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    Which of these do you prefer in a sporting system and which would you prefer to see your team win?

    I think in the UK and in Europe in general we are big fans of the league format, at all levels, win a league and you get crowned champions (or get promoted if you're in a lower division). We have cups as well but they are separate competitions. Leagues kind of appeal to our sense of overall fairness, if everyone plays everyone else home and away then luck should even out over the season and the team that finishes top will end up on top.

    However in other countries, particularly the USA and Australia their whole sporting culture is based on the champions being decided on a big final at the end of the season, like the Superbowl, or the Grand Finals of Aussie Rules or rugby league.

    In both codes of rugby in the UK we have Grand Final systems now, and fans often don't like it: eg for example in Super League Huddersfield finished top of the league and got the 'League Leaders Shield' but Wigan won the Grand Final having finished 4th. Last year and the year before Leeds won it having finished 5th. British rugby league fans are always grumbling that this is unfair - although in fairness they turn up in big numbers to watch the playoffs and final so the organisers keep that format as it generates revenues.

    But in the USA there seems to be a totally different culture: the way they talk about their sporting greats places less of a premium on who is the most consistent performer over time and more on what a player's record is in the playoffs or final - quarterbacks being a classic example, they always talk about who has a winning record in playoffs as mattering more than who has the best stats over their career. And if a team like NY Giants a couple of years ago has a fairly indifferent league season but then goes on a winning streak to win the playoffs and Superbowl they are accepted in the USA whereas here Leeds Rhinos got only 'half' accepted after winning their two Super Leagues from 5th.

    I cannot imagine our football culture ever allowing a system whereby for instance we would play the league season then have a playoff and then say Arsenal or Tottenham winning two or three games at the end of the season and being crowned Premier League champions from 4th or 5th.

    So what are your thoughts guys ?

    I like what the NBA and NFL and MLB do with their finals but it being a best of 7 or whatever. I hate that the NFL is essentially whoever gets hot towards the end of the season. Like you said the Giants never were the best team but because they got hot they won.

    If it was league or the one big game type I would definitely choose league system. One big game doesn't prove you're the best where as a best 7 does.

    The Number of fixtures in Union and League seasons its more prevalent because it extends the season and makes it a viable length one. Four month seasons aren't the best, and I don't follow the NFL for this reason. A lot of it also stems from the fact that US leagues play in conferences rather than divisions.

    The Union example is straight forward as in it's simple 1 v 4, 2 v 3 and a Final to decide the winner. Super League works well because it gives an advantage to the teams that do finish higher up the table (in that losers of the first week play-offs in the top four don't get eliminated) I enjoy the play-offs in Super League but do think 8 of 14 teams is far too overblown, make it the top 5 or 6 as it used to be.

    Its what works for a sport, and it certainly adds something to both the Rugby codes and helps makes the games mean something considerably when it gets to the nitty gritty
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