Let's get this out of the way. The shallow end is the NFC because apparently that's where all the kids play. There is no question that the AFC is the fairer of the sexes year in and year out. At the beginning of October of this year, with the NFC clinging precariously to a 6-5 record against the AFC, I asked: Will the NFC collapse?
Uhh, yea. Unless my math is wrong, the AFC is 38-22 against the NFC. With just 4 cross conference games remaining, the best we can hope for is an emberrassing 38-26 defeat at the hands of our perennial older brother, the American Football Conference. We won't tell mom and dad that you have a stack of dirty magazines in the closet if you promise to stop beating the hell out of us week after week, ok?
There's no pride in being the 4th worst team in the worst conference in Football (Hogs Haven aside: which conference claims the worst team? Detroit or Oakland?), perhaps we can take some kind of perverse pleasure at being bottom feeders in the best division in the worst conference. Is there anything to that?
Well, we do have 29 wins which is more than the South, West, or North. And a 6-8 San Fransisco is still challenging Seattle for the West's Best honors (yeehaw) not to mention no one in that division has scored more points than they've had scored against them. And half of the South hasn't won a game in 2 weeks and the other half hasn't won a game in 5. And the North has Detroit...
No, there's little question that the NFC East is at least the best division in the worst conference and for that we can be somewhat proud. NFL.com's front page poll tries to figure out the NFC playoff race: two of their options (including the most popular choice, incidentally) involve 3 NFC East playoff teams while the remaining two give us at least two postseason teams.
I'm not especially enthused about a postseason possibility for all three of our hated rivals. But at the very least it makes our 5-9 record more meaningful than, say, Arizona's 4-10 record. At least the team's that are beating us are going somewhere this year. And that the worst of the East can beat the South's best Saints reinforces my belief that on any given Sunday the Redskins can win.
Let me post a question to readers that has haunted me from time to time. Though I always instinctively reject the proposition, given the opportunity would you move Your Washington Redskins out of the NFC East? Wouldn't we be a lock (or closer to at least) for the postseason in the West or North (or South)?
And while the pragmatist in me screams yes, the Football Fan in me beats down the notion with extreme prejudice. What games excite me on any given year? It's wins over those damned Cowgirls (3-1 in our past four outings!). It's closing out the season, at home, against the New York Giants with the possibility of ruining their post season hopes. There's no greater moral victory in a season gone to shambles than taking that other asshole down with you. And if we have to suffer through a 2-14 season, I'd rather those two wins come against the Cowboys then against the Rams or Lions. Could a playoff berth have been anymore satisfying than last year's unlikely 5 game run where we finished on top of the annual NFC Champ hopeful Eagles and dashed the postseason hopes of the Dallas Cowboys, who were forced to watch us in January at 9-7?
Naw, I wouldn't trade the NFC East for any division in Football.