# Re: Pats' Dynasty: Watered-Down Era?

On Jun 15, 10:15 am, jstrazz <strazz...@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jun 14, 4:53 pm, john.vampate...@xxxxxxxxx wrote:

Pretty much. I figured that people think that the NFL expanding to 32
teams means that whatever talent is available gets spread out more
thinly across the league, thus diluting the talent pool (and making
everyone more mediocre).

So you are assuming that "watered-down" in this case means "a lower
level of talent, on average, for each NFL team"?

Obviously some here have correctly pointed out that it's *way* more
complicated than a simple population comparison, but here's the idea.

Say you have 500 potential players (we'll call them PP) in the
country. In the league there are 100 players on 10 teams (making the
math real simple). Out of those 500, obviously the top 100 will get
picked for the league. If you keep the same population of 500 PP's,
but expand the league to 15 teams, with 10 players on each team, then
you have to dip down into the talent pool to the #150 ranked player,
just to fill out the rosters.

However, if you go up to 15 teams, but your population grows so that
you now have 1,000 PP's, then you're still going to need 150 players,
so you're going down to the #150 ranked player. However, the #150
ranked guy out of 1,000 is quite likely to be better than the #150 guy
if you only have 500 to choose from.

It's why colleges don't just want to know what # you finished in your
graduating class, but what percentile you finished. There was a girl
on my floor freshman year who finished #2 in her class. Great,
right? Well, she came from an island off the coast of Maine and there
were only 3 students in her graduating class. There is a tremendous
chance that the #30 student in the graduating class of Amity High
School in Connecticut (graduating class size: 400) is a far, far
better student than the #10 student from my high school in a small
town in Maine (graduating class size: 120).

Now, if that makes sense, let's take it to the next step. Let's say
out of any PP population, 60% aren't good enough to even play, and 40%
are good enough to play in the league. 2.5% are all-star caliber,
22.5% are bench warmers, and 15% are regular players.

So out of the original 500, you've got:
60% aren't good enough to play in the league = 300
22.5% are bench warmer-caliber = 113
15% are regular player-caliber = 75
2.5% are all-star caliber = 12

So in your original group of 10 teams and 100 players, you take the
top 100. So your talent distribution is this:

12 all-star caliber
75 regular caliber
13 bench warmer caliber

Divide that among ten teams, and you get an average of:

1.2 all-star caliber players per team
7.5 regular caliber players per team
1.3 bench warmer caliber players per team

Now let's do the same math if you have the same PP population, but 15
teams of 10 players each. Now you need to go to 150 deep in your
talent pool, leaving you with:

12 all-star caliber
75 regular caliber
63 bench warmer caliber

So each team looks like this on average:
0.8 all-star caliber players per team
5.0 regular caliber
4.2 bench warmer caliber

Now, finally, let's do the same experiment with 1,000 PP, using the
same talent distribution (60% aren't good enough to even play, and 40%
are good enough to play in the league. 2.5% are all-star caliber,
22.5% are bench warmers, and 15% are regular players). You end up
with:

60% aren't good enough to play in the league = 600
22.5% are bench warmer-caliber = 225
15% are regular player-caliber = 150
2.5% are all-star caliber = 25

Distribute these guys over 15 teams, and you end up with this
distribution of 150 players:

25 all-star caliber
125 regular caliber

So each of the 15 teams now has the following talent:

1.7 all-star caliber
8.3 regular caliber

Let's compare all three side by side, then.

Caliber - 500/10 - 500/15 - 1000/15
all-star - 1.2 - 0.8 - 1.7
regular - 7.5 - 5.0 - 8.3
bench - 1.3 - 4.2 - 0.0

So you get a much deeper talent pool in the league in the third
scenario. More good players. Now, the "the league is watered down"
crowd argues that the talent base in past eras is better, but I'm
trying to show (maybe ineffectually, but at least you get my thinking
process here) that that probably isn't the case - that, in fact,
there's probably more higher-level talent available per team in the
modern NFL than there was in past eras.

But if the US population outgrew NFL
expansion, then that argument cannot be true. And it turns out that
the US population growth has outgrown NFL expansion by about 230%. So
not only is that premise (held by the "today-is-a-watered-down-era"
crowd) false, it's laughably false.

So you are assuming that a larger US population implies proportionally
more NFL-caliber talent?

Yes. Obviously, I haven't considered the ethnic implications of our
population growth, as others have pointed out.

John

.

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