Sunday’s Bears-49ers snooze fest exposes NFL’s ills. Other sports have the cure. – Chicago Tribune

Any way you look at it, Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers will be a drag. Two inept, injury-wracked franchises are staggering toward the end of a season long ago given up for dead, and with nothing but draft position at stake, losing is the optimal outcome.

But what if I told you there’s a way to infuse dreary contests like this with a jolt of drama, where hundreds of millions of dollars and inestimable prestige would be at risk with every muffed snap and noodle-armed interception. Think you’d nap on the couch then?

Well, my fellow sports fan, I am here to tell you that such a wondrous system already exists in most of the world, rewarding the worthy and punishing the second-rate. It’s called promotion and relegation, and it’s high time America got on board.

Under this scheme, the three or four teams with the worst records at the end of a season get banished to a lower league. At the same time, the three or four best teams in that lower league get promoted to the big time.

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