Parity in Professional Football

by dylan gehlbach

At 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, Matt Cassel threw over the head of Jamaal Charles into double coverage resulting in an easy interception that would ultimately lead to the Saints leading the Chiefs 24-6 late in the third quarter of the week three matchup.  Immediately afterward, I left for work slamming the door behind me, shaking my head in frustration as the Chiefs appeared to be headed for an 0-3 start to the season.

If the story ends there, Sundays are pretty boring.

But the story doesn’t end there, folks. In fact, this is where the story picks up. Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs’ defense each put on a spectacular performance to will the Chiefs to 21 unanswered points to take their first victory of the season, achieved while on the road in overtime. An exhilarating experience, yes. Out of the ordinary, no. This is the appeal of the National Football League to millions of Americans year in and year out.

The huge comeback victory by the Chiefs wasn’t even the biggest shock of the Sunday. San Fransisco waltzed into Minnesota looking like they were going to get the easy win, but exited with a a decisive 24-13 defeat. Oakland outscored Pittsburgh 13-0 in the fourth quarter to arrive at a 34-31 victory. Heck, the five Cheeseheads I live with are very much afraid (more like terrified) of the Seahawks who whooped the Dallas Cowboys 27-7 last week. The Seahawks.

The big message that I’m trying to convey here is that parity is alive and well in the NFL. Not only that, I would argue that parity is what makes the NFL a fan favorite.

The frustration a fan feels through the course of a season is worth the pain for the moments that their team beats the odds and pulls off the unthinkable.  There’s a reason that me and my six roomates will sit around the TV on a Sunday afternoon to watch a world-beater play a bottom-feeder. Anything can happen.

In all honesty, without all of the epic comebacks, the “Hail Mary’s”, the upsets, the heartbreaks, and the incredible individual performances, would football even be worth watching?

Jamaal Charles rushed for 233 yards in the Chiefs’ Sunday victory over the Saints.
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)