Breaking the Huddle


2011 Hall of Shame Game
October 19, 2010, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 Hello, friends. Time for another edition of “Billy’s Got Too Much Time on His Hands and Writes an Obscenely Long Note”.

            Gentlemen, if I tagged you in this note, and you no longer wish to have your Facebook reputation sullied by my strange and fanciful endeavors, so be it; feel free to untag yourself, or to send me a message telling me politely to quit tagging you, or to write on my wall IN ALL CAPS that you’re sick of me and my bullshit and that I need a life. (Please don’t do that last one. You might not be able to tell, given my tough exterior, but I’m actually quite fragile.)

            More disclaimers before we get going: All persons subject to arrest are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The NFL, NFLPA and its subsidiaries do not condone or approve of the website much of the following information was obtained from (http://nflcrimes.blogspot.com/) nor do they officially sanction the off-field activities of their millionaire employees. The official position of Roger Goodell is that the men you see playing the violent and borderline psychotic sport of football on Sundays are good, upstanding citizens and in no way a bunch of menaces to society unable to tell where the white lines of the field end, who carry their violent and destructive behavior into their own homes as well as society at large.

            Do I have all my bases covered?

            I think so.

            Here we go.

            Every August, the very first preseason game is played in Canton, Ohio. It is called the “Hall of Fame Game,” the culmination of a weekend full of honoring the current year’s inductees. What better way to honor the titans of yesteryear than by running a bunch of late-round rookies and undrafted free agents out there for three and a half quarters in front of an outdated stadium and a paltry television audience?

            Did you think that was a rhetorical question? Guess again! I have just the way to make it even better. I’d like to call it the “Hall of Shame Game.” I know it’s not an original title, but I learned in a sociology class once that shame is a very powerful tool in stopping behavior, which is exactly what this game would be. We could get together teams of the NFL’s convicts and arrestees and have them duke it out for our entertainment! (It would actually be a lot like most Sundays, except instead of having them spread out over several teams, we’d get a nice concentration of them right in front of us.)

            And what teams would play this game? Originally, the idea that made the most sense was to just have the Bengals play an intrasquad scrimmage. Their roster is full of all sorts of unseemly characters, their color scheme features very prison-garb-esque orange, and the stripes on the helmets could easily be altered into looking like bars on a jail cell. Plus, Canton’s in Ohio, and while I’m not totally sure how parole works, I’m pretty certain your travel is restricted to your home state. So, win-win. (Come to think of it, how the hell do the Bengals get those guys across state lines eight times a season? Brilliant!)

            Then the cold reality sank in – the Bengals suck balls. Who in their right mind would watch that team play a real game, much less a game versus themselves. That wouldn’t get the people at home to tune in, and if I want ol’ Fidel Goodell to approve this idea, he has to know the people will watch. The NFL will run with dumb ideas, even cold-hearted ones, so long as they make the NFL more money (why else would an 18 game season sound like a good idea?).

            The only way to do it: two All-Star teams, one full of all the NFL players arrested of DWI, and the other full of players arrested for domestic assault/battery. Everyone knows the ‘real’ NFL All-Star game is completely insufferable… doesn’t this sound way better? Who wouldn’t watch this? We don’t all follow the police blotter that closely, and it’s not like we can trust ESPN to report all the stuff the bad guys do (the way they talk about T.O. you’d think he cannibalizes small towns along the Mexican border in his free time, but in reality – spotless record. On the flip side, ESPN issued a gag order to all employees when Big Ben’s first sexual assault allegations came through). Watching the game would be a learning experience for the fans: “Oh, our backup Tight End hit his wife in the face after a brief struggle over the remote control. What a d-bag!”

            How would we get the players to agree to it? Simple: whichever team wins the game has their legal fees reimbursed by the advertising dollars generated by the game itself. If that isn’t enough, the NFL could promise to reduce the pending fines / suspensions for the members of the winning side. If they still won’t do it? I don’t know. Write it into the next Collective Bargaining Agreement if you have to. If the 18 game season thing is going to get in, you might as well go for it all.

             Enough of the talk. Here are the proposed rosters for the game tentatively scheduled for August 7, 2011, 11 PM CST. (Why 11 PM? Well, the game will get done at 2 AM, which is bar close, so at least we’ll be sure that for this one night, 50 at-risk professional athletes will be in a safe place, far from the temptations that got them into the game in the first place).

ANNOUNCERS: Marv Albert and Jon Gruden. Albert was arrested for biting his girlfriend in 1997, and Gruden was arrested a year later for DWI. Truth be told, I was going to put Gruden as one of the announcers before I knew of the DWI. Not because he’s good, but because he’s awful, and hopefully being around this many dangerous people (and trust me, the game would be full of them) there’s a chance of him being murdered. And if he was murdered, I could start watching Monday Night games with the sound on again.

 

REFEREE: Santonio Holmes. Why? Because he’s been arrested for both, so he’d be unbiased.

THE ROSTERS:

 

The Sloshed Slobberknockers

This team is full of stupid people. And it’s not just because driving drunk is incredibly stupid; it’s because the league provides a free, no questions asked ride to any player, at any time of the day, 365 days a year. Think about that. The league’s average salary is $770,000. A really long cab ride in a major city can run you $100 to $200. Yet the NFL deems is necessary to give them rides for free… and they STILL get caught driving drunk!

QB Kerry Collins (Tennessee)

RB Cedric Benson (Cincinnati)

RB Ronnie Brown (Miami)

FB Owen Schmitt (Philadelphia)

WR Vincent Jackson (San Diego)

WR Braylon Edwards (NY Jets)

TE Jeramy Stevens (Tampa Bay)

OL Phil Loadholt (Minnesota)

OL Khalif Barnes (Jacksonville)

OL J.D. Quinn (Miami)

OL Marcus Johnson (Tampa Bay)

OL Kareem McKenzie (NY Giants)

DL Jared Allen (Minnesota)

DL Fili Maola (Indianapolis)

DL Jamal Williams (San Diego)

DL Leonard Little (St. Louis)

LB Rey Mualuga (Cincinnati)

LB Joey Porter (Arizona)

LB Lofa Tatupu (Seattle)

CB Cortland Finnegan (Tennessee)

CB Cedric Griffin (Minnesota)

FS Ricardo Colclough (Omaha of the UFL)

SS Brian Williams (Jacksonville)

K Paul Edinger (Currently Unemployed)

P Todd Sauerbrun (Also Unemployed)

ST Koren Robinson (Some Prison Team Someplace)

The Total Douchebags

I know, I know, it’s not a really original name. Believe me, I tried to come up with something, but even calling this team something like “The Angry Bitchslappers” would take make light of the fact that these guys were all arrested for hitting a woman (or a few of them, depending on the player). So what do you call a guy who does that? A total douchebag. Hence the name.

QB Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss)

RB Steven Jackson (St. Louis)

RB Larry Johnson (Currently unemployed)

FB Deon Anderson (Dallas)

WR Brandon Marshall (Miami)

WR Randy Moss (New England)

TE Randy McMichael (San Diego)

OL Cornell Green (Oakland)

OL Claude Terrell (St. Louis)

OL Quinn Ojinnaka (Atlanta)

OL Sean Locklear (Seattle)

OL Jeremy Bridges (Carolina)

DL Tony McDaniel (Miami)

DL Frostee Rucker (Cincinnati)

DL Philip Merling (Miami)

LB Shawne Merriman (San Diego)

LB Nick Barnett (Green Bay)

LB Michael Boley (NY Giants)

LB James Harrison (Pittsburgh)

CB Fabian Washington (Oakland)

CB Mike Harden (Denver)

FS Nick Harper (Indianapolis)

SS Jermaine Phillips (Tampa Bay)

K Rob Beard (University of Oregon)

P Jeff Gomulinski (Boston College)

ST Adrian Arrington (Arizona)

So who would win this matchup of the seedy underbelly of the NFL? Check that. It’s not really the underbelly, as underbellies are, by definition, the hidden dark side of a seemingly innocuous entity. So instead, I ask: Who’d win this seemingly normal football game, pitting one squad of felons versus another? Let’s check the matchups:

Position- TEAM WITH THE EDGE

QB- SLOBS– Kerry Collins has the edge over Masoli. I know, I know, I cheated a little bit here, dipping into the college ranks for a QB, but the only NFL QB I could find was former Steeler/ Packer Mike Tomczak, and I couldn’t bear to put him on the team. It’s not that he’s old as shit and was never really that good anyway, I just have this thing against unnecessary consonants. So no Mike Tomczak.

Backfield- SLOBS– Tough call here, but I have to go with the SLOBS again. Cedric can pound it, and Ronnie can run the wildcat.

Receiving Corps- DBAGS– The Total Douchebags totally have this one. Moss lining up on one side, and Marshall on the other? What could be scarier than that? Other than, you know, their rap sheets? The receiving corps was really deep for both teams. What is it about wide receivers?

O-LINE- SLOBS– Why? Simple. I’ve heard of two of their lineman and none of the Douchebags.

D-LINE- SLOBS– No contest- and I’m not talking about how Jared Allen pleads when he goes to court. I mean, the SLOBS have 3 players who have been first team All-Pros, plus Fili Maola, a promising second year player with Indy.

LINEBACKERS- DBAGS–  Notice I have the Douchebags playing a 3-4, because their linebacker corps is stacked. With Merriman and Harrison on the outside, Barnett and Boley on the inside, these guys would be unstoppable… like Tila Tequila when she wants to leave a party. It’s best to just deal with it, rather than take it head on.

SECONDARY- SLOBS– Again, I’ve heard of the guys playing for the Sloshed Slobberknockers, so I had to pick them.

SPECIAL TEAMS- DBAGS – But only because they have the only current NFL player in the bunch. I had to dip into the unemployed and college ranks to find quality candidates for this. We need to see some NFL kickers getting into some trouble with the law! And not just peeing in a convenience store (Jeff Reed) or almost getting deported (Sebastian Janikowski), I mean, really, some good old fashioned felonies!

As for who would win this game? In reality, both teams are a bunch of losers (get it? They’re losers because they’ve broken the law. Boy, I’m on fire tonight). But really, you know who’d win? The Sloshed Slobberknockers. And do you know why? This man would be their coach.

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/sportsbeacon/2010/07/daily_dose_july_12_-_da_coach.html

That’s right. Mike Ditka. DWI class of 1985, the same year he coached Da Bearsss to Da Super Bowl… He’d be coaching against Tom Cable. While his rap sheet is impressive (apparently he’s beaten two ex-wives, and ex-grilfriend, AND punched out an assistant coach) Cable would be no match for Da Coach.

Listen, this might be a ridiculous exercise born from several hours of downtime at my new job, but dammit, I love this idea, and I would love to see it happen. And if we all write letters, I bet we could make it happen. So get out your pens and paper, everyone and send a heartfelt letter in support of this idea to:

Commissioner Roger Goodell

c/o The National Football League

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Thank you.

P.S.

Part of the grand plan for the Hall of Shame Game is to have an entire league of shameful teams. In addition to the teams above, we’d also have:

The Old and Washed Up But I Won’t Retire and It’s Really Annoying team,

The Travis Henry Child Support team (featuring 11 players born to 9 women),

The Antonio Cromartie Child Support team (8 by 6 women),

White People,

The All-Marijuana Team,

The Codeine Makes Me Jolly team,

And my personal favorite:

The I Pooped in a Random Woman’s Laundry Basket team (Najeh Davenport)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/news/2002/10/29/packers_davenport_ap/

 

 

Can you think of any others? Let me know!