Every week of the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. So let's tell the story of Week 12 through GIFs.
How can Antonio Brown be the most productive wide receiver since Jerry Rice and somehow still remain generally underappreciated? It's incredible what Brown does for the Steelers on a weekly basis -- he's a one-man slumpbuster for their offense. With the game tied late in the fourth quarter on Sunday night, everyone -- the Packers, the fans at Heinz Field, the millions watching at home, Gracie Award-winning sideline reporter Michele Tafoya -- knew Ben Roethlisberger would target his most-trusted receiver to try to steal the win in regulation. That's exactly what Big Ben did ... and Green Bay could not stop Brown from making two huge catches to put Pittsburgh in scoring range.
The GIF above was taken moments after Chris Boswell won the game for the Steelers with a 53-yard field goal at the gun. It's a fitting depiction of Brown, who's solo mugging for the cameras while the majority of his teammates celebrate with Boswell at midfield. It struck me as another reminder that Brown kind of exists on his own Planet Antonio.
I guess when you're that good, you're free to reside wherever the hell you want.
Only the Jets could enter a season with absolutely no expectations and still find a way to deliver a season featuring the familiar Gang Green dancing partners: Hope & Despair. Sunday was the JetsiestJets loss in some time. They bottled up and frustrated Cam Newton, outgained the Panthers by almost 100 yards, but still managed to blow another fourth-quarter lead thanks to penalties, special teams breakdowns and another back-breaking late turnover from Josh McCown.
Of course, the Jets have also scratched out four wins, which likely takes them out of the top of the first round of the upcoming draft unless they trade into a money spot -- a move that would be incredibly expensive and perhaps impossible if the teams in the top three are as quarterback-needy as the Jets.
Add it all up and it's been another taxing season for the fanbase. The dude above sums it up beautifully.
I know this seems like a stupid question, seeing as Philadelphia is an NFL-best 10-1.
But a substantial amount of prep work has to go into these celebrations, right?
I'm genuinely curious. More than anything, I'm impressed. Of course, if the Eagles lose in Seattle next week, Skip Bayless or Gary Grumbles or whomever will take this joking assertion and turn it into a seven-minute segment of po-faced nonsense. "HAS DOUG PEDERSON LOST CONTROL OF THE HARD-PARTYING EAGLES?"
Everybody likes a good Gronk spike. That's a solid Gronk spike. Later, teammate Brandin Cooks hopped on the big lug's back after another New England score.
Apparently, and this is the kind of stuff that just makes you love the Patriots, Gronk and his teammates are forbidden to publicly discuss any celebrations that occur during a game:
"Yeah, that was not planned or anything," Gronk explained. "We got yelled at. We're not allowed to talk about celebrations. That's what we got told. But, I kind of want to talk about it, but I kind of don't because I'll get in trouble, so I don't know what to do. So, it just happened on the spot. It wasn't planned. We'll just keep it there."
Don't you steal that boy's innocence, Belichick. Don't you dare.
This guy probably has kids.
Giants fans won't miss Ben McAdoo when he's gone -- and let's be honest, Ben McAdoo will almost certainly be gone in about, oh, 36 days. Personally, I'll miss all the little boys and girls who went to games and practices dressed up like McAdoo, whose gutsy decision last summer to slick his hair straight back instantly made him one of the visually striking sideline presences in the National Football League.
We should always have at least one coach who looks like he's been shot out of a community theater production of Grease. Have one of those "designated survivor" situations where we have someone kept in a secure location just in case the acting slickster is forcibly removed from power. Hey, Greg Schiano could be free.
Here's a fun exercise. Put on your best headphones. Preferably a product of the noise-cancelling variety. If Bose personally compensated me, I'd use their products, but since they pay the NFL and Russell Wilson and Macklemore but not Dan personally, we'll keep it more open-ended for the purposes of this endeavor.
You are now officially in the mind of a struggling NFL quarterback during a time of existential crisis. This should become the 21st century version of watching The Wizard of Oz while listening to The Dark Side of the Moon.
We'll close with a funny story. My wife and I hosted Friendsgiving at the house last week. One of our guests was a man from Belgium with zero knowledge of American football. As we sat on the couch and watched the Chargers and Cowboys, he reacted with bewilderment as CBS cut to a shot of Drew Kaser on the Chargers sideline. I chuckled and explained to my confused friend that kickers often use those nets to warm up before they go on the field. I had completely missed the fact that, in the exact moment CBS cut to the sideline, Kaser had whiffed on the net with a warmup kick. I hadn't even realized it until I saw the GIF above this morning ... four days later.
Long story short: My nonnative friend was puzzled (rightfully so!) that there was a player on the sideline using his right foot to indiscriminately fire footballs into the crowd of spectators at a high rate of speed. And since I missed it the first time around, my friend is now under the mistaken impression that this is something that happens at every football game.
Yup, I failed miserably in my impromptu role as cultural ambassador. I resign in shame.
Until next week.