NFL Snark Rankings: Week 9
Tis the season. Now that the calendar has flipped to November, be prepared for an onslaught of advertising from retailers as the race for Black Friday supremacy is on.
Instead of political mailers depicting the rival candidate as a decadent miscreant in the pockets of big business and special interest groups, your mailbox will be filled with holiday catalogs, and invitations to an ugly sweater party.
Luckily for me, I received both last week, almost as if NFLShop.com knew the invitation would be arriving the same day as their holiday catalog with a family of San Francisco 49ers fans all wearing ugly sweaters.
Their marketing department really needs to tailor their catalogs geographically. Do you think somebody living in the greater Seattle area wants to get a catalog displaying 49ers merchandise?
Immediately, a photo of the cover was posted to social media, where friends and colleagues chimed in on the festive garb. Not that the Seahawks, ugly sweater was much better. Seriously, who thinks neon green and steel blue is a good mix? It’s not so bad if your Christmas grog of choice is that color.
As the calendar flips to the second half of the season, there isn’t much to look forward to for our Snark teams. Yes, they are our teams, but that's about it.
So as Week 10 rapidly approaches, GMs around the league should start making a list and checking it twice, because one more wrong move, and they're as done as a Thanksgiving turkey.
If your name is Jeff Idzik, perhaps a surface-to-air missile is at the top of your Christmas list. A halfway decent draft pick would be at the top of Jets fans' wish lists. Can they add that to their Amazon.com Christmas list? It might be the most viewed item in the greater New Jersey area.
1. Oakland Raiders (0-8) – This turned out to be a difficult selection, as the Raiders nearly pulled off a major upset in the Pacific Northwest last Sunday, losing to the Seahawks, 30- 24. If it weren’t for Beast Mode and Steven Hauschka, the Silver & Black might've notched their first victory of the season. Instead, they get to host the Broncos, who will certainly be looking to pile on after getting blown out in New England. In fact, Week 10 begins three straight AFC West division games for Oakland, who have one of the toughest schedules in the league. Some reward for sucking last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Do I sound like a broken record? The Raiders have a Christmas list so long that Santa’s sack isn’t nearly big enough for their wants and desires. Get your mind out of the gutter! This team needs help. On the field.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) – How on God’s green Earth did this team win a game? Oh, right, they caught the Browns napping and ruined my survivor pool. Now I remember. Like the Snark Rankings leader Oakland Raiders, the Jags gave their opponent -- the Cincinnati Bengals -- all they could handle, losing by just 10 points, 33-23. Remember when the Bengals were the trendy pre-season AFC Super Bowl representative pick? The promo ads should’ve featured the Ickey Shuffle and perhaps more fans would be on board.
Unless they catch the Titans napping during a home game in Week 16, this team has reached it’s potential, and sadly, may only end up with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. That would still be a huge help for the Black-and-can-of-spray-paint-Gold purchased from the Dollar Store helmets section. New uniforms should be on Jax’s Christmas list. Perhaps a new home would suffice?
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) – Let’s give credit where credit is due, Bruce's Boys narrowly lost to the Browns in Cleveland. It’s never easy to win on the road in the NFL, exemplified when the Browns traveled to Jacksonville in Week 7. OK, I’m over it. I’m not bitter about a playoff team losing to one of the worst damn teams in NFL history with atrocious quarterback play, and leaving one of the most-hyped college quarterbacks in history on the bench! Enough about Cleveland. They have their own problems with Lebron stumbling out of the gate. Tampa Bay is an enigma of a sports town, or should I say, region? Do you sense a theme here? Tampa is an actual city in Florida; however, Tampa Bay comprises the cities of Tampa, St Petersburg -- where the Rays play -- and Clearwater, Florida. Residents are more likely to witness a shark attack than professional sports. The Lightning must sell out their games because it's a place where the fans can stay cool. Or is it because they actually win games?
I hear the area’s a hopping spot come March for Spring Training. That’s sort of like professional sports, don’t you think?
4. New York Jets (1-8) – Good Lord! Can this season get any worse? You beat the winless Raiders -- congrats, dudes -- yet franchise QB Geno Smith wasn’t even active for this game against the Chiefs. Even though the Jets lost, 24-10, it was never really that close, as the Kansas City exerted its will upon every letter of J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, in every facet of the game, including head coach Andy Reid playing the politician and patting Michael Vick on the helmet when he ran into his former coach after being chased out of bounds. Vick is lucky he didn’t get chased from the game permanently. This doozy of a headline comes from the World Wide Leader's website: Geno Smith Throws in Practice. Is this relevant news? The airplane flying around Jets practice with the Fire Jeff Idznik banner was a more compelling news story. If Santa doesn’t make it to every kid's house this Christmas, chances are he got sidetracked in northern New Jersey.
Redskins Professional Football Franchise (3-6) – Since we’re at the height of election season, I’m going to take the politically correct road and not refer to this team by their racist moniker anymore. Several news media outlets have taken the initiative already, such as the local Seattle Times. You remember the newspaper, don’t you? It’s not just useful for setting the guts from pumpkin carving on or filling out the daily crossword puzzle during your morning routine. OK, enough about my personal life. The Red Man pouches had a tough start to their day in Minnesota when both team buses collided with one another. They almost had to commandeer a fleet of motorcycles to get to the stadium.
Then they had an even tougher day in the Twin Cities, losing 29-26. Granted, this was a fairly close game by Snark team standards, but losing to a weekly Snark contender will get you noticed. Their week was also capped with TMZ-style headlines from the Premier Sports Network when reports surfaced about a serious disconnect in the DC locker room regarding players not respecting QB Robert Griffin III. Apparently, a group of teammates started shouting during an interview RG3 was conducting with reporters, forcing them to move into a quieter area of the building. The intent was to disrupt the media, not thwart RG3’s responses. The joke’s on you, Jack. Is this what they consider self-reporting infractions? Needless to say, the distractions were too much for RG3 & Co to overcome. They host the Buccaneers in Week 10 for one of their few remaining opportunities to notch a victory, then it’s on the road to San Francisco and Indianapolis before finishing the season with their three division rivals. Luckily, they don’t have to give their first-round pick to the Rams this year. It’s clear that a Top Five draft pick is at the top of their shopping list.
And what affects them affects us.
No wonder FanDuel is so popular! Good times, not long times.
Well kiddies, as you begin to fill out your Christmas list, remember there are many needy children throughout the country, and in the spirit of giving, may you keep an open heart and mind to the needs of others, since billionaire owners and GMs can’t seem to get things right. I wonder if Santa can fly a banner off the end of his sleigh this season.
Even Santa Claus has a price.