Comparing Each NFL Team to a Character from The Simpsons

Michael Schottey@SchotteyNFL National Lead WriterFebruary 22, 2012

Comparing Each NFL Team to a Character from The Simpsons

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    After 500 episodes, The Simpsons is as much a part of American culture as the national pastime—and sorry baseball, that's the NFL.

    Since they target the exact same demographic, the NFL and The Simpsons have always gone together.

    At 8 p.m. ET, many football fans have always turned to Bart and Homer before Sunday Night Football (either on ESPN or NBC). Twice, The Simpsons have had the program immediately after the Super Bowl, and this clip makes it look like Homer actually helped plan the Black Eyed Peas halftime show from a few years back.

    So which member of Springfield fits your favorite team?

Buffalo Bills, Smithers

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    At times, Mr. Burns' awkward assistant, Waylon Smithers, seems more than capable of handling whatever comes his way, but in the end he'll always end up at the short end of the stick.

    The Buffalo Bills have had a lot of success in their past and look like they're putting together a solid team for the future, but (at least currently) no one sees them being anything more than a lapdog for the AFC East.

    *Note* Every picture, unless otherwise linked, was taken from or All images are property of Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

Miami Dolphins, Disco Stu

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    At one time the Miami Dolphins were really cool—great at what they did and what they did was en vogue. Now, years later, we all look back and wonder, were they really even that good?

    Meanwhile, with the Dolphins unable to move on from the past, most of us just look on them with a little bit of wonder and a big old dose of pity.

New England Patriots, Sideshow Bob

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    One of the most popular Simpsons characters, Sideshow Bob has been locked up, killed and reformed, but he never seems to go away for good.

    The New England Patriots have been overhauled since their original Tom Brady-Bill Belichick successes of over a decade ago but the team never seems to fall off the map completely.

    Oh, and Sideshow Bob pretty famously got in trouble over a videotape, so there's that.

New York Jets, Herb Powell

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    Like the New York Jets, Herb Powell always seems to have big ideas, but he's often held back by his brother—a fat buffoon who always seems to stick his foot in his mouth.

Baltimore Ravens, Moe Szyslak

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    One of the more solidly competitive teams in the NFL paired with one of the most popular characters in Simpsons lore. However, like the Ravens, Moe never seems to be able to get over the hump—in love or in life.

    Moe isn't quite the "lovable loser"; he's actually pretty rough around the edges. And, as fun as he can be to watch, a lot of people love watching him fail over and over again.

Cincinnati Bengals, Nelson Muntz

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    A bully who can't seem to stay on the right side of the law...sounds about right.

Cleveland Browns, Lisa Simpson

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    Although she is one of the most recognizable characters in TV history, does anyone like Lisa Simpson? I mean, come on, she exists as a foil to Bart—everyone's favorite—and is either left out of stories, or plays second fiddle. When she's a focus of the storyline, no one seems to care.

    Sounds a lot like the Cleveland Browns, who have been around forever, but exist more as a cult classic in the NFL than a team with an actual fanbase.

    Heck, Lisa and the Browns even wear the same hideous shade of orange.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Abe Simpson

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    Once upon a time, Abe Simpson wasn't the man you see before you. No, Abe Simpson was on the top of the world. A handsome and courageous World War II soldier (and a ladies man to boot), Abe has degenerated into a sad old man.

    The window has closed on the Pittsburgh Steelers, injuries and age have caught up to the once-proud franchise and they don't seem to recognize it.

Houston Texans, Marge Simpson

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    The Houston Texans aren't the first thing people think about when they're asked about successful NFL teams, but they've been the best team in the Lonestar State for a while and on the cusp of greatness for even longer.

    Like the Texans, Marge is hardly the first Simpson that comes to mind, but she's sexy in her own way, smart and keeps the family running smoothly.

Indianapolis Colts, Maggie Simpson

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    At the beginning of 2011, the Colts may have been "Grampa" Abe Simpson, but with an offseason of cutting veterans ahead of them, the Colts will have a lot of growing up to do.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Hans Moleman

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    Like Hans Moleman, the Jaguars seem to have a vision problem. They have no idea how bad their team actually is. While Gene Smith continues to build around average players and below-average quarterbacks, we're all just wondering how long it is until they meet their fate in another hilarious fashion.

    One big difference between Hans Moleman and the Jaguars though, is that Moleman actually has lots of fans. (Cheap shot, sorry.)

Tennessee Titans, Milhouse

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    This comparison is almost too perfect.

    Since their inception (whether in Houston or in Tennessee), the Titans have had their ups and downs, their successes and failures. Through it all, one word has best described them...


    The Titans just aren't that exciting. Even with Chris Johnson at his best, they barely move the excitement needle in the NFL.

Denver Broncos, Ned Flanders

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    Just. Too. Easy.

Kansas City Chiefs, Mayor Quimby

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    Most of the time, Mayor Quimby (like the Chiefs) is tucked away in a remote area of any storyline and not really all that important. When he is important, however, magic can happen. In two of the best Simpsons episodes, "Marge and the Monorail" and "Whacking Day," Quimby plays a small but integral role.

    In the NFL, the Chiefs can seem "tucked away" as well—small-market economics and borderline success can do that to a team. When the Chiefs are good and Arrowhead is rocking? Magic can happen.

Oakland Raiders, Dr. Nick

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    The scariest (and most hilarious) part of Dr. Nick is that he doesn't seem to understand how terrible he is at what he does.

    For years, the Oakland Raiders and their fanbase didn't seem to understand just how horrible they were. Now, it almost seems as if clearing house is going to happen, but let's all reserve judgement until it actually happens.

San Diego Chargers, Krusty the Clown

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    On the surface, the San Diego Chargers can be fun to watch. Deep down, though, everyone knows there's something wrong there...something systemic, something tragic.

Dallas Cowboys, Mr. Burns

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    Presented without comment. (Source.)

New York Giants, Homer Simpson

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    Sure, the New York Giants make a lot of mistakes and sure they're not exactly the paradigm of what everyone thinks a successful football team should look like, but they're immensely popular and you can't argue with success.

Philadelphia Eagles, Chief Wiggum

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    Whether you want to point out the inflated sense of self-worth or simply go lowbrow and mention that it's a fat guy that no one listens to, Chief Wiggim is clearly the best fit here.

Washington Redskins, Old Sea Captain

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    Whether you're talking to a Redskins fan or to Mike Shanahan himself, you're likely to hear fantastic tales of success. The problem is, the success of both the Redskins and the Shanahans was years ago and no one really cares anymore.

    It's a "what have you done for me lately?" atmosphere in the NFL and the 'Skins are left looking like a sad, salty old man who tells the same two stories over and over again.

Chicago Bears, Comic Book Guy

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    The Chicago Bears have been searching for their superhero for as long as most of us have been alive. The closest they've come has been Brian Urlacher but they squandered him while the offense rotted and the defensive scheme around him remained impotent.

    Now, they have Jay Cutler who is far more Clark Kent than Superman, but no one in Chicago seems willing to accept that.

    So, the Bears are left waiting and watching. It is more than a little depressing.

Detroit Lions, Snake

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    Snake Jailbird (real name: Chester Turley) talks a big game and certainly seems like a big, bad, career criminal. In the end, he's really just a big bully.

    The Lions are on their way up in the football world, but they're toeing a dangerous line between style and substance. If they really want to be taken seriously, they need to cut the charade and act like they've been there before.

Green Bay Packers, Reverend Lovejoy

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    Football isn't a sport in Green Bay, Wisconsin; it's a religion. Although, Packer fans are probably more serious about the Packers than Reverend Lovejoy is about religion...

Minnesota Vikings, Ralph Wiggum

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    While that picture serves as an expert illustration for Brad Childress' coaching style, it also illustrates well the ineptitude of the current roster situation. While the offensive and (once-famed) defensive lines rotted away, the Vikings continued to "dig for gold" by going after Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb.

Atlanta Falcons, Principal Skinner

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    Sure, Principal Seymour Skinner does a great job of making it look like he's in charge, but whether it's Superintendent Chalmers, Edna Crabapple or his own mother, we really know he's just taking orders and has no idea what he's really doing.

    The Atlanta Falcons can't seem to put it all together. Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan is looking more and more over his head late in games, the coaching staff can't put together any runs and the supposed high-octane offense sputters and starts when it should dominate.

Carolina Panthers, Bart Simpson

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    Young, hip and certainly cool, the Carolina Panthers haven't nearly been as successful as Bart Simpson has been over the years. Yet, with Cam Newton as an unconventional "entertainer and icon," it's hard to see anything but success in their future.

New Orleans Saints, Professor Frink

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    Unlike Dr. Nick, Professor Frink is actually pretty good at what he does. Not quite a mad scientist, Frink is nonetheless always cooking up something wacky and spectacular for the denizens of Springfield.

    The New Orleans Saints are equally as unconventional and helped usher in the pass-wacky era of today's NFL as much as anyone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barney Gumble

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    Sure, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, like Barney, can clean themselves up every once in a while. In the end, we all know their true colors.

Arizona Cardinals, Santa's Little Helper

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    Despite humble beginnings, Santa's Little Helper is often portrayed as one of the smartest of the Simpsons clan. 

    The Arizona Cardinals also had a pretty nondescript past, toiling for years in the desert before picking Kurt Warner off the scrapheap. 

    However, since Warner's retirement, the Cardinals have just been left chasing their tails.

Seattle Seahawks, Bumblebee Man

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    One always gets the feeling that, a long time ago in another place, the Bumblebee Man was somebody special. Up north, however, he just seems like a washed-up has-been.

    Know anyone like that?

San Francisco 49ers, Groundskeeper Willie

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    In Springfield, as in the NFL, there are a lot of characters whose bark is worse than their bite. Groundskeeper Willie is not one of them.

    The San Francisco 49ers, behind Jim Harbaugh, talk a big game, but can also back it up. They're the one team in the NFL you certainly don't want to mess with, as they can beat you and make you look awfully pitiful while doing it—even in the postgame handshake.

St. Louis Rams, Apu

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    Apu should be more successful. He can sing, he can dance, he's a successful business owner...something has to be keeping him back. Is it that he's too nice? Too average?

    The Rams have done a lot of things right since the "Greatest Show on Turf" era. They have a top quarterback in Sam Bradford. They have a great running back in Steven Jackson. They've attracted top coaches and drafted plenty of linemen.

    Whatever it is, the Rams need to figure it out quickly before they are left toiling in obscurity any longer.

    Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He has professionally covered both the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, as well as NFL events like the scouting combine and the Senior Bowl. Follow him on Twitter.


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