We’re one day away from the season.
One sleep left and we’ll have football back. We should be running through the goddamn wall we’re so excited for the return of the NFL in a little more than 24 hours. Let’s get excited! Let’s jump around! Let’s run to NFL.com and see what they have to offer us that will make us want to run not only through our wall, but our neighbor’s wall and our boss’s wall yelling, “HELLS YEAH, I AM LEAVING EARLY TOMORROW BECAUSE IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON PLUS I HAVE THREE HOURS OF COMP TIME SO IT’S ALL COOL, SUCKER!”
The NFL, an entertainment behemoth so powerful it has moved the Emmys and presidential speeches, the undisputed king of sports in this country, should have us worked into such a lather, we cannot even see straight. SUSPENSIONS, MA-MENPENSIONS, I WANT TO BE INSPIRED FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. TELL ME HOW MY TEAM IS WINNING THE SUPER BOWL, NFL? TELL ME NOW!
And the NFL is ready there for you and your blood-thirsty desires. A cleverly titled “Why not us?” for all 32 teams from the NFL should be full of loud rock guitars, explosions, circus catches, fat man touchdowns, sacks and generally LET’S MESS SHIT UP bravado. Any team can win, so WHY NOT US??? GRRRRRRR GIVE ME SOME REBAR SO I CAN BEND IT WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS IN FRONT OF A SMALL CHILD AND A PUZZLED DOG. IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON.
So many things can go wrong with a hype video, as seen in the Cincinnati Bengals in-stadium video which features a tiger that appears to have been rendered in After Effects 4.1. Or they can go can be incredibly moving, like this Bradley Cooper-narrated, The Roots background-singing video for the Philadelphia Eagles. If watching the Eagles ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ didn’t at least make you think for one second about switching teams (and honestly Cards fans, we won’t judge you if you do), then you have no sense of grandeur, of wonder, of inspiration that should be felt in every frame of a good hype video. Even as schlocky as it is, the Steelers know that fans will go crazy every time they hear “Renegade” at Heinz Field, even if the players have changed in the game footage.
32 team videos done under The Shield? Well, I guess I’m inspired to go get some milk at the store, drop off the dog at the groomer to get her anal glands expressed, maybe see if there is anything on sale over The Gap if I have time. You know, just knock out a few errands before the game. Take a nap during halftime.
How bad are these hype videos for each team? Well, it’s okay if you answer the question, “Why not us?” with, “Eh. You know, let someone else win it this time. You know, if they really want it. Whatever.”
These are the most inspiring lines from each of the team videos:
Why not the Ravens? “While Joe Flacco struggled at times after signing his massive new contract, the fact remains he’s one of the league’s most successful quarterbacks.”
Why not the Bills? “The Bills traded away their 2015 first round pick to draft Sammy Watkins.”
Why not the Dolphins? *Montage of palm trees and dry cleaning.* No really, they didn’t say one thing about the Dolphins or even mention football in their hype video.
Why not the Bengals? “Andy Dalton is the only QB in Bengals history to take the team to the playoffs in three straight seasons.”
Why not the Browns? “They stole the buzz at the draft.” “They had more Pro Bowlers than all but three teams last year.” So the Browns are a team of players with nothing else to do during the offseason and that’s inspiring?
Why not the Steelers? “Early last season they looked old, tired, past their storied prime. And then of course Mike Tomlin’s team did what they usually do, they won.”
Why not the Patriots? *Montage of Patriots players asking “ARE YOU READY?” Tom Brady’s voice nearly cracks.*
Why not the Jets? Rex Ryan, “The journey starts now.”
Why not the Texans? “Houston may be closer to the top than the bottom in 2014.”
Why not the Broncos? “When you have a healthy ‘you know who’ you’re always in the Super Bowl conversation.”
Why not the Colts? “Luck cut his interceptions in half from his rookie season.” “Robert Mathis lead the NFL in sacks in 2013 and while he’ll miss the first four games due to suspension, he’ll look to make up for lost time. If ever there is a season weather the four-game loss of Mathis, it could be this one as the defending division champs have the easiest projected schedule of 2014.”
Why not the Chiefs? “Home field advantage at Arrowhead.” *Cut to mostly 60,000 white people doing the tomahawk chop.*
Why not the Jaguars? “There is more to the Jags than Seattle imports.”
Why not the Raiders? Matt Schaub, looking like death, “This is our time. We’re ready.” Video is 28 seconds long, shortest of the entire series by half.
Why not the Titans? “There is a new boss in Nashville and he’s been to where the franchise has only been once in its history, the Super Bowl.”
Why not the Chargers? “Master our system and create your own spot on this roster.”
Why not the Bears? “Chicago Bears, bear down.”
Why not the Lions? “On paper, there is no reason why they can’t play their way into the mix of contenders.”
Why not the Giants? “It starts with Eli Manning. His 2013 was brutal. But if he can cut down the picks, he’s one the best big-game QBs in the league.”
Why not the Cowboys? Michael Irvin, “TODAY WE SET THE TONE FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.” The Cowboys were smart and had a former-champion talk instead of allowing for a single current non-winning Cowboy to speak.
Why not the Packers? “Titletown’s postseason run should continue.”
Why not the Eagles? “Because speed kills.”
Why not the Vikings? *Montage of Adrian Peterson. That’s it. That’s the whole hype video. Purple Jesus and nothing else.*
Why not Washington? Jay Gruden, “We’re back.” From where? Going out for cigarettes?
Why not the Falcons? “Perhaps the best news for Mike Smith and the Falcons is the schedule. Only two of the Atlanta’s first six games are against teams who went to the playoffs in 2013.”
Why not the Cardinals? “It’s great to be back to football.” Apparently they thought they were the baseball team in 2013.
Why not the Panthers? *Montage of turf. No words, just turf. At least the Dolphins had palm trees.*
Why not the 49ers? “You can almost pencil them into the NFC title game. They’ve been there every year the khaki-clad Jim Harbaugh has strolled their sideline.” Nothing inspires football quite like slacks.
Why not the Saints? “With balance and weapons galore, the Saints could be marching to another postseason run.”
Why not the Seahawks? *12th Man flag blows in the breeze.*
Why not the Buccaneers? “Doug Martin is healthy.”
Why not the Rams? “They’ve gotten elite in a hurry.”