posted on Sep, 8 2004 @ 03:37 PM
The only predictable element of modern professional football is unpredictability. In the economic sense, the trade organization known as the National
Football League has emerged as the prototypical capitalistic market that favors "the little guy" through the promotion of pure competition. Given the
undeniable rise of the NFL as our country's league of choice, it's only fitting that the economic tenets central to American philosophy have saturated
Gone are the Dynasty Days of the NFL, when methodical franchise building was the certain path to success. League economics have evolved, giving birth
to a new era of competition. They call it Parity, but it's no joke at all.
Organization-wide infusion of winning values, choice drafting and economically sound manipulation of the salary cap and free agent market remain
integral to any team's success. But the indiscriminate opportunity to "win now" has forced teams to fuse these tenets with a short-term philosophy
that demands the employment of flexibility and ingenuity.
Incremental franchise-building has given way to the chaotic management of finance and egos in which "only the strong survive." In essence, the modern
organization must continually adapt to the very adaptation that inspires evolution.
With two Super Bowls titles in the past three years, the New England Patriots franchise has all but proven that Parity and Dynasty can co-exist.
However, year-to-year roster volatility virtually precludes individual teams from achieving Dynasty status.
Parity is much less a mockery of historical precedent than a natural reflection of the American Way. Just as democracy begets capitalism and
capitalism begets equal opportunity, democracy begets Parity. Our founding fathers and Darwin himself would be hard-pressed to find fault in
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's modernized NFL. In preventing empire building, Paul's Parity has empirically built an empire eerily similar to the
nation in which it flourishes. And as history warns against an inevitable fall from grace, in antitrust we must trust.