Normally, I’m of the opinion that winning is the only thing that matters to me as a fan. I don’t necessarily care what type of person you are off the field, what your beliefs are, what you do in your free time, whatever. I’m not a fan of Local Sports Athlete, The Person. I’m just a fan of Local Sports Athlete, The Member of Local Sports Team. And when you leave the Local Sports Team, I tend to immediately lose interest in you. Even the all-time greats! I rarely took the time to see what Ken Griffey Jr. or Gary Payton did after they left Seattle. Unless they were involved in a playoff run, in which case I would root from afar, but not too hard, because it’s impossible to root hard for a team that’s not your own.
Tangents aside, in getting back to my original point: NORMALLY, I could care less about who these athletes are. If you’re kind of a creep, I’m probably going to put up with your antics, because as the axiom goes: You would absolutely LOVE everything Richard Sherman says and does if he was on YOUR team.
I’m sure Richard Sherman has his fair share of fans who aren’t necessarily Seahawks fans. It is possible to overlap in this Venn diagram. For instance, I always liked whenever Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens or Randy Moss made waves with whatever controversial things they said or did. Even the Sharpie Incident, which happened during a game against my beloved Seahawks; I LOVE that shit! I think it’s hilarious. Now, in the heat of the moment, I was most likely enraged, but taken objectively, I think there IS a place in the game for these types of characters, and I wish we had more of them.
Nevertheless, Richard Sherman has an inordinate amount of haters because of who he is and what he says. Golden Tate, too, has an inordinate amount of haters, because of the Fail Mary, and more recently the taunting spectacle in the Monday Night Rams game. And, I guess because he went to Notre Dame and it’s always popular to hate on the Fighting Irish.
I contend that I would be fans of these guys even if they’d never once worn a Seahawks uniform, because they’re entertaining. They’re not boxed into some white-bread formula for what a professional football player is supposed to be. I don’t need a league full of cookie-cutter athletes. I think Mark Schlereth is the most boring analyst on television and I’d rather there be MORE players who ruffle his feathers. I don’t subscribe to the Mike Golic way of thinking, and I’m better for it.
That having been said, there’s another type of professional athlete who I can’t stand. And I want to believe I’d hate this type of player even if he donned the Seahawks’ unis. This player is no better exemplified than by one Richie Incognito.
This guy is a fucking asshole of the highest order. What’s worse, the bulk of his value isn’t derived from his skill at the offensive guard position, but rather in how dirty he is as a player.
There have been dirty players I’ve enjoyed and rooted for in my lifetime. Dennis Rodman was always pretty dirty; but he also rebounded the ball like a madman and was ultimately an asset on the floor until his personality got in the way and the team soured on his antics. There have been any number of cheaters in baseball who I’ve rooted for at one time or another. I even have a generally postive opinion of Barry Bonds; but don’t get me started on that dickhead Roger Clemens. Even Brandon Browner is more imposing enforcer than NFL cornerback; but he still has a skillset and for the most part plays within the rules.
Richie Incognito, on the other hand, is damn near a psychopath. How he has never played for the Oakland Raiders is anybody’s guess. Being billed the Dirtiest Player In The NFL isn’t something to be proud of! What’s more, if he wasn’t so dirty, he wouldn’t even be in the league! The guy is a mediocre lineman at best, and that’s while using every dirty trick in the book. He’s often one of the most-penalized players in the NFL. And now, we’ve got this hazing incident.
If the Seahawks went out and signed him to the minimum for next year as some added depth, there is no way I’d root for the man. I’d actively criticize this front office every chance I got. Hell, if the Seahawks would’ve signed him in his supposed-prime, I still would have criticized the move! He’s a terrible football player, a wretch of a human being, and I hope he has played his last down in the NFL. And, if he gets another chance to play again, I hope he tears both ACLs in his first practice. Incognito is scum; that is all.
On to the rankings.
- Denver Broncos (7-1) – WOW, look at this schedule the next four games: @SD, KC, @NE, @KC. There’s your gauntlet, my friends. This is also the stretch that likely decides the AFC West and the AFC top 2 seeds.
- Seattle Seahawks (8-1) – The best team in football doesn’t let a team like Tampa put up a 21-point lead; I don’t care if we came back in the second half.
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) – They’re just steady, what can you say?
- Indianapolis Colts (6-2) – Boy, that Andrew Luck is simply a baller. It’s going to hurt him not having Reggie Wayne around, though. They’re going to need to find a #2 receiver in a bad way.
- San Francisco 49ers (6-2) – You chickenfuckers thought you were going to get one on us! Not sorry to let you down, assholes!
- New England Patriots (7-2) – Whoop-dee-doo, they beat up on the Pittsburgh Steelers, BFD.
- New Orleans Saints (6-2) – They’ll still end up with a good record, but I just can’t see the Saints as a Top 2 team in the NFC. I still think Green Bay steals that #2 seed in the end.
- Green Bay Packers (5-3) – Like so many teams, the Packers are one injured quarterback away from being totally worthless.
- Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) – And, Andy Dalton follows up his best game ever with three interceptions and a safety to end the game in overtime. This is why we can’t have nice things!
- Detroit Lions (5-3) – So, have you seen Detroit’s second-half schedule? Look at these cupcakes: @Chi, @Pit, TB, GB, @Phi, Bal, Giants, @Min. This team could EASILY be 12-4 at season’s end!
- Carolina Panthers (5-3) – Panthers are riding a 4-game winning streak and absolutely had to win that game against the Falcons. Their upcoming schedule is pretty rough, with the next three: @SF, NE, @Mia. If they figure out a way to go 2-1 in that stretch, I would legitimately be afraid of this team. Also, not for nothing, but they still play the Saints twice.
- Chicago Bears (5-3) – Matt Forte is a national treasure. This year of fantasy dominance totally redeems him for his last two years of utter sucktitude.
- New York Jets (5-4) – J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets! They beat the Saints for us and we ALMOST blew it. Either way, way to go! You’re earning more points in my book every week!
- Dallas Cowboys (5-4) – Wow, Tony Romo in the clutch … what is the world coming to?
- Arizona Cardinals (4-4) – This team could finish 10-6 or 6-10 and it wouldn’t totally shock me. Home games against Texans, Indy, Rams, and 49ers. Road games against Jax, Phi, Ten, and Sea. I could see 6 wins in that slate, and also 6 losses; guess it just depends on whether or not Palmer has enough in the tank.
- San Diego Chargers (4-4) – Like the Dolphins, we’re not talking about a good team. One of these two teams (Chargers or Dolphins) will take that 6th spot in the AFC playoffs, but they will lose in that first playoff game, without question.
- Miami Dolphins (4-4) – They beat an inconsistent Bengals team. Who cares? They’re still not very good.
- Houston Texans (2-6) – Boy, I tell you, that Case Keenum fella is going to be fun to watch for the next 5-6 years. Houston kinda lucked out this year. If they can finish with a crappy-enough record, maybe they get a high draft pick and immediately reload for next year.
- Atlanta Falcons (2-6) – Matt Ryan is KILLING me right now. You can’t be throwing all these interceptions! Well, except for next week, when Seattle comes to town. but, after that, NO MORE!
- Cleveland Browns (4-5) – Oh those resilient Browns! I never had a doubt that they’d beat the Ravens.
- Buffalo Bills (3-6) – Tuel looked kinda okay against the undefeated Chiefs. In the end, he cost them the game, and he’s clearly the third-best quarterback on that team, but still. He should hold his head reasonably high.
- Baltimore Ravens (3-5) – There is something seriously wrong with Ray Rice. Well, there are five things seriously wrong with Ray Rice, and that would be his offensive linemen.
- Tennessee Titans (4-4) – Didn’t have Locker’s best game, but still went in and put a pounding on a decent Rams team (on the road, no less).
- Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) – Nick Foles, you have single-handedly won me my fantasy game on an otherwise down week! I love you! You may have also saved my season and pushed me through into the playoffs! I want to have your babies!
- Oakland Raiders (3-5) – Pretty stinky performance, Raiders. My fantasy team thanks you for that.
- Washington Redskins (3-5) – That goalline stand against the Chargers was bigtime to force the field goal that forced overtime. I’m pretty skeptical that the Redskins are going to turn it around two seasons in a row after starting off ultra-shitty, but this might be the spark they need.
- New York Giants (2-6) – Everyone in the crappy NFC East won on Sunday. And yet the Giants are still in this thing at 2-6. Ye gods.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) – Maybe the only offensive line worse than the Seahawks’.
- St. Louis Rams (3-6) – They looked decent, but you’re still talking about a team headed by Kellen Clemens. No thanks.
- Minnesota Vikings (1-7) – I had to play Nick Foles in my fantasy league this week (2-QB league) and I ALMOST swapped him out when I saw Christian Ponder on the waiver wire. In the end, I stuck with Foles, believing that while Ponder was probably the safer play, Foles had the higher upside. Had I gone with the swap, you’d be looking at a dead man right now, because I would have jumped out of a 10-story building before the end of the afternoon games on Sunday.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) – Still a bad team. They just caught the Seahawks at the right time. Maybe if they had the same dedication to the run, they’d start winning some games. Ya think?
- Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) – Your 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars.