Across the sport, oriental creatures reign supreme

Sports media (this column included) love its rhymes and nicknames and catchy bits of wordplay, and are too good to avoid a few snippets of lyrical mischief.

As such, anytime a team or collection of teams from eastern North America lands in particularly strong form, we use the term “Beast of the East” in headlines, tweets, news bulletins, and more.

On the other hand, a particularly glittering season for a squad from the other coast begs multiple uses of something like “Best of the West.”

Before we get carried away debating the intelligence or otherwise of the sports journalism industry, let's just say this: There are a lot of “beasts” around right now.

Across major American sports, and some slightly more fringe for good measure, there is currently an overwhelming trend to favor conferences and divisions that are geographically located on the right side of the map.

Apologies to Marshawn Lynch for poaching his iconic words, The Philadelphia Eagles are currently in full beast mode, narrowly missing out on the Super Bowl, signing Jalen Hurts to a five-year contract, and aking — by most unbiased analysis — the NFL Draft.

Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Cowboys highlight Collin's top 10 NFC teams

Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Cowboys highlight Collin's top 10 NFC teams

Colin Cowherd shares his top 10 NFC teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles have been the standard-bearer in the NFC East (bad enough to be overlooked as an NFC list recently), but they're far from the only ones looking for a profitable campaign in 2022.

Behind them, the Dallas Cowboys posted a 12-5 record, Brian Double coached the New York Giants to their best year since 2016, when all three reached not only the postseason but the divisional round, the first time three teams from a single division had managed the feat since 1997.

In MLB, the American League East is similarly strong, headlined by the Tampa Bay Rays, who opened the campaign on a 13-0 tear, won 14 straight, fueled by the lively brilliance of Randy Arrozarena and Wonder Franco, and early Wednesday. Sitting pretty at an MLB best 24-6.

Following, the Baltimore Orioles are cruising along at 20-9, and while no one ever feels sorry for the New York Yankees, it must be a bit of an unfortunate feeling to be 16-15 and still stuck in the bottom five. department

“(We've) been taking care of our own business … for a good portion of the season until you really have to start looking at the standings, but it's pretty interesting how this division has rolled pretty well,” Toronto Blue Jays manager John Snyder told reporters.

There isn't a cohesive argument as to why the East shines across all sports, but there are some microeconomics within the microeconomics of each individual division or conference.

With the NFC East so weak and the NFL postseason system rewarding division winners with home games, the Eagles, Cowboys, Giants and Washington Commanders were encouraged to get stronger in recent offseasons.

The AL East is always likely to be strong because of the big spending of the Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, so when the Rays thrive while spending a third or half as much as those teams, the division is like a behemoth.

Seriously though, what's going on? Did the moon align strangely and create a special, mysterious force across the eastern time zone? Has being exposed to so much sunlight and surrounded by so many handsome people proved to be an irreversible distraction for Westerners?

Or (hint: the answer is probably yes, if we're being honest), is the whole thing a monumental coincidence that happened to go a certain way?

It's not going down though. In the NBA, the three best regular-season records were all in the Eastern Conference — Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia. In the NHL, same thing, courtesy of the Bruins, Hurricanes and Devils.

The hottest postseason underdogs in each of those games also come from the East, the geographically adjacent Miami Heat and Florida Panthers.

The overwhelming voice of calm during a season of college hoops madness came from overall champion UConn, a conference headlined by, you guessed it, the Big East.

You can even take it to boxing, where Baltimore's Garvonta Davis stopped Los Angeles' Ryan Garcia in one of the biggest fights of the year. Or in Major League Soccer, where the top two point scorers so far this season are from the Eastern Conference, with the lowest two coming from the West.

We've seen this kind of weirdness between individual sports before, but when I took a straw poll of sage old-time reporters, none seemed to have crossed every sport at the same time, or anything close to what's happening now.

Are we so sure there isn't more to it? Something in the air? Tectonic plate shifts? I'm just spitting; I don't know how these things work.

Answers on a postcard, please, and if the ones mailed from the Atlantic states reach our LA office first, well, then we'll really know something's up.

These are indeed strange times and the nature of such things is that when they become so noticeable that you start talking about them, as we did, it usually means that the momentum of the game is ready to shift.

Martin Rogers is a Fox Sports columnist and author of the Fox Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX And Daily newsletter subscription.

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