After a weekend of dramatic upsets in the NFL, I am left to repeat a common refrain; “what the hell is going on around here?” Year after year I have managed to find a way to discern the nuances of this great game and make reliable, sensible, and generally accurate predictions as to the outcomes of NFL contests. Along with my partner, Steven Miranda, we have consistently amassed the highest wining percentage of correct winners over the past five NFL seasons. Sure we have our off weeks going 8-8 or the very rare week of missing more than we won, but the 2010 NFL season is ridiculous. Either we have no talent for picking winners or to lift a title from an ancient Broadway musical, “something is afoot.”

Before anyone hears me suggesting a paranoid conspiracy, let me put that nonsense to rest and suggest the most obvious explanation possible: true parity has come to the NFL. On sports talk radio last week, I heard a “professional” decry this season as one of mediocrity. To that gentleman I would ask how an entire 32 team league can decide to not be very good for one season. Perhaps it is the players way of sticking it to the owners as another bargaining chip as we head toward the showdown at the O.K. Corral which is the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. I doubt that Big Foot fans and those convinced that J.F.K. lived on an island after being gunned down in Dallas could sleep at night with this half baked theory. That being said, it is pretty weird that this is the first time in a generation that no team is undefeated this early in a season.

If NFL players are anything, they are competitive. They will try and out dress each other, have the best sound bites, play cards until the wee hours of the morning, and always show up on Sunday with one thing on their minds — winning. Most athletes will tell you that losing contains much more powerful emotions than does winning. Coaches have left the game because they cannot live with losing. Winning is what athletes expect. As a result the euphoria is short lived and part of the outcome expected. Losing is a whole other animal which stays for much longer and eats away at a person. I have never met anyone who competes at a very high level who disagrees with this assessment.

Since winning is everything for athletes the only logical conclusion for this 2010 NFL season is that the teams have become more balanced than we have seen in recent seasons. By the way — this is exactly what the league’s trustees desire and have gone out of their way to create with free agency and the draft. In the NFL the team with the worst record ALWAYS gets the first crack at improving their team via the draft. Parity has been preached as the philosophy which would make the Game more exciting. Guess what? It is happening before our eyes and in this 2010 season has made every game, must see TV.

What some mistaken individuals call a league of mediocrity (which by definition means, not good), is nothing more than a increasingly level playing field. And while this makes the job of punditry that much more difficult, I doubt there are too many NFL executives losing sleep over this development. Yes we are seeing more undisciplined play taking place resulting in more penalties, but this has more to do with recent rule changes and a renewed emphasis on protecting players. It takes players a while to adjust to sudden and radical shifts in officiating. All-in-all it is good for the league and unfortunate for those of us who are supposed to sound intelligent about predicting the outcomes of games. It is not hard to discern which is more important for the League. The League is stronger for the parity and the pundits must get much more accustomed to that foul taste which comes from regularly eating crow.