Besides the Wild Card round in football, no playoff rounds in either football or baseball seem to fit what each team is playing for.
If I knew nothing about the baseball or football playoff system, and somebody asked what I thought the meaning of Divisional round meant, it would be an easy answer. Teams from the same division would play each other, or maybe division winners would face off. But in reality, that is not always the case.
In baseball, the divisional round features three division winners and a wild card team (best team that failed to win their division) in each league. So what’s the catch? Opponents within the same division cannot face each other in the Divisional round. It makes almost no sense other than the potential for a more exciting Championship Round.
However, baseball only has one wild card team as opposed to the two wild card teams in the NFL. It is much more likely that two teams from the same division could face each other in football, but it doesn’t mean they will face each other in the Divisional playoffs. The teams could face off in the wild card, or in some possible cases, the Championship round. For example, the 2006 Mets squad faced two teams in the 2006 playoffs from two different divisions. Neither of their opponents played in the same division, the NL East.
Another round that forces me to scratch my head is the Championship Round. Generally speaking, a Championship round of any kind of game or tournament is the final round and that no further rounds would be played. Usually, the winner of the Championship round would be the winner of the entire tournament. In baseball and football, you can be crowned as a Champion of your side of the league or conference, but not the entire league. You would still have to play the Super Bowl or World Series.
Even the World Series fails to makes sense considering teams are not playing internationally.