the football hater’s guide to the 2008 NFL season

Do not adjust your set . . . these uniforms really are that stupid.

Evil knows many of you, his esteemed readers, don’t care for the football. And, as he considers it important to humor these mistakes you call “opinions” or “feelings”, he’s been wrestling with a dilemma. The kind that throws itself off the top rope of trepidation wearing a Mexican wrestler’s mask of uncertainty.

The dilemma? How to write about football in a way that will soothe those of you who hate it? It took the Evil all of 20 seconds to decide—though rest assured, those were 20 of the most agonizing, irritating, and brow-furrowing seconds he ever endured.

Instead of arguing the merits of this running back, that offensive line, a revamped coaching staff, the Evil is fostering a healthy discussion of the 2008 NFL season based on quality of life. The question at hand: judging by the cities in which their teams are based, which NFL division would you call the best?

It breaks down thusly:

AFC East: Boston, Buffalo, Miami, New York.
AFC West: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego.
AFC North: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh.
AFC South: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville.

NFC East: Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, Washington.
NFC West: Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis.
NFC North: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minneapolis.
NFC South: Atlanta, Charlotte, New Orleans, Tampa.

To the Evil, the AFC West takes the cake. You’ve got San Diego’s perfect weather, the Bay Area, the Rockies, and legendary KC BBQ. And since San Diego is the class of its division, Evil supposes that makes the Chargers his pick to win Superbowl XLVIIXQ.

The worst? Gotta be the AFC South, with its murderer’s row of dismal metropoli. Think about it: when Nashville is by far the coolest city in any list not named “Best Cities for Opry Experiences,” you’re in trouble.

So that’s the game. Anyone care to disagree?

Now, for you football fans, the real National Evil NFL Preview (a.k.a. NENFLP). In the spirit of a hoodie-wearing coach who lists his entire teams as “probable” on the weekly injury report, here’s a one-sentence-or-less (real or imagined) reason why each of the NFL’s 32 teams absolutely cannot win the Superbowl:

Arizona: Already owns coveted “first in alphabetical listing of NFL teams”; cannot be allowed to become any more powerful.

Atlanta: Inmate #77201C.

Baltimore: Because, as we learned from The Wire, nothing good happens in Baltimore.

Buffalo: Still haven’t finished stamping “Lose ten Superbowls and the next one you win!” card.

Carolina: Panthers sated from winning thirteenth consecutive “Most Generic Team Name” award.

Chicago: 100-year curse lifted from Cubs, shifted to Bears . . . ?

Cincinnati: Entire team shot by drunken tiger poacher.

Cleveland: Cursed forever as location of Howard the Duck movie.

Dallas: Because it will be a cold day in hell before the Evil predicts a Dallas Superbowl win.

Denver: Mike Shanahan concussed after inserting self as running back to prove once and for all that he can make anyone a thousand-yard rusher.

Detroit: Team finally accepts role as potent metaphor for Motor City industry’s collapse.

Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers turns out to be no Don Majkowski.

Houston: Team filled with crushing shame upon realizing stupidity of “Texans” nickname.

Indianapolis: Clock runs out on last play of Superbowl as Peyton Manning’s constant “audibles” turn out to be an advanced, crippling case of Tourette’s.

Jacksonville: Entire team assassinated on eve of Superbowl by panicked NFL marketing dept.

Kansas City: Players mistakenly apply Coach Herm Edwards’s “You play to win the game!” rant exclusively to Grand Theft Auto IV.

Miami: Fumes emanating from Ricky Williams.

Minnesota: “You’ll be a Superbowl winner someday!” stamp-card stolen by Buffalo.

New England: “Genius” leaks into hoodie, which achieves sentience and smothers Belicheck.

New Orleans: Sanctioned for Reggie Bush-related violations by NCAA.

NY Giants: Eli Manning suddenly awakens from “You are Joe Montana!” hypnosis when passerby absentmindedly snaps fingers.

NY Jets: Favre interception returned for game-winning touchdown in 2nd overtime of Superbowl.

Oakland: Zombie Al Davis shambles onto the field and devours Darren McFadden’s brain.

Philadelphia: Karmic punishment for worst throwback uniforms—hell, worst uniforms period—ever worn. (See above.)

Pittsburgh: Just attained “one for the thumb” in 2005; must await birth of six-fingered Rooney heir.

San Diego: National Evil predicted-Superbowl-winner jinx.

San Francisco: While watching from a luxury suite, Barry Bonds’s engorged skull finally explodes, killing thousands.

Seattle: Entire city and team still too grief-stricken over loss of SuperSonics.

St. Louis: Franchise bought by foreign company and converted to futbol team.

Tampa Bay: In failed yearlong marketing ploy, team reverts to throwback logo, unis, and success.

Tennessee: Jeff Fisher’s pornstache finally convinces him to abandon football and follow his true calling.

Washington: “Zorn” is a name befitting an Evil Galactic Overlord, not a football coach.

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5 thoughts on “the football hater’s guide to the 2008 NFL season”

  1. New slogan for AFC North:

    Pittsburgh…”cause who the hell wants to live in Cincinnati Cleveland or Baltimore!

    Besides, what the fuck is a Brown? And let’s not forget that the Ravens are really just the Baltimore Old Browns.

  2. Haha! What strikes me the most about those lists isn’t quality of life issues, but the serious gerrymandering going on. In almost all cases, three of these cities have some geographical similarity, and one is completely out in left field. Miami goes with Boston, Buffalo and NYC how? Dallas = East? St. Louis = West?

    But, to answer the question, I’m gonna have to go with West, because I’d move to SF or Seattle in a minute, if I could convince Raul, even after all his touring, that there’s anyplace on earth that could exceed the glories of home. Whatever that is.

    As to Billy R’s slogan, I have to disagree. Just look at a map and you’ll see that it’s true — Baltimore IS the armpit of this country, and though natives always want to tell me it’s gotten better in recent years, I keep going there and still finding the same old cesspool.

    That said, though, Baltimore produced John Waters, and Pittsburgh Andy Warhol, so I consider them tied, although whether for good or ill is obviously a matter of great debate, even inside my own head.

  3. hey, vic, it used to be worse–the atlanta falcons and new orleans saints used to be in the NFC west! while the arizona cardinals were in the east . . .

    gerrymandering it is, though: dallas is “east” because of its longstanding (and profitable) rivalries.

    . . . one more thing, for billyr: the baltimore old browns is a GREAT nickname.

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