Original tarot image via Wikipedia
The first week of the 2014 NFL season is in the books and already things are looking rather insane. There were tons of injuries and upsets, horrible decisions by players both on and off the field, bizarre PR, and everything else that comes along with a game where grown men dress up in costumes and bang into each other over and over on a multimillion dollar field. It’s early yet, obviously, but still it’s hard for those of us who have waited more than seven months to not get itchy with excitement for whatever weird new crap might come to pass.
With just this tip of the iceberg in mind, here are some predictions I’ve brought back from the astral realm for football fans this fall.
1. Peyton Manning will retire from football and become a full-time actor
Because he just doesn’t make enough money as a professional quarterback, PFM has used his resurgence as the league’s dominant ball-tosser to parlay his way into a bevy of gigs shilling for major corporations like Papa John’s and Nationwide Insurance. Dude isn’t getting any younger and those paychecks hocking pizza are going to seem more and more sweet—particularly after the Broncos fail once again to point-blast their way into a Super Bowl ring. As far as actors go, he’s certainly no Blake Griffin, but we’re in for a long ride through the twilight years with Peyton as he sluts out to any bidder dying to use his pretty bread-eating face as the spokesboy of their trash.
2. The Redskins will try to change their name to the Washington Terrorists
After years of explaining to minorities why they shouldn’t be offended by the use of a racial slur for a team name, the billionaire owner of our nation’s capital’s professional football team will finally break. A press conference will be called in which the confidential new identity of the team, long under design by team officials, will be revealed. The Redskins will become the Terrorists. Players will be required to wear white robes, grow long beards, and carry automatic weapons and defaced US flags. Only then, finally having done something that actually offends regular-ass honky white people, will the team be brought under sanction by the league. Following the sale of the team to slightly more reasonable owners, the team will settle on the “Washington Donkeys.”
3. Dez Bryant will publish a science fiction novel
Maybe it’s the earrings, maybe it’s the sideline ranting and the insane light pouring from his eyes, but everything about Dez tells me that part of his electricity on the field stems from his excitement to go home and work on his novel. In it, a race of beings—all of whom identically resemble him—come to the earth in a spaceship shaped like a ninja star made of glass. Upon landing, they will use earth’s audio technology, previously unknown to their people, to record and release a series of mixtapes that, when listened to on repeat, cure all known afflictions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, AIDS. Also, the Dallas Cowboys will go 12-4, winning the NFC East before losing in the first round of playoffs with the Falcons.
4. Josh Gordon will lead the league in receiving yards again
I’m barely even joking about this one (and not just because I own him in all six of my fantasy leagues). Finally accepting that it’s ludicrous to ban a weed-smoking player for a full year while having initially penalized Ray Rice only two games for punching a woman, the NFL will wake up and do the right thing. Gordon will come back as if he never skipped a beat, averaging 190 yards and three touchdowns per exhibition.
5. J.J. Watt will be arrested for cannibalism
Following reports of bizarre behavior from neighbors, Houston authorities will show up to investigate Watt’s home. Upon entry, they will discover the Pro Bowl defensive end alone and nude and pumping iron, watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. His living room, as well as all other rooms inside the house, will be filled with what appears to be raw meat, creating an infernal smell almost impossible to breathe in. The cops will taze Watt as he grunts and barks with his mouth full of what appears to be more meat, raw and slick with blood; he will be dragged free from the home in a flood of flashblubs and reporters, to whom a local police captain will prematurely announce the conviction of Watt as our new 288-pound Jeffrey Dahmer. It will take the city three weeks to complete research proving the meat is ground beef; following the clearing of his name, Watt will announce his commitment to veganism.
6. Matthew Stafford will rush for more yards than Eli Manning throws
I’d honestly be more hopeful if they hired a 16-year-old with bowlegs to take on the responsibilities under center in New York. Seriously though, the Giants could get an extra free point every time the crappy Manning completes a pass and I would still bet on them to go down 28-14. It’s a good reminder that among the things that can be “giant” are dorks and mistakes.
7. Johnny Manziel will only have one touchdown
Coming in off the Browns’ bye to finally get his first start in Week Four, the NFL’s most polarizing rookie will look great in his opening run, ripping off a couple first-down rushes in between hooking up with his reinstated 420-brethren Josh Gordon to put the team in the red zone on the one. In premature celebration of his ascendency, Johnny Football will make his trademark money gesture for the cameras, giving the Titans defensive line the last burst of extra incentive they need to want to knock the head off of the quarterback. One open lane and the pass rush will find their way to blood, sacking Manziel from the left so hard that his body will be propelled over the goal line, resulting in a score. Manziel’s head will fall off, revealing underneath it the head of LeBron James, having donned a Manziel body costume in an attempt to prove to himself alone that he is indeed as much of an athlete as Jordan. Manziel/James will be banned from the league forever.
8. The league will announce plans to revert to two-hand touch
Following sequential injury of every starting running back in the league, Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst will team up with Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz to lead a national press campaign requesting that President Obama intervene. Obama will officially respond: “No, I like sports.” Oberst and Duritz will then collaborate on an album titled Beauty Only in the Fall Instead Now, Be Not Beastly, available for digital download complimentary with donation to the United States Soccer Federation Foundation. Finally, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a huge Counting Crows fan, will be swayed, leading a charge through controlling interests in the league to do as the Oberst/Duritz single says and “touch, touch, touch, yeah / softly and only sweetly now / and now boy does that feel cooler / to be alive, yeah / and really kind.”
9. The Atlanta Falcons will win the Super Bowl
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