The New Year is upon us, and our Facebook feeds are filled with promises that 2016 will be the year we quit our soul-sucking jobs, find love like Kim and Kanye, get an official diagnosis on our pesky rash, or figure out which type of alcohol doesn’t make us puke.(Just me?)
Since I think it’s good to continue to pin our goals and general self-worth on the arbitrary successes and failures of grown men in helmets running at each other at full speed, here are some New Year’s resolutions that I think could be made around the NFL:
Johnny Manziel – In 2016, I will find myself a respectable mentor.
Manziel showed improvement on the field (started six games, threw 1500 yards for seven touchdowns and five interceptions in his second season with the Browns), and a whole lot of fuckboy-ery (Vegas during the bye week, drunk arguments with his girlfriend) off the field. By the end of another miserable Browns season, Johnny Football was MIA from mandatory meetings and practically begging to be traded to the Cowboys.
But let’s say Johnny does get what he wants (and doesn’t he always?) and gets traded to the Cowboys. He needs to find someone to look to that he can model his behavior after. Possibly another quarterback, with experience, who never aimed to be America’s Sweetheart (ahem, Brady and Manning). Someone Johnny Football actually respects. Cam Newton has the antics and the success, but maybe not enough experience to qualify to be a mentor, Drew Brees has a similar undersize build as Manziel, or maybe the most successful party boy of them all: Joe Namath.
The league is better with guys like Cam and Johnny in it; guys who have talent and a somewhat dissident attitude. At the end of the day, the business is entertainment and if Johnny can maybe get a prescription for Adderall and spend some time truly improving his game instead of wearing blonde wigs, he could become one of the most entertaining QBs of our generation.
Chip Kelly – In 2016, I will chill out a little bit
It’s no secret that Kelly is a tyrant in his locker rooms. Players felt as if he treated them as disposable commodities, which is easy to get away with in college when players don’t have much choice but to grin and bear it. He sets the agenda and if you don’t follow it, he writes you off, to such an extreme that key players like LeSean McCoy and Brandon Boykin accused Kelly of being racist.
I don’t think that’s the case here, but Lane Kiffin did accuse Kelly of overworking his team and being unyielding to change his vision throughout the season when they weren’t finding success. I think Kelly’s firing has more to do with his soured relationship with his GM than what his players thought of him. But if Kelly really wants to succeed in the NFL, he needs to realize that he is coaching other, well-paid grown men and not broke college kids he can threaten with scholarships and harass into submission. His schemes are cutting-edge, but ineffective if no one respects him. I’m recommending a week at a secluded mountain spa and maybe some regular meditation for Kelly this year.
Kansas City Chiefs – In 2016, I will do my city proud and win a fucking playoff game.
I’m of the opinion that in order to win a championship, any kind of championship – but particularly a championship in a team sport – you need three main ingredients: a boatload of talent, decent team chemistry, and just a little bit of magic.
We know KC is talented. Alex Smith is putting up solid numbers; 10% of the Chiefs’ first downs are Smith rushes. Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware have stepped up since the loss of star running back, Jamaal Charles. Eric Berry has beat cancer and come back to lead the secondary. Travis Kelce has had a great, albeit inconsistent season-with only one catch for 10 yards in the Chiefs last regular-season win against the Raiders.
And there’s no denying this team has chemistry. As everyone knows, they’ve hit their stride to win ten straight games after a miserable 1-5 start, even after the loss of Charles. They seem to trust Reid, who has led them to the playoffs for the second time in his three years in KC.
Kansas City is rife with magic right now. Our World Champion Royals captured our television screens and our hearts in October when the Chiefs were losing. And if they had kept on losing, we would have been more than happy with just one championship this year. But they turned it around, then turned it up, and every week it became increasingly clear that we had a shot at the playoffs. Now that we’re there, we are primed to throw all of our support behind our football team and come out with our first playoff victory in 22 years.
Bonus resolution #1: For the entire NFL: In 2016, we will enforce stricter guidelines for players who commit acts of domestic violence.
Bonus resolution #2: Royals: In 2016, we will all work as hard as Alex Gordon.
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