A Hater's Guide to NFL Week 12: Why Your Team Is Bound to Lose
Week 12 of the NFL season also marks the start of the holiday season. So, in that spirit of good will and thankfulness, we cherish our hatred for all things NFL this weekend. We make sure everyone knows why their team is the worst thing to happen to civilization since Michael Bay was born.
We give thanks this morning for Tim Tebow, who gives us reason to hate the Jets rather than just laugh at them. He also gives Tim Tebow lovers reason to hate the Tebow haters rather than just try to give them hugs at inappropriate times and give them thank-you cards when no one else would make 1/30th of the effort.
We give thanks for the Detroit Lions, who continue to play on Thanksgiving and remind 31 other fanbases how lucky they have it. It also gives us pause to pass only the best traditions onto our children. The Lions playing on Thanksgiving "just because" has to be one of the stupidest things this side of Jim Schwartz's challenge flag.
Yet, there is so much more to hate this holiday season. As for me, I hate all of your teams and am not very fond of you, either. However, in a show of holiday spirit, I offer you the reason your teams will lose this weekend. Hopefully, knowing they will lose, you will find the time to get that cosmetic surgery to fix your awful face, finally.
On to the hate!
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
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The coaching staff continues its impressive streak of blunders as it fails to show the team any scouting tape for the upcoming game.
Instead, Mike Singletary brings in his personal collection of 17 straight hours of "When Bears Attack." Most of the team laughs it off, but Christian Ponder spends much of the game refusing to move and curling up in the fetal position while Lance Briggs just pokes at him.
Jay Cutler comes back to start on Sunday, but his offense revolts around him. "Sure we lost," his linemen say, "but Jason was nice to us!"
They demand Campbell (who isn't even dressed for the game) to be inserted back into the lineup and eventually leave the stadium rather than play for Cutler. Ownership extends Lovie Smith's contract for having such a tight hold on the locker room.
Oakland Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals
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Sick of the constant second-guessing from Raiders fans, Dennis Allen inserts Terrelle Pryor into the starting lineup stating, "Hey, you want to see a terrible game of football? Here's your terrible game of football."
After Pryor makes sure everyone knows the name of his school is "THE Ohio State University," he throws four interceptions in THE first quarter and is sent to THE bench. Allen then makes his weekly call to John Elway, begging for his old job back.
After spending most of the week petitioning the league to let them play the Giants one more time in November, the Bengals decide to install an offense for the Raiders.
Jay Gruden's new and incredibly vaunted "jog around the field and try not to trip over the inept defenders falling around your feet" offense is working right up until someone foolishly decides to hand BenJarvus Green-Ellis a football.
His fumble is returned for a Raiders touchdown, and Marvin Lewis (still up by multiple scores) decides to cede defeat.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
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Before the game, Ben Roethlisberger decides to cement his tough-guy image and play regardless of the potential danger to life and limb.
However, Bryon Leftwich decides the exact same thing and vows not to let Big Ben spoil his moment in the spotlight. Sadly for both of them, they believe Charlie Batch when he tells them it's a late game, and he follows up that trickery with a five-touchdown performance.
Roger Goodell would later vacate the win because picking on the Saints got old.
Pictured: Joe Haden, moments after locking down his man and watching a touchdown pass to the other side of the field.
Also, moments before he just lays a stinking pile of Thanksgiving leftovers right on the field to really give fans a visual reminder of this team's level of effort. It will later be called one of the greatest moments in telestrator history.
Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts
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Still don't have a quarterback? Still not 1950? OK, then...
Andrew Luck, still unable to convince any of his teammates to contribute anything toward winning football games, decides to take his offensive line to a team-building seminar.
While working on trust, half of the line is concussed when none of them are able to stop each other from hitting the floor. Then, the other half of the group is hopelessly lost in the woods while working on problem-solving skills.
Without his line, Luck still has a passable performance, but Bruce Arians calls 30 straight run plays to close out the second half for a grand total of two yards.
Jim Irsay later tweeted about the performance, we think; we're not really sure what he tweets about.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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When everybody keeps referring to Week 12 as "like another bye week," Peyton Manning gets confused and thinks Roger Goodell screwed with the schedule while he was gone last season. So, with back-to-back-to-back commercial tapings scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the Broncos are forced to play Brock Osweiler.
Though he's still the best QB in the game and has a strong lead at the half, Osweiler concusses himself when he forgets to duck heading back into the locker room. This forces the NFL to dust off a long-forgotten rule that any game immediately ends when Caleb Hanie and Brady Quinn are the two QBs.
Kansas City Chiefs
In the locker room before the game, Scott Pioli addresses the team and reveals that neither Quinn nor Matt Cassel will be starting for the Chiefs this weekend.
Then, suddenly, the doors burst open and a flurry of wind and rustling papers reveals...JOE MONTANA! Re-signed for one last hurrah and looking resplendent as ever in his Shape Ups, Montana goes 7-of-35 for a TD and 14 interceptions.
His performance is lauded as gutsy by the Kansas City media, which hasn't seen quarterback play that good in nearly a decade.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Miami Dolphins
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A good part of Russell Wilson's week (I mean a substantial chunk) is spent trying to avoid Pete Carroll. First it's the texts wondering what he's up to. Then there's always a voicemail or two trying to set something up.
"Why don't you respond to my tweets?" Why haven't you played "#SOTD" yet? Because of the stress, Wilson skips an offensive meeting he knows Carroll is going to be at. Carroll doesn't fine him because, "Russell's totally cool."
A good part of Reggie Bush's week (I mean a substantial chunk) is spent trying to hang out with Pete Carroll.
"C'mon Pete," the voicemail says, "we always used to hang out; why don't you like me any more? Is this because of the Heisman thing? You got me that car..." Carroll, meanwhile, denies all knowledge of the situation and tells us that he and Bush hung out "maybe once, but he's kind of a dweeb."
Bush spends most of Sunday sobbing on the sidelines.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Falcons, still in denial over that whole "losing" thing, figure they can't play nearly as terribly as they did against the Cardinals and that this week should be a cake walk. Mike Smith is overheard saying, "The Buccaneers? They still have that Dilfer guy, right?"
Matt Ryan's fourth interception of the day is met with applause by the Tampa Bay crowd, which Ryan mistakes for appreciation of his efforts. The sixth and seventh interceptions do him in. He's just such a people-pleaser...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greg Schiano, upon hearing the news that Rutgers is joining the Big Ten, immediately starts packing his bags. His letter of resignation just reads, "Have you seen Big Ten football lately? Easiest job ever..."
Butch Davis takes over as interim head coach for the weekend, but his patented "buy every player a car" maneuver doesn't pay off. He's later seen trying to convince a confused janitor to give Josh Freeman an A in biology.
Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
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BECAUSE YOU CAN'T STOP CHAD "MOTHERTRUCKING" HENNE! That's why!
Shad Khan walks into the locker room at EverBank Field—actually, it's more of a "Gangnam Style" prance into the room, but no one notices. Khan will later lament this attempt at levity.
Mike Mularkey is sitting in the corner just drawing on a napkin with some crayon as Blaine Gabbert looks over his shoulder.
The rest of the team is sitting around playing Madden and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls. Gene Smith is there, furiously texting David Garrard to, "give (him) one more chance, (he's) changed, I swear."
As Khan, speechless, leaves the room, he pulls out a picture from his wallet. It's Big Ben! (No, not the quarterback, the London landmark.) A single tear rushes down his cheek as he whispers, "one day."
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers
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A midweek trip to a local children's hospital puts things in perspective for John Harbaugh—namely, that most of the kids there are a lot healthier than the players on his roster. So, after convincing Ozzie Newsome (over shots) that he should open the checkbook, the Ravens get an influx of young talent for Week 12.
Things go awry, however, when new linebacker "Little" Johnny Checkers meets Ryan Mathews in the hole. Johnny would later be heralded as a hero, but his 5'2", 95-pound frame simply could not take the hit. He did, however, get credit for a forced fumble because, well, it's Mathews.
San Diego Chargers
A.J. Smith's plan of finally ensuring no one is watching or cares about the Chargers finally works. He shows up to a completely empty stadium and starts selling off equipment and forces the players to begin production of third-rate knockoff handbags.
He would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids and their stupid dog...
St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
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St. Louis Rams
Pictured: Sam Bradford, pinkie up, calling the classiest freaking play known to man. #LikeASir
Sadly, the play still involved pass-blocking by the Rams offensive line, a bunch of also-rans and never-weres running routes (using the term loosely), and Bradford throwing the ball (hopefully this time with his eyes open).
After a week spent trying to convince his teammates to give him a shot, Ryan Lindley starts the day 0-of-7 and accidentally gets a football stuck in his own facemask.
While Ken Whisenhunt would normally make a change in this situation, he is busy updating his resume and uses that two-fingered hunt-and-peck typing method that guys his age seem to love.
So, Darnell Dockett takes things into his own hands. He tweets something incredibly inappropriate that will later be fined by the league offices.
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints
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San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick is excited about winning the starting job, but he exhausts himself in pregame warm-ups trying to elude two Australian guys who think he's an escaped emu.
The Saints (who may or may not have met those Australian guys before, please don't check their financials) capitalize on his tired play.
Keeping to his promise of "going with the hot hand," Jim Harbaugh throws one warm-up pass and enters the game.
New Orleans Saints
As Joe Vitt thumbs through pictures of poses that could be used for his upcoming statue outside of the Superdome, Mickey Loomis quietly looks down at his prepaid cell phone and writes down a few messages from "Shawn Peytone" to give to Pete Carmichael and Drew Brees.
The incident will later be chronicled in a made-for-TV movie after the director of the FBI reveals that NFL lobbying ensured that over 90 percent of its budget was spent investigating everything the Saints say, do, think, hope or dream.
Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
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Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers, sick of spending 90 percent of most offensive series' on his back, convinces Ted Thompson to sign that annoying guy from the "Discount Double Check" commercials.
Inserted as left tackle, he's still wearing the cheesehead when Jason Pierre-Paul runs over him, trips and falls grabbing Rodgers' shoelace on the way down. Rodgers is sacked, but it's clearly the best line play he's had all season. "Annoying guy" is immediately placed in the Packers Hall of Fame.
New York Giants
Eli Manning checks his calendar... "Still November? OK, then!" He doesn't even take his iPod off to hear the boos as he throws his sixth interception.
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
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Cam Newton, as part of his year-long ploy to get people to like him, takes his entire team out to dinner before Monday Night Football.
While the cheesesteak idea was great in theory. In practice, it leaves the field at the Linc looking like Charlie Sheen's bedroom.
Newton is actually having a solid day until the smell of cheesesteak becomes too much for Andy Reid. His bloodlust-fueled hunger rage is simply too much for the second-year quarterback to handle.
Reid decides to shuffle the deck once again and makes Nick Foles his starting strong safety. Michael Vick becomes defensive coordinator. Mark Wahlberg and Bradley Cooper are the new receiver tandem, and fellow celebrity fan Tara Reid remains a washed-up has-been.
Sadly, however, Reid forgets to name a starting quarterback and doesn't see any reason to make an adjustment as the fifth straight snap to no one rolls out of the back of the end zone for another safety.
Later, Reid's desk is moved to the basement, but his red Swingline stapler is not returned.
Michael Schottey is the NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff alongside other great writers at "The Go Route."