"I wonder if anyone notices me..."
In keeping with the spirit of the football offseason, I have constructed a list that has almost no bearing on what will happen this fall. There is very little football fodder for a writer to work with besides the draft and the ever-looming labor situation. Rather than beat a dead horse, I will instead try to flex my creative muscles in the laziest way imaginable. Can anyone say, “Shake Weight?”
To accomplish this feat an in depth, analytical view of some of the NFL’s more beleaguered teams should suffice.
Much like an attractive woman, an important facet of NFL franchises that goes overlooked is their personalities.
Team personalities are largely exemplified by the decisions of the leaders of the team, on and off the field. Therefore, a team’s personality can sometimes be seen in how well or how poorly a team performs. The New England Patriots, for example, are a mysteriously run, curmudgeonly operation. Some would call them a Kim Jong-Il of sorts.
Similarly, MTV’s depressingly popular Jersey Shore is all personality and no substance. What better way to characterize hopeless football teams?
"It's not like I could go down in infamy for a measly fumble."
For the most part, the Cleveland Browns have been irrelevant since the Super Bowl era began. They have been a hard team to root for with their persistent losing.
The historical franchise had some nice teams here and there. If not for “The Drive” or “The Fumble,” then they may not have been on this list at all. Sure they had an amazing 10-year run with quarterback Otto Graham in the fifties. But when even Leave it to Beaver has faded from the public’s memory, what hope do the Browns have?
The catty Angelina had a similar Jersey Shore experience. Aside from some attempts at warmongering, there hasn’t been a less entertaining, and thus more irrelevant, cast member on Jersey Shore.
Want another connection between the two? They were both such a drain on the fans’ patience that they were forced to take a temporary leave of absence. Angelina is now gone for good. Here’s hoping Mike Holmgren can right the Cleveland ship and keep the same from happening to them.
"Aw man. You just missed it to the right."
The Buffalo Bills claimed an epic football milestone by reaching the Super Bowl in four consecutive years behind Jim Kelly and the K-Gun offense. The only teams to ever get close to reaching that record were the dynasties of the 90’s Cowboys and 00’s Patriots who each won three Super Bowls in four years. But Super Bowl wins are better than Super Bowl appearances and that is why the Buffalo Bills are on this list.
Vinny, much like the Bills, gets very little attention compared to his housemates. At times he almost seems human, a person you can empathize with and recognize as your fellow man. Then he goes and drags Snooki across the floor towards his bedroom like some caveman who just clubbed his wife.
I’m not saying the Jersey Shore house would be better without Vinny. It’s just tiring of pretending he’s only there some of the time. Maybe the Buffalo Bills should just complete the move to Canada so we can put even less effort into pretending they don’t exist.
"Did I just blow out the ACL of my plant leg? Oh well."
Pauly D and the Arizona Cardinals superficially fit into the Jersey Shore and the bottom feeders of the NFL, respectively.
Arizona has done such a great job of being an inadequate NFL franchise that it is easy to gloss over their Super Bowl appearance two years ago. Between their horrible win-loss record, their stadium funded by an online “university” and that God-awful cardinal logo, they just acclimate themselves so neatly with the other defunct teams.
The one thing they have going for them is their charm. With the exception of Steeler Nation, who wasn’t rooting for the loveable losers in Super Bowl XLIII?
Much in the same vein as the Cardinals, Pauly D fully deserves to be in the Jersey Shore house. The man’s hair is a modern marvel of chemical engineering and I’m pretty sure Melanoma is in his future.
His charisma and “aw-shucks” attitude are refreshing in a house filled to the brim with narcissists.
"Charger fans are witnesses to history, but not a Super Bowl."
I am fully aware that in the past decade San Diego has had a very good team. LaDainian Tomlinson resurrected the franchise and now Phillip Rivers is trying to push the Chargers to new heights.
But why did San Diego need to be resurrected in the first place?
Continuous mistakes in the front office and on the field have kept the Chargers from realizing their true potential. Remember, this is the team that once had Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow Sr. and Air Coryell in the 70’s and 80’s. How many Super Bowls do they have to show for roughly two and a half decades of quality teams and near dominance?
JWOWW lies in the same realm. If you were to just get a quick glance at her, then I’m sure your eyes would pick up on her humongous melons...and that’s about it.
She puffs out her chest like a primitive mating ritual to attract people around her. When they get close enough to talk to her, they notice there isn’t much else there to like.
The Chargers’ recent success can have the same effect on the untrained eye if you are not careful.
"Because a full moon is known to bring out the best in everyone."
A look at the Minnesota Vikings history as a sports franchise brings a lot of similarities to the Buffalo Bills. They have been to the Super Bowl a handful of times and have zero trophies to show for it. The difference is that the Vikings have consistently had things working in their favor.
When their team was built around toughness, the amazing defensive line known as the Purple People Eaters and a quarterback in Fran Tarkenton who could excel in the Minnesota winters, they played outdoors where the conditions helped them.
When the team moved indoors and played on artificial turf, they accumulated offensive talent. With Cris Carter and Randy Moss at wide receiver and some strong-armed quarterbacks in Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culpepper, they still came up just short.
Ronnie exemplified the franchise that can’t help but lose. He is built like a tank and is the prototypical “juicehead” all the girls want on Jersey Shore. He has everything stacked in his favor. What happens?
He immediately falls in love with a crazy chick and takes himself out of the game. Even after repeated emotional trauma, this glutton for punishment just keeps coming back for more.
"You could help me up OR you could go get me a Big Mac."
The Oakland Raiders have been the NFL punch line for a decade now. Al Davis is surely possessed by an otherworldly spirit. How else do you explain picking Darius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree? How do you explain picking a wide receiver in the top 10 who has questionable hands? His job is to catch a ball, not run a 40-yard dash. What logic is at work there?
Or how about drafting a quarterback who can hurl the ball 70 yards, but only if you give him some cough medicine and a trash bag full of cheeseburgers first.
Sammie operates under the same mental constraints as Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders. The girl is full-blown crazy. Her friends tell her that her boyfriend, Ronnie, is cheating on her. Her reaction? Accuse them of being shady and disown them. Maybe even get in a cat fight or two.
When Ronnie goes beast-mode and starts chucking her stuff around the room, even going so far as to try to throw her bed off of the second floor balcony, what does she do? After a brief stint (read: one day) of alone time for contemplation, she returns to fix the relationship.
"So what's a filibuster again?"
Some teams have traditions that stand the test of time. The Pittsburgh Steelers win like no one’s business, the Dallas Cowboys are constantly striving to be the flashiest NFL franchise and the New York Jets talk…a lot.
Beginning with Joe Namath, the Jets have always had someone fully capable of mouthing off to a reporter. The Jets are so used to it that they actually perform better when in the limelight.
When the tight-lipped Eric Mangini coached the squad, people almost forgot that New York City had an underachieving football team with only one Super Bowl win to their credit.
Now that Rex Ryan has bust onto the scene, the Jets are relevant overnight. I can only attribute the immediacy of this accomplishment with the shear ability of Rex to verbalize each and every one of the thoughts that pop into his brain.
One of the Jersey Shore cast mates follows this same doctrine. Mike “The Situation” talks a lot too. Talking is the only thing he can do, so he tries to do it as much as possible. Mike is like the proverbial monkey in a room with a typewriter: Given enough time, he will eventually come up with something worth laughing at for its utter stupidity and complete incoherence.
"I give up!"
Just like anyone else, the Cincinnati Bengals have had their moments. Too bad no one can seem to remember any of them. They made it to a Super Bowl once. It has been downhill ever since.
At one point, the team resembled the convict-filled squad from The Longest Yard. They just rehired a coach with a losing record after he had led them to years of failure and two playoff losses. The franchise is so poorly run that their franchise quarterback would rather never play the game again than suit up for them.
After decades of inadequacy and strife with nothing to show for it, the Cincinnati Bengals are, unsurprisingly, struggling to fill Paul Brown Stadium.
Then there is the Jersey Shore equivalent of the Bengals: Snooki. The self-proclaimed “Meatball” that waddles around in her miniskirt, obsesses over pickles and occasionally gets punched in the face had a short-lived television show called “Snookin’ for Love.” I’ll let you figure out the premise.
Her lack of dignity vaulted her up to the “most popular Jersey Shore character” status.
Like a horrible highway car wreck, people seem to be fascinated by both the Bengals and Snooki as they drive as fast as possible in the opposite direction.