Parity Rating: 1 Star
I don’t need to waste too much air on this. When the same two teams appear in the finals for a staggering four consecutive years, what’s the point of a regular season?
This has haunted the NBA for decades now. Throughout all of the ‘80s, the Lakers and/or the Celtics were always in the finals. The Pistons also won three consecutive Eastern Conference titles between 1988 and 1990. Then the Bulls and Rockets took over between ‘91 and ‘98. From 1999 to 2014, the Spurs , Lakers , Heat , and Celtics had a collective 20 conference titles. Now the bar has gotten so low that if you’re not associated with Steph Curry or LeBron James you have zero chance of making the finals. Oh how the mighty have taken over.
Parity Rating: 2.5 Stars
The word around Pro Football circles is that the NFC is the real deal. With the Saints, Packers, Vikings, and Panthers, it seems the conference is going to be a war to win. Then there’s the AFC…
Ever since 2001, there has only been two seasons where anybody other than Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, or Peyton Manning have won the AFC. In a league with considerable parity, this is ridiculous.
Then again, there’s the NFC, which puts the NFL just a star and a half above the NBA. But still…
Parity Rating: 3.9 Stars
Ten years ago, I would’ve easily put the NHL at the top of this list, but with the Kings, Blackhawks, and Penguins dominating the league this past decade, they just had to go second.
Despite those teams successes, they’ve had their struggles. Chicago and Los Angeles both missed the playoffs a combined seven times since the 2007–08 season, and although Pittsburgh hasn’t missed the playoffs once in the past decade, they did suffer six consecutive eliminations from 2010 to 2015, only one of which resulting in them reaching the conference final.
This past year has brought some new stars to the table. Other then the Golden Knights, the Maple Leafs, Predators, Jets, and even Blue Jackets have started to show their mettle, as well as the usual contenders like Boston and Tampa Bay mixed into the spotlight.
Parity Rating: 4 Stars
Sure, the Dodgers just appeared in their second straight World Series. And sure, the Red Sox just won ANOTHER DAMN TITLE. But keep in mind that the longest active streak for playoff appearances at the moment is only six seasons (This belongs to the Giants). Compare that to the other leagues. The longest active streak in the NFL is nine seasons (Patriots), the longest in the NHL is twelve seasons (Penguins), and the longest in the NBA is twenty-one seasons (Spurs).
Also remember that this is a place where the Chicago Cubs can win a championship.
Take a look at the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Giants. They’ve all made it to the Series at least twice, and have missed the playoffs at least three times, all in the past decade.
Baseball may be boring as all hell to watch, but at least you’ll never get the same result every year.