A funny thing has happened in the last five consecutive seasons of hard charging, smash mouth National Football League FOOTBAW: Of the twelve teams that qualified for the playoffs each year, five of them did not qualify in the prior year.
This metronome-like consistency of turnover in the higher echelons of the league is more-or-less exactly what the league’s owners want. They have done their homework and know that both too much parity and too little parity diminish the interest of spectators, and therefore their shared ticket sales and TeeVee revenue, and we certainly can’t have that.
So, to maximize their profit the owners and players’ union have engineered a system that seems to be operating at something near peak efficiency, apart from that thorny question of what to do with those referees. Has the Ginger Hammer Roger Goodell, a man with all of the democratic instincts of Genghis Khan, finally compromised the league’s brand through his refusal to budge over something that amounts to a fraction of 1% of league revenues? I guess we’ll see in Week One.
Enough flirting. Which 2011 playoff teams will be out of luck in 2012?
1. The Denver Broncos. Sorry, homers. God has forsaken all of you for something you didn’t do. You didn’t send His son Timmeh Tebow packing; that was John Elway. But Elway is a member of the One Percent, and you are semi-literate peasants. Therefore you get punished for Elway’s treachery, because that’s how life works!
J/K you guys, God doesn’t care about football, just like he doesn’t care about amputees. Because he’s imaginary, you see.
It’s pretty clear that Denver will put points on the board with ease this season, but the apparent lack of depth on defense is going to bite the Broncos hard in the second half of the season. In an improving AFC West, the playoffs may be too tall of an order this year. Look for half of the starters to be laid low by an antibacterial-resistant strain of gonorrhea contracted from a transsexual West Colfax hooker named Rita.
Taking their place: The Oakland Raiders. Your correspondent would struggle to name five (5) Raiders players, because he only cares about the NFC East. Because he’s a provincial asshole. Do I really think Carson Palmer will be able to lead a collection of felons to the playoffs? Probably not. But it would sure be funny to live in Denver if he did.
2. The New York Giants. You guys, the New York Football Giants were not supposed to be a playoff team last year. They lost to the Washington Redskins twice!! Yes, the Giants were very fortunate to find some good form, playing and beating the Cowboys twice in the last month of the season, leaving Jerruh Jones & Co with a not-good-enough 8-8 record when they had been 7-4 at Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful thing to watch, but it shan’t be happening again this year. I don’t care that Eli Manning has two rings, because I choose not to inhabit a world where Eli Manning is an elite NFL QBee. The NFC East is basically a crapshoot, and the Giants will HERP and DERP their way to an 8-8 record and an early shower.
Taking their place: The Philadelphia Eagles. It really hurt to type that out. As much as I have a theatrical loathing for the Dallas Cowboys, there is a special place reserved in my cold, dead heart for the fans of Philadelphia sports teams. They are just the worst, and no one denies this. HOWEVAH, they do have a strong football team, and last season was an aberration. The 2011 Iggles that went from 4-8 to 8-8 was probably the iteration we’ll see this year, not the bumblefucks who started out 1-4 and became the overhyped laughingstock of the league.
Will Andy Reid do everything in his power to sabotage his own team? PROBABLY. Will Mike Vick get injured? YOU BET, but you know some white backup QB will come in, play reasonably well, win a few games, and then Philly fans will have a bout of Lin-sanity all their own. Philly fans love white people so much, there’s a statue for an imaginary Great White Hope but nothing for Joe Frazier. Fuck Philadelphia in its ear.
3. The New Orleans Saints have just had way too much going on this offseason to be properly prepared. In the wake of Bounty-gate, even their interim coach was suspended. So now they have an interim interim head coach, and their defense is still terrible. Drew Brees can shoot the lights out, but no team has the physical, mental, or emotional stamina to win every game 37-36 with an 80-yard two minute drill. They’re out.
Taking their place: The Carolina Panthers. Holy crap, can that Cam Newton kid play some FOOTBAW.
4. I enjoyed The Detroit Lions’ resurgence last year. There is nothing more fun than getting together on a cold night with a group of Michiganders, watching the Lions and getting shitcanned. Unfortunately, their QBee Matt Stafford is made of glass. FURTHAMORE-AH, their stud wideout Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was enshrined on the cover of Madden 2013 so you just know he’s going to catch the Hanta virus or something and miss the whole season. And that will put paid to the Lions.
Taking their place: The Chicago Bears. You guys, J. Cutty to Brandon Marshall might be good for 25 TDs and 2,000 yards this year, and that could even open up the field for Devin Hester to be productive on offense. Unless Matt Forte shits the bed and unbalances the offense, this team is playoff-bound.
5. For his next act of Troll Genius, Tom Brady will show all of us exactly how much he ain’t care by fluffing his lines for the entire 2012 season. The New England Patriots were exposed badly by a New York Giants team that may not actually be one of the ten best teams in the NFC, and they will not make the playoffs this year. Their defense is an abomination, and without the aid of CHEATING, their offense is not as special as everyone thought.
Taking their place: The New York Jets, obviously. THE POWER OF TEBOW COMPELS YOU!