Friday, July 29, 2016
Secrets of the 2016 NFL Season (Pt. 2)
Continued from: Secrets of the 2016 NFL Season (Pt. 1)
* Former Minnesota Viking running back Onterrio Smith makes a comeback, not as a player, but as a pitchman for his new Whizzinator-like product to help players beat drug tests. The product, which is endorsed by the estate of Prince, is called the "Purple Vein" and sells for $89.95 on Smith's website, fauxsho.com.
* The Cowboys organization responds to the teams' recent and habitual behavioral issues by devoting a $2 million budget to commission a public service announcement to be aired during August 7th's Hall of Fame game between the Colts and Packers.
The production, directed by Quentin Tarantino and sporting a running time of two hours 47 minutes, stars 67 former and current Cowboys and features the violence fans have come to expect from the Cowboys and Tarantino, as well as the foul and racist language, most of it uttered by former Philadelphia Eagle Riley Cooper, who makes a mysterious cameo.
The Cowboys season takes a scary turn on November 1st, when Tony Romo injures his collarbone while fervently scanning for teammates' names in the police news section of the Dallas Morning News. Luckily, Romo is able to play through the pain and leads the Cowboys to the NFC East title.
* Philip Rivers is finally able to hold the "Vince Lombardi Trophy," when he and his wife Tiffany welcome their ninth child, a boy named "Vince Lombardi Trophy Rivers" on February 1st.
After a knee injury suffered in Week 12's game at Houston ends his season prematurely, Rivers tearfully announces in a press conference that he is having a vasectomy.
* In the Patriots home opener on September 18th versus the Dolphins, New England owner Robert Kraft hires a football-shaped blimp, co-piloted by Jim McMahan wearing a headband emblazoned with the word "Goodell," to hover over Gillette Stadium.
Each of the 68,000 seats in the stadium is equipped with a whoopee cushion bearing the likeness of Goodell with a note urging fans to "take the air out of this."
The suspended Tom Brady makes an appearance, not at the stadium but on the CBS broadcast of the game, appearing in a commercial for BeautyRest mattresses, in which Brady lounges comfortably on a BeautyRest mattress while manually inflating a blow-up doll.
* Suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon introduces his new taxi service geared towards transporting potheads and stoners around Cleveland. The service, named "Doober," is initially introduced to focus groups, and Gordon, for once, is pleased to hear that things "tested positive."
Gordon returns to action in Week 5 and grabs 4 catches for 20 yards in a 31-17 loss to New England. It's downhill from there, as Brown's attempt to join the "mile-high" club on the flight home is thwarted by a nosy air marshal.
Gordon is subsequently banned for life from the league, and retires to a mountaintop high in the Rockies of Colorado, where he dispenses wisdom and medicinal marijuana.
* The pirate theme borders on overkill when Long John Silvers and Captain Morgan Rum sponsor "Piracy Day" at the October 30th Raiders/Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium, where all fans in attendance are encouraged to steal music from Kanye West.
In addition to West, the Buccaneers are the real losers on the day, as the inspired Raiders, coming off a brutal 30-10 loss at Jacksonville the previous week, leave town with a 35-19 win.
* Robert Griffin III passes for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Browns whip the Redskins 30-17 in week 4 in Cleveland. Afterwards, Griffin posts the phrase "RG III-Venge" on Twitter, then files to copyright and trademark the term.
Unfortunately, it's one of the few high notes for Griffin, as he injures his knee against the Ravens in week 10. Griffin endears himself to the Cleveland faithful during his recovery, showing extreme toughness, while reminding many of Johnny Manziel, when Griffin adamantly refuses rehab.
* Roger Goodell shows up at James Harrison's suburban Pittsburgh home with a clear plastic cup, looking to impose his will on Harrison. Harrison calmly imposes his "won't" on the commissioner, refusing Goodell's request for an interview and a urine sample.
After a little small talk, Harrison and Goodell head to Harrison's basement, where they bond on the bench press in Harrison's spacious weight room. In a subsequent interview with Men's Journal magazine, Harrison says he "spotted" a crook and a puppet.
* For his 26th birthday on September 22nd, Denard Robinson's Jacksonville teammates present him with a life jacket, an alarm clock, and a waterproof sleeping back, while the Jags custodial staff honors the day by naming a sink after Robinson.
On the season, Robinson rushes for 425 yards and 6 touchdowns, and the Jaguars stay in the AFC South race until the very end, completing the season with a 6-10 record.
* Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL in rushing with 1,396 yards, edging Green Bay's Eddie Lacy by 31 yards.
The Rams finish the season with an 8-8 record, good for third in the NFC West. An elated Jeff Fisher, in an announcement made on his coaches show, "The .500 Club," declares he'll be back next season.
* Jameis Winston signs a deal to be the official spokesman for Publix grocery stores, and touts the chain's low prices with the new official slogan "it's a steal."
The Buccaneers finish 10-6, taking second in the NFC South to the Panthers and earning a wild card playoff berth. In their wild card matchup against the Cowboys, Winston tosses 4 interceptions and the Bucs fall 27-14. Afterwards, Winston surprisingly takes full responsibility for the loss, and stands on a chair in the locker room and shouts "I F'd Us Right Out of the P(layoffs)!"
* In his return to the lineup after serving a four-game suspension, Le'Veon Bell is given a standing ovation by the Heinz Field faithful, many of whom raise their beverages in Bell's honor. Bell acknowledges the crowd, and later quips that the experience took "being toasted" to another level, even for him.
Bell scorches the Jets for 159 total yards and 2 touchdowns as the Steelers put away New York, 31-20.
* Andrew Luck returns from a disappointing 2015 year with a vengeance, with all intentions of taking fewer hits and protecting his body, but signing up as an organ donor just in case.
Luck passes for 4,122 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushes for 6 touchdowns, as the Colts recapture the AFC South title win a 9-7 record.
* The Seahawks again lead the NFL in scoring defense, surrendering an average of 18.1 points per game. In the offseason, they also lead the league in defensive starters demanding a renegotiated contract, with 9.0.
* Miami's Arian Foster doesn't lead the Dolphins in any statistical categories, but he does lead the team in a hot yoga exercise class, an Eastern religion meditative breathing seminar, and a cooking class devoted to the wonders of tofu.
The Dolphins finish the season 8-8, four games behind the 12-4 Patriots, and Foster announces his retirement soon after, and begins his next journey as an inspirational acupuncturist.