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THE ANTI-BLOWOUT RULE? NFL TO DISCUSS NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT
Published February 2, 1995
"In the wake of a fourth straight blowout" by the NFC over the AFC in the Super Bowl, the NFL "will soon begin internal discussions on the feasibility of changing the playoff format," according to Leonard Shapiro in this morning's WASHINGTON POST. One top NFL exec: "It's clear that we can't continue with sustained blowouts in our biggest game of the year." The exec stressed that any plan "almost certainly would not be presented to club owners for a vote at their annual winter meeting next month in Phoenix. However, he indicated the subject would be discussed by the league office and by team owners in Phoenix, adding that 'whether it happens in the next year is problematic.'" NFL sources said the "likely scenario" is for NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to have his staff report to the Competition Committee, which would then make a recommendation to the full ownership. One system discussed would seed the 12 playoff teams (still six from each conference) from 1-12, with No. 1 and No. 2 placed in separate brackets. Any playoff format change would require at least a 3/4 vote of the NFL's 30 owners, and be "satisfactory" to the NFL's network TV partners (WASHINGTON POST, 2/1).