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The Draft; Rewarding teams for losing since '65!

Your team sucked last year, Congratulations!
This subject has cropped up in recent weeks due to some teams in the NBA tanking games in an attempt to get the top draft pick. I'm not sure it's quite as big a problem in the NFL, but I figured it was worth talking about leading up to the draft in just 2 weeks.

The point of the draft is, like much of what the NFL does(salary cap, revenue sharing ect), to create parity. The NFL has always tried to sell itself as the league where every team can compete every year. The worst teams every year get first pick of the best college players. However, can you have parity when teams aren't trying to win games? Aren't we just rewarding losing?

Further, do fans even care? If you're a fan of bad team, would you rather see them win that last game or lose and get the #1 pick? Had Detroit not beaten Dallas in that glorious final game of last year, they'd have had a coin flip for the first pick in the draft. If the Raiders pick Jamarcus Russell and he becomes a great QB, was that Dallas win a bad thing for the Lions? I found myself rooting for the Eagles to lose down the stretch the year they picked McNabb. It's understandable, but is it right?

That leads me to the question. Should something be done to create more of a desperation to succeed? With revenue sharing and a salary cap, NFL owners are all but guaranteed to make money. Really only bad accounting or bad investments could lose you money in the NFL. Despite the fact that the owners split billions of dollars in TV revenue and all teams spend the virtually the same amount of money on players... the top 15 revenue producing teams still have to pay the smaller teams.

In European soccer, the worst teams in the top league get relegated to a lower league every year. They are literally kicked out of the league! For example, imagine if instead of being rewarded with the #1 pick in the draft and a share of billions of dollars in TV money for being the worst team in the NFL, the Raiders were sent to the CFL next year and replaced with the British Columbia Lions(last year's CFL champs) in the NFL?

Imagine the desperation to win and compete every team would have every year if getting relegated to a lower league was a possibility? Fans sure as hell wouldn't be rooting for their team to lose their last game or two and teams sure as hell wouldn't be resting guys with minor injuries in the last game.

There are obviously less harsh options... Maybe teams could get a smaller cut of the revenue sharing if they are bad? Maybe the first round of the draft could be a lottery where all the teams have a shot at the #1 pick?

Does any of this make any sense? Am I filling up space with inane ramblings because it's a slow news day? Am I just annoyed that the only teams the media talks about right now are the 10 worst teams from last year?

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