College football has its polls. Other sites have their power rankings. But at KSK, we like when people suffer; it brings them down to our level. So, on the eve of the opening of training camps, we’re introducing our new KSK Scale of Sadness, tracking – or, rather, wallowing with – the saddest teams and fan bases in the league through camp, preseason, and the regular season.
YOUR SAD SIX
1. Cleveland Browns
The defending champions of sadness. Sure, they had a good draft, including Johnny Fucking Football, and Lebron is coming back, but you don’t dethrone the Factory of Sadness without playing a game. Or even several games. Becoming masters of masochisms and self-loathing is a lifelong evolution for a Brown’s fan. JFF could easily become the second coming of Ryan Leaf and Jimmy Haslam has plenty of drama surrounding him. Plus, it’s Cleveland so something is bound to go wrong. Maybe – just maybe – that thing is Cleveland being the saddest team in the league and the universe folds in upon itself and all of a sudden the Browns creep into the playoff picture. But Cleveland is also the city that set its river on fire once so probably not.
2. Oakland Raiders
Have you ever been to the O.o Coliseum? It’s literally a prison. No wonder the Raiders tried to troll the A’s and wreck plans for a new lease with the city of Oakland for the Coliseum out of hopes Al’s Boys could get the city to bulldoze the Black Hole for a new stadium. Khalil Mack might actually eat someone (which means he’ll fit right in with the Raiders fans) and the defense will overall be better. But then you look at the offense’s depth chart, see Matt Schaub’s name, and you get that sadness that settles in to your chest like a cold weight, and it just sits there.
3. Buffalo Bills
Hey that Sammy Watkins kid is supposed to be pretty good, right? Hope so, given what they gave up to get him. Not unrelated: Jon Bon Jovi wants to buy this team and ALLEGEDLY won’t move the team but hey I bet all Bills fans feel secure about that, right? At least the fans don’t lose a game to Toronto this year. But they did lose Ralph Wilson, which is sad. Meanwhile, the albatross of not only losing four straight Super Bowls but also being on the losing end of the Music City Miracle still hangs over the heads of Bills fans who have already assumed they’re losing the team to Canada. Oh, and sorry about Kiko Alonso’s ACL.
4. Tennessee Titans
I still don’t buy the Titans as an NFL team. Their logo is a thumbtack, they have a weird color scheme, and all their fans are disgruntled University of Tennessee fans who are trying to fool themselves. Whenever I watch them play, it feels like I’m watching a World League of American Football team. Where are the London Monarchs? Their QB depth chart is actually kind of intriguing with Mettenberger and Wilson but then you realize it also involves Locker and Whitehurst and the rest of the offense has been a big bowl of wet farts over the last few years (LOL Chris Johnson!). And what else do you do when your NFL team sucks? They closed Opryland, right? That place was Six Flags for poor people, anyway (which explains why we always went there instead of Six Flags when I was a kid).
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles versus Henne is like trying to choose which way you have to die 16 times in 17 weeks. MoJo is gone and Toby Gerhart is the lead rusher on the depth chart heading into camp. All that said, this is freaking Jacksonville. How do they even have a team. It’s not like anyone goes. I’m just saying when you consider that L.A. doesn’t have a team. And don’t cite population numbers when defending the JAX because that’s irrelevant. Florida has three teams and they all suuuuuuuuuuck (though the Dolphins escaped this week’s rankings). The Jaguars are the argument for making a deal with the CFL for relegation in the NFL. Give me Winnipeg over the Jags.
6. Houston Texans
They should have been good. Like, really good. Right? And they can be, right? Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this team right now. Clowney could be a beast on defense and Fitzpatrick can’t bring any more malaise to the offense than Schaub did. But Johnson won’t be in camp when it starts and Foster’s coming off of some pretty serious surgery which is cause for concern no matter what he tweets. That said… they have to be better, right? You would hope so because the team plays in Houston and have you ever been to Houston? Concrete everywhere. Hot. Humid. The taint of Texas. Crushing disappointment has done a number on Texans fans.
ON THE OUTSIDE, STANDING IN THE RAIN, MOURNFULLY LOOKING THROUGH THE WINDOW
Fins, Bucs, Washington Fightin’ Snyders
The Dolphins are the Dolphins, fighting for relevance outside of BullyGate. The Buccaneers have the Lovie Smith Era to look forward to (and they are REALLY fucking excited about it) as well as the most mediocre QB competition (what if Kafka wakes up as a cockroach after the first night at camp????). And the Washington Fightin’ Snyders shouldn’t be as sad as they are with RG3, right? But they still managed only a 1-11 record within the NFC. No, seriously, they won ONE conference game last year (a crazy one over the Bears) and beat the two bad AFC West teams before losing eight in a row to finish the year meaning it’s only the sliver of hope in RG3 and new coach Jay Gruden that keeps them off the Six.
LISTENING TO MORRISSEY
The main reason the Vikings are this far away from the Six is Teddy Bridgewater. Also helping is Adrian Peterson, even with all those miles on him, and the fact Norv Turner is NOT their head coach.