Holiday movie confession! Every December, I sit and watch It's A Wonderful Life, and every other year I switch between liking the movie and hating it. Some years George Bailey looks like a paragon of virtue and other years he comes across like a sap who simply falls into success. The Christmas classic either warms my soul or chills my heart, depending on my mood.
This is one of those "off" years. Oh, it's not like I'm pulling wreaths down across the neighborhood and icing my sidewalk; besides, this ultimately benefits you the reader.
While struggling to figure out just how low I should rank the Jets after that Monday night crapfest, or where the Saints fit amidst teams with a losing record, I grew bored and listless. Your standard week. Then it hit me: why not just focus on the things you loathe about each team? I mean, sure, some LEGIT MEDIA* types only dream of admitting to their biases (/Prisco'd), but I'm about as illegitimate as they come. I can just hate, hate, hate away, and pass the fist-shaking rage onto the customer! I might get entry to next year's Playa Hater's Ball.
Instead of ranking teams by who could beat who on a neutral field, I'm ranking teams according to my level of contempt, dislike and downright loathing of the franchise, its former players and fans. C'mon, folks, time to spike your eggnog with Haterade this Christmas season.
* - All Rights Reserved by Grandmaster Wang.
1. Atlanta Falcons. I know a couple Falcon fans. I'm not saying they're bad people; there's just something wrong with them. Mike Smith is a rampaging lunatic who clams up in the fourth quarter and Roddy White is a schmuck of the highest caliber. It took Atlanta fans a while to get on the Matt Ryan bandwagon. Not because he fails in the postseason, but because he wasn't Michael Vick. Good folks. Their fanbase is notoriously late for games (well, that's Atlanta in general). When Falcon fans attempt to troll, their first (and only) round of offense consists of: "#rebuild #whodat #gumbogumbo #redemption #bounty" and so forth. I've not seen a more clearcut case of little brother syndrome than when Falcon fans drop the whole "Katrina" thing more than 7 years after the fact. Of course, I usually just respond with this, then get all haughty and say, "whatever, brah, that was 150 years ago! that's such a tired joke." Obviousness is missed on these fine folks.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers. What would you call a person who not only wasn't born in Pennsylvania, but never spent any significant time there, only to suddenly root for the Pittsburgh Steelers beginning in the 1970s? And what you call this person if I told you that he was a lifelong New Orleanian who seemed to almost take twisted delight in watching the Saints flail about prior to the Payton/Brees era? Furthermore, what you say if I told you that this person helped anger the "football gods" by helping to craft that ridiculous "Black & Gold to the Super Bowl" local TV ad campaign PRIOR to the 2006 NFC Championship Game? There aren't enough F-bombs for a person like this, right? Well, this person was one of my former bosses when I worked at a TV station in New Orleans. Good times. And is it possible to hate a team THAT much just because of my interactions with one royal a-hole? Yes. Yes it is. And you don't know the breadth and width of my contempt for certain folks.
3. San Francisco 49ers. 92 seconds. DOUBLE F'N COVER THE TIGHT END! JESUS9000!!! True story: I got to meet Joe Montana several years ago. He came to the "TV station in New Orleans where I was working (wink, wink)" for an interview to hock something, and was gracious enough to come into the news room while we were having a meeting and shake everybody's hand. Now, I'm conflicted: do I fly across the room and berate him for wasting the prime years of the Dome Patrol or do I just act the better man and shake his hand? If answered "the latter," then you DON'T KNOW ME. Joe Cool gets over to me and shakes my hand and I say, "You're my third favorite player in Tecmo Bowl behind Bo Jackson and Eagles QB-12." Joe Montana, arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time, looked at me like I had SARS.
4. New England Patriots. Sad to say, there was a team when I once rooted for the Patriots (2001-2004) Bill Belichick is the kinda guy you "hate respect," to borrow a phrase from Jack Donaghy. He's condescending and belligerent, the type of guy who'll run it up because he can, and molded Tom Brady into a ruthless killing machine. Now Tom Brady's wearing Uggs, leaving his girl whom he had a kid with to run off with a Brazilian supermodel, giving New England sports fans an even greater sense of d-bag entitlement, but will likely break Drew Brees' TD record next season. Oh yeah...and Bill F'n Simmons.
5. Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones. Louisianans jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon. Folks who say, "The Saints are my fav team, but I also root for the Cowboys."
6. Oakland Raiders. Laughably incompetent. Did I mention their fanbase? What do you know? Niners fans were involved, too.
7. Chicago Bears. If I live to be a thousand, THIS will still gall me. Hope that guy catches syphilis and his bed breaks from the excess of he and the gal in question, cause they're both snacking on Polish sausage and bratwurst during "the act."
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Your g--damn cannonade is an embarrassment to all touchdown celebrations.
9. Carolina Panthers. (s)Cam Newton. Steve Smith: jabroni hobbit. Their cheerleaders. I refused to even cheer for the Panthers in their lone Super Bowl appearance, even though it would've meant a ring for Jake Delhomme and further embarrassed Jim Haslett. That's how much I dislike the Panthers.
10. Philadelphia Eagles. Since we're talking Philly, I present to you "The Most Illegal Move in the History of Wrestling." And if you don't enjoy that, we can't be friends.
11. Indianapolis Colts. The conspiracy theory that the NFL "gave" Super Bowl 44 to the Saints. And even though I like Andrew Luck and think he'll be a good NFL quarterback, these midwestern dopes go from a decade-plus of Peyton Manning to probably a decade-plus of Andrew Luck? God, I hate them so.
12. Baltimore Ravens. Bal'Uh-mur has "elite" quarterback Joe Flacco and Ray "the Obstructor" Lewis onboard, as well as Jim Caldwell as the OC. And a Harbaugh is the head coach. Art Modell victimized Clevelanders by moving the team and then winning a Super Bowl 5 seasons later.
13. New York Jets. Rex Ryan's boasting, the presence of Tim Tebow, and their location in
New York City New Jersey ought to be enough to place them higher on the list, but the KSK Rex Ryan character and the endless joy of Mark Sanchez GIFs have rendered this franchise into an amusement. That being said, Fireman Ed is an abomination.
14. Miami Dolphins. Following up on my presentation for No. 10, here are some indy wrestlers (one of them named "Soldier Ant") pretending to be affected by a pretend grenade.
15. San Diego Chargers. I like the 'SUPER Chargers' song, but not when it's coming out of Berman's mouth. The GM is a fool, Norv Turner as a head coach is the opposite of good, and Phillip Rivers has an Uncle Rico throwing style.
16. Detroit Lions. Ndamukong Suh. That is all.
17. New York Giants. Holiday reminder: Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all-time. Of All-Time! (/Kanye'd) I now anticipate hearing from Dave that he hasn't seen any of the Die Hard movies.
18. Denver Broncos. I also plan on spending my Christmas watching Iron Giant and the holiday episode ofDownton Abbey.
19. Seattle Seahawks. So I bought XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Black Friday and have been playing that game nonstop. Greatest thing about the game is you can rename all the soldiers on your squad and change their appearance to match your friends. Sure, Ralph and Dave aren't really 220 pounds of solid muscle apiece, but both have stomped their fair share of aliens. I enjoy it more than Assassin's Creed 3.
20. Minnesota Vikings. I'm near the final stages of my "F Brett Favre" withdrawal. In a couple more years, I might be able to nod in respect for the fan base if the team ever wins a Super Bowl.
21. Green Bay Packers.
22. Houston Texans.
23. Tennessee Titans.
24. Cincinnati Bengals. Confession: Ickey Woods used to be my favorite football player.
25. Washington Redskins. Drew Magary said it better, so I'll just summarize: sometimes a team changing coaches or even getting a certain player in a significant position is enough to alter your thinking about the franchise. For instance, I'll be rooting for the Redskins if they make the postseason because of RGIII's brilliance, in spite of Dan Snyder's continued ownership of the club.
26. Buffalo Bills. Oh sure, I feel for Scott Norwood and Marv Levy, but 4 Super Bowl appearances in a row behind one of the greatest offenses of all-time means the team won't get too many tears from me.
27. St. Louis Rams. They'd be lower if not for the afternoon drive time sports radio crew who love giving Jay Leno-esque tired jokes about: soccer, women's athletics, hockey (in a hockey town, no less) sex, drugs, etc. And plus, if the Rams left town tomorrow, maybe 20,000 people would really notice. If a Cardinals game gets rain delayed, the city goes on high alert.
28. Arizona Cardinals. Writer, sports and film aficionado Will Leitch put together a tremendous rundown on the Cardinals prior to their Super Bowl run. His infectious enthusiasm is enough to convince even the hardest of hearts to not wish any particular harm on "The Buzzsaw." But I do still feel awful for Larry Fitzgerald.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars. They're not this low because I like them or anything. It's that the team is likely going to relocate and the fan base doesn't fill the stadium, so I'm totally indifferent to them. However, the franchise gets props since THIS GUY is the owner.
30. Kansas City Chiefs. Yeah, The Hobbit is a drawn out film, but it's not as boring as some reviews have made out to be. Simply put: if you liked The Lord of the Rings movies, you'll be down for The Hobbit.
31. New Orleans Saints. Bet you thought I was going to put them last, right? Hey, even though we all know they're "not guilty" when it comes to Bountygate, some folks were certainly "not innocent" either. And I'm still kinda pissed at the team for putting themselves in a position to give the Ginger Hammer a reason to make them a scapegoat. And let's be honest: the 'Drew Brees isn't worth the contract' crowd ticked me off as of late.
32. Cleveland Browns. Come here, Cleveland. It's going to be okay. We want you guys to be good again, if only to deny the Steelers and Ravens future opportunities of success. And, well, y'all have suffered long enough. I mean, The Rock has famously taken potshots at your town, for God's sake. And this guy has made a career of showcasing how terrible both the city and the franchise have been since forever. But hey, at least they're not Detroit.