a valid observation on this topic so shut the hell up.

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sparklecity December 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Bullshit.
I’m backing it up with stastics and a valid poll that parents deciding that football has gotten out of control and don’t want their kids playing the game as it is played these days.
You don’t have to watch one fucking minute of football to understand that.
Only thing missing from the Roman gladiator days is for the players to stand in front of the crowd (or even better yet directly face the camera and say (in unison):
“We who are about to get injured today or suffer long term injuries for your entertainment salute thee”

The more I think about it that is a GREAT IDEA!!!!

Reply
Smirks December 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

If those metrics fail to yield a result, flip a coin.

“Yeah, your team didn’t make the playoffs because it was tails instead of heads.” You trying to start a riot or something?

Reply
jimlewisowb December 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

If the Pathetics win, then I’ll have wings with a side order of crow

If the Pathetics lose, then I’ll make my traditional trot to the room in the back, drop my picture of Richardson kissing Newton into the bottom of the urinal and piss on ’em

Reply
Smirks December 29, 2014 at 10:36 am

If the Pathetics win, then I’ll have wings with a side order of crow

At 3:00 AM?

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Timmy Tebow December 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

Chuck, is that you???

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It is what it is December 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

The Eagles are a much better team than the Panthers. The reason the rules are what they are is because they are trying to retain regional interest in the game…so that even sucky divisions have some reason to retain their fan base into the playoffs…it’s “business”.

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Native Ink December 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Atlanta is even worse for having stadiums filled with fans of the opposing team. I think that’s one reason why Southerners like college football better. The college stadiums aren’t filled with middle managers from Northern states rooting for their hometown teams.

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NF Hell December 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Nah, its all the people on welfare who miraculously find a few hundred to spare on overpriced tickets to see under performing teams that you must sit next to. They wear these big oversized parkas like they are heading to North Dakota, they cuss and scream and break your knees constantly squeezing their fat stinky asses between the rows going for the overpriced food and bucket sized beer. That’s what it is. Paying for discomfort, abuse and skanky behavior vs. sitting in the comfort of your local pub or even your own living room, having a few cocktails, flipping channels on the plasma during commercials and being tucked in nice and tight while those idiots are sucking fumes in traffic afterwards.
Professional sports – skybox invite or I stay home.

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shifty henry December 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

‘ they cuss and scream and break your knees constantly squeezing their fat stinky asses between the rows going for the overpriced food and bucket sized beer. That’s what it is. Paying for discomfort, abuse and skanky behavior’
—————————–
OK, OK — so you met one of my former girlfriends! If you had only looked at her and given her a “lost, little boy smile” she would have plied you with a gallon of beer, taken you home with her, and given you a “night to remember”. Right now it’s breaking my heart to remember that she dumped me for that watermelon farmer in Aiken County!

Reply
Gamecock Guest December 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm

NFL? That sounds like Williams Williams-Brice except that they smuggle the booze in. Is that a flask? No, just some of my fat.

Reply
Native Ink December 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Consolation prize for the Falcons: They get the #8 draft pick. The Panthers get at best the #21 pick because they are in the playoffs.

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GrandTango December 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm

FITS is as contrived as he says the Panthers are. Panthers SUCK…and DON’T belong in the NFL playoffs…but I don’t see them as contrived.

The Colts in Indianapolis are move CONTRIVED than the Charlotte Panthers…

Also: When Cam Newton came to the NFL, the media SLOBBERED w/ praise for him. FITS was no different. Their sickening fawning for the Seedy and Sleazy Cam Newton was only outdone for their HATRED and lock-step denouncing of Tim Tebow.

Two years later, the experts, like FITS still see Cam Newton as the prototype NFL QB…but Tebow has STILL won more playoff games than Newton…

Dumb@$$#$….

Reply
Tango Moped Incest Marlboros December 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Didn’t read your post – just wanted to tell you to shut the hell up.

Reply
erneba December 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I’ve lost interest in pro football over the last three or four years, the Panthers winning their division with a losing record just does not re-kindle the interest. Never was a Panthers fans, it is a shame, they are not that far away.

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willblogformoney December 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Waaaaahhh. No fair! Will you sound like a liberal.

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Billy Walters has a beard or 2 December 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

The NFL is totally rigged, bought and paid for by Vegas types. Anyone with slightly above average analytical skills and who bothers to pay attention knows that it is so.

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Joe December 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm

It’s Carolina Panthers — dumb ass. That makes any comment by you totally invalid because you don’t even know the name of the team you are dogging. Tells me you don’t even watch the games to make a true and fair commentary.

Reply
Toyota Kawski December 31, 2014 at 9:25 am

Fits, When the Colts signed Dwayne Allen did you just keep on wearing his Clempson jersey or get a colt version? Clempson loving bastard!

Reply
Toyota Kawaski December 31, 2014 at 9:32 am

Fits, when the colts signed Dwayne Allen did you keep wearing his Clempson jersey or get a colt version? Clempson loving bastard!

Reply

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