It certainly wasn’t the most consistent season, and stories of team in-fighting and issues of internal politics ran rampant. To that end, people got fired, mostly coaches. The Bears did away with head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery after an embarrassingly poor season, the long-suffering Jets coach Rex Ryan finally got discharged, Atlanta got rid of Mike Smith and after circulating rumours of discontent reached fever pitch 49ers head coach and professional angry person Jim Harbaugh buggered off to coach college ball. It’s probably just as well, if his stress levels had gotten any higher his forehead vein might have finally exploded and destroyed most of California. It’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world, hopefully all these teams will benefit from the reshuffle, but the sheer quantity of people being sacked shows just how many teams are in need of a drastic regime change.
Oakland Soar to New Heights of Awful
Oh Oakland, how we love to watch you flail. A once respected, decorated team, the Oakland Raiders have become the butt of just about every sports joke you can possibly imagine. Owing to poor management, worse ownership and a yearly pattern of appallingly misjudged draft picks, the team continues to reliably suck balls year after year. This time around though something rather wondrous happened, wide receiver James Jones caught a rather well targeted pass, only to have the ball knocked from his hands, go figure, but then he managed to recover the ball again and sped off down the field, looking like he might have been on for a touchdown. Then he dropped the ball again and Houston got it. A double fumble, not something seen often, like a rare bird, only much easier to laugh at.
Pats Flat Balls Scandal Surprises No-one
The New England Patriots are kind of like the Chelsea of the NFL. They’re a solid well managed, highly decorated team, but they just come across as kind of evil. You half expect the Imperial March to play when they come out of the tunnel. Some of this negative press emanates from past cheating allegations, most notably ‘SpyGate’, when in 2007 the team were caught secretly filming Jets coach Rex Ryan to try and figure out his hand signals. It didn’t go over too well. This time it might be even worse. After the team hammered out an impressive 45-7 rout against the Colts to win a place at the Super Bowl, news surfaced that 11 of the 12 balls the Pats had used during the game were under-inflated (thereby making them easier to grip and throw). Head coach Bill Bellichick denied any knowledge of ‘DeflateGate’ (haaaaa) in a press conference, which only draws more scrutiny towards the other people involved, most notably QB Tom Brady. The sad thing about this is that the Pats didn’t need to cheat, they would have won anyway and they knew it. The relationship between the NFL board and the Patriots is getting a lot like Hal and Lois’s relationship with Reece in Malcolm in the Middle.
Best Catch of the Year, Probably of All Time
With all the weirdness and horribleness, it’s easy to forget why we’re actually here: mind-boggling displays of athleticism and this year we got plenty of that. Interestingly (and excitingly), a great deal of it came from the rookies. Whilst newcomer quarterbacks either failed to impress anyone (Blake Bortles) or worse ended up embarrassing themselves, their team and basically anyone who stood within 3 feet of them (Johnny Manziel), the wide receivers performed admirably almost across the board, and none more so that Odell Beckham Jr. During a relatively vanilla mid-November boat against the Cowboys, New York QB Eli Manning fired a deep pass Beckham’s way and he responded by shattering the laws of physics. Leaping to the air and arching his body, he caught the ball and forced it into his control using only the tips of three of his fingers. It was impossible, but it still happened. The catch was fairly inconsequential as far as the game was concerned, but it cemented Beckham as rookie of the year and we’ll be watching replays of it for years to come.
And that about sums it up, all there is to do now is wait for the Super Bowl and watch the 3rd edition of ‘NFL – A Bad Lip Reading’
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