Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Secrets of the 2010 NFL Season (Pt. 2)

By Jeffrey Boswell

Also see: Secrets of the 2010 NFL Season (Pt. 1)

* After Darrelle Revis writes a scathing review of Chad Ochocinco's reality dating show, The Ultimate Catch, for People magazine, Ochocinco takes to Twitter, proving that off the field, or on it, he has nothing but weak rebuttals to Revis' "press coverage."

* JaMarcus Russell's legal troubles take a dramatic downturn when an investigation into a drive-by shooting in Muscle Shoals, Alabama turns up a handgun registered to Michael Vick in Russell's 1983 Rolls-Royce. Russell experiences a disturbing case of déjà vu when he is charged with possession of "Vick's .44."

In a related development, Nipsy Russell III signs on to play the lead role in National Lampoon's unofficial Michael Vick comeback story, a movie very loosely based on South Africa's role in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, called Convictus.

* After a Week 17 27-13 win over the Bills, the Jets roar into the playoffs as convincing AFC East champions. On the eve of a divisional round contest with the Ravens, a rookie cop in East Rutherford mistakes LaDainian Tomlinson for the real "L.T.," Lawrence Taylor, and arrests Tomlinson. Tomlinson is held overnight, and before the mess gets straightened out, he misses the game, furthering the notion that Tomlinson "disappears for the playoffs."

* Just minutes after announcing his return to the Vikings in an ESPN special entitled "The Indecision," hosted by Sasha Grey, Brett Favre reveals the details of his new venture into the world of the fashion industry. Sales of Favre's new line of clothing, geared to graying, indecisive 40-somethings and crafted with a rugged, Norse-themed style, skyrocket, and not soon after, an "Old Scandi-Navy' outlet opens in the Mall of America.

Favre is later pranked on a Johnny Knoxville/Ashton Kutcher collaboration called "Punkass", in which Knoxville sidekick Bam Margera "antiques" Favre.

* The Seattle Seahawks win the NFC West with a 10-6 record, a vast improvement over last year's 5-11 campaign. Head coach Pete Carroll wins the NFL's Coach of the Year award, and credits his success to youthful exuberance, honed by years in the college game, as well as a payroll equal to that which he enjoyed at USC, in his acceptance speech.

* Perennial playboy Tony Romo, tired of his dating exploits overshadowing those on the field, makes a vow of abstinence, promising that his duties as Dallas quarterback won't be affected by the constraints and responsibilities of a relationship. A Dallas newspaper scribe dubs Romo the 'Space Cowboy,' and although his bond with tight end Jason Witten suffers, Romo's play doesn't, and he peaks in a December 12th showdown against the Eagles. Romo throws for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 38-37 win over Philadelphia.

* Jimmy Clausen wins the Panthers' starting quarterback job, outpacing Matt Moore in a close training camp battle. After an initial clash of personalities with wide receiver Steve Smith, which results in a black eye for Clausen, the two form a feared connection, combining for 3 touchdowns in the season's first two games.

Clausen ends the year as the highest-rated rookie quarterback, while Smith registers 8 touchdown receptions.

* Terrell Owens shamelessly pleads his case for a job with the Patriots and Bill Belichick, taking out a full-page advertisement in the Boston Herald, claiming he "Fits the 'Bill.'"

Belichick offers a quick reply, taking out a two-page in the Herald where a succinct "N-O" appears in the paper's centerfold.

Then, just days before the regular season begins, a desperate Owens signs a one-year contract with the Buccaneers for the bargain price of $325,000. After Owens is released after Tampa's Week 3 26-17 loss to the Steelers, funny man Frank Caliendo spoofs the situation by appearing on FOX's pre-game show as a chubby Fred Durst, singing Limp Bizkit's "I Did it All For the Rookie (Minimum)."

* Tennessee's Chris Johnson discusses the details of his new contract in an interview with the NFL Network's Adam Schefter. Johnson praises the Titans commitment, and claims he is perfectly happy with the terms of the deal, which include a $2 million salary in 2010, as well as a comprehensive dental plan.

Johnson injures a hamstring in the Titans' final preseason game and misses the regular season's first four games. He returns to the field on October 10th in Dallas, where he blisters the Cowboys for 206 yards. Despite missing four games in his holdout, Johnson proves his worth by rushing for 2,002 yards in only 12 games, then threatens another holdout unless the Titans renegotiate his contract.

Johnson wins the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award, but again fails to garner a single vote for the MVP, which is awarded to Peyton Manning, an issue Johnson vehemently protests, with the help of rapper and friend Kanye West.

* Jeremy Shockey makes an appearance in the season three finale of HBO's True Blood, playing a mysterious character who refuses to bow to vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, telepaths, gay-albeit-macho prostitute/drug dealer/short-order cooks, or other supernatural beings.

Shockey's character is short-lived, and is written out of the script when he incites a fight with Stephen Moyer, after refusing to participate in rookie actor hazing.

Shockey and the Saints capture the NFC South crown, but fall to the Packers 27-13 in frigid Green Bay in the divisional round.

* Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed is arrested on Thanksgiving night at a Penn Hills, Pennsylvania Best Buy after store clerks observe him playing Wii golf wearing only a pair of cleats. After posting bail, Reed, still nude, is interviewed by a local television station, and defiantly declares himself a "free spirit" and a "fantasy stud." Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin suspends Reed for one game, and ridicules him for several more.

Reed returns to action on December 5th at Baltimore, where he misses a 27-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. The Steelers lose 23-20 and eventually finish the season 9-7.

* The Jets Antonio Cromartie records only 27 tackles on the year, but leads the AFC with 9 interceptions, proving that for what he lacks in run support, he makes up for in child support and ball-hawking skills. The former Chargers defensive back, who has seven children with six different women in five different states, but only one country, is lauded for his play during a 2-interception effort at New England on December 6th, in which John Gruden describes his coverage skills as "impregnable."

* Adrian Peterson, whose handshake has attained legendary status, sets a Guinness world record by cracking 31 walnuts with a single bare hand. Despite his record-breaking show of hand strength, Peterson is still plagued by fumbling issues. He tries a number of new age remedies, including hypnosis, acupuncture, and finger puppets, to no avail, but eventually finds a satisfactory solution with a pair of his girlfriend's exfoliating bath gloves.

Peterson ends the year with only 5 fumbles, and leads the NFC in rushing with 1,485 yards.

* Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert purchases 1,741 tickets to the Browns December 5th game at Miami and charters a caravan of buses filled with Browns fans making the trip from Cleveland to Miami. When asked about his motives, Gilbert says he "wants to make sure the game, like Lebron James, is a 'sellout.'"

* After a 30-23 win over the Dolphins in Miami on September 26th, Jets teammates Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards celebrate in downtown Miami Beach hot spot Mansion. After sharing a joint with Holmes, Edwards inexplicably sucker-punches a patron, who turns out to be the only remaining friend of Lebron James.

* Former Panthers captain Julius Peppers finds contentment in Chicago, obviously more comfortable with a "C" on his helmet than on his jersey, revitalizing the Bears' defense with 14 sacks and 2 interceptions on the year.

* Jason Campbell, despite finding himself in a similar situation, with a struggling team, a rabid fan base, and an owner who knows little to nothing about football, flourishes in Oakland. Campbell throws for 3 touchdowns in the Raiders' 26-21 opening week loss in Tennessee, thereby matching JaMarcus Russell's 2009 output.

Oakland finishes a respectable 7-9, good for third place in the AFC West.

* Under the terms of Shaun Rogers' gun arrest diversion program, the Browns defensive tackle is to, under no circumstances, refer to his preparations for a road trip as "packing."

Rogers acts on his best behavior, and enjoys a solid season, recording 6 sacks, and a photograph of his devastating knockout hit on Laurence Maroney against New England on November 7th graces the Sports Illustrated cover, with the appropriate caption "Pat Down."

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