Don’t bet on an old-guard organization like the Bears jumping behind the idea of commissioner Roger Goodell to reseed the playoffs.
Goodell discussed a possible change at the Super Bowl in which wild-card teams could have a home game in the first round of the playoffs if they have a better record than a division winner. In the case of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, it would have meant they would have been at home for their wild-card round game with Tampa Bay. Instead, the Buccaneers as the champs of the NFC South hosted the Giants (10-6) even though they had a worse record at 9-7.
Under this plan, Jacksonville (11-5) also would have hosted Pittsburgh (10-6) even though the Jaguars were a wild card and the Steelers claimed the AFC North.
One thought is that by doing so it will make more games in Weeks 16 and 17 meaningful, and thus create more interest in the league, etc.
``One of the biggest concerns would be you would be taking a homefield game away from a team that had won a division,’’ Bears owner Michael McCaskey said at the scouting combine. ``That takes away from the importance of the division which I don’t think you want to do.
``For a long time we’ve said you want to control your division because it is important and it shows up in the final seeds, and who can have the homefield in the playoffs.’’
McCaskey doesn’t think it necessarily means you will not have as many games in the closing weeks of the season that are as significant.
``We don’t think that is a trade off,’’ he said. ``It’s not saying, `Hey, we’re not going to have a meaningful game.’
``We’ll discuss it. I’m not saying that I’m fixed in a position but the way I think about it right now, is let’s reward the fans, let’s keep the divisions important.’’
When the conversation turned to the collective bargaining agreement, and the growing likelihood the owners will terminate the current deal by November, McCaskey turned for the stairwell in the hallway of the Indiana Convention Center.
``Ummm,’’ he said as he ascended the stairs. ``Much discussion at a later time.’’