We are back! With just a week until the first game of the season, i’m back to the do the hard work: to separate the good from the NFC East, and contenders from the Jets. If the 2020 NFL season taught us anything, then it has shown that bad teams are meant to stay bad. Middling teams are meant to stay middling teams. Great teams are meant to stay great teams. Except for the Patriots. They fell down an elevator shaft after Tom Brady left.
This is a quarterback league, and if you are able to get one, then you hang onto them with dear life. For every Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson, there are way more Blaine Gabberts and Christian Ponders. Ending up in quarterback hell means ending up in franchise hell. Here are the last eight Super Bowl championship winning quarterbacks: Tom Brady Patrick Mahomes Tom Brady Carson Wentz Tom Brady Peyton Manning Tom Brady Russell Wilson Only Carson Wentz stands out as a one hit wonder on a list full of the quarterback equivalent of The Rolling Stones and Beatles.
Every year, I start these previews with the best of intentions. To talk some shit, have some fun, and preview the start of the football season. But by the time I hit the end every year, I want nothing more than to jump into a time machine and beat my own ass for thinking this is a good idea. The end is just me hoping i’m not reusing insults and puns and whatnot.
After this, i’m taking a few days off to not stare at my laptop. Then that will last about a day. Next week, i’m going to be bringing your my division picks, awards candidates, Super bowl pick, and what not. The week after that, i’ll drop my first Power Rankings, which is always going to be a little more sad when I don’t have Adam Gase to make fun of. Additionally, next week, over on Football Absurdity, i’m going to drop my first gambling article of the season, going over every team’s Super Bowl odds. After that, i’ll do a weekly column every Thursday over there an talk about my favorite bets of the gambling week.
That’s what you do when you truly, deeply hate something. You double down and do even more of it! Now let’s check otu the NFC West!
Welcome to the AFC West, which is ruled by one team until their quarterback leaves. Outside of the AFC East, this might be the most one sided division in the NFL. In one corner, you have the back to back AFC Champions. In the other three corners, you have a bunch of Barry Horowitz’s that are stepping in buckets and accidentally lighting themselves on fire and stabbing their own players in the lung.
The division is entertaining at the top end, because two of the teams have good quarterbacks. Two of the teams have rusty dildos playing the most important position in football. Those two teams aren’t entertaining. Alright, the week is almost over, lets get through this together. Welcome to the AFC West.
Well, damnit. I knew i’d inevitably have to do it. It’s a feeling of existential dread. I keep looking away from my computer. I keep looking for something else to do. I take the dogs for a walk. I wash some dishes. But I have to return to this computer. This sucks. This is so stupid.
I really do not want to have to write about the AFC South.
The AFC South is the sad steamed vegetable on the dinner plate. It is Creed in the era of Limp BIzkit. It is Crocs as a fashion statement. It exists to fill a void. It exists because it has to. It joylessly does it’s job and is only enjoyed by the type of people who keep TGI Fridays in business. It’s a combination of both the dumpiest and least interesting places on earth. The fact that these teams aren’t all just forced to play eachother every Wednesday morning instead of wasting anybodies weekend truly feels like a waste. Fuck it. Let’s just get into it.
Yesterday, the decision was announced that the Cleveland Indians would be changing their name to the Cleveland Guardians. Because the internet is a place of calm and reasoned discourse, this decision was lauded as a celebration of progress and then people went back to being excited about the start of the Olympics.
No, wait. The World Wide Web is a goddamned trash fire and people lost their fucking minds over something they had never previously cared about.
In Loveland, Colorado on July 7, 2021, it ranged from the mid 60’s to the high 80’s with a blue sky sporadically dotted with white clouds. It was a perfectly beautiful day, but not an ordinary one.
Honey my Foxfire Red Lab and I walked that day – a lot. She didn’t want to go back inside. 5AM-5:30AM we saw more than I’d expect from the wild and domesticated kingdom. Baby bunnies played in the grass in front of us. A large raccoon came out of the bushes, sat down and watch us walk. Her current best buddy, Jaxson the cinnamon lab, came strolling by with his human pal Bridgette and did a quick nuzzle. The birds, most of them, came out in force. A great horned owl swooped down right in front of her followed by a white pelican. Mallards swam toward her. Swallows dove in and out, and a lone cardinal played its song.
No geese though. Very unusual for a typical morning, but not so unusual for they knew – she hated geese. What else did she hate? Fireworks but only if she saw them as she seemed to think we were under attack. Cats, but cats hate pretty much everything. People moving without moving their feet – like kids on scooters or skateboards and people coasting on their bikes. She once took a kid right off his scooter. Didn’t hurt him, just knocked him off like a safety taking a wide receiver out from under his feet.
Parenthood is strange. For the first few decades of life, you’re led to believe adults have all of the answers. They did, for better or worse. The subjective nature of finding the ‘right thing to do’ is the divine outcome of being alive and getting hurt. We endure pain on every plane of human experience and try to keep our children from bearing it as well, knowing full well that heartbreak is, in fact, an education. Most times, the answer is merely being there. But what comes of that when we’re gone?
That’s the sound. That’s the sound of my name tag being stuck on to my shirt. Why the nametag? Well I’m the new kid here. The new kid in town, in school. That being said (or in this case written) I need to engage in the cliched tradition of breaking the proverbial ice. Well, why? Why should I? I mean, you’ll get to know me in time right? Why would I need to spill everything at once? I mean is there a reason I can’t just be random and let you all find me? In a word, no.
There’s a dry-erase calendar hanging up behind me as I begin to write this. It mostly displays my work schedule and reminders of an occasional virtual D&D session. I bought it a couple years ago because I thought having a physical calendar would give me one less thing to rely on my phone for, as if my eyes being constantly glued to a screen would be a calendar’s fault and not the dark, endless ocean of internet garbage. Right now, however, as I write these very words, there’s something different written at the bottom of the calendar: “Days Left: 26”.
I chuckled to myself this morning at how vague it would look to an onlooker, and I laughed even harder knowing that a realtor would be showing my apartment to potential new tenants this afternoon. I considered planting ominous objects near the calendar to further the mystery. Mostly, I contemplated the large dive knife in a shoebox on my closet shelf, as purchasing a spool of rope would perhaps be a bit extravagant and in poor taste. All sight gags aside, the event the countdown represents is not even close to sinister, but it represents one of the most significant events I’ll ever experience; I’m leaving the only area I’ve ever known my whole life to move across the country.