Thursday, July 21, 2016
Secrets of the 2016 NFL Season (Pt. 1)
* In late August, Aaron Rodgers disappears for two days, and later claims to have been abducted by aliens. Rodgers tearfully admits that the aliens probed him rectally with a vegetable, and many Rodgers critics later claim that he still has the corncob stuck up his ass.
On the first day of training camp, Rodgers claims to have seen a "little green man," but it is later revealed to merely be a greatly-slimmed down version of Eddie Lacy in a body suit.
Rodgers passes for 4,455 yards and 38 touchdowns on the season, including 11 to Jordy Nelson. The Packers win the NFC North and beat the Seahawks 26-23 in the NFC Championship to advance to Super Bowl LI.
* Josh Norman and Odell Beckham, Jr. clash when the Redskins and Giants meet on September 25th at FedEx Field. Beckham gets the best of Norman, with seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns, as well as with a flying dropkick to the head that somehow goes unnoticed by the officiating crew.
Beckham taunts Norman further when he shows up at the post-game press conference in a No. 9 University Of Louisiana Cougars "Bobby Boucher" jersey.
On the season, Beckham records 100 catches for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns and the Giants finish with an 8-8 record, good for first and last in the NFC East.
* On the eve of the start of the 2016 season, rumors emerge that Johnny Manziel was stopped by police in Indianapolis, who allegedly found prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash in the troubled former Browns' car. Alas, the rumors prove to be unsubstantiated, and are written off simply as "Irsay."
Later in the year, Manziel makes news again when he agrees to be the first subject of a new A&E/VH1 show called "Celebrity Intervention." Manziel also enters the Guinness World Record on December 31, when he is the subject of his latest internet death hoax, which gives him the world record of 36 in one calendar year.
* Fozzy Whitaker earns the backup running back position to Jonathan Stewart, and jokingly refers to himself as "HB2," which creates a firestorm of controversy in North Carolina.
Whitaker then airs an apology from a unisex bathroom inside North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's mansion in Raleigh, which Whitaker streams live on Periscope.
The Panthers finish the season 11-5, first in the NFC South, and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they fall 23-21 in a rematch to Seattle.
* Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins appears on a racy cover of the September issue of GQ Magazine, where he reclines in a pair of Calvin Klein boxers in a love chair while watching game film. The cover story, titled "'Skin Flix and Chill," is read by millions, but results in the shy and unassuming Cousins to be recognized by nearly everyone, except All Pro voters.
The Redskins falter to a 6-10 record, and Cousins struggles to even approach his 2015 numbers, and the phrase "I Don't Like That" becomes the rallying cry for disgruntled Redskins fans everywhere.
* Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan, who in June claimed the Bills "won the offseason," makes another bold claim on October 2nd at Foxboro, when he declares the Bills "won the second half" after trimming the Patriots 27-point halftime lead to 20 points in the second half in an eventual 41-21 loss.
Buffalo finishes the season 6-10, last in the AFC East, and Ryan is fired the day after the regular season ends, giving the Bills a head start on winning the next offseason.
* On Denver's first play from scrimmage in their Super Bowl rematch with the Panthers on September 8th, quarterback Mark Sanchez launches a pass 65 yards downfield intended for DeMaryius Thomas. Unfortunately, the ball drops to the turf incomplete, as Thomas had forgotten that Peyton Manning was not his quarterback and had only ran two yards downfield before peeling back for a bubble screen.
Sanchez struggles so badly in the Broncos first four games that John Elway jokingly says Sanchez may be "sent down to the minors." Sanchez mistakenly interprets the quip to mean he is being set up on a blind date with a 17-year-old.
* Jason Pierre-Paul leads the Giants with 8 ½ sacks on the season, the first time since the league began recording sacks that the New York leader could count the number of sacks on just two hands.
JPP is later tapped to introduce heavy metal knockoff cover band "Three Finger Death Punch" on their seven-stop world tour.
* In a Monday night showdown at Denver on October 24th, J.J. Watt enters the game late in the second quarter at tight end, then shifts to quarterback as Brock Osweiler splits out wide. Watt fumbles the snap and covers it, but is immediately pounced on for the sack by Von Miller. In the second half, Watt wraps up Mark Sanchez for a sack, thus becoming the first player in NFL history to be sacked and record a sack in the same game.
Watt finishes the year as the NFL's sack leader, logging 19½, and later appears on the Jimmy Kimmel Show where he box jumps the height of Peter Dinklage.
* FOX Sports personality Skip Bayless' Twitter account is hacked in late August by 4chan, which tweets a Bayless' Super Bowl LI prediction of the Jaguars over the 49ers, 77-75, among other fantastical tweets. No one at all notices the hack except for Bayless himself, and decide he actually likes the direction his account is headed.
Bayless later joins Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock, and the three venture into the afternoon chit chat show arena with the FOX Sports original "I Like to Hear Myself" talk show.
In December, controversy erupts in the Fox Sports headquarters in Los Angeles, where Troy Aikman locks Bayless in the men's bathroom for over seven hours, until Bayless is forced to "come out" on national television during Fox Sports Live.
* Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eiffert, who misses 12 of 16 games with a variety of injuries and ailments, including a sprained ear, a bruised coccyx, and a ruptured uvula, is voted to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl as a "DL."
In the four games Eiffert does play, he somehow manages to score six touchdowns on only 5 catches.
* With Martellus Bennett joining Rob Gronkowski in the Patriots tight end corps, the team's double-tight end sets become virtually unstoppable. During New England's Week 9 bye week, the duo heads to Las Vegas and convene at the Paris Las Vegas, where the two pose for pictures high-fiving over female fans in front of the site's replica Eiffel Tower.
Bennett catches the game-winning touchdown pass from Tom Brady as the Patriots down the Packers 31-27 in Super Bowl LI.
* ESPN's "Mike and Mike" morning show teams up with the makers of "Sour Patch Kids" candy and "Mike and Ike" candy for a new product called "Mike and Mike And Ike Sour Patch Kids" candy. Not only are the candies first sour, then sweet, they're also telling you there a hopeless New York Jets fan one minute, then they're making sure you know they played in the NFL for eight seasons the next.
* The 49ers race to a 4-0 start to the season, leading head coach Chip Kelly to boast that the team will win the NFC West going way. Kelly's optimism comes crashing back down to earth when the former 49ers' great Dwight Clark reveals "the catch," that San Francisco's 4-0 start is just in the preseason.
* The NFL and Roger Goodell announce plans to produce a movie to be released on Christmas Day. The movie, titled "Concussionception," tells the story of a fictional sporting league in which the idea of perceived head injuries is merely the result of the subconscious implantation of the idea itself into the low-functioning brains of its vast and loyal following.
The web site "Rotten Tomatoes" gives the movie an initial 51% favorability rating, but that number mysteriously rockets to 98% after an "official review" by the NFL.
Look for Secrets of the 2016 NFL Season (Pt. 2) next week.