Try as I might, I cannot recall another time where there's been so little to write about. Training camp needs to hurry up and get here, because I'm getting very close to penning an ode to Kailee Wong.
When faced with this kind of drought, I'm forced to go to schtick. Given where we are on the calendar, what better than the tried and true uselessness of power rankings? Vaudeville commences after the jump.
Up front, I'll caution that your view may vary; these rankings could be a bit subjective. Without further ado, my official power ranking of NFL franchises as we trudge toward NFL training camps:
1. Texans: If you have to ask why, I reckon you ought to check the address in your browser. I'd add a "pardner" to the end of that sentence, but then you might not take me seriously.
2. Browns: Because the City of Cleveland deserves something good in its life, and Jake Delhomme does not qualify. And because I'm an infant who thought putting the Browns at "No. 2" was mildly amusing.
3. Packers: I don't have many regrets in life, but one of them is not going to Lambeau two years ago to watch the Texans play. As you'll recall, Matt Schaub's status was up in the air, and I decided I couldn't handle spending the money necessary to freeze my delicate arse off for Sage Rosenfels. I will always hate myself for that. You, of course, will hate me for any number of other reasons.
4. Saints: Because it's New Orleans, man. It's impossible to have anything but a great time there. Unless your liver fails...that would probably cramp one's style.
5. Steelers: A couple of years ago, I traveled up to Pittsburgh to watch the Texans opener at Heinz Field. I can honestly say I have never seen a town more in love with its team (again, haven't been to Green Bay); the night before the game, the number of people wearing Steelers jerseys out at the bars was staggering. Really made an impression on me. Before moving on to the next spot, please pause for a vigorous head-shake about Ben Roethlisberger.
6. Bills: I respect the heck out of these fans. Just for continuing to wake up every morning. I would've committed seppuku when my team hired Chan Gailey to be its football coach. Goes without saying, but I'll say it: Bills fans are better than me.
7. Jaguars: Yes, they're a division rival. I can't help but like their fans, though. They don't take themselves too seriously. Which is good, because a cheery outlook on life will be essential to deal with the heartbreak of watching your team pack up and move. Trust me...I know.
8. Broncos: Because they gave us Gary Kubiak. Not coincidentally, I'm guessing that exact same reason may be why other Texans fans (see, e.g., Mike Kerns) would rank them considerably lower. But do that at your peril,
Kerns Texans fans. Tebow could deem your lack of faith idolatry.
9. Chargers: Say what you will about A.J. Smith. I'll always defend his honor. He actually gave the Texans something for Travis Johnson, and I'll never forget that act of charity.
10. Ravens: Had to put 'em in the top ten. Otherwise, people might read this list and think, "Hey, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. The Ravens are gonna be awesome this year." The Ravens are going to be stronger than horseradish this year. Otherwise, point conceded about me not knowing what I'm talking about.
11. 49ers: Employing David Carr is comedic gold. Well, when he's not on your team, anyway. In retrospect, 2002-2006 were not very funny.
12. Eagles: Earlier this week, DisplacedTexan and I got together for some beers. He opined, having lived there for some time, that Philly fans were second to none in their boorishness. Many people have espoused the same position; I just haven't experienced it myself. Guess this is just a long way of saying I hope Matt Schaub doesn't get sent to the IR courtesy of a battery to the cranium on December 2nd.
13. Patriots: By putting them at Unlucky 13, I have jinxed New England and assured that they will not be a playoff team this season. Or so said the psychic who I just spent 38 minutes on the phone with, anyway. She knew my favorite color was blue, so I know she's legit.
14. Chiefs: Is my Jamaal Charles bias showing? It is? Well...it's not just Jamaal. I think that (quickly pulling up Chiefs roster) Tim Castille is gonna be a player too! A real weapon in that revamped Charlie Weis offense! Watch out, AFC West!
15. Redskins: What's the over/under on the number of games Albert Haynesworth plays this season before once again complaining to the media that he's being misused? I'd set it 3.5, but I'd also be tempted to bet at 0.5.
16. Raiders: Many educated pundits will have them slotted in the mid to low 20s. I figure getting rid of JaMarcus Russell deserves a big bump. Plus, you know, I'm not smart. Which, come to think of it, makes me more similar to the genius who decided JaMarcus was worthy of the No. 1 pick than I thought I was. That cinches it...I'm sending my resume to Al Davis.
17. Seahawks: Pete Carroll is shrewd. Look for him to make headlines in February of 2011 when he suddenly takes a job with Appalachian State. Then, sometime in early March, in what will be deemed a total coincidence, the Seahawks will receive a two-year ban from the NFL when it's found out their practice facility was being used as an opium den. In a videotaped announcement, Carroll will deny having any knowledge of wrongdoing while pledging that the Seahawks will "fight on."
18. Panthers: Someone named Hunter Cantwell is QB2 in Carolina. Somewhere, Vinny Testaverde smiles and waits for his phone to ring.
19. Jets: Coming off a surprise playoff appearance and a very active offseason, the Jets are a trendy pick for the upcoming season. Unless you're a
bitter Texans fan cautious, analytical sort who thinks they were the beneficiaries of some incredible fortune in how the 2009 schedule played out. Then you put them at No. 19 in your power rankings and grit your teeth.
20. Lions: Barry Sanders was the most electrifying football player I ever saw. He wore No. 20. Is that how I decided to slot Detroit at No. 20? Maybe it is, and maybe it is.
21. Bengals: With the Texans desperately needing them to beat the Jets in Week 17 of the 2009 season and Marvin Lewis pledging that his squad wouldn't roll over, they promptly lost 37-0. That's what we get for rooting for the Bengals.
22. Bears: Jay Cutler and Mike Martz. This is either going to be a match made in heaven or a spectacular failure. I cannot see a middle ground. Other things I cannot see--anything more than five feet away. I'm pretty nearsighted.
23. Rams: Abraham Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy, and JFK's secretary was named Lincoln! What's that? Totally false? Crap. There went my "reverse the 2 and 3 in '23' and you'll have the preseason ranking that 99% of other publications will give the Rams" joke. I've got nothing.
24. Cardinals: You know there's going to be some guy in your fantasy football league who takes Larry Fitzgerald with his late first or early second round pick, begins to gloat, and then realizes that he has just implicitly staked his season on Matt Leinart being a decent NFL QB. Despite me being fully aware of the folly of that situation, I give myself a 50/50 chance of being that guy.
25. Giants: Am I the only one who has continued to dislike Eli Manning for how he forced his way out of San Diego back in '04? It's a draft. You don't get to pick where you go. That's what free agency is for. What does this have to do with the Giants in 2010? Nothing. And everything. /cut to black screen
26. Vikings: They employ Adrian Peterson, who I am contractually obligated to loathe because of where he went to college, and Brett Favre, who I've grown to dislike because of his seemingly unquenchable thirst for attention and affection. This one's out of my hands.
27. Colts: Still not over their decision to roll over for the Jets. To their fans' credit, however, they blasted the move as well. And yes, the Texans cost themselves a playoff berth by not taking care of business on at least seven (7) occasions. To right the cosmic scales, I suggest the Colts take a knee in Week One. All can be forgiven.
28. Falcons: Like most Texans fans, I've reached a point where I'll scream if I read another article that states Dunta Robinson is going to get the Falcons back on track and/or that his departure from Houston is ruinous to the Texans' chances this season. If your team is counting on D-Rob to save the day, the day has been lost.
29. Buccaneers: If you find another power rankings that doesn't have Tampa Bay in the 30s heading into 2010, I haven't seen it. Aside from Tony Dungy's, this might be the most optimistic opinion about the Bucs you'll read in the next six months. Note: I do not really think there will be three football teams worse than Tampa Bay this season. Didn't want you to question my credibility.
30. Dolphins: No offense, Miami fans. For the record, I like your football team's talent. I just don't want your head exploding, which I have to figure is a distinct possibility these days, what with every other article I've read in the last week being about Pat Riley deserving a spot in MENSA.
31. Cowboys: I'm sure many of you thought I was small-minded enough to put Dallas, with all their talent and gravitas, in the last spot in these rankings. Shame on you. That would never happen. Because there's always the...
32. Titans: I'd hope you don't even have to ask.