By Brian Murphy
We’re well into the preseason, so you know what that means – it’s time for the third annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. So kick off your shoes and relax your feet as you dig in to see why (insert name of your favorite football franchise) won’t win the big one this year.
Arizona Cardinals – Brenda Warner.
Atlanta Falcons – There is no cure to stop Michael Vick, but you can suppress him in hopes of preventing an outbreak. And actually, the same can be said on the field too. Meanwhile, the powers that be in Atlanta are trying to get Vick more protection … which also applies on the field.
Baltimore Ravens – Steve McNair is not like a bottle of fine wine that gets better with age. He’s old and injury prone. And that means the city of “Bawlmer, hun” is only one hit away from the return of Kyle “Pro” Boller. Remind a Ravens fan of that and watch them throw up in their mouth – it’s fun for all ages.
Buffalo Bills – In January the Bills brought back former head coach Marv Levy to be the general manager and vice president of football operations. It’s a sad state of affairs when you reach out to an 80-year-old who is best known for consistently losing big games. What, was Bill Buckner unavailable?
Carolina Panthers – Wouldn’t it be more cost effective if instead of using seven different running backs every year the team just took the healthy parts of everyone in the rotation and made one durable, every down running back? And by cost effective, I mean awesome.
Chicago Bears – Making fun of their slew of subpar quarterbacks is too easy, so instead we’ll point out that the Bears were the only team in 2005 to have two offensive linemen investigated by the FBI after battling each other in a drunken fistfight at a shooting range. But in honor of their QBs, none of the punches connected. (Sorry, couldn’t help it).
Cincinnati Bengals – This has to be the worst off-season of any team in recent memory. Half their roster has been arrested within the last year – not exactly the offseason Marvin Lewis envisioned. If that’s not enough, the QB (Carson Palmer) is coming off of a major knee injury, the top WR (Chad Johnson) tried to choke one of his coaches last season and their RB (Rudi Johnson) is named after a kid on the Cosby show.
Cleveland Browns – I don’t care how much of a “soldier” tight end Kellen Winslow thinks he is, the bottom line is the defensive player drafted one spot away from him, Redskins safety Sean Taylor, has more career touchdowns (two) than Winslow (zero). That’s gotta hurt. Well … not as bad as a motorcycle crash, but it still hurts.
Dallas Cowboys – What does it say about your team when you bring in wide receiver Terrell Owens and he’s not even the biggest asshole added to your roster? That honor goes to the liquored-up kicker, Mike Vanderjagt. My only hope is that the Tuna snaps after dealing with all of these malcontents and scraps the entire playbook in favor of more “Jap plays.” No offense.
Denver Broncos – Because Jake Plummer hasn’t been the same since he stopped being a caddy for Happy Gilmore, the Broncos drafted Jay Cutler. Fans shouldn’t get too excited though, during Cutler’s four-year career his Vanderbilt Commodores managing only an 11-35 record.
Detroit Lions – Detroit disappointed fans of the other 31 teams when, for the first time in two decades, the Lions didn’t use their first-round draft choice on a wide receiver. But the team ruined the noteworthy occasion by passing over the chance to draft a quarterback who may actually be capable of getting the ball to any of those receivers.
Green Bay Packers – Retired quarterback Brett Favre never would have let the Packers get this shitty. Wait … he’s still there? Wow. Talk about awkward …
Houston Texans – Losing builds character. So I guess that means quarterback David Carr is one helluva great guy … who still doesn’t have an offensive line.
Indianapolis Colts – The closest to clutch Peyton Manning will ever get with a game on the line is when a television network shows one of his hilarious MasterCard commercials during the fourth quarter. “Can you sign this loaf of bread for my brother?”
Jacksonville Jaguars – Sure, the Jags went 12-4 last year. But this year the league is actually making them play NFL teams instead of a college schedule. That thought alone made Fred Taylor’s groin give up.
Kansas City Chiefs – After having such success with converted basketballers TE Tony Gonzales and RB Larry “Grandmama” Johnson, the Chiefs are planning to sign Shaq, Tree Rollins, Gheorghe Muresan, Shawn Bradley and Manute Bol to shore up their defense.
Miami Dolphins – LB Zach Thomas and DE Jason Taylor may be the best of friends, but when your best buddy and your sister get a divorce it doesn’t really build camaraderie. Now, if only Ricky Williams could somehow become involved in the soap opera maybe everyone could mellow out. If this keeps up DT Manuel Wright may very well break down and cry at practice. Again.
Minnesota Vikings – Last year the Vikings got off to a terrible start (2-5), and then used a sex cruise to salvage their season at 8-8. While CB Fred “Cover 2” Smoot would suggest otherwise, that’s not really an “every year” kind of option.
New England Patriots – Tom Brady has the looks and gets all the attention, but kicker Adam Vinatieri is the most clutch player at his position in the modern era. Who thought replacing him with one of the “Dancin’ Gramaticas” was a good idea?
New Orleans Saints – While they both blew, Hurricane Katrina shifted attention away from Aaron Brooks’ typical poor play last season. With both out of the picture, Saints fans will have to come up with a new excuse for their shitty team. Can you say tsunami?
New York Giants – Claiming precedence, the New York Giants filed suit against the NFL last week demanding that the league a) give them nine home games again this year and 2) put the New Orleans Saints back on their schedule. They know otherwise they need to rely on a poor man’s Peyton Manning to get them to the playoffs and choke.
New York Jets – With LaMont Jordan at running back and Santana Moss at wide receiver this offense is set for the next decade – regardless of who plays at quarterback. What’s that? Uh … my bad.
Oakland Raiders – Oh, come on. Even Raider fans know they’re not doing anything this year. Why waste a perfectly good punchline on this joke of a team?
Philadelphia Eagles – Sure T.O. was an asshole, but without him all Donovan McNabb has to work with is an injury-prone running back and a bunch of third-rate stiffs at receiver. At least his attention-whore mom will be there to make him feel better with a nice bowl of soup for him to spew in the huddle.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Vowing to keep up his off-season conditioning plan, part-time quarterback and full-time moron Ben Roethlisberger has petitioned the league to let him play this season without a helmet. It’s enough to make the team look back lovingly to simpler days when their biggest problem (literally) was an oversized Bus.
San Diego Chargers – I’ll never see the logic in trading away a proven Pro Bowl-caliber player (QB Drew Brees) in order to give his job to an unproven benchwarmer (QB Phillip Rivers) who the team hopes will some day be as good as the guy they just let go. How is that smart?
San Francisco 49ers – Who are we kidding? Even head coach Mike “Don’t call me vanilla” Nolan knows he’s in over his head and his team blows. But fortunately for Nolan, he’s in the one city in America that embraces dudes blowing. Bong!
Seattle Seahawks – Madden cover jinx. Nuff’ said.
St. Louis Rams – With RB Marshall Faulk having shot his load, the Rams are going to have to rely on RB Madison Hedgecock to get the big score. Well, they’ve also been grooming young stud RB Steven Jackson, but seriously, its way more fun to say their season rides on the back of a Hedgecock.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Last year Tampa Bay basically got into the playoffs because RB Mike Alstott was given a freebie on a two-point conversion by the horrible NFL officials. It was the worst blown call of the year … until they blew the same exactly call in the Super Bowl with QB Ben Roethlisberger. Karma already took care of Big Ben – next up, Chucky and friends.
Tennessee Titans – Titans not good. (You say anything more sophisticated than that and it’ll fly right over Vince Young’s head).
Washington Redskins – With head coach Joe Gibbs, as well as Joe Bugel, Don Breaux, Greg Blache and Mark Brunell the Redskins lead the league in senior citizens. The team should be in decent shape – as long no one falls and breaks a hip and the league doesn’t schedule too many night games.
Brian Murphy is the 2005 Defense Department’s sportswriter of the year. And he still doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.