I just finished watching one of the most exciting Superbowls I have ever seen. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the final seconds of Superbowl 43—a contest that will surely go down as a game for the ages.

Even though it was a great game, I have a complaint to make. Tonight’s game brought this NFL season to a far too definitive conclusion. It’s the same problem every year. The NFL ends the season by requiring the teams with the best records to play one another in a single elimination playoff. Only the winners advance, and the final game always features the champions of the two conferences: the NFC and the AFC. By the end of the Superbowl, there is no question in anyone’s mind as to which team is the champion of the National Football League.

Am I the only one who can see how ridiculous it is to end the season with such ironclad certainty? The whole season is decided by the players on the field. No one else gets a say as to who should be the champion. Neither the coaches nor the media get to vote on the matter. There are no computers to help determine who should come out on top in the end. The current NFL system is intolerably oppressive and imperialistic. Fans and players are forced to recognize as champion the one team that wins out in the playoffs. The whole system smacks of the outmoded “certainties” of modernism. We can do better than this.

HT: Denny Burk