The Skyline View

The tradition of the coin flip is fundamentally unfair

Mark David Magat/The Skyline View

Mark David Magat/The Skyline View

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The coin flip has become the go to law and order when it came time to split 50/50 decisions. We use this tradition for about nearly everything, including the beginning of football games to decide who gets the ball first. For the most part there has been nothing wrong with this model, but the National Football League has gone too far.

Recently at the NFL combine the NFL performed a coin flip to determine the draft slot between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. These two teams had a tie record of six wins and losses, and their opponent’s record had a same average strength.

As a tie breaker, the NFL decided to solve this dilemma by using a coin flip as a form of math method instead of any other form of statistical anomaly to decide this.

The San Francisco 49ers won the coin flip are now have more of an advantage in the draft order over the Oakland Raiders. Now the 49ers with the ninth draft pick for the first round pick, it also has ramifications in the rest of the draft, two through seven.

Now the 49er’s draft picks are 9, 59, 70, 74, 128, 143, 184, 227, 240 and some varied selections also vary based on draft trades. Meanwhile the Raiders have 10, 41, 75, 110, 185, 192, 210, 212, 216, 217, and 228 and some varied selections also vary based on draft trades. They may have unforeseen consequences.

Especially in the first round, that ninth and tenth pick could mean a cornerstone difference in making a dynasty.

For example, in 1985 the 49ers managed to get the 17th pick just ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and they managed to steal wide receiver Hall of famer, Jerry Rice from them. In which the 49ers would build a back to back championship team in 1988 and 1989 with the Dallas Cowboy franchise continuing its downward spiral in the 1980’s.

Now this coin flip can play a huge part in NFL history depending on how these teams plan to rebuild their teams through the draft. Not necessarily by skill or stats, but luck will more likely will shape the tale between these two cities.

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The tradition of the coin flip is fundamentally unfair