Life isn’t fair.
What illustrates this better than the ebbs and flows of the NFL season? To go from exhilarating streaks of precision teamwork to slumps of random discombobulation. From being a heralded new national star one week to a schlub on the bench the next. From unbeatable champion to an old man just holding on for one more moment of glory. From the steady career of a generic role-player that forever changes when a wrongly placed hit puts him on the bleeding edge of concussed dementia – nothing is fair.
And while no one here at the Dr. Loser head office has ever played football without fainting, we are the unofficial experts on all things losing and losers. Yet this week, it almost feels unfair to pile on the losers of this past NFL Wild Card weekend. Those teams and fans the victims of a cruel single elimination tournament that takes four months of toil and dream and gnarls it up into the cud of a few of hours of mistakes and humiliation.
Is a football careening a few inches in the wrong direction not the perfect metaphor for all of our pathetic lives? Millionaire playboy or destitute moron, and the end of the day there’s only one real winner and the odds are against us all.
As the capitalist system sinks it’s greedy teeth into our tender throats, whom amongst us has the gall to point and laugh? How to mock when it is you who is destined to be mocked next? Though four teams may have prevailed last weekend, four more will fall at the culmination of the next.
However, those tasked with a duty can no more turn away from their job than a linesman can drop their shoulders and let their quarterback get sacked. Therefore, with a tear in my eye it is I who must laugh, I who will spew out the ridicule, and I who will exaggerate wildly, as I am shackled with the same chains that keeps you at your desk today pushing papers for the man – all of us gears in the grinder that feeds the gods our gooey stardust fossil paste.
Let us turn first to those sad-sack Houston Texans, outclassed last weekend by the Kansas City Chiefs. Unable to score a single point, the Houston team looked like some dude who ended up on the side of the highway on his 10-speed bike, nervous pencil thin tires warbling across the shoulder gravel with each blast of wind from cars speeding past.
The Texans were led down that dangerous path by a seeding loophole in the NFL’s tournament format, one that gives preference to shitty teams that happen to win in their lame division over teams of higher caliber that fail to qualify over the truly elite teams in other divisions. So while better teams in the league saw their season end with the completion of the regular season, these Texans were doomed to defeat, unable to even put up a fight.
Whilst it pains us to write this to such pathetic victims of circumstance, you Houston, are bunch of fucking losers–no offence.
Next we must turn our attention to the Cincinnati Bengals, though it makes us wince to even type the name following the debacle in Saturday night’s epic collapse?
Like the nerds bullied by jocks, once again the Bengals were being pushed around by long-time rivals, the ever-evil Pittsburgh Steelers, for most of the game. They looked to be headed for the Zubaz bargain bin at Goodwill until back-up quarterback–and one, by-god, made of strong, stiff Americana stock–AJ McCarron led the Bengals on an incredible comeback surge in the final quarter.
McCarron who started this game in place of the Bengals’ orange-headed Andy Dalton, in what could only be a moment that seemed to bone up every insider pre-show panel across that nation.
With less than 2 minutes left, all the Bengals really needed to do was run out the clock and they would will the game. Except they then inexplicably fumbled the ball and gave it back to the Steelers.
Okay, still — all they had to do was keep them away from scoring range, which shouldn’t be hard considering Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was throwing from a dislocated shoulder.
And then this happened:
In a scene that had the producers of Concussion wringing their exploitive smooth millionaire hands, Steelers’ star Antonio Brown was knocked the fuck out with an illegal hit, allowing his team to advance further up the field on penalty yards than they would have had the pass been completed.
Okay, still — there was only seconds left and the Bengals could still hold them scoreless at that spot. Until the ever-classy Adam “Pacman” Jones, gets into an argument with a Steelers coach above the convalescing Brown, costing the team even more penalty yards and putting the Steelers into scoring position – not that it was Pacman’s fault, of course:
And in those few moments, without needing to do anything proactively, the Steelers were able to kick a last second field goal for the victory. No offence Cincinnati, but you guys are fucking losers!
Speaking of game ending field goals, in the coldest game in NFL history all the Minnesota Vikings had to do was convert this easy kick for the playoff victory against the weak-looking Seattle Seahawks. Blair Walsh has been flawlessly making this kick everyday of his life until the one time it truly mattered:
It’s one thing to have to play in that weather, but imagine sitting outside in that stadium only to end the day like that. Players, fans – losers one and all!
Of course, rewind to the final game of the regular season and truly the Vikings won a sketchy affair with their regional rivals, the Green Bay Packers, of which any reasonable viewer could see both teams were intentionally trying to lose. By accidentally winning that one, the Vikings were forced to host this playoff game, normally an advantage, but not in these arctic conditions and against a top opponent.
While Green Bay, “luckily”, following that loss due to a last minute endzone interception from Aaron “No Interceptions” Rodgers, got to travel to Washington for a playoff game against the oh-so sensitively named Redskins.
These white-and-black-skinned Redskins were gifted their spot in the playoffs, like the aforementioned Houston Texans, due to a snafu of divisional seeding, and thus making the task of defeating them merely academic for the Packers and the now surprisingly accurate QB Rodgers.
Oh Redskins, you were losers before the game even started, it’s not even fair.
But fair — what is fair? Are these Green Bay Packers playing fair?
When a commentator notes with jubilation that 35-year-old Packer Julius Peppers has seemingly found the “fountain of youth” do we nod in agreed amazement or do we turn to recently uncovered facts about the location of this mythical fountain.
Apparently it’s a place called The Guyer Institute, the “anti-ageing” clinic where he allegedly was the recipient of illegal Human Growth Hormone, as revealed on the Al Jazeera documentary that no one seems to want to acknowledge.
I guess it’s tough for a bunch of cow-tipping American mid-Westerners to accept that some A-rabs could have released an un-biased and undercover factual report, since – you know – they blew up the World Trade Center and all. Of course they’d want to tear down the great white players in America’s singularly towering sports machine too.
It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that no one will believe these first-person, detailed allegations when it’s about these pug-nosed, burly doofus, bully frat boy types that are held up on a pedestal of for grunt-groaning All-American hard work.
Though, if “bigger-than-the-league” nice guy, ultra winner, Tom Brady has even a whisper of a rumour about him cheating, albeit based on logic akin to biblical science and fame-shaming then the entire focus of the media kamikaze, fronted by judgmental reactionary social media goon-ism, will belly-flop in his pool with the weight of a shirtless fan on a Lambeau Field winter day.
Could you imagine if last year during the Super Bowl one the commentators said something like, “Oh, the way Brady handles that ball looks like it’s as light as air. What a magician!” People would have been outraged at the cluelessness. But, of course, you can’t imagine that because the commentators were busy passive aggressively accusing Braday the whole time of conspiring to deflate the footballs throughout his entire career.
Since these base-less allegations of those flat-out fabricated sourceless stories have been irrefutably proven false, if not by Brady’s own phenomenal play for the past year with the most scrutinized football air pressure in history, but just by literal science.
Making NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comparison of air pressure deflation to Performance Enhancing Drugs seem even more ludicrous in his now notoriously stupid sounding appeal upholding document published last year, in hopes of boot-heeling like an irrational slave-owner into a Brady suspension on the flimsy accusations of an Indianapolis Colts team that was being legally dismantled by the Patriots in last year’s Conference finals.
“Mr. Integrity” Roger Goodell was so thirsty to get that report out and make Brady look like a guy on PEDs, one has to wonder where he is now that there are some actual serious allegations of PED use in many of the players currently in important playoff roles, like Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers?
From throwing a game to get an easier opponent to getting unfair advantages due to illegal performance enhancers, you’d think karma would intervene at some point. Well, so far we’re still waiting. Waiting like the losers that we are.
Could this coming weekend be the time? Will something fair finally happen for us all?
Not a chance.
By this time next week there will be another four teams full of losers and a millions of fans who define themselves by that vicarious failure all feeling like they too will never achieve their dreams.
And I will laugh, and we will do this dance once again.
Because that’s what we do, you the losers, me the doctor, and football games our waiting room, while winning is but the cancer and a championship the cure.