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Cheers for Bad Santa, jeers to Chargers tailgate fail

Welcome to the Around The League End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the NFL. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

It was a good week for ...


1. Ron Rivera: We have a Disney movie coming together in real time here, people. NARRATOR: Ron was always the nice guy who played it safe. Then one day he woke up ... and it all changed. This summer -- a little guts goes a long way. Mario Lopez is ... Riverboat Ron.

2. Tavon Austin: OK, there's the Tavon Austin all the draft experts told us about. So who was the dude on the field for the first nine weeks? What fortified basement did Austin escape from?

3. Ed Reed: Reed went from benched, to released, to a potentially prominent role with Rex Ryan's defense in the span of four days. New York Jets fans are suspicious over all this excitement. Where's the banana peel?

It was a bad week for ...


1. Jeff Ireland: The Miami Dolphins general manager has his hands full these days. In addition to a bullying imbroglio and Miami's on-field product collapsing into itself, Ireland's signed business card floated around social media earlier this week. Think the #FIRELAND army took advantage of this unique opportunity to fax, email or directly call the GM's office?

2. Cowboys fans: You realize it's happening again, right? They've sucked you into their twisted version of "Groundhog Day." The serpentine voyage to 8-8 is right on course.

3. Arian Foster: The Texans running back had back surgery on Thursday. I hope you're not one of the fantasy owners who read about Foster's offseason health woes and 1,115 touches the previous three seasons and thought, "Eh, we're cool."

What the What?


TMZ reported this week that Rob Gronkowski will appear in the new "Entourage" movie. This perhaps was the least surprising news in the history of mankind.

Turtle notwithstanding, I'm not exactly sure who has been clamoring for a full-feature version of the bro-tastic HBO series. Still, this at least counts as a legitimate off-the-field project for the Patriots tight end.

Other aspects of The Business of Gronk have had a decidedly C-list sheen to them. Gronktinis. An animated series. Off-brand energy drinks. Grönk Flakes, featuring packaging in which Gronk's head appears to be photoshopped onto the body of D.J. Qualls.

Who's steering the ship here? Who's protecting the Gronk brand? I don't want to see a haggard and broke Gronkowski talking about how he "trusted the wrong people" in a 2027 episode of "A Football Life."

OOH KILL 'EM

Last year, it was all about "Gangnam Style." (*cringe*) In 2013, NFL players are doing the "Cousin TerRio." Much respect to Justin Tucker, who bravely defied underground kicker anti-celebration legislation that was quietly put into effect after The Bill Gramatica ACL Apocalypse of 2001.

Tweet of the week

As always, I implore you to enjoy these types of tweets without context. But if you must ...

Hero of the Week: Rob Ryan

How could you not love Rob Ryan? You think Jerrah stares at old pics of Bad Santa on the Cowboys sideline while listening to Katy Perry mid-tempo ballads on loop? I do.

Villain of the Week: Tailgate fun-destroyers


Jesse Unger, a 27-year-old Chargers fan, received a $280 ticket last month for throwing a football during a tailgate in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. Seriously.

According to San Diego Municipal Code 59.0502 -- enforced by a San Diego police officer patrolling the lot prior to Chargers-Colts game -- one cannot "intentionally throw, discharge, launch or spill any solid object (including footballs, baseballs, frisbees and other such devices) or liquid substance or otherwise cause subject or substance to be thrown, discharged, launched, spilled, or to become airborne."

My head hurts from the stupidity.

Football tossing and tailgating go together like Rice and Montana. Thankfully, a local judge cut through the madness and let Unger off the hook. Now the Chargers and the city of San Diego have to put their heads together to chase dunderheaded tyranny from their parking lot.

Read Option(al)


"Sorry, Wrong Jonathan Martin" -- Jonathan Martin, The New York Times

Martin is a political reporter for The New York Times. Thousands of people on Twitter believe he's the controversial Dolphins right tackle. Apparently Martin's avatar -- featuring Lyndon B. Johnson's two beagles resting on the south lawn of the White House -- didn't connect as a giveaway in this case of mistaken identity.

"What Happened at Brian Holloway's House?" -- Jay Caspian Kang, Grantland

Remember the story a couple months back about the retired Patriots tackle whose house got trashed by rowdy teens while he was out of town? Well, there was more to it. A lot more.

Until next time ...

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