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A more geographically correct NFL realignment proposal

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6 minutes ago, pf9 said:

The Titans once had huge rivalries with CIN/CLE/PIT as the Oilers. Sure losing those rivalries sucked for those fans, but in time the Texans, Jaguars and Colts became the TItans' major rivals.

The Falcons and Saints also broke up with the 49ers and Rams.

So if the NFL was willing to break up those teams, then they should be willing to break up others.

The driving force behind those realignments were team(s) relocating.  

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3 hours ago, pf9 said:

For much of the Browns' second existence, I highly doubt that their rivalry with the Steelers was a real one, given that the Steelers frequently beat them. Three full-time Browns head coaches since returning to the league were fired without ever recording a win over the Steelers. Before the Modell move, this had never happened.

To me, that's a sign that Browns-Steelers is NOT a rivalry anymore, at least until there is parity between the teams. Rivalries should have parity, this one has not for over two decades. But that all could change soon.

The "old" Browns took their rivalry to Baltimore with them.

The "new" Browns dont have a strong rivalry with anyone, although that could change.

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13 hours ago, blkwdw13 said:

I like these also but the only change I would make and just for geographical reasons would be to switch Atlanta and Tennessee.

Can’t split Atlanta and New Orleans. Came in the league together and is the south’s only true rivalry in the NFL. 

10 hours ago, pf9 said:

From a logistics standpoint, Dallas being with Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa Bay makes more sense in cases where the NFL wants to schedule a division opponent for the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

After all, the Lions share a division with Midwestern teams. So there's no real good reason why Dallas shouldn't share a division with Southern teams.

Houston is better logistically than Tampa Bay. 

8 hours ago, blkwdw13 said:

Yes you can, if you can split Baltimore/Pittsburgh or Dallas/NYG/Philly then you can split up New Orleans/Atlanta.

Not really. Dallas is a team that hates everyone and everyone hates. Baltimore Pittsburgh is a recent rivalry, but the real rivalry is Pittsburgh/Cincy or Pittsburgh/Browns

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This topic comes up at least a couple times a year, and to date no one has ever actually given a good reason as to why the geography matters enough to change things. Sure, the Dolphins would be closer to the AFC South teams than their current AFC East rivals, but so what? That doesn't actually matter. At all. Its meaningless. You would be changing something to gain nothing, beyond a more aesthetically pleasing map, I guess.

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16 hours ago, blkwdw13 said:

Yes you can, if you can split Baltimore/Pittsburgh or Dallas/NYG/Philly then you can split up New Orleans/Atlanta.

They aren’t just rivals because of historical reasons...they are local rivals. Without question...you are looking at NO, ATL, and DAL when you are considering fans of the Deep South. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 9:13 AM, sammymvpknight said:

They aren’t just rivals because of historical reasons...they are local rivals. Without question...you are looking at NO, ATL, and DAL when you are considering fans of the Deep South. 

Yup. Plus, Saints and Falcons have been together in the same division since 1967. That's 53 years of NO and ATL at each other's throats.

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4 hours ago, scar988 said:

Yup. Plus, Saints and Falcons have been together in the same division since 1967. That's 53 years of NO and ATL at each other's throats.

no only since 1970

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Furthermore, had the Rams been moved to the NFC North while they were in St. Louis, they would have had huge rivalries with the Bears (which matched Chicago and St. Louis like Blues-Blackhawks and Cardinals-Cubs), Packers (reflecting the rivalry of Milwaukee and St. Louis in the beer industry), and Vikings (Blues-North Stars games used to be huge in the NHL, now it's Blues-Wild games that are big).

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3 hours ago, pf9 said:

no only since 1970

They played in 67 and 69 before hte Saints moved to the division. My mistake. Either way, the Rivalry is as old as the Saints are.

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Here's what the NFC should have looked like for the last 14 years the Rams were in St. Louis

East: Detroit, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washingotn
North: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis
South: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
West: Arizona, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle

Dallas would lose the Northeast teams as rivals, but share a division with the 49ers, who are arguably the biggest NFC rivals of the Cowboys that are not in the East.

Upon the return of the Rams to LA, they would move back to the West, then Dallas to the South, Carolina to the East, and Detroit back to the North (nee Central).

The other major leagues have (almost) always realigned their divisions when a team relocates far from their existing division rivals. Here are the instance of this since 1970:

MLB:
1972: Expansion Washington Senators move to Arlington, Texas as the Texas Rangers, and are shifted from the AL East to the West, the Milwaukee Brewers, themselves the former Seattle Pilots, move from the West to the East.

NBA:
1972: A year after the San Diego Rockets move to Houston (where the nickname is more appropriate than it was in San Diego), they move from the Pacific Division to the Central Division. That same year, the Cincinnati Royals moved to Kansas City (initially also playing some home games in Omaha) and become the Kings, transferring to the Midwest Division. The Phoenix Suns move to the Pacific Division, where they remain today.

1978: The Buffalo Braves move to San Diego and become the Clippers, the franchise (now in Los Angeles) moves to the Pacific Division from the Atlantic, the Detroit Pistons move from the Midwest Division to the Central, where they remain today, and the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) move to the Atlantic.

1979: The New Orleans Jazz move to Salt Lake City, Utah and become the Utah Jazz, moving from the Central Division (which once had as many as five Southern teams: Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Washington) to the Midwest Division, while the Indiana Pacers move from the Midwest to the Central. Chicago and Milwaukee swap divisions with Houston and San Antonio the following year, from that point the Kings are the only team in the Midwest Division actually located in the Midwest, until they moved to Sacramento in 1985 (no other Midwestern team would join the division until the Minnesota Timberwolves were established in 1989).

1988: The Kings finally leave the Midwest Division for the Pacific Division, a move which had been delayed because the Suns refused to move back to the Midwest Division, even though the other teams in the Four Corners States (Denver and Utah) were part of the division. The Suns' refusal to move to the Midwest Division played a role in the later relocation of the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001, the Grizzlies had been placed in the Midwest Division in 1995, keeping them from having meaningful rivalries with Portland and Seattle. Ironically, the move to Memphis made the Grizzlies closer to a number of other Midwest Division teams.

2004: Charlotte, which shut down for 2 years while the New Orleans franchise was starting, returned. New Orleans, which played its first two seasons in the Central Division of the East, moved to the Southwest Division of the West, along with the Texas teams and Memphis. The Northwest Division consists of the teams in the Pacific Northwest (one of whom, Seattle, moved to Oklahoma City in 2008), Rocky Mountains, and Minnesota. In the East, the five East Coast teams south of the Mason-Dixon line formed the Southeast Division, and Toronto moved from the Central to the Atlantic.

NHL:
1982: Colorado Rockies move to North Jersey as the New Jersey Devils, moving to the Patrick Division and forcing the Winnipeg Jets to move to the Smythe.

1995: Quebec Nordiques move to Denver as the Colorado Avalanche, moving from the Northeast Division to the Pacific.

1996: Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix as the Coyotes, but would not move (back) to the Pacific Division until the 1998 realignment into 6 divisions

1997: Hartford Whalers move to North Carolina as the Carolina Hurricanes, remaining in the Northeast Division for one year then moving to the Southeast the next, they are now in the Metropolitan Divison

2011: Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg as the second Jets, they get realigned into the Central Division two years later

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You know, I have never understood why people want the divisions to be perfectly aligned geographically. This topic comes up 10-20 times a year between here and Reddit. And no one has ever made a solid argument why being grouped in a tight geographic range is better than rivalries. 

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27 minutes ago, pf9 said:

East: Detroit, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washingotn
North: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis
South: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
West: Arizona, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle

Dallas to Seattle - 2100 miles

Dallas to NYC - 1500 miles

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Yeah but Detroit is closer to the East Coast than Dallas is (and is in the Eastern Time Zone, a fact which led the Red Wings to want out of the NHL's Western Conference), and Carolina is even closer than Detroit is to the East Coast.

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12 minutes ago, Matts4313 said:

You know, I have never understood why people want the divisions to be perfectly aligned geographically. This topic comes up 10-20 times a year between here and Reddit. And no one has ever made a solid argument why being grouped in a tight geographic range is better than rivalries. 

Any teams that share a division could be rivals, even if some teams had to leave behind longtime rivalries in realignment. If the Dolphins had been moved into the AFC South with Baltimore, Jacksonville and Tennessee, they would at least have huge rivalries with the latter two by now - and wouldn't have had to face Tom Brady and the Patriots twice a year (the Dolphins are 12-24 against Brady). Thus, being moved out of the AFC East in 2002 might have benefited the Dolphins long-term, as members of the AFC East, they have only made the playoffs twice since realignment. They probably would have been in the playoffs more frequently as members of the AFC South.

Edited by pf9

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9 minutes ago, pf9 said:

Yeah but Detroit is closer to the East Coast than Dallas is (and is in the Eastern Time Zone, a fact which led the Red Wings to want out of the NHL's Western Conference), and Carolina is even closer than Detroit is to the East Coast.

Ok... But you are putting the Cowboys in Pacific time. 2 hours difference instead of 1. 

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