Most Outrageous Storylines of The 2010 NFL Season
With the Green Bay Packers putting their stamp on Super Bowl XLV, we have once again (sadly) come to the end of a glorious football season.
On and off the football field, the 2010 NFL football season provided fans and the media plenty of fodder for discussion.
Whether perpetuated by columnists, fans, or us loyal B/R readers, let's review the top 10 most outrageous news stories from this NFL season.
No. 10: Brett Favre Sexting Scandal
Well we have to start with the obvious, don't we?
Can you imagine a worse season for Brett Favre (Fav-ruh) than 2010?
After reaching the NFC championship, his team underachieved this year to say the least. His consecutive games streak came to an end as he was thrown around like a rag doll in 2010.
Then there's the sexting scandal that will be a permanent cloud over his reputation.
The icing on the cake? The Packers win the title with Aaron Rodgers being named MVP.
A close No. 11 on this list might be all this hullabaloo (yes I said hullabaloo) about "Brett didn't text Aaron to say congratulations." Who cares?
And who among us HASN'T received a text of Brett Favre's naughty bits? I mean really...
No. 9: Jason Garrett and His Evil Plan
This is probably the function of the 24 hour news cycle. We inevitably run out of stuff to talk about and everyone loves a good conspiracy theory!
The Cowboys were destined to win the Super Bowl this year in their home stadium.
So when they started 1-7, that dream died (barring any kind of miraculous comeback).
Through the tumultuous first half, Jerry Jones stuck by Wade Phillips until finally giving him the axe after the seventh loss, handing the reigns over to Jason Garrett as interim head coach.
Enter the conspiracy theorists.
Some (yes it was a select few) threw out the idea that it was Garrett's evil plan all along to stifle the offense so he could take over as head coach.
I think everyone then came to their senses—Garrett himself was mentioned as being on the chopping block. After all, aside from the secondary, the main problem with Dallas was its offensive ineptitude, and Jason was in charge of that.
After the change was made, Dallas finally won some games, finishing at 6-10. Only time will tell if this was truly because of Garrett or because of regression to the mean (see Singletary, Mike and SF 49rs).
No. 8: James Harrison Mulls Retirement
We've all been there before.
No I don't mean we've all lit guys up on the football field and been fined for it.
We've all been frustrated at the circumstances surrounding us and made outrageous statements we don't really mean.
I believe this was one of them.
Following a hard hit to Mohamed Massaquoi on October 17, the four time pro bowler was fined $75,000 (for being a repeat offender, eventually reduced to $50,000).
Frustrated and feeling targeted by the NFL, Harrison stated he was thinking about retiring because he "was very concerned about how to play football."
He came back to practice a couple days later and the Steelers had an OK season if I remember correctly.
No. 7: Brady Can't Win a Big Game Anymore
Tom Brady might as well have a joint press conference with James Harrison and hang up his cleats.
The three-time Super Bowl champ, two-time Super Bowl MVP, six-time Pro-Bowler, two-time NFL MVP, nightly love-maker to Gisele, all-tim.. well you get the idea. He's won lots of stuff.
But since 2004, Tom hasn't won the big game and he likely won't. He's obviously lost his killer instinct.
That's just ridiculous.
The problem with players like Tom Brady is that they play at such a high level, they set the bar too high. People expect the Patriots to win a title every year. And when they don't, it's a disappointment.
But let's be realistic. If you're a fan of almost any team you're just jealous you don't have Tom Tom as your quarterback so you love to see him lose...
No. 6: Packers Super Bowl Team Photo "Controversy"
Remember back in third grade when you were sick the day of the school picture? Remember that you had to be put at the end of the yearbook as a "Not Pictured" individual? Yeah I hated those days.
So here we were back in third grade again because only elementary school kids (well, maybe not even them) would bicker over who is and is not in the group photo.
This was probably another story that was the result of the 24 hour news cycle and too much time on our hands.
If you're the only one who hasn't heard the story, here's the deal.
Jermichael Finley and Nick Barnett were injured during the 2010 season so recuperated at home. Traditionally injured players join the team a couple days after the team photo is taken at the Super Bowl.
Finley and Barnett made their unhappiness known on Twitter. They didn't want to be one of the "not pictured."
So instead of just calling management or the coach and asking if they could move the photo (that would be simple), they put it on Twitter and the media ran with it, becoming what was possibly the stupidest story of the NFL season.
Eventually they moved the photo to Friday so all could be there. Whew. Thank goodness.
No. 5: Randy Moss Hates Home Cooking
This just in: Randy Moss can be a bit of a jerk.
But even I was surprised at his tirade at the buffet line.
After a Friday practice the Vikings had a Ma and Pa restaurant (Tinucci's) cater their lunch. It's an eatery frequented by Matt Birk.
Going through the line, Moss lovingly proclaimed he "wouldn't feed this #### to my ####ing dog."
To be fair, I've learned Randy's dog eats only the finest steaks from the Chicago Chop House so the bar is set pretty high there.
Classic (and classy) Moss.
No. 4: We're Sticking with Tony Sparano...Because Harbaugh Doesn't Want Us
When you went to the prom there was that really, really hot girl you wanted to go with and then there was your backup plan.
So Harbaugh is a hot girl. OK bad analogy...let's just get to the story.
In early January after the Stanford Cardinal bowl game, Miami officials traveled to San Francisco to meet with Jim Harbaugh.
Only one problem. They had not fired Tony Sparano.
The talks amounted to a supposed offer for Harbaugh to be the highest paid coach in the NFL, but he spurned them and instead signed on to coach the local 49ers.
To add to the hilarity of the situation Sparano was offered a two year extension and owner Steve Ross stated that Sparano was "good if not better than most [great coaches in their first three years]"
Prom just won't be the same.
No. 3: Collapse Of The Metrodome Roof
Could you imagine Adrian Peterson running down the field on an 80-yard breakaway and being walloped with a roof full of snow?
Assuming he would be fine, that mental image has caused me to laugh on a couple occasions.
Having opened in 1982, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has been home to the Vikings since its inception.
The roof has a fiberglass fabric roof supported by air (that sounds safe).
Five times the roof has been damaged by snow (deflated four times) but the last incident was in 1986.
Then came December 12, 2010.
Following a very heavy snowfall the previous two days, three panels tore in the roof leading to what you see above.
The Vikings-Giants game was moved to Detroit and a game against the Bears was moved to TCF Bank Stadium, where the Minnesota Golden Gophers play their football games.
No. 2: Jay Cutler Quits on His Team
Admittedly Jay Cutler hasn't exactly warmed the cockles of Bears fans' hearts (or anyone's heart). So it shouldn't have been that surprising when he was raked through the coals for not toughing out a knee injury.
From fans, players, and media members alike, that was exactly what happened.
Cutler injured his knee on the second-to-last series of the first half against Green Bay in the NFC championship. He was largely ineffective but was able to tough out the rest of the half and tried to play on the first series of the second half.
Then came the controversy.
Some Collins guy went under center and camera crews showed sporadic photos of Cutler trying unsuccessfully to ride a stationary bike and warming the bench not talking to his quarterback teammates to offer words of wisdom.
Reports of a knee injury didn't matter. He needed to tough it out. It didn't matter what happened. Or if he could adequately plant and throw. Or if the medical staff told him he was out. Or if the coaching staff felt a healthy 2nd or 3rd stringer would be more effective than an injured Cutler who was already not getting the job done.
Philip Rivers played with a torn ACL they said. Well that wasn't exactly true. He was out of the game he tore it in and returned the following week.
The best part came when Maurice Jones-Drew criticized Cutler for not playing, citing that HE played through a knee injury. That wasn't really true. When his team needed him the most in the last two weeks of the season, Jones-Drew was out with his injury and the Jaguars missed the playoffs.
No. 1: Sal Alosi and His Knee Felt Round The World
This marks the most outrageous storyline of the year.
The man didn't jump on the field. He wasn't even on the chalk. He was just merely stretching his knee and it happened to coincide with an opposing player running by. Can you fault the guy?
Setting up the 'wall' on the sideline was not an issue for me. It's their sideline and if they are where they are supposed to be, they have a right to hold that ground. But to lean into a player was where the problem came.
I cannot even fathom thinking of doing this.
Remember when Fairfield's coach tackled an opposing player on a kickoff return in '78?
Just amazing stuff.
Alosi has since resigned from his job and will likely carry this incident around with him. As he should.