Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The NFL offseason - putting the FUN back in dysFUNction

This has been a busy offseason for the NFL - the Pacman Jones and Chris Henry suspensions, the impending Tank Johnson suspension, the Michael Vick investigation. And this is just the tip of the iceberg with other players like Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett being arrested and a tenth Bengal in the last 14 months getting picked up.

While it seems like the NFL is a refuge for violent offenders and yes, the number is rising every year, the proportion of males given to criminal behavior in society as a whole is still larger proportionately than the number in the NFL.

No...the dysfunction that I want to talk about isn't the criminals as I have so often littered our headlines of late. I want to take a quick look at the NFL's dysfunctional franchises.

1. The Bengals - The Queen City's grid-iron entry gets the top ranking by default with close to 20 percent of the team making for a police line-up. Marvin Lewis has his work cut out as he goes about trying to change the culture of criminality in his lockerroom.

2. The Raiders - A few lucky bounces are all that kept this team from going 0-16 last season and now the players are whining that practices are too tough. Al Davis is going to be dead before this team wins again.

3. The Bears - How often does a team make it to the Super Bowl, only to have the defensive tackle go to jail, linebacker hold out, a defensive lineman throw the starting quarterback under the bus, and the ownership get involved in a protracted and ugly contract negotiation with the winningest head coach they have had since Ditka left. Anyone really think that this team is really going to make it to the Super Bowl again.

4. The Falcons - Everything that comes out of here is either done to enable Michael Vick, or make excuses for him, which I suppose amounts to the same thing. If Vick gets indicted in the dogfighting probe, and subsequently suspended, it could be the best thing to happen to this team.

5. The Vikings - It seems like whenever news comes out of the Dome in regards to the purple, it's about how Childress has already lost the locker room, what some player has done wrong, or what horrible personnel move that the team has made.


Dave said...

It's really that bad in Vikings land already? I hadn't heard anything about that.

I think Miami should get an honorable mention; Saban bailing, drafting Ted Ginn, Jr., the Daunte Culpepper debacle, Cam Cameron getting booed at a draft party...that's gotta count for something.

Kevin Smith said...

The rumblings about the coach losing the loker room began during the season. I thought about putting Miami on that list for the reasons you mentioned, but figured I would give the new braintrust the benefit of the doubt.

Others that I considered given their ongoing problems include Cleveland, Detroit (just barely missed), Houston (wonderful job rebuilding the line), and Arizona.