There there

Want to know when the most widely optimistic day in the NFL is?

April 25th.

You’d think it’d be just before kickoff on opening weekend. But by that point, every team has already been through an entire offseason, training camp and preseason, giving players the opportunity to get arrested, get injured, get out of shape, get talked into thinking their contract sucks, get suspended, or in some cases, get dead. So by the time kickoff actually does roll around, most fan bases already have a pretty solid idea of just how good — or fucked — their team is.

So what’s so damn special about April 25th? It’s the first day of the NFL draft. For fans, it’s the perfect stage of naivety. The scars of letdown from the previous season have started to heal. And your team hasn’t quite had the chance to screw everything up yet. And because of that, fans will talk themselves into ANYTHING. For those at the top of the draft, it’s the opportunity to draft their savior. For those in the middle or toward the bottom, it’s getting that one extra piece of the puzzle needed to get over the hump. Give it a few hours into the draft and every fan will undoubtedly talk themselves into the coming year being, “Our year.”

So imagine for a second, tuning into the draft. Watching the future of your franchise touch genitals with the commissioner in a warm embrace. Then watching as your team progresses through training camp. Then through preseason. And then, completely flaming out a quarter of the way through the season. Is there anything worse? All the emotional stock you’ve put in, all the waiting, all the anticipation. All gone. Aside from Christmas, there’s basically nothing left to look forward to until NEXT April. So to help fans of those poor bastard teams feel a little solace, I present to you, the six shittiest teams in the NFL, and why it’s not so bad:

Kansas City Chiefs

For starters, your current starting QB is Brady Quinn, and he kinda looks like a mid-20’s Justin Bieber on steroids. So hey, MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES for the ladies. But if the increased revenue of Quinn jersey sales doesn’t do the trick, you’ve got a few other things going for you. Take Romeo Crennel for instance. Now, Crennel might not be all that good at “coaching” or “game planning” or “knowing who next week’s opponent is” but I’ll be damned if his facial expressions during the game aren’t pure comedy gold. He’s like an older, blacker, Louis C.K. I could watch Romeo Crennel all day. Also, K.C. barbecue. Such BOLD flavors.

Cleveland Browns

Know how the Cowboys are ‘America’s Team’ yet everyone outside Dallas pretty much hates their guts? Cleveland is the opposite of that. If there’s one city and one team that everyone can agree just deserves a fucking break, it’s the Browns. You guys had Art Modell steal your team, countless moments of heartbreak, you had LeBron James take a shit on a map of Ohio on national television. And if that weren’t enough, Cleveland fans have to LIVE IN CLEVELAND. Really awful. So instead of ‘America’s Team’, I’m nominating the Browns as the first official NFL version of, ‘America’s Sweethearts.’ It may not sound manly, but you’re Cleveland. Take what you can get.

New Orleans Saints

When your owner decides the best solution to deflect negative attention from his one sports team, is to just go ahead buy another sports team, you know you’re in good, powerful hands. Also, you’re in hands that secretly told Drew Brees to tank the season in order to secure a high draft pick for Sean Payton’s triumphant return next season. It’s the only logical explanation. Have you seen Brees’ face lately during pressers? Even his huge disgusting mole looks ashamed. There’s no way Tom Benson didn’t pay Brees to take this season off. But hey, there’s always next year. And barring any more cover-ups, scandal, blackmail or locker room speeches that start with, “Scramble their fucking brains”, the Saints should be right back in it.

Carolina Panthers

As someone who spent the better part of their youth growing up in the 90’s, I appreciate any team with colors and a logo that look like they were lifted from a Color Me Badd music video. And the fact the Panthers have stuck with their Starter Jacket-friendly electric blue design rather than succumbing to uniform fashion trends like all black (because black apparently, equals INTIMIDATION) shows they’re not about conformity. That’s the kind of practical, steady-handed consistency you need to succeed. And Jerry Richardson will be damned if he makes irrational decisions like giving three running backs a combined 80 million dollars. Also, I traveled to North Carolina when I was 13 and the people there were pretty much the nicest people ever. So there’s that.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans needed every trick play short of a fumblerooski to beat the Lions, their franchise back runs with as much authority as the fat kid from those new Nike commercials, and their starting QB shares a lot more in common with Jake Plumber than just his first name. And despite all this, Titans fans should be counting their fucking blessings. Because just seven months ago, owner Bud Adams put on his lipstick and was ready to do “whatever it takes” to sign Peyton Manning. So fine, maybe not everything is going swimmingly now. But at least you didn’t ruin your future by committing 100 million dollars to a guy who at this point, is Chad Pennington with a better, “Football I.Q.”

Oakland Raiders

If you’ve watched a Raiders game this year, you’ve probably noticed one of the coach’s kids standing on the sidelines and thought, “Wait, what’s he doing there?” Yeah, that would actually be the head coach, Dennis Allen. And not only is he the league’s youngest head coach, he’s one of its brightest defensive minds. Which really, should just be icing on the cake for Raiders fans. Anything from the glorified track coaches that Al Davis hired for the last decade would be an upgrade. Now the only thing Raiders fans can complain about is the sound of Chris Berman’s flemmy, disgusting voice saying, “DUH RAYYYDUHHHSS” every five fucking seconds when they play. God, it sounds like he’s gargling chili.

Honorable mentions:
Jacksonville Jaguars: Just too sad


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