On the Sunday of Week 6, we bore witness as one head coach (the Saints' Sean Payton) suffered broken bones and a torn MCL, another (the Lions' Jim Schwartz) perhaps had his hand shaken too hard, and a third (the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh) was yelled at in an uncouth manner. The profession of NFL head coaching used to be a simple one, its duties limited to a) looking grim on the sideline when you should be happy, b) looking upbeat on the sideline when you should be sad, c) saying banal things during press conferences, and d) saying banal things all the time.
Those days are gone. And while you may scoff at the comparison between Payton's undoubtedly excruciating leg injury and Harbaugh and Schwartz's being-yelled-at, consider that while you can wrap a cast around your leg, there is no cast for hurt feelings. (Except for the casts of the shows in NBC's fall lineup. Whether by thrills, chills, or spills, they will always put a smile on your face. What wonderful programming!)
We will now examine the Week 6 Sunday performances of every team in the NFL. Each week, we have a theme. This week, our theme is "flashing ad banners on the Internet." We will assign one for each team, ranging from most compelling to least compelling. (This is inspired by, of all things, a years-old message board thread that has always held a special place in my heart.)
HIGHLY CLICKABLE TEAMS
Packers: won vs. Rams, 24-3. Neither team scored in the entire second half, because the Rams were understandably unwilling to settle for a field goal but are not really a "score a touchdown against the Packers"-caliber team, and also because the Packers went into autopilot.
I'm reminded of the Chiefs' first opponents, the Bills and Lions, who clobber them 41-7 and 48-3, respectively. Those teams had a whole lot to prove. They are good teams. But when a Super Bowl champion 5-0 team plays an 0-5 team at home and takes a 24-3 lead into halftime, they have the apparent authority to announce, "okay, that's enough, game over." And the scoreboard obeyed.
If the Packers were a flashing ad banner:
THIS IS NOT A JOKE! YOU HAVE WON A FREE XBOX 360!
THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
Buccaneers: won vs. Saints, 26-20. Last season, the Bucs finished third in the NFC South and missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record. Sunday, they beat one of the NFC's elite teams to stand on top of the division. They look to be in great shape to regress slightly and barely miss the playoffs again.
If the Buccaneers were a flashing ad banner:
[animation of old man scoffing/making funny face]
OBAMA wants YOU to go BACK TO SCHOOL!
49ers: won at Lions, 25-19. The Niners were somehow able to keep Calvin Johnson out of the end zone for an entire game, which no other team has really come close to doing this season. In other words, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
If the 49ers were a flashing ad banner:
[animation of attractive woman jogging]
A BUNCH OF SHIT ABOUT HOUSES AND MORTGAGES
Bears: won vs. Vikings, 39-10. The Vikings, who entered this game with a 1-4 record, aren't what you would describe as a "good team," but all four of those defeats were one-score losses. The Bears, though, made this game a non-contest by the end of the first quarter, leading us all to wonder whether the NFL accidentally switched one of their awesome Sunday Night games with one of their awful Monday night games. (Note: Monday night's game is between the Jets and Dolphins and will probably also be awful.)
If the Bears were a flashing ad banner:
[picture of person of healthy weight next to another person of healthy weight who is skinnier]
LOSE WEIGHT BY FOLLOWING THIS ONE 1 WEIRD SIMPLE RULE
Giants: won vs. Bills, 27-24. Somewhere in the Bronx, there's a huge building that houses a printing press. No movable type is necessary: there is only a giant boiler plate welded into a photo of Eli Manning lying on the ground with the word "FRAUD" above him. This publication has a circulation of approximately 10 million, but on some weeks, major flaws cannot be found in Manning's game. "Sorry," the publisher told his workers, "there is no work for you today." And so the workers trudged home in their soot-covered jackets, heads hung low, lamenting the irregular state of the Manninghatred industry.
If the Giants were a flashing ad banner:
[photo of Britney Spears]
WHICH CELEBRITY IS THIS?
A) BRITNEY SPEARS
C) ODD FUTURE
SOMEWHAT CLICKABLE TEAMS
Ravens (won vs. Texans, 29-14):
[picture of someone's rear end]
WHOSE BOOTY IS THIS?
A) Barack Obama
B) Gerald Ford
C) Henry Kissinger
Patriots (won vs. Cowboys, 20-16):
STAB THE ASSAILANT
WIN A FREE IPOD
Raiders (won vs. Browns, 24-17):
ARE YOU SMARTER THAN TOM SELLECK? TAKE THIS FREE IQ TEST:
C) I AM UNSURE OF WHETHER THIS IS THE ACTUAL IQ TEST OR IF I'M SUPPOSED TO CLICK TO GET TO IT
D) TOM SELLECK IS A MULTIDIMENSIONAL ACTING TALENT
E) TOM SELLECK
F) TOM SIZEMORE
Eagles (won at Redskins, 20-13):
MOM FROM [your city] MAKES $5000/MONTH WORKING FROM HOME
[animation of man riding a bicycle into a mailbox]
Steelers (won vs. Jaguars, 17-13):
HARPOON THE TEDDY BEAR
WIN A FREE PLAYSTATION 2
Falcons (won vs. Panthers, 31-17):
PAY $5/MONTH FOR CAR INSURANCE! SELECT YOUR STATE
[image of dropdown menu that doesn't do anything]
Bengals (won vs. Colts, 27-17)
HARANGUE THE SHERIFF
WIN "JUNIOR SHERIFF" BADGE
HINDER THE RESCUE EFFORTS
WIN FREE GUILT
SABOTAGE THE DAM
WIN AN AUDIENCE WITH THE DARK LORD SATAN
MICROMANAGE THE CARPENTER
WIN YOUR NEIGHBOR'S MAIL
BETRAY THE LIEUTENANT'S ORDERS
WIN FREE ARBY'S
TEAR HIS BEATING HEART FROM HIS CHEST AND HOLD IT ALOFT THAT IT MAY SEE THE SUN
WIN ONE HECK OF A MESS
BROWBEAT THE UNDERTAKER
WIN A GRAVE FULL OF CRAYONS
CEDE CONTROL OF EARTH
WELL NOW YOU'VE REALLY GONE AND DONE IT
RE-ARRANGE THE LIVING ROOM FURNITURE
WIN THE VINDICATION OF YOUR ANCESTORS
ANNEX THE COUNTY
PERPETUATE MANKIND'S DESCENT INTO RUIN IN YOUR OWN LITTLE WAY
EMBARRASS THE WIZARD
WIN CAT URINE
READ THE ARTICLE THAT IS OSTENSIBLY ABOUT FOOTBALL
WIN A THOUSAND WORDS OF NONSENSE
BE THE COLTS