*I love that guy. *
It's cool to root for players from other teams. One of my favorite players of all time is A.J. Hawk. He's best known for being a Bengal. It just happens sometimes.
Here's my current list of my favorite people from each NFL team. I'm not saying they're the best. Or the most exciting. Or even that you need to go purchase their jersey at NFL Shop Dot Com. (Though, that would be cool.) I just want to share this list with you, because I'm a giver. And it's what I do.
I know all NFL players work hard. And nobody really deserves to have a ring handed to them. But I really wish Fitzgerald could go out a winner. He once caught passes from Max Hall! MAX HALL. If there was any justice in the world, Fitz's 64-yard catch-and-run touchdown would have been the difference in Super Bowl XLIII.
For one, I really hope Jackson is the catalyst for a revamp of Draft SZN. Because it's tiresome. And screw all of you for wanting to make him switch to receiver, then not drafting him until the last pick of the first round. Let's fast-forward to the part where he's going to be the starter.
Hey, he never asked to be involved in the drama between Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. Peterman was pushed into a position he never should have been in. It was like putting a toddler in the driver's seat of an RV. It might make for a cute photo, but that RV is going to crash. The Bills' RV did. I just don't want Peterman's only NFL experience to be his 87-interception performance against the Chargers. His grandkids are going to Google that one day.
I root for him every day because Mike Martz couldn't find a way to make one of the best tight ends of his generation work in his offense when he was offensive coordinator for the Bears and Olsen was posting two of the least productive seasons of his career. THANK YOU, MIKE. It's not like Olsen would have worked out well AT ALL.
One year, the Corona-Norco Unified School District computer put me in Mrs. Ng's science class, which was filled with nearly every detention-dwelling delinquent at Letha Raney Junior High. Green must feel the same way playing in Cincinnati.
The NFL draft can feel a bit like the Royal Rumble. There is a buzz when a player is expected to be picked. Which is what happened in 2014, when everyone in Radio City Music Hall wanted the Cowboys to select Johnny Manziel. The room was deflated when the Cowboys took Martin. Like when, at around the same time as this draft, Daniel Bryan didn't come through the curtain at the Rumble. Though the smart Cowboys fans -- all six of them -- liked the Martin pick.
DENVER BRONCOS: Tim Tebow, QB
I still believe.
*(Editor's note: RANK!) *
All-around good dude. Beat MJD in our "Madden NFL Live" show a few years back. A true underdog, having not even been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Not even invited! And speaking of dogs, he once spent the night outside in the "Cold Dog Challenge" to show people what it's like to leave your dog out in the cold. Kind of like how you left him in the cold when you didn't invite him to the combine!
As somebody who made a segment about curtain-jerkers who steal fantasy points from the guys we actually started, I do owe a lot to players like Ripkowski.
He set the NFL on fire last year. And when news broke of the torn ACL that ended his rookie season in November, the NFL Media newsroom was as quiet as theaters were when ["AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR" SPOILER REDACTED]. I want him to come back and crush the league again.
I loved to play EA Sports' "NCAA Football." My favorite thing to do would be to pick a non-Power 5 school and lead that team to glory. More often than not, I'd pick Utah State. And one year, the Aggies had this amazing running back who wore No. 6. By coincidence, Turbin also wore No. 6 in Logan, Utah, during that same time frame. So I'm kind of drawn to him.
First, for the obvious reason: We both are afraid of horses. But he's also amazing at "Madden." And he loves a good vintage jersey.
LOS ANGELES RAMS: Wade Phillips, DC
Truly one of the most entertaining coaches in NFL history and clearly one of the very best at what he does. I hope he's able to keep his stable of heels on top, like the NFL version of Bobby Heenan.
I played in my first fantasy league in junior high. (Yes, Ms. Ng's class -- how did you know?) The first player I ever drafted was Frank Gore.
The Vikings have numerous likeable players, which I find annoying. But I'm going with Newman. I loved him the moment he made his first appearance on "The Dave Dameshek Football Program" and started mimicking co-host Henry Hodgson's accent. But most importantly, he's like the rest of us on the wrong side of 30. The only thing is, he's still actually playing football. I pulled a hammy in a bounce house with my daughter over the weekend.
There was always one fraternity on campus that nobody liked, but they always had that dude who was the life of the party and welcomed everywhere on the row. Like that dude nicknamed Jello from Sigma Pi. That's Gronk.
Great player. Super-cool guy. And his dad once starred in a vignette with "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. Let's stop this now.
Snacks! Sometimes you want to live through people vicariously for what they can do on the field. I live through Harrison for the amount of food he can put away. And still look good.
He's taken an unusual path to the Jets. Worked as a bouncer. Worked construction. Worked for a moving company. And even was an overnight camp counselor. It's nice to root for somebody with a relatable background. I mean, we were basically the same in college. Except, you know, he played college football. But then again, I was pretty sick on the intramural fields.
Sorry, not sorry. Having Marshawn in the league just makes the NFL a better place. And I would like him to help deliver the Raiders one last ride before the team moves to Las Vegas.
I want to say the whole team, because the Eagles are a likeable bunch whom nobody (outside of the NFC East) could be mad at. But if I had to pick a guy, I'd go with Carson. Mostly because he's not super-sensitive about his backup winning a Super Bowl. Which probably isn't something you'd say of a lot of marquee QBs.
Obvious choice. I live for the day when he's just considered a good football player. Shouldn't take too long.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: ABCC
That stands for "anybody but Chris Conte." Conte got a lot of wind in his jaw after the Bucs beat the Bears, his former team. Why you mad at us? You were the one who let Randall Cobbscore this touchdown when you were still in Chicago. Not us. (For the record, I used to defend you, even on that play, because I blamed Julius Peppers for letting Aaron Rodgers out of the box. Not now!)
TENNESEE TITANS: The offensive line
I was just going to say Taylor Lewan, because he's my dude. But I love watching these guys before Nashville Predators playoff games. I mean, that's how a lot of us behave at football games. And watching these professional athletes wear hockey sweaters of their favorite players makes me feel less dumb about wearing a football jersey.