Selection to the NFL Pro Bowl is supposed to be an honor. You may not know it considering how many players get out of playing it, or how the NFL doesn’t black it out despite only selling out the stadium’s first three rows, or how Roger Goodell thinks about suspending it every year from lack of interest. But it’s true. At the end of the day, being selected for the Pro Bowl means that you are among the best at your position.
While the Pro Bowl lets NFL stars run Tecmo Bowl offenses and flag football defenses, the Asinine Football Award offers the winner something equally illustrious: our recognition. These players, coaches and officials made us stop and pay attention to them this season, for the wrong reasons. Here are the nominees for this year’s Asinine Football Award.
From the end of his college career to the end of his first NFL season, Johnny Manziel has consistently proved that he is a football newsmaker.
Sometimes the story is his potential as a quarterback, which has sports pundits strangling each other to be right. Sometimes the story is his actions off the field, which closely resemble the lyrics to Andrew W.K.’s anthem “Party Hard.” And sometimes the story is his on-field attitude, which relies more on hand gestures than quarterback play.
We can’t tell if Manziel will make it as an NFL quarterback, but we can be sure of one thing: the next time a team hears a player called “polarizing,” they will run the other way. Then again…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Uniforms
I’ve mentioned this time and again throughout the season, so much so that it’s probably become a sports version of, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But since this is an award for the best of the worst in the NFL, it needs repeating: those Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms are ugly.
A mixture of red and orange and brown, with tinges of vomit, this year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms are arguably the second ugliest uniform in NFL history. Who is number one? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, of course. From their inception in 1976 to 1998, the Bucs trotted on to the field in bright orange with the logo of Bucco Bruce on their helmets. This uniform is been cemented in history as the worst and longest-running fashion joke in professional sports.
I don’t know who should have learned their lesson by now, sports media or Marshawn Lynch.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch became a high-profile mutterer last year when his team rampaged through the playoffs to a Super Bowl victory. During press conferences, Lynch did everything from having teammates answer questions for him to sitting as far back and to the side as he could to just not showing up.
These antics earned Lynch a hefty fine, but apparently that wasn’t enough. This year, Lynch has resorted to repeating the same short responses at press conferences — “Yeah,” “Nope,” “I’m thankful,” and “Thanks for asking” — until reporters just give up.
We didn’t get a comment from Lynch on his award nomination, but does it really matter?
Doug Marrone fought the contract, and the contract won. Kind of.
In the hopes of catching a mega-deal for his head-coaching services, Doug Marrone opted out of his Buffalo Bills contract to put himself into the NFL’s offseason coaching carousel this year.
What did Marrone’s gamble get him? A job with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the offensive line coach, and a quote from Jaguars head coach Gus Brady about Marrone’s “humility.”
After being labelled the humiliating reason that the Houston Texans received the #1 draft pick last year, Matt Schaub went to where many other aging, cast-off quarterbacks go to either resurrect their career or bury it: the Oakland Raiders.
Unfortunately for Schaub, resurrection didn’t seem to be in the cards. The Raiders decided to start rookie Derek Carr, for better or for worse, leaving Schaub with the holding duties for field goals. He managed zero touchdowns and two interceptions for the year. The move helped lead the Raiders to a 3-13 record, which was a lot better than the Texans’ 2-14 record last year. And the Texans had J.J. Watt, so you know the offense had to try really hard to be that bad.
With the NFL playoffs just ending and the Super Bowl within sight, a dark horse candidate has sprung upon us for the illustrious Asinine Award: haters of the New England Patriots.
This entry comes late, but is necessary now that “Deflate-gate” is peaking. The New England Patriots are currently under investigation by the NFL for having 11 of their 12 footballs deflated below the officially required pressure.
It’s hard to pin the 45-7 steamrolling the New England Patriots gave the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game on under-inflated balls. But Patriots haters are devout in their need to decimate the team whenever possible, putting asterisks after every one of their wins.
If Tom Brady drove down the field to throw the winning touchdown with an under-inflated ball, then we could have some legitimate outcries. But for now, Patriots haters need to let this one go.
So let’s hear it. Who (or what) should win this season’s Asinine Football Award?
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.