Although surprises happen each year, certain leagues tend to either breed success of their teams or always have the same all-star superpowers.
Here are my rankings of the 4 major sports from the least fairness to most parity:
- Basketball by far has the most dramatic change between the elite and the rebuilding teams. For example, aside from the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, no team has any opportunity to get anywhere close to the NBA title. Instead, the majority of the teams have one, maybe two great players with the rest of their team being average. The Warriors and Cavs have an entire team of amazing players as they take the strongest athletes from the lower teams, pay them insane amounts of money, and then become “superteams”. When looking at the last few champions and LeBron James’ resume, it becomes evident how the same teams are in the title games every single year.
- Football maintains a drop off between the successful and weak, however the change is not as drastic as basketball. That being said, approximately only 5 teams each year have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl and building a legacy. The New England Patriots are truly the only exception, seemingly always discovering a way to win. Teams can rebuild in minimal years to contend for a championship.
- Hockey for the most part has new teams each year making it into the Stanley Cup finals, but the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are the reason that hockey does not give each team the opportunity to win; they have discovered a method to win consistently. On the other hand the length of success from the Blackhawks and Penguins does not last long, maybe 2-3 years maximum, which gives the rest of the league the ability to make their own legacy.
- Baseball gives almost every team the chance to make a push for the World Series each year. This is because teams play a series during the year, which causes different clubs to split the games in the series giving each team wins. The Arizona Diamondbacks were absolutely brutal in the last few years, but now are 8-2 in their last 10 games, on a 5 game win streak and 2nd in the National League West standings this year. Additionally, the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros are surprise division leaders. Lastly, the National League Central is shockingly terrible this year, with the defending World Series champions, Chicago Cubs, just an average team. This goes to show in baseball that winning changes in a quick moment and building a team with a strong, successful reputation is nearly impossible.
So next time you are watching your favorite sport, take a moment to think how fair that sport might be…