If the Seahawks make their last two disastrous games into a blueprint for the rest of the season--and there's no reason to think they won't--it won't be long before fans and players inevitably start to measure success not by how many games they win, but by how many they lose.
It's a sad state of affairs that happens every year among the league's dregs. Mediocre teams with slightly sub-par records are punished both by not making the playoffs and by not getting a particularly high draft pick for next year. Truly terrible teams, meanwhile, are rewarded with high placement in the draft--the worse the record, the better the draft placement.
The NFL needs a better system. The NFL needs the Toilet Bowl.Here's how it would work: Instead of giving the first-round draft pick to the worst team by record, a playoff series of sorts would be held (say, Tuesday nights) involving the league's worst eight teams--one from each division.
The prize for advancing through this losers' series and winning the final Toilet Bowl would be the coveted first-round, first pick of the NFL draft.
The point would be to discourage teams from simply giving up and playing to lose by the end of the season.
The system would not only keep teams more honest and competitive, it would give fans who have suffered humiliation all year something to look forward to: a playoff series against teams they might actually beat, with an important prize waiting if they do.
The drawbacks to this system, of course, are that some teams may figure that playing in extra games and running the risk of injury isn't worth a higher pick and will try to end their season as the second-worst team in their division. Little indeed could be done to stop this, but teams competing to be second-worst is still better than teams competing to be worst.
For the Seahawks, whose running game added to a whole 31 yards in Sunday's embarrassment against the the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Toilet Bowl is likely the only kind of post-season (that involves football, not golf) that the team can look forward to.
Simply put, it's time to stop rewarding pure failure and start rewarding failure mixed with a smidgeon of success.