Chaos is an unappreciated part of sports. It might arguably be the absolute best part of sports. We all love chaos, but we pretend not to. Sports are designed around order. Be the best team. The best team is the most healthy team, the most organized team, the team with the least amount of turmoil. The least amount of flaws. The most precise execution. That tends to win you championships. That tends to get you those coveted tight dubs. That cuts down on turnovers. Thing is, that isn’t all that fun to watch. The Patriots Brady era (hahaha it’s over I love it) was defined by order and they subsequently became a complete bore after a while because they did such a great job managing and preparing for the chaos. It’s no coincidence that the Patriots greatest games (win or lose) over the past decade have been games where they had things go wrong and suddenly felt at risk. The Chaos seeped in, and made it interesting.

Chaos comes in many forms and is integral to making football watchable. An amazing methodic drive? Throw a tipped pass for an INT in there and see how you are suddenly way more engaged. What’s more exciting, a 5 yard checkdown to the flat or a 40 yard bomb that falls incomplete? You might say the checkdown, if you are a dull accountant with no personality who is deliberately rooting for the team with the ball. Me? My asshole is clenched and my breathing on hold while I wait for that bomb to land, successful or not. Alex Smith is order. Rex Grossman is chaos.  Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are both, and coincidentally two of the most fun QBs in the league to watch.

When your team has the ball obviously chaos is the last thing you want. But it is everything you want on defense, and chaos can turn a game you have no stakes in into a masterpiece. The best game of the season thus far was Cardinals/Seahawks in primetime two weeks ago. It was that good because it contained the perfect balance of Chaos to Order.

Chaos makes sports better and needs to be appreciated. Stat nerds hate it, because they spend their entire being trying to categorize everything into sweet, digestible order. One of the reasons I tuned out of Baseball was the increasing use of statistical analysis. Numbers are order. Numbers make sense. Humans are chaos. Humans are fun. Baseball adjusted to the annoying world of analytics by suddenly becoming a dinger-happy league. Good. Dingers are chaos. Dingers rule. Good, methodical, effective pitching is boring as fuck. Hit more dingers.

Obviously too much chaos muddles things. But even a surplus of chaos, delivered in the right way, is still incredibly entertaining and good for sports. The NFC East, right now, is incredible. Possibly the best it’s been in years. Not because the football is good, but because the football is so uniformly bad that it is throwing a chaotic wrench into the entire system. The League is trying, against the circumstances of 2020, to play a dignified and orderly game of croquet. The NFCE is the guy who grabs the croquet mallet and starts just bashing the fuck out of the balls. The NFCE is turning the system onto itself. Through 8 weeks, none of the teams have 4 wins. It is absolutely incredible and I love it. I laugh at everyone who is mad about it, because it totally fucking rules.

So many people are angry about it. So many people see this as a disgusting indictment of the playoff seeding system. I’ve seen people call for the playoffs to change so that all seeds are organized by record, not division. No. Fuck off. I realize that ultimately, good football is the desired outcome here, but fuck off anyway. We’ll get good football. We do every year. Football giving each division winner an automatic 1-4 seed is perfect. The fact that one of these garbage piles with 6-7 wins at most is going to face an 11 win NFCW team that couldn’t edge out Seattle for the division, and get homefield advantage, absolutely fucking rules. Fuck your order. Chaos reigns. We’ve had two teams in history both reach the playoffs with a losing record. Both won their first playoff game. In Seattle’s case, they did so with one of the greatest moments in NFL history, and they fucked over the Saints. Nobody would have remembered that game if the Saints just rolled them like they should have. Chaos…it is unpredictable, and it is good.

Every year there are maybe 2-4 teams that are realistically championship caliber. Most years, we get those teams in the final games. What makes football so fun is that with single elimination games…chaos is a true factor. The Titans were a forgettable 6 seed last year. They destroyed the Patriots and ended the Brady era, then blew up the #1 seed Ravens and MVP, then put up a pretty solid fight against the Chiefs, who enjoyed their own brand of chaos by falling behind in every game before surging. The best part about the playoffs is that anyone who watches football knows that deep down, any one of these teams could go for a 3 win run, make the playoffs, and catch their opponent on an off-day. I’ve watched the Giants pull of the chaos run twice. Let me tell you: it is arguably the best feeling in sports. Being the best is fun, but beating the best, especially when nobody believes in you, is better.

So halfway through 2020 we have a division that is truly the embodiment of chaos. None of the teams are any good, and they aren’t just bad, they are spectacular. The Giants have a defense that keeps them in every game, only to lose because Daniel Jones is a complete boob and the offense is incapable of cohesion. Dallas has no defense and is cycling through QBs like the Browns on steroids. The Eagles are all on IR, and Carson Wentz can’t stop giving the other team the ball. The TEAM feels like the most “stable” even though they have a QB crisis and are also garbage. It’s great! Anybody could win this? The Giants could go on a 3 game win streak and win this division with 4 wins! This is perfect entertainment. Remember William Hung from American Idol that one year? The guy who couldn’t sing “She Bangs” and then became a brief phenomenon? Now, do you remember who actually won that season? Of course not. The NFCE is William Hung, they are in their own way the most exciting division in football.

I understand why people hate the NFC East. They are effectively the only division that still gets primetime games despite how good they are. When you turn on a football game you want to see a good football game, especially if your team isn’t playing. When you see a 1-6 Giants team playing it’s 2nd primetime game of the year while your smaller market good team fights for airtime it can be frustrating. Thing is, the NFCE doesn’t really deserve your ire here. What you are actually mad at is capitalism. The NFL exists to make money. Networks exist to make money. Ratings equal money. If putting a 2-5 Dallas team with no QB into a primetime slot will still get you more eyeballs then a playoff-caliber Cardinals team, wouldn’t you do that? If profit was your motive? If you want primetime games spread out evenly for every team, you are a football socialist, and thus welcome to the resistance my friend.