The National Football League is ridiculous.

From amazing plays on the field, the ridiculousness off the field, the NFL never ceases to entertain. And luckily, it returns this week.

Here are the things we are looking forward to this year.

  • 5 Up

There are the 5 teams you can choose a SuperBowl champion from. New England, Baltimore, Green Bay, Seattle and someone else. Who is that someone else? Indianapolis? Andrew Luck is amazing but do they have enough defence? Pittsburgh ditto. What monster has Chip Kelly created in Philadelphia? Are the Cowboys better than good?

  • Da Bears (Are Awful)

Our Sportress brethren Ben is a Bears fan. But man do they suck. Sure Alshon Jeffrey is spine-tingling brillant. But they can’t stop anyone. And Forte is getting old. And Jay Cutler….well Cutler is sad.

Sad Jay is sad.
Sad Jay is sad.
  • Tom Brady narrative watch

Current Narrative: Brady redemption path inevitable.

Tom Brady has had quite a six month period. He’s won Super Bowl MVP, piloting the biggest 4th quarter comeback in Super Bowl history against possibly the best defence of the last 25 years.  He’s also had this small matter with deflated balls. Personally we’re not sure how to react to this, but sports media has proven their ability to handle such matters with delicacy and nuance. They’ve gone from calling for him to be suspended from the Super Bowl to talking about how he will be pursuing redemption.

We look forward to more nuance.

  • Roger Goodell Performance Rating

Rating: full sad Jay.

Brady’s recent nemesis has also had a rough period. This extends to a couple of years, starting with his poor handling of the Ray Rice affair. And the Greg Hardy matter. And a couple of other issues to do with domestic violence.  Even though he hasn’t done enough to ensure the safety of women, it’s been ‘heartening’ to see him show Arnie-levels of strength when it comes to the consumption of legal drugs or balls being underinflated (he said, sarcastically).

Must fix: prioritisation.

Sad Jay is sad.
Roger Goodell is this sad.
  • Players I love

But of course there’s actual play. One of my favourite players at the moment is Julian Edelman. He’s an undersized wide receiver who nobody wanted and who is Tom Brady’s favourite target (well, outside of Gronk). But my favourite thing about Julian Edelman is love. He loves people. All people. At the beginning of the winning drive in the SuperBowl last year, Edelman made sure he told the entire offence that he loved them.

That’s what the world needs now.

  • This Week in Aaron Rodgers is God

For the reigning MVP of the league, it’s pretty amazing that people don’t talk about him more. He’s got his work cut out this year and with his number one target, wideout Jordy Nelson, out for the season with a knee injury, you might think he would be worried this season. Then you remember that he can do this and this and you chill the fuck out.

  • The NFC East

When I was young the teams that now make up this division were all I knew of the NFL. The Cowboys, the Washington Professional Football Team, the Giants, the Eagles. The history of the league is in these franchises. They’ve all seen better days, and it looks like the Giants and Washington are going to struggle, the Cowboys will be good but not that good and the Eagles, well… who knows.

  • People Being Cranky Cos the Pats are Better Than Them

People like to complain about the Pats because they are better at football than pretty much everyone else. From complaining about the Pats knowing their defensive signals, to #deflategate, everything involving the Pats requires people to behave apoplectically. I am looking forward to this continuing this year.

My favourite from this article was teams using dummy signals to throw off the Pats video shenanigans. We do this in my Division II amateur football league. I think professional footballers can handle it.

  • 5 down

There’s a lot of competition for these spots. Washington seems like a dumpster fire just waiting for a light. I love the Raiders, and Amari Cooper, but they live here till they can prove otherwise. The Jets had an awful quarterback, then a teammate broke his jaw. Now they have a slightly worse than awful quarterback. I’m still confused as to why there is a team in Jacksonville and not Los Angeles. The Browns seem determined to be awful.

  • Jarrod Hayne Watch

If you’re Australian you’ve spent the last month losing your shit over this guy. It’s been amazing to see him basically start a new sport half way through his life, and prove competent enough to make a professional side. I mean, it’s hard enough to do it in amateur sport.

I am much more realistic about where he fits in the scheme of things. Making the roster was an amazing feat. One of the most remarkable achievements in my lifetime. If he actually gets on the field? And makes a play in a proper game? Well hot damn.

This week in songs tenuously linked to football: “Tennessee” by Arrested Development


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