Sunday, August 1, 2004

Sports Geography Hates Dallas

Sports and geography don’t always match up well. Remember, for years we had Arizona in the NFC East and Atlanta in the NFC West. Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati were in the National League West and St. Louis and Chicago were in the National League East. In college, you have Xavier and Dayton [both Ohio schools] in the “Atlantic 10”. The Indianapolis Colts play in the AFC South…and for some reason the NCAA feels Indianapolis is a South Regional site. Another favorite is Denver in the “Sun Belt Conference”. Classic.

But, due to expansion and league re-alignments…most of this has been corrected.

Except if you live in Dallas.

Now, I’ve never been to Dallas. I’ve never been to Texas. But I’d imagine the people that do tend to have quite a range in sports rivalry. Their sports teams are located in divisions that range coast to coast.

The MAVERICKS will play in the new “Southwest Division”. That sounds right. Their division rivals will include San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Memphis. So this is a pretty good fit. Not so with the other teams.

The COWBOYS play in the NFC East. Now, I am one of the people that thinks this is okay. When the NFL re-aligned, Dallas’ rivalry with Washington, Philadelphia and New York meant more than moving them to some division with the Rams and Cards. Also, the NFL doesn’t need to worry about geography as much since travel is less frequent. But, still, the Cowboys rivals are all located on the Eastern Seaboard.

The STARS play in the NHL’s “Pacific Division”. PACIFIC!?!?! Since when has Texas and the Pacific Ocean had anything to do with each other?? Their division rivals reside in Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and Phoenix. So the Stars division rivals are all 2 time zones away from them. Now, I know that there is a quirk in where you could put the Stars. I mean, who else could you put in the Pacific? Vancouver? Yeah…but then who takes their spot in the Northwest division? Chicago? It is pretty amazing the distance Dallas has to it’s rivals when you consider that the Atlantic Division features 3 New York area teams and two Pennsylvania teams.

The you have the RANGERS in the American League West. Ugh. They are no where near any of those other 3 division teams. Anaheim. Oakland. Seattle. Yeah, Dallas is in the same division as Seattle. Yet Kansas City, which isn’t that far away, is snug in the Central division.

SMU will begin play in Conference USA…which will be primarily a south-central based conference. That is currently where TCU plays…but next year they will begin play in the Mountain West Conference. There they will have San Diego State as a conference rival.

So if you live in Dallas and are a die hard homer sports fan….you have rivals that range from New York City to Anaheim. From Philly to Seattle. From DC to SD.

1 comment:

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