Thank you for agreeing with me.You are a funny little man Herkey. I'm an active player and reigning champ who plays in multiple leagues and I also commish a league of my own, I think I have a bit more credibility then the village idiot when it comes to league rules. Moreover, Gold has personally told me that he does not mind me sharing my opinions on fantasy rules, so the only person who's opinion really matters does care what I think.
That being said, I think I have to change my position on this one. I was initially reacting to a PM by Payton which only told half of the story. Upon further reflection I would tend to agree that if the rules were clearly stated at the beginning of the year, thats what should be used. You hate to see people miss out on a chance to qualify because they mis-understood the rules, but its their obligation to read them and ask for clarification if something is not clear.
I do think that a conference wildcard is a great idea and should be a staple of any league, but my rule of thumb as a commish is that anything that would have affected peoples draft strategies can't be changed mid-year, no matter how much popular support it has. The rules that are established are what determine the team people try to get, and its unfair to drastically alter them after the fact. As some people have said in this thread, they would have drafted/traded for a better conference team if they'd known it could get them a wildcard berth.