Monday, January 5, 2009

5 Questions About Football

Today's five questions are a little different as they are questions that people have asked me either in person or email lately. It seems like since the NFL season is coming to a close, I've had a lot of inquiries about the sport or football in general. Don't worry, I'll still have plenty of athlete and other sports figure interviews but since we have a new year we may as well try a new format at least once!

1. The New England Patriots finished with a record of 11-5 and the San Diego Chargers finished with a record of 8-8. Why did the Chargers make it into the playoffs and the Patriots did not? Both teams are in the AFC!

Simply put, this comes down to the way the divisions are divided up. The Miami Dolphins were also 11-5 in the Patriots division, as were the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts finished 12-4 and the Tennessee Titans finished 13-3. Someone had to be the odd man out! Playoffs are when it all gets turned on as we see since the 8-8 Chargers beat the 12-4 Colts. The AFC was very tough this year and it will be great to see who eventually comes out on top.

2. Why is there no playoffs in college football? What the heck is the BCS and why does it cause so much controversy?

Ya know, I scratch my head at this one every day! As a statistician, I understand how someone has come up with a formula that supposedly makes it all fair and balanced. However, we have seen MANY times over the last few years that whole "strength of schedule" baloney goes in the can. In addition, rankings are figured using coaches' opinions. Years ago, college football seemed so much more segregated. Here on the West Coast we cared about the Rose Bowl and you had the Orange Bowl in the Southeast. Now there is a bowl for every sponsor imaginable and a National Champ is crowned that may or may not be the best team in the NCAA. It is definitely a broken system that many want to see a playoff system for so that there is no question about who is number one in the nation!

3. Do kids from "less privileged" neighborhoods still have a chance to play for a good college and eventually the NFL or is there just too much nepotism?

Sure, if you go to the private football factories of Mater Dei or St. Bonaventure you'll have a better shot, but I think that kids from "the hood" can still shine and make it to the NFL. Two of the public high schools I went to, Ventura High and Dorsey High, produced NFL players. It does seem that California, Texas, and Florida are general factories for kids to become athletes but I believe that anyone can make it. Seriously. Jerry Rice was from Mississippi Valley State College, for example. Do your best to stand out and keep your "eye on the prize" so to speak. This goes for any sport.

4. How many women's football leagues are there? Is it the same rules as the men's sport?

There are the IWFL, NWFA, WPFL, and WFA to name a few. Women's Football Talk is the best way to keep up with all of the happenings in women's football. They have posts and podcasts with coaches, players, and other correspondents from all leagues. You can catch me writing for the local IWFL team, the Southern California Breakers, on the blog Riding the Wave.

5. I have also been asked to talk about actually playing football myself.

Yes, I played with the boys when I was very young. It remains one of my most precious childhood memories. I wrote about the experience on another site that you can read here.

If you like this five questions format, I'll do it again with another sport or even other questions with football. Drop a line with your questions or leave a comment and let me know.


Lindsay said...

Apryl, this post was great. You should do more like this! I bet you get all kinds of random questions. And if one person is wondering, that means others are too.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks, Lindsay! I am glad you enjoyed it. I'll likely do more of this nature in the future.