Going to counter some of this:
I'm guessing you have watched a Jets/Patriots, Bears/Packers, Colts/Patriots, Steelers/Ravens, or any NFC East game recently. Heck, I'd even throw the Giants/Patriots in there as a rivalry now. Free agency didn't kill team vs. team rivalries (Besides, why should a player be bound to a team for basically his entire career?)Which brings me to my next point. Rivalries in the NFL do not exist anymore in my opinion. I think rivalries in the NFL died with the inception of free agency. When lifelong Packers like Brett Favre are wearing Minnesota Viking jerseys..... lifelong Dolphins like Jason Taylor are playing for the New York Jets.... Thurman Thomas in a Dolphins uniform... Emmitt Smith in an Arizona Cardinal jersey... one of the greatest Raiders of all time Marcus Allen playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, etc...
It's a business. What do you expect?... the term "rivals" just holds no water for me. It's about money. Loyalty in professional sports only goes to whoever is going to pay them the money.
Please tell me how it is watered down? I'd like specific examples. The NFL is a copycat league with 32 teams as opposed to 120. The play on the field is naturally going to look similar.NFL football is just so watered down compared to college football in my opinion. The caliber of players may be superior, but that doesn't mean the product on the field is.