Creating the Perfect Meme for Every NFL Franchise
Ever wanted to sum up your favorite NFL team (and your least favorites) with just a picture and a caption?
Good. Now you don't have to, because I've done it for you.
Before you now are 32 images of the most amusing NFL-team/internet-meme combinations I could think of. Mostly I just hate on everyone, but I'm nice to some teams. Feel free to call me a fan of those teams (I'm not) and a hater of others (I might be).
If you're a fan of both the NFL and internet culture, then you have everything you need to enjoy this. If you're not, you'll probably still have fun with it, but occasionally be confused.
Either way, sit back, click forward and enjoy the graphical disparagement (or possibly light praise) of your favorite team. Hopefully it's as fun for you as it was for me.
If not, we can all agree on this one of Roger Goodell, right?
Maybe Carson Palmer will be good in Arizona. Maybe he'll have a Kurt Warner-like resurgence.
Or, maybe he'll just continue to be Carson Palmer, or the offensive line will stand around while he gets beheaded. It's hard to say.
What we can say is that he was nobody's first choice in Arizona. This is the epitome of settling for whatever you can get.
Where are the Atlanta Falcons, exactly? Every season, they seem to be right there, one of the front-runners for a Super Bowl.
This year, they were even closer than usual, with only 10 yards between them and a defeat of the San Francisco 49ers, and they couldn't get it.
This is one of those teams that seems to be tantalizingly close every year but just can't get over the hump, which makes you wonder if it should just keep trying with the same core or start making changes.
It's hard to justify giving the "success kid" meme to any team except the one team that actually came out on top last season.
But the way the Ravens did it, being an underdog throughout the postseason and rallying around the now-legendary Ray Lewis, made it even cooler than your average Super Bowl.
When Lewis announced it was his last ride, the Ravens were barely in the Super Bowl discussion. But they rallied around him and won in spite of the declining play of Lewis himself. Not a bad way to end an era.
Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins 37, Bills 24
Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys 52, Bills 17
Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys 30, Bills 13
A question to Bills fans: If you'd known you were going to lose them all by a combined score of 139-73, would you rather have not gone?
By sheer physical ability alone, Cam Newton may be the most talented quarterback in the league. When he keeps his psyche in check, he works wonders on the field.
When he doesn't, he exhibits the mental toughness of a damp sponge. Sulking, mental lapses on the field, pulling out his "Superman" touchdown celebration on a score that leaves his team down by 20, all Cam Newton things.
Newton's mental issues are manageable, but they are issues that require attention nonetheless. According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, the Panthers think so, too.
Remember that time Mice Tice tried to talk to him on the bench, and Cutler blew him off? That wasn't just him getting a drink. Allegedly, Cutler wouldn't speak to Tice directly, so they used backup quarterback Josh McCown as a liason.
Let's see, now. Cutler pretty much threw a tantrum on the entire coaching staff in Denver simply for listening to trade offers for him, and now he's gone through three different offensive coordinators in Chicago, none of whom he seemed to get along very well with.
Sure, maybe the problem is everyone else. And maybe Terrell Owens is just misunderstood and Taylor Swift isn't currently thinking about what kind of song she'll write about her next ex-boyfriend.
Or maybe—and I know this is totally outlandish—the person who always seems to have a problem actually is the problem.
Remember that time somebody thought Andy Dalton's red hair was some kind of detriment to his NFL career at quarterback (h/t Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk)?
Yeah, that was stupid.
Two-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green thinks Pro Bowler Andy Dalton has done just fine on the way to over 7,000 passing yards and two playoff appearances in his first two seasons.
And then let's have them win a Super Bowl for a different city. Twice.
Sorry Browns fans, but this one was just took good to let go. It's not like you've let it go, either.
That put him just a smidge behind Aaron Rodgers' new contract, and Aaron Rodgers never fumbled a game-winning chip-shot field goal in the playoffs.
Problem, Broncos fans?
It's probably best if the Lions stop hoping to gain any sort of mainstream approval.
They used to be lovable losers, completely inept in almost every meaningful way. Nobody rooted against them, because there was no reason to. It would have been like rooting against the Little Giants. It's not funny, it's just bullying.
Now it's the Lions themselves who are seen as bullies, which is good from an NFL perspective but bad from a making-people-like-your-team perspective.
Between their recent history with personal fouls, offseason arrests and Ndamukong Suh putting his cleats where he shouldn't, they've gone from harmless laughingstock to despised rule-breakers.
Green Bay Packers
Most NFL fans are passionate about their team.
Green Bay Packers fans get to actually own theirs.
In addition to the Packers occasionally selling actual shares of stock in the team, the entire team is owned and funded communally by the city of Green Bay.
Therefore, the Packers get "overly attached girlfriend" for having the only fanbase that loves their team so much, they have to actually purchase them personally to keep them from getting away.
The Houston Texans made the playoffs for the first and second times in franchise history in 2011 and 2012.
In 2011, they beat the Bengals before losing to the Baltimore Ravens. In 2012, they beat the Bengals before losing to the New England Patriots.
So basically, the Texans are the Bengals' playoff daddies, but get completely wiped by anyone else. Not a bad gig, unless you're the Bengals.
Nothing but respect for the Colts organization, which had one of the more inspirational seasons in NFL history coming off one of the most catastrophic.
Additionally (and obviously), plenty of respect to Bruce Arians, who now takes on the colossal task of trying to turn the Cardinals back into something respectable.
I'm not a Colts fan by any means, but the wordplay here was too delicious to pass up.
The good news is, Tebow has signed with the Patriots, so Jags fans can stop hearing about this.
The bad news is that you're still running with Blaine Gabbert, who might only be 3-4 times better than Tebow.
So good luck with that.
Kansas City Chiefs
So, Alex Smith, huh? Over Matt Cassel?
That's alright, it's just a continuation of the Kansas City Chiefs' long, proud history of never drafting useful quarterbacks. I mean, unless the jury's still out on Brodie Croyle.
If you'd like to relive the Chiefs' history of quarterback draft picks, I've left it right here for you, courtesy of Pro Football Reference. The best part about it is how the Chiefs drafted Roger Staubach in the 1964 AFL draft, after which point he had a Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Aside from that, the Chiefs have gotten a total of one Pro Bowl out of their drafted quarterbacks (Mike Livingston in 1969). One. Ever.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace, right tackle Tyson Clabo, cornerback Brent Grimes and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe all became Miami Dolphins this offseason.
In addition, Brian Hartline remained a Dolphin for just a couple million a year more than they let Reggie Bush sign with the Lions for.
But that's alright. Spending big in free agency absolutely always works, and always creates a great team for the long term. Right, 2010 New York Jets, 2011 Philadelphia "Dream Team" Eagles and 1990-2010 Washington Redskins?
Percy Harvin may have given ownership as many migraines as he got, but he was still undeniably one of the lynchpins of the Vikings offense.
The Vikings used their wealth of first-round picks to reload on talented players, including Cordarrelle Patterson, who might act as a replacement for Harvin himself. But is it actually going to work out?
I'm not claiming to know here, I'm really just asking.
Let's measure it this way: The Vikings got the 25th overall pick for Harvin, which they used to draft cornerback Xavier Rhodes. So if Rhodes can cover Harvin when these teams play, then the Vikings won the trade. If not, the Seahawks won.
New England Patriots
According to CBS Sports' Will Brinson, Belichick has decreed he is not interested in providing "minute-to-minute" updates on the polarizing quarterback-slash-whatever-he-is.
That's all well and good, but that's not going to stop people from asking about him. That being said, it may not be physically possible for a team to handle a media circus any worse than the Jets did last season.
Maybe what is required to quiet Tebowmania is not for Tebow himself to drop out of the league but rather for his team to stop enabling the frenzy (and to have a legitimate starting quarterback in place).
New Orleans Saints
Relations between the New Orleans Saints and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have been shaky for a while now.
Suspending half the team and its coaches for a bounty scandal that may or may not ever have existed will tend to do that.
That's why I'm here to make a suggestion. Every single team has a reason to dislike Goodell, so I propose that Goodell's job is to make every team's life a little more miserable.
Goodell would fine James Harrison for hitting a baseball too hard.
He played Oprah with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins' salary-cap space for (subjectively) spending too much in the 2010 uncapped year, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN).
See, it's not just you. The Saints just happened to be the team with the bottle pointing at it when it was "message-sending" time.
New York Giants
It happens a lot in the NFL, and it's one of the things that makes the league so interesting. A team makes or wins the Super Bowl, then bombs their next season for no apparent reason.
Why is that? It was basically the same team that won the Super Bowl, right? What happened? Did they overachieve in 2011? Underachieve in 2012? Both? What happens this year?
Can you explain that?
New York Jets
Raiders fans can get pretty intense, but in 2012, they were just a loud minority.
According to ESPN, the Raiders had the lowest average home-game attendance of any NFL team in 2012.
I know, I was surprised too. I was all prepared to use this for a different team, but no, it was Oakland. Maybe those crazy Raiders fans scared all the normal fans away.
More likely it was Carson Palmer, though.
No explanation necessary. It was a bad idea then, and now I'm just proven right.
Of course, it turned out that Vick's $100 million deal was actually not quite that much, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, which I guess makes it not quite as much of a terrible idea.
Still, Vick can't stay healthy and isn't that good even when he is. Now Chip Kelly has to figure out what he's going to not do with all that cap space he can't use.
Steelers fans travel incredibly well. Absurdly so.
It is not terribly unusual for them to overrun a home team's fans, even on the other side of the country. Steelers fan, hater or somewhere in between, it's hard not to respect that kind of loyalty, just as a football fan.
That said, Steelers fans, you know you're just paying the other team's light bill, right?
St. Louis Rams
Titus Young has some issues. But before he had as many issues, the Detroit Lions cut him, and the St. Louis Rams signed him.
For nine days.
It took Rams head coach Jeff Fisher all of nine days to figure out Young wasn't going to pan out, and he was right in a big way.
Apparently, Young never got that memo, though.
San Diego Chargers
Forgive me. I had to go there.
Hopefully, whenever Te'o does have a significant other, it won't become such a circus, but it probably will. There has been so much hoopla around his bizarre story that his private life may never be private again.
Hopefully he'll play well enough that he grows into a football player before becoming a tabloid star.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a tough, throwback team deserving of the "overly manly man" designation.
Their coach, Jim Harbaugh, is an "in-your-face" type that seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way (h/t ESPN).
That's okay, since Harbaugh has already proven that he will literally go toe-to-toe with whomever.
Quick question: Are there any Seahawks fans out there still willing to defend that touchdown call?
If not, we can just move on and commit "TouchCeption" to the annals of history.
We can do that, right? It's not up for debate?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For as much flak as the Jacksonville Jaguars get for their tepid fan support, they actually put more butts in stadium seating than any other Florida team, and it's not close.
It's actually the Tampa Bay Bucs that can't watch any of their home games on TV (h/t Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk).
I'm not trying to send the team to London or anything, but maybe people could start turning out to see the most-recent Super Bowl-winning team in the state of Florida?
Seriously, Titans fans, Bud Adams, Mike Munchak, can anyone explain how exactly this was a good idea?
You go with the veteran quarterback when you're in "win now" mode or the coach is on the hot seat. Otherwise, you let the first-round rookie play.
What have those starts by Matt Hasselbeck given the Titans organization in the long run? Just warming him for the Colts bench?
I'm serious, if there are any Titans fans with a rationale for this, I'd love to hear it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning head coach Mike Shanahan's propensity to overdrive his most valuable resources into molten husks.
It just seems to be that there was relatively little outrage about the Redskins describing Robert Griffin III's concussion as "shaken up" and then allowing him to play the following week (h/t David Haugh, Chicago Tribune).
But when he was hobbled with a knee injury and wanted to play through that, it was pandemonium. Seems like a bit of a double-standard.
Now don't get me wrong. For my money, Griffin shouldn't have been in either game, post injury. But he was, and he skirted the line between "gutting out an injury" and "endangering a young career." Arguably, he did the latter in both cases.
So why was there outrage for one and not the other?