By Bryan Ramos | THE RIDER
Hear that? It’s the sound of meat sizzling on the barbecue pit, ice being poured into coolers filled with drinks and Cowboys fans sobbing. The 2016 NFL season is finally here.
Last year was a whirlwind of players hitting the Dab, Whip, Milly Rock and disappointment in Dallas that ultimately ended with the Denver Broncos winning Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.
During the offseason, the NFL said goodbye as “The Sheriff” Peyton Manning, “Megatron” Calvin Johnson and “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch retired. Don’t worry; the league still features amazing nicknames like “Honey Badger,” “Muscle Hamster” and “Black Unicorn.”
With Commissioner Roger Goodell holding the reins of the No Fun League, or as I like to call him, the Wicked Witch of the Crest, there is sure to be controversy.Wear neon green cleats to honor mental health awareness in a game rather than the standard black ones? Fined. Like your balls a bit deflated? Suspended. Photographic evidence leaks and you’re charged with domestic violence? Don’t worry, Goodell will have his head investigator Ida Kno Nuffin on the case and you’ll receive a stern talking to. The Donald Trump of the NFL is a joke, but I digress.
Let’s start off in Dallas where heartbreak is already setting in and the torturous regular season Cowboys fans have become so familiar with hasn’t even started yet. Tony Romo’s body is breaking down before our very eyes and it’s depressing. The team’s 2016 first round pick Ezekiel Elliott showed up to the draft wearing a suit and a half shirt, which is cute and all but there’s no room for belly buttons in football, only concussions. Oh, well, when in doubt blame Jerry.
Elsewhere in the NFC East, cornerback Josh Norman joins the team in Washington that refuses to change its name but also refuses to be good at football. Norman matching up twice a year with both Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. is must-see TV and I know I will yell “Worldstar!” at least once while watching one of those games.
The J.J. Watts made some key acquisitions to improve their team but they also signed a quarterback named Brock. Let me guess, he gets the girl in the end, they have beautiful babies and live happily ever after? That’s so hacky, I hope they never win.
Up in Seattle, quarterback Russell Wilson is playing step daddy to Future’s son after marrying pop singer Ciara. The couple took a vow of celibacy while dating and being engaged, and if you’ve ever seen Ciara’s “Ride” music video, this proves Wilson has godlike willpower. The two gave up their vow of celibacy after their July marriage. We’ll see if the strategy pays off.
A movement is sweeping the nation as 23,528 people have signed an online petition to change the Cincinnati Bengals team name to the Cincinnati Harambes. Hey, NFL, maybe pay some respect to a hero? RIP, Harambe.
Also in Ohio, or a bar near you, you might find a Pokémon named Johnny Manziel. The first round pick of the Cleveland Browns has partied his way right out of the league and become a regular on TMZ. Seriously, when your family is worried about you living past the age of 24, the fun and games are out the window. Pulling for you, Johnny. (He’ll see this, he’s a regular reader.)
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are ready to unleash hell on the league after Brady was suspended the first four games of the 2016 season over Deflategate. I like to imagine when Tom Brady looks in the faces of defenses he will play against this year. All he will see are 11 Roger Goodell faces.
Colin Kaepernick recently sat down to take a stand that sparked a controversy that spilled out of just the sports world. When he chose to remain seated during the playing of the national anthem before a 49ers preseason game, he stood for what he believes in. He refused to stand for the flag of a country who he feels oppresses black people and people of color, and unless your head has been buried in the sand for the last 300 years, it’s hard not to agree with him. Having freedom of speech and using your platform to stand for your convictions is as American as it gets and the hate-filled, racist backlash he’s received reveals a troubling hypocrisy within the supposed greatest country in the world.
What would football be without some drama, right?
The NFL season is upon us and it’s the most wonderful time of the year, when every team and their respective fan bases still think their team has a shot to win it all.
Sundays are for football, trust me. The big man upstairs has two television screens going at the same time on Sundays, one devoted to gospel, the other devoted to the NFL.