From here out, I’m on the Cincy Bandwagon. My rooting preferences for what’s left:

-The Bengals

-I am hit by a bus

-The Chiefs

-The 49ers

-I am hit by a larger bus, then a train, and my body is flung into a pit of acid and then I am nuked

-the heat death of the universe

-The Eagles

The NFL screwed over Cincinnati after the Hamlin game and it seems to have given them supreme bulletin board material. There was no perfect solution to the Hamlin cancellation but they could have done better by the Bengals. Like I posted last week, it seemed strange to me that the NFL decided the game did not happen, but then decided it had to account for the Bills and Chiefs #1 seed being uncertain, so it came up with a solution to cater to the Bills in the scenario, but not the Bengals. If fact, it hurt the Bengals, making them have to face a potential coinflip to lose home field to the Ravens if they lost to Baltimore in week 18. The Bengals could have won that game the same way the Bills could have, so it was strange to see one scenario help one team and hurt another, when the much more obvious solution was to just…also give the Bengals and Bills a neutral site, or at least a coin flip for home field in case of that matchup. The Bengals saw all this and said “Fuck you, we’re not gonna let you do any of this dumb shit”, beat the Ravens to avoid the coin flip, beat the Bills to prevent the neutral site game, and now I hope win the whole thing.

One of the worst things that’s come of this neutral site game is rumors and discussion that the NFL has debated on making the championship games into permanent neutral site games, similar to the Super Bowl. Fuck that. Fuck no. Absolutely not. Shoot that idea in the dick. It makes sense for the Super Bowl. When you have two champions from two separate conferences and only one game to play, having that game be a neutral battlefield to determine the best of the best is a sensible one. For championships? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that. One of the most prized possessions a team can earn in a season is home-field advantage. If you prove to be the best team in the conference, you deserve to have the conference come to you. The fans of that team deserve to see their team, on their turf, host the game. It’s part of the fun! It makes it special when the team wins, or even more notably, the team loses, and thousands of fans get their hearts ripped out in front of them. I feel this is incredibly important to the experience. A #1 seed will still get the benefit of the bye week and home field in the divisional, but that’s it. The power of the #1 seed would be diminished greatly. If you can get the #2 seed, you can effectively be free from ever having to challenge the top seed in their house. If the NFL expands to a 16-team playoff, which I expect to happen in the next 10 years or so in conjunction with an 18-week season, that will remove the bye week altogether, making it even worse.

What else sucks? Those neutral site games will also have another Super Bowl problem: cold weather cities. Chicago, Green Bay, Buffalo, Cincy, KC, New England, Denver, Philly…these cities and a few others will never get to host the game, which hurts those fans and communities.

Like all things NFL, it’s money. The neutral game pre-sold tickets like hotcakes. I’m not surprised. Novelties are fun things to get tickets to. But if they make this permanent, the games are going to be so much less fun because the crowd is part of the experience. A neutral game site is going to have a lot of random fans of neither team there, and it’ll cater to the wealthier fans to start with. That’s why the NFL wants it. They make bank on rich tech bros and such turning the Super Bowl into a party and ticket prices are astronomical. They want customers who will spend more money, regardless of being a fan or not. This is already a massive issue with the Super Bowl, but it’s kind of inevitable there. There’s no reason to do this for the Championships. I hate it.

The only other “reasoning” I’ve seen for it is that it would allow the NFL to scout new cities for potential super bowl sites, seeing how they handle the championships. A flimsy, bullshit excuse. Use the pro-bowl for that if you must, or just…do your fucking research. Stop pretending it isn’t about the money.

Anyway, thank you Bengals for not giving the NFL a chance to test-run this terrible idea. Go take that spite energy all the way to the top.