There’s nothing better than Fantasy Football Pun Names – if by better you mean annoying to 99% of the population. You know, the names so topical that three years later, you wonder, "what was I thinking when I named my team that?"
With that lofty goal in mind, I’ve been tasked with the challenge of coming up with 2013 fantasy football team names based on actual stories from the 2012 NFL season. Because my ego understands that whatever names I come up with will be outdone by most readers of this article, I have decided to focus on the stories that cry out for mocking, so that you’ll have a head start going into next season.
I’ll lead each story with a humble suggestion as a possible team name. Let me state that I tried to avoid (most) stories that were so big they took over the NFL season. I do not feel those led to a pithy, sarcastic team name. You'd also end up being the third guy in your league with basically the same name. So you won’t find Bountygate and the "Bounty Quicker Picker Upper Antonio Gateses." Nor will you find the "Keanu Reeves Stars in The Replacements (Refs)." Fear not, however. If I felt the story was obscure or buried enough, I provided some links, so you can bask in the glory of all the off-field (and some on-field) strangeness that is the NFL.
1. Rhinestone Cowboys
For all of Jerry Jones’s faults, being cheap normally isn’t one of them – at least when it comes to the Cowboys organization. A few years ago, the Cowboys were bidding on the cowboys.com domain name, and they won it for $275,000. And yet, upon being asked for the $275,000 check, Dallas backed out of the deal because they believed that when they bid "275" at auction, it meant $275, not $275,000. Given (broad generalization here) that many people over the age of 70 are not particularly Internet-savvy, can’t you just picture Jones himself being the Cowboys representative who made the mistake?
The auction was re-opened and the winner eventually paid about $100,000 more than the Cowboys owed, so everyone was happy. Except, now, perhaps, the Cowboys. The auction winner has launched cowboys.com as a gay cowboy dating site (although they do say that they also cater to straight daters "looking for cowboys"). Feel free, therefore, to name your team with the Rhinestone Cowboys moniker above, or better yet, go with the website’s slogan of "Find Yourself a Cowboy!"
2. Bedtime for Dez
I’ll stick with the Cowboys for this second one and go with the wonderful mess that was the Cowboys instituting a curfew for Dez Bryant and hiring professional babysitters to keep him company. It is strange enough that a grown man being paid millions of dollars a year would be considered so untrustworthy by his employer that he needs 24/7 reminders of his bed time. Stranger still was how every time Dez broke curfew and the Cowboys had to cover it up they would say he had special permission to break curfew. The twitter-verse did not buy those excuses.
The best parts were usually who Dez chose to break curfew with on a given night. For instance, Delonte West. When your constantly monitored wide receiver chooses to hit the club with an unstable, out of work NBAer who is most famous for carrying around a lot of weapons, good times are certain to ensue. That said, just when you thought he was Deztined for Dezaster, after blowing off a little steam with Delonte, Dez Bryant was possibly the most productive fantasy receiver of the last two months.
3. Dinner With Lomas Brown
This one only gets in on a technicality because, while the supposed incident happened in 1994, the revelation came in 2012. Supposedly, according to Lomas Brown anyway, in an admission against interest on a radio show, in 1994, he intentionally failed to make a block in order to get Scott Mitchell injured and out of the game. All because Mitchell "stunk up the place."
As you can expect, Mitchell was upset, calling Brown’s statements reprehensible, especially since Mitchell hosted Brown for dinner while they were teammates. Brown's semi-apology was easily the worst part as he appeared to be digging the hole deeper and deeper. At the end of the day, the biggest question is whether Brown was blowing smoke trying to look tough on a radio show. Analysis of the actual game in question does not appear to back up any of Brown’s admission. Perhaps a more appropriate fantasy team name would be "Lomas Brown’s Imagined Slightings."
4. Chiefs' Life Alert Bracelets
It is hard to write about the Kansas City Chiefs and death and not think about the more serious stories of the year, but we’ll try to forge ahead anyway. According to his own obituary, on Nov. 14, 81-year-old Loren G. "Sam" Lickteig of Missouri passed away due to "complications from MS and heartbreaking disappointment caused by the Kansas City Chiefs football team."
I’m actually not surprised by this. In 2007, the Kansas City Chiefs went 4-12 with a point differential (226 to 335) of -109, which at the time ranked as the third worst point differential in Kansas City’s (at the time) 48-year franchise history. In 2008, the Chiefs went 2-14 with a point differential (291 to 440) of -149, easily the worst in their history. In 2009, the Chiefs went 4-12 with a point differential (294 to 424) of -130, the second worst in their history. In 2011, the Chiefs went 7-9, which is actually amazing, because their point differential (212 to 338) was -126, (becoming) the third worst in their history, and their statistical expected record was 4-12. In 2012, the Chiefs went 2-14 and their point differential(211 to 425) was -214, worst in the league and worst in the now 53-year Chiefs history by a mile - that 425 to 211 means on average, they got doubled-up! It’s a good thing Kansas City has the Royals and all those other good professional sports teams.
What I’d like to know is: who wrote the obituary? Sam Lickteig, who knew he was dying and wanted one parting shot at his team of futility? Sam’s relatives who thought "wouldn’t Sam have chuckled at this?" Or some now out of work obituary journalist who just lost $100 on his 10th losing Chiefs bet in a row? Oh, and in 2010, the Chiefs went 10-6 and finished first in their division. This is an absolute miracle when viewed in context of the surrounding years and shows you just how wacky football can be. It also shows you how schedule can help, since of their 10 wins, the only team they beat that finished with a winning record was the 9-7 Chargers, and that victory was in Week 1.
5. Atlanta Airport Egg Throwers Union
What has always bothered me about the incident where the airport workers in Atlanta egged the New Orleans Saints’ bus is that you know that if the bus stopped and Drew Brees took one step off, every single one of those egg lobbers would have been asking him for autographs. I'm pretty sure the one-sided conversation would have gone something like: "Oh man, Drew Brees, you’re the greatest. Hey, Tommy, wasn’t I just tellin’ you that Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the whole NFC? Hey Drew. You see the way I threw that egg? I got a pretty good arm too, don’ ya think? Maybe I can back you up ... when you hit the town in Atlanta! Hey, I’m jus’ messin’ with you. So how ‘bout an autograph for my kid? His name’s Joe Jr. Why don’ you just make it out to Joe?"
6. John Abraham's Parole Officers
Speaking of Atlanta, if you find yourself drunk in Atlanta some evening and see police tape, stay very, very, clear. It appears Falcons defensive end John Abraham was arrested and charged with obstruction of police and obstruction of firefighters in midtown Atlanta. What did he do to earn those charges? It seems local authorities were called after a woman threatened to jump off a building. When they arrived, they found a large crowd of people, including Abraham, gathered around the building. The police tried to move the crowd back by putting up crime scene tape, and Abraham not only didn’t move back, but crossed the tape and staggered around, belligerent, "obviously intoxicated," and repeating that he "owned three condos" in the building. It is unclear whether he was also trying to lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of Van Halen’s "Jump." Thankfully, the woman did not plunge to her demise – or onto Abraham.
7. No Victory Formations
This name could work for a fantasy team that does not expect to win any games easily. It also would work for any team owned by Bucs coach Greg Schiano. This year, the rookie NFL head coach welcomed himself to the NFL by taking the "Play hard until the clock reads zero" mentality to the extreme, instructing his team to rush forward and blitz every victory formation on the one in a million chance that a fumble would occur. I don’t have a problem with this mentality and I’m not sure there is that much higher a risk of injury – although there might be. What Schiano may be missing, however, is that once the quarterback’s knee hits the ground, the play is over as soon as he is even feather-touched. So, in order to cause a victory formation fumble, his players may need to be quick enough to break the sound barrier. I’d like to see what happens if, instead of kneeling, the quarterback gets into a slide pose. Could it lead to penalties or suspensions given how strict the "don’t tackle a QB who is sliding" rules are?
8. Don't Kick My Boys Called Suh
Or maybe A Suh Thanksgiving. I’m not sure what Ndamukong Suh has against Thanksgiving, but if I’m ever in a restaurant, and this guy’s eating a turkey sandwich, I’m getting the heck out of the way. On Thanksgiving 2011, after a play was over, Suh pushed Packers' offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the ground three times, then stomped on his arm. Despite the video evidence, Suh said he was just trying to keep his "balance." Suh was suspended in what, at the time, was his fifth disciplinary action for on the field conduct. This year, Suh decided his favorite part of the Thanksgiving turkey is the, hmmmm, giblets? I guess giblets isn’t technically that area at all, but we’ll go with that because it sounds better than turkey testicles. Either way, Suh’s foot made contact with the groin area of Matt Schaub, sending Schaub to the ground. Once again, Suh denied any bad intent. Perhaps, next Thanksgiving, Suh should just attend this event.
9. Cornball Siblings.
Ah, the words of Rob "I was pretty much anonymous until I decided to be an idiot" Parker. Let’s just go with the quote from ESPN’s First Take:
I've talked to some people in Washington, D.C. Some people in [Griffin's] press conferences. Some people I've known for a long time. My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is ... is he a 'brother,' or is he a cornball 'brother?' He's not really ... he's black, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the guy you'd want to hang out with. I just want to find out about him. I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. He has a white fiancé, people talking about that he's a Republican ... there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.
Frankly, I’ve never heard the term cornball anything, and I’ve yet to see any explanation other than the typical definition of someone who is goofy or unsophisticated (which is ironic, since Parker was criticizing RG3 for being anything but unsophisticated). So, as Inigo Montoya might tell Rob Parker: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
10. We've Got Leaky Cups
Richard Sherman has provided a tremendous amount of entertainment all season. For one thing, he’s been one of the top cornerbacks in the entire NFL and is a real star in the making. For another, early in the season, he decided to announce himself to the world by taunting Tom Brady on Twitter. But we could not have expected him to bring another level of strangeness to the chain of custody defense in order to - successfully - avoid a steroid suspension.
Adding to the list of "jobs you don’t want," urine collector Mark Cook failed to put in his report (there is a collection section in the report?) that Sherman’s first sample cup was leaking, so Sherman’s urine had to be poured into a second cup. While it appears that Sherman did the transferring himself, this was somehow enough to overturn the entire suspension.
Given the agreed-upon facts, I’m not sure when the possible tainting of the results occurred. Was there a claim that the second cup had been previously used? Do we think Sherman replaced his own clean urine with someone else’s drug-laced urine during the pour from cup to cup? In any case, suspension averted. Look for a lot more cups mysteriously "breaking" during urine tests.
11. Kris Jenkins Hates Pink
I don’t even know what to make of this. Kris Jenkins thinks that it doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, as long as you can play football. That’s good, forward thinking. Sort of. I mean, it is hard to know what Jenkins thinks since his progressive radio interview statement came in the middle of a rant against players having to wear pink to support the battle against breast cancer - since pink makes you less of a man, according to Jenkins. Jenkins also thinks that some gay people are cool, some aren’t, and the "hetero sapiens" need a place like the NFL to get together and be as manly as they want. In sum, who knows what Kris Jenkins thinks and what part was just the interpretation of interviewers Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton? The only thing we can know for sure is that the man does not like wearing pink.
12. Brandon Jacobs' Boss
Well, maybe it shouldn't be "Brandon Jacobs’ Boss." Maybe it should actually be "Brandon Jacobs’ Brother’s Boss." That was certainly Jacobs’ excuse for what he meant when he tweeted: "in a place where you hate your boss so much, you should always be happy at work #YouLiveAndYouLearn."
Although everyone (and his brother) assumed that Jacobs was talking about his very frustrated time with the 49ers, Jacobs said people shouldn't "assume" his remarks were football-related, and continued tweeting, including "football is not my life, people" and "Have you ever been in a spot and you wonder why are you there." Don’t worry, Brandon Jacobs. Next year, you are more likely to have a different boss or none at all. So, you’ve got that going for you. Which is nice.
What 2012 storylines have already inspired your next fantasy football team name? Drop your suggestions in the comments below. The rest of the world may not care about your fantasy football team, but we do!