It's that time of year again, where the two best teams in the NFL are about a week away from squaring off in the greatest sporting spectacle in the entire world--the Super Bowl.
With that in mind, I'd like to bring to you the third annual Super Bowl Roast, where I poke fun at and sort of pay tribute to the Broncos, Panthers and many other fine NFL dignitaries. If you didn't like my first annual Super Bowl Roast or my second, you're in for a real treat.
Let's start the show.
This year's Super Bowl will be played on February 7, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers. Speaking of the 49ers, by finishing 5-11 in 2015 and firing first year head coach Jim Tomsula, they proved that the long-time Super Bowl host jinx is still alive and well. In-fact, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, the jinx wanted to do something really special this time around, so it somehow compelled San Francisco to hire Chip Kelly as head coach.
I kid you, Coach. You'll do a fine job. Just keep telling yourself, "The dictatorship approach really does work at the pro level." And remember to stick to your beliefs, Coach. It's really not about the players at the pro level. It's all about the college system. Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Boykin...this guy has given away more good players than my ex girlfriend when I would trick her into making bad trades in fantasy football.
Good luck next season, Chip. See you on the recruiting trail real soon.
For just one season, the NFL has done away with its traditional roman numeral design and, instead of "L," "50" is the official logo for this year's Super Bowl. As a lazy writer, this annoys me. After all those ugly years trying to figure out XLVI, XLVII, XLVIII and the infamous XLIX debacle from a year ago, I finally get an easy roman numeral to remember and write, and the league does this? Thankfully, next year, the NFL will go back to LI for its 51st Super Bowl. Of course the NFL will do this. All people start to hide their age once they get over 50--just ask James Harrison.
I kid James, of course, and why? Because he could hurt me. Don't worry, James, everyone loves you and wants you to come back next year at the age of 38. I can't wait to see those social media videos you post this off-season where you lift Mt. Washington. (Don't worry, James. Nobody suspects a thing.)
Anyway, in other Steelers news, after suffering a sprained MCL, a sprained foot and a sprained shoulder in 2015, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will finally get a national endorsement this off-season, when he becomes the spokesman for Walk In Tub. (Commercials will air weekdays between 5-6 p.m. on Retro TV during reruns of Emergency!).
After leading the NFL with a combined 375 receptions for 5,031 yards over the past three seasons, Steelers all-world wide receiver Antonio Brown decided to skip out on the Pro Bowl this year in-order to work on his first book. The title: "They're Still Not Throwing Me The Football Enough."
Following the Steelers debut of Chris Boswell in 2015, where he connected on 29 of 32 field goals, injured veteran placekicker Shaun Suisham was forced to issue a public statement last week: "Why do people keep asking me when I'm selling my house?"
All things considered, it really was a good season for the Steelers, who finished 10-6, made the playoffs and won their first postseason game in five years. Of course, as everyone knows, head coach Mike Tomlin is still winning with Bill Cowher's players...Greg Warren says you're welcome.
Speaking of head coaches, Gary Kubiak and Ron Rivera will be on opposing sidelines next week, when the Broncos take on the Panthers. While Kubiak and Rivera certainly don't have the obnoxious and abrasive personalities of some recent Super Bowl coaches--Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, the Harbaugh brothers--they will forever frustrate future trivia fans with the question: "Name the two head coaches of Super Bowl 50."
Super Bowl 50 could mark a turning-point in NFL history when a veteran quarterback passes off a very important baton to a young and up-and-coming quarterback. With that in mind, in-addition to his deals with Dannon, Gatorade, and Beats by Dre, Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton has recently agreed to be the spokesman for Comcast, Taster's Choice, DirectTV, AARP, Fios, Depends, Geico, Kelloggs, Nationwide, Post, Antenna TV, Yoplait and Scats by Mel Torme.
More history could be made next week, when Newton will attempt to become just the third black quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, while Peyton Manning, 39, will attempt to become the first old person to look cool on TV since The Golden Girls went off the air in 1992.
As you might imagine, both teams' fan bases are excited about the upcoming Super Bowl.
In Denver, where their team will be making its eighth Super Bowl appearance, citizens were asked last week via phone survey how they thought the Broncos will do. The leading response: "Oh, God, please don't let us be down by 30 at halftime again."
If the Panthers bring the State of North Carolina its first Lombardi Trophy, you can rest assured the local citizens will cherish it. And when I say "cherish," I mean in a "This little trinket should tide us over until Duke and North Carolina tip off in the ACC Basketball Tournament" kind of way.
In other NFL news, Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has decided to change his nickname to "Monopoly." Why Monopoly? Because, just like the classic board game, no matter how long you play with the Bengals, nobody ever wins.
I tried to reach Jones last week to ask him if he finally accepted his share of the responsibility for the Bengals last-second meltdown against the Steelers in the wild card game. Unfortunately, Jones was unavailable for comment since he was busy preparing a couple of lawsuits--one against Starbucks for their coffee being too hot, and one against McDonald's for their fast-food making him fat.
He may not have helped his team win its first postseason game in 25 years, but thanks to his many transgressions in the wild card game and all-throughout the 2015 season, Bengals controversial linebacker Vontaze Burfict recently helped set a world record for "Most Misspelled Name in the History of People Trying to Spell Names."
After 21 seasons in St. Louis, the Rams have moved back to Los Angeles. Asked to comment on the sudden loss of an NFL team and how it could impact his city financially, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay said, "There was an NFL team here? Anyway, when do pitchers and catchers report?"
As you can imagine, the City of Los Angeles is tickled to death to have its Rams back after all these years. The reactions of local citizens in the LA area since the official announcement have ranged from "What's a football?" to "Is this Jeff Fisher a director, and do you think he'll read my screenplay?"
Finally, as you know, a controversial movie came out at Christmas time that could significantly impact how people view the NFL moving forward. When asked to comment on this last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "Grrrrrrr, please don't spoil Star Wars for me! I haven't seen it yet!"
This concludes my third annual Super Bowl Roast. Remember, we're all one happy family with an equal opportunity to win. I'm a Steelers fan, you're a Broncos fan, and you, you're a Browns fan...I'm sorry.