Five NFL People I Love To Hate

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Sorry Big Ben, that 3:30 a.m. bathroom-stall Rufilin induced “surprise sex” isn’t enough to land you on my list. To wind up here you’re going to have to do something truly despicable and unforgivable — like play for the Raiders.

1. All of the Raiders

I know it’s a cop-out to choose an entire team, but how could I choose only one Raider? Football is a team sport, and it takes an exceptional and collaborated effort to routinely crumble down the stretch, whether it be in the 4th quarter of a game, or the 4th quarter of the season. I look forward to that inevitable time of the season when the Raiders mathematically eliminate themselves from playoff contention, which could be anywhere from early October to late November. Over the last decade, what’s been more fun or more predictable than Oakland unraveling late in games with a series of painful penalties, turnovers, mis-management, and overall general dysfunction?

Remember the 2007 overtime game in Denver which the Raiders won by a 52-yard field goal — only to find out Mike Shanahan called a last second time-out before the snap? Nobody on either side heard a whistle. Sideline judge Bryon Boston appeared to grant the Raiders the field goal, and the Raiders won the game. Broncos players started to walk off the field and head toward the sideline. Raiders players and coaches alike began to celebrate a much-needed win in a season which had been tumultuous to say the least.

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Then the refs huddled.

The timeout whistle had been blown but was muffled by the thunderous crowd of 76,784. The kick was then waved off due to a timeout that had been silently called and the field goal was re-kicked.

The Raiders held their breath and joined hands on the sideline. Coach Lane Kiffin was still with anticipation. Players embraced one another, hoping and praying in unison for a crucial victory. Another season that started so promising had once again began to decay.

Sebastian Janikowski, known mostly for his late-night partying, but also for his exceptionally strong leg and clutch kicking skills lined up to retry the kick.

Good snap, good hold, the kick looked good and it had the distance. The Raiders held hands and watched in silence, praying as a team as the ball bounced off the top of the right upright. Then Denver drove down the field and won the game.

R.I.P. Al Davis

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2. Curtis Painter

Let’s be honest, Curtis Painter stepping in for Peyton Manning was the worst move since Brenda Walsh was replaced by Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills 90210.

I still find it hard to believe that the once mighty Colts, who struck fear in the eyes of opponents for a decade, ended up nearly winless. How could ex-GM Bill Polian have allowed this to happen? I did some investigative digging to find out.

It turns out, instead of being able to focus on football, Painter was desperately attempting to foil the plot of President Skroob and Dark Helmet, who had formulated a plan to suck out all the fresh air from Planet Druidia. They planned to kidnap Princess Vespa on the day of her pre-arranged marriage to Painter, and use her as ransom. So let’s cut him some slack.

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3. Rex Ryan

Is there anything more annoying than a needy, self-centered, attention-seeking fatass like Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? Lucky for us there is. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

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After an exceedingly disappointing 8-8 season, putting that all you can eat Chinese food buffet out of business is the only guarantee Rex Ryan should be making. In 2012, with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow now at the helm, a Super Bowl victory is less believable than Newt Gingrich’s plan for winning the presidency and colonizing the moon.

For some inexplicable reason, the Jets create more distractions for themselves than Cardinal Mahoney at a children’s birthday party. A word of advice to Rexy if he feels like keeping his job: less talking and more winning. 

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 4. Andrew Luck

Luck has already been crowned by the media as the second coming of Jesus, and, with a mug like that, he better have that much talent to fall back on. This complete douche is about to come into millions of dollars and be handed the keys to the Indianapolis throne. As if that’s not bad enough, he’ll probably end up dating Kate Upton and land a few high-paying endorsements (I hate him even more as I write this), whether or not he can win three games next season.

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I’m so sick of hearing analysts talk about how he’s such a sure thing. It’s so bad that fans actually cheered “Suck for Luck” in hopes of their team being lucky enough to be dead last in the standings, and receive the chance to draft him. I’m not saying he didn’t have an accomplished college career, or that he’s unworthy of the 1st overall pick in the upcoming draft, but history has provided us with a plethora of QB busts to cite as exhibits A-Z in the don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched category.

I’m old enough to remember the 1998 NFL Draft, when a similar QB controversy involving Indianapolis and the number one pick emerged. There was Peyton Manning and another guy… what’s his name? You youngsters might not have heard of or seen this person, unless you regularly watch America’s Most Wanted, or happen to see him jumping out your second story bathroom window with that expired bottle of Vicodin clutched in his hand. Hopefully Ryan Leaf be serves as a warning to Prince Andrew Luck.

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As a side note, I’m hoping he falters, thus providing me with more entertainment than slinging touchdowns against the Jaguars ever will.

5. Peyton Hillis

Hillis had the world in the palm of his hands before the 2011 NFL season kicked off. He made the cover of Madden 2012, and awed a nation of people (myself) into actually believing that a white man could play running back in the NFL. Hillis became the first white rusher since Craig James to go over 1,000 yards rushing in a season. Hillis had over 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2010, and joined Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to achieve 260 rushing yards, 4 rushing TD’s, and 160 receiving yards in a single game.

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But in 2011, Hillis produced only turmoil. His past off-season was marred with uncertainty surrounding his contract situation. The last thing people want to hear about with a national unemployment rate of nearly 11% is a disgruntled professional athlete moaning about his contract in a league where the minimum salary still puts you in the top 1% of earners in the U.S. The reason most people watch football is to distract their minds from how miserable their own lives are. That’s why places like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh are so passionate about football, regardless of their team’s success.

To make matters worse, in Week 3 Hillis sat out the game against the Miami Dolphins, allegedly for strep-throat, but many believed (including players in his own locker room) his absence was related to lack of a new contract.

Following that, two separate hamstring injuries had him seeing less playing time than a 9-year-old factory worker in China. Not surprisingly, the Browns cut ties with Hillis the moment the season ended. Good luck, Kansas City.

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