Love is a funny thing. It is versatile enough to be something that can be real and imaginary at the same time. Sometimes it is never shown even when it exists. Sometimes it goes unrequited. Sometimes the person you love leaves you in the middle of the dance only to kiss the captain of the football team. Love can be shy and it can be promiscuous. So, for this Valentine’s Day, we will take a look at who or what each team loves in the NFL.
1) Tony Romo, QB. Management’s acquaintances don’t know what they see in Tony. Management doesn’t care. The inner circle likes him and they have seen the ways he can provide for the owner. He’s just kind of a klutz and seems to look bad in public at the worst times. They love him because he never gives up and isn’t scarred by previous failure. And, really, he’s done a lot for them. You just don’t know, okay? Why doesn’t everyone just leave him alone? Fine, I love him, too.
2) Supreme confidence. They love themselves. Again, despite outside criticism, management is never wavering in hubris and ego. They are not going to be told what to do. They became successful years ago and they will not be told that their old ways won’t continue to work.
1) The pass rush. Whenever the Giants take their final breath, the words will be, “We have to pressure the quarterback. Let that legacy live on. Tell Tom we are worried about how red his cheeks get.”
2) Knowing when to let go. With so much money tied up in so few players, the Giants know that this is time to let go to avoid a severe case of depression. They will have to give up some guys who got them vacations in exotic places along with guys who allowed them to overcome adversity that no one thought they had in them. There will be some nights featuring a half gallon of Ben and Jerry’s, but not all is lost.
1) Mike Vick. They found him by the side of the road. He was alone and scared. He had a checkered past. The Eagles, cautious at first, nursed him back to health. He is healthy enough now to be let back into the wild, but management has petitioned the city to allow them to keep him for good. The scary thing is, though, sometimes someone can be so broken that they end up bringing their loves down with them. Philadelphia prays that won’t happen here.
1) Robert Griffin III. He is just so cool, isn’t he? Management has to be concerned with his reckless nature, and they are worried every single time he wants to go skydiving with his friends. It’s just so hard to say no to him. Eventually, they may try and reel him in some, but it’s early in the relationship, they have plenty of time to make sure their love lasts forever.
2) Splashy headlines. The Redskins are attention hounds. They love the flashy signing and they love to have their name in the papers. They do not love rules concerning trees on the Potomac River. This makes their love with Robert Griffin III even more meaningful and complete.
1) Offense. The Bears have been doing the same thing over and over for years. They thought that they could get by without a quarterback for 60+ years and always thought that their love of defense would get them by. This off-season, though, they went outside of their comfort zone. The Bears are a bit nervous and am not sure if it will work, but one championship in the Super Bowl era finally made them try it.
2) Mud. This is more the fault of the Chicago Park District, but the lack of movement on the issue concerning the condition of the turf at Soldier Field leaves only one conclusion: The Bears love mud.
1) Calvin Johnson. The love for him is bond that can never be broken. When he is with them, what he breaks is records. He is the embodiment of his Megatron nickname; a machine that can save the world. They overcompensated for their own lack of confidence by making him an offer he could not refuse and there is no turning back now.
2) Untamed aggression. It is said that football is game of controlled fury. The Lions don’t subscribe to that axiom. Whether on the field or not, it is sometimes best just to keep your distance from them.
1) Long hair. Their linebackers seems to be a whirling dervish of yellow with their long blonde locks and Green Bay helmets while attacking the opposing quarterback. The Packers love this about them. Their blinding charges are the key to righting the wrongs with the rest of the defense.
2) Aaron Rodgers, QB. Management basks in the shiny rays of adulation when they get to show off their most-prized love. They know he can make every throw and can adapt to any situation. There are no worries about an uncomfortable public display when he is around. The Packers are just fine with letting everyone else stare.
1) Adrian Peterson, RB. They know him best. Better than anyone else possibly could. So management lets other people tell him what he can’t do. He spends all day, every day, proving his doubters wrong. The Vikings know how different and how driven he is. They will do everything they can to make him happy because they know he can’t be told “no.”
1) The routine. More specifically, the Falcons love the regular season. They always have the same wake up time and have a set schedule each day that leads to success. They eat right and exercise. They make the tough management decisions. They just struggle whenever the routine becomes different in the playoffs. They are set in their ways, but changes are needed. They just don’t seem ready yet.
1) Cam Newton, QB. This is not the perfect relationship. Cam was lucky enough to look so dashing the first time they met. Management knows that there are flaws with Cam, but didn’t he just impress so well during that initial meeting? Maybe he really does have all that potential in him. Maybe he just won’t be willing to change enough to make it work. The Panthers are willing to take this one to the end.
1) Sean Payton. At this point, it is just mushy and embarrassing to everyone on the outside of this thing. Because everyone saw in him what the Saints did, friends did not even complain when the Saint stuck by Payton when he had to go to jail for a while. There are rumors about bribing the guards for extra visitation during his time locked up. It is clear that the love is strong and relentless. The party that welcomed Sean home was said to be the most expensive one ever.
2) Bad defense. While Sean was away, some nights got hard. The Saints neglected themselves for a bit and had some nights on the wrong side of the tracks. They know that Sean Payton had to know what went on while he was in prison, but not a word was said about it. The prodigal return was not going to be ruined. Quickly and quietly, Sean made sure that the Saints would never speak to that defense again.
1) Skinny Josh Freeman. For a period during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, Josh showed the Bucs everything they could want from him. He was working out, he was smart, he stayed away from bad foods and Aqib Talib. He was putting up stats that only Peyton Manning could rival at the time. Then, like an addict, Thanksgiving hit and everything he worked for was gone. But Tampa Bay has seen the good in him. They know it may take a few more tries.
2) Being a football team. Tampa Bay has attendance issues. They know it. Hey, they might only be a “6" or a “7" on the ten-point scale. It make take a few beers to get someone to love them, but they are comfortable in their own skin. It helps that they see that awful-looking baseball team hanging out in the same bar a lot. Do they saddle up on the stool next to the Rays on purpose? Sure.
1) Larry Fitzgerald, WR. Try as they might, they just are not sure if they can do enough to make him happy anymore. All efforts have failed so far since they lost someone who was the perfect guy to make sure Larry could be the weapon he is. Now they are stuck with trying to make Fitzgerald comfortable with someone who is unreliable, is always sick and never remembers to pick up the kids from soccer practice.
1) First round draft picks. Of the Niners 22 starters from 2012, 11 of them were former first round draft picks. Hey, sure, it’s a bit superficial to just look at the nice ones out there, but it has led to recent success and has allowed the team to experience something else they love:
2) Talent stability. Sometimes it pays to be superficial because the Niners know that they don’t have to worry too much about the near future. They can go to the movies, go on vacations and pretty much do want they knowing that things are going to change soon. They will just have to make sure they don’t get too comfortable. Spontaneity is always a good thing.
1) Puke green. The Seahawks love this color. They saw the bright yellow that their neighbors to the south had and decided that they did not want to keep up with the Jones’, they wanted to engage in some one-upmanship. They decided that they could be uglier, bolder, louder. Perhaps puke green is symbolism resulting from what happens from unrestrained enthusiasm. When kids eat too quickly and then exercise too soon, they are going to puke. Pete Carroll just loves his kids too much and understands that he is not the best person to teach serenity.
2) Russell Wilson. Management loves him so much that it is getting a little creepy. That corner in the bedroom with all those jerseys, the notes, the pictures from outside Wilson’s bedroom? Just a symbol of their love. That time they asked for a lock of his hair? Just something to remember him by. Russell Wilson might just want to watch his back before Seattle shows up with a tattoo of him on their neck. When that happens, I recommend moving.
1) Reclamation projects. This article probably said it best: http://footballpros.com/content.php/2201-Gone-Fishing