Shotgun Formation: A Liquid Guide to Surviving the Offseason
We have finally arrived. After months of hard hits, big plays, and some perplexing changes to the fining policy, we now know that the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will descend on Dallas for Super Bowl XLV, or Super Bowl 45 for ye plebeians not erudite in Roman numerals.
But more importantly, we now know which 30 NFL teams have been forced into an early offseason, and which teams’ fans must now commence in drinking their sadness away. Some fans are wallowing in the shame of their own team’s mediocrity. Other fans are stunned by a deep playoff run untimely derailed. Pitiably, some fans live in Carolina. And yet another group of fans still has the image of letting up a 21-point lead to the f***ing Eagles in eight goddamn minutes. Yes, I’m still bitter about the punt return in Week 15.
But no, this isn’t just about me. This is about fans across the country and around the world that are having trouble accepting the fact that their team’s season is over. This is for the fans, 21 and over, that might be in need of a little bit of liquid assistance to make it to training camp. Here we have a personalized guide to help fans of each team cope with their own unique brand of disappointment, because every team deserves its own special Super Bowl hangover.
Bears: Todd Collins. A watered-down Tom Collins served in a dirty glass. It’s clearly your backup option, and you’re just hoping it won’t do any more damage than you’d expect it to.
Bengals: OchoLoko. An absurd double dose of Four Loko. Much like the flamboyant Chad Ochocinco, you’ll be getting more attention for your antics than your production with this drink.
Buccaneers: Josh Freeman. Jungle juice. Generally quiet and unassuming, but before you know it, you’ll realize it is far more effective than you ever realized.
Chargers: Phillip Rivers. Smirnoff Ice, a drink with an aura forceful enough that it can quite literally be shoved down your throat. And if you choose to drink this of your own free will, clearly you’re pretty obnoxious yourself.
Chiefs: Matt Cassel. A nice, cold Miller High Life. The champagne of beers sounds like it can give you a great night, but it really doesn’t hold a candle to the alternatives.
Colts: Peyton Manning. A White Russian. Let’s face it, from commercial appearances to charity work to hosting Saturday Night Live and back to commercial appearances again, Peyton is just incredibly likeable. In NFL terms, he is The Dude. And in purely empirical terms, he is very white.
Cowboys: Jerry Jones. Not just any cognac, but the Henri IV Dudognon Heritage. Aged for a century and served in a bottle encrusted in gold and diamonds, the $2,000,000 price tag is still jarring. You could definitely get by on a cheaper option, but if you’re even considering this drink, that’s clearly not your style.
Dolphins: Ronnie Brown. A hearty mead from the days of yore; it was useful and even very effective once upon a time, but that era has clearly come and gone. Remind you at all of the Wildcat, Dolphins fans?
Eagles: DeSean Jackson. Just the most odious concoction imaginable, like a mix of equal parts Dubra and manure. You don’t know if the potency is what ticks you off or the taste it leaves in your mouth, you just know it’s horrible down to its core. I hate you, DeSean Jackson. Yes, I’m still bitter about that punt return in Week 15.
Falcons: Matty Ice. Could you have guessed that this one is a case of Natty Ice? It’s the kind of thing that’s great for a nice home game of pong, but it struggles to keep up its production level when you go out on the road.
49ers: Jim Harbaugh. A snifter of the finest brandy. You’re going all in on this one drink, hopefully the production value can match the price.
Giants: Matt Dodge. Pure absinthe. If you consider this even a remotely good option, you’re out of your mind. And, in that state, even though you’re really far-gone and everyone says it’s a bad idea, you’re still going to go straight to get a DeSean Jackson. I hate you, Matt Dodge. Yes, I’m still bitter about that punt return in Week 15.
Jets: Darrelle Revis. It’s got to be a margarita. Consistently underrated and disrespected, this will completely lock you down for night if you don’t take it seriously.
Lions: Ndamukong Suh. Jägermeister straight from the bottle. It’s not going to do anything fancy or anything like that, but the more it hits you, the less likely you’ll remember how to spell it.
Patriots: Danny Woodhead. A shot of Everclear. Don’t underestimate its small stature, it will crush you if given that opportunity.
Raiders: Al Davis. The 30-year -old bottle of rum long ago forgotten at the back of the liquor cabinet. You know it’s best to just ignore it so it won’t hurt anyone, but it wreaks havoc whenever it gets an opportunity.
Rams: Sam Bradford. A glass of wine of a very recent vintage. It’ll get the job done now, but just think about how good it will be with some more time.
Ravens: Ray Lewis. A Bloody Mary. If you don’t get what angle I’m getting at with this one, you clearly do not know Ray Lewis. On a related note, you probably live a much more carefree life than I do, or at least have fewer gridiron-related nightmares.
Redskins: Rex Grossman. The half-finished Keystone buried at the back of the fridge for several months now. When called upon, it unsurprisingly does not get the job done.
Saints: Drew Brees. A 12-pack of Yeungling. Whether it’s party o’clock or the night is starting to wind down, doing it with some Brees by your side just makes the whole experience that much nicer.
Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch. Evan Williams whiskey. As a whiskey popular for its affordability, you very well might have fond memories of it. Nonetheless, exposure to the rest of the field will remind you after all just how average it is.
Texans: Andre Johnson. Jack Daniels, regardless of how you drink it. Whether you’re taking quick shots or just a deep, flavorful glass, its versatility and reliability are to be admired and appreciated to the degree it rightly deserves.
Titans: Cortland Finnegan. Not a specific amount of gin, just about a shot or two more than you ever should have had. You’ll know it’s a Finnegan when that mix of anger and nausea brewing in your belly becomes the norm rather than the exception.
(Caution: Do not mix the Andre Johnson with the Cortland Finnegan. No good can ever come of this.)
Vikings: Brett Favre. A straight double shot of tequila. As much of a headache as it is, and as much as you swore you wouldn’t have it even one more night, who really knows whether it’s coming back or not.
And as for the Bills, Broncos, Browns, Cardinals, Jaguars, and Panthers… well, there’s honestly not much good here for any of you. Screw it, just break open the liquor cabinet and go for broke. Whatever it takes to get through the offseason.