OtherArea: East Memphis
Why didn't they list the ranking for all ten places they tried? Personally, speaking, I haven't tried the top three, but I'd take Three Little Pigs over either Corky's or Central.
Overall a good piece, but a couple of minor quibbles. First of all, under a single-payer system, the government has no role in providing health care. What it provides, instead, is health insurance. The actual care would still mainly be provided by doctors, hospitals, and clinics in the private sector. Second, and related to this, single-payer (like Medicare, and like what Canada has) is not "socialized medicine." With socialized medicine, the hospitals and clinics themselves are run by the government, and the doctors, nurses, etc., are all government employees. The UK's NHS is socialized medicine, as is the VA here at home. Nobody is proposing "VA for everyone," or anything like it, so socialized medicine is simply not on the table.
I agree with your summation of the problem, but I disagree with your proposed solution. If you went with two eight-team divisions in each conference, then you'd have to do away with the home-and-home schedule against divisional rivals, or else do away with non-division and non-conference play almost entirely. An eight-team division means each team has seven divisional rivals, so the home-and-home would take up 14 games of a 16-game schedule.
The solution, it seems to me, is to still have four divisions per conference, and still have the division winner get a guaranteed playoff spot, but have "division winner" be irrelevant with respect to seeding. In such a scheme, yes, the Chargers get in while the Patriots are left out, but the Chargers would have been the #6 AFC seed instead of the number four.
Of course, setting the current injustices aside, the NFL seems vindicated by the results of the actual games. If Arizona, Philadelphia, and San Diego had been booted out in the first round, then THAT would be evidence that they shouldn't have been there. But the fact that they've advanced (two of them twice), and with the exception of San Diego have played outstanding football in the process, vindicates their presence there.
If Indianapolis really was four games better than San Diego, then they should have been able to beat them, even on the road. If Atlanta really was three games better than Arizona, then they should have been able to beat them, even on the road. And as for Philly, I don't really see any argument against their presence -- nothing about even YOUR proposed changes would have altered their seeding.
By Joe Boone
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