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Two Sundays Out: A Final Look at the NFL 2014-2015 season

By Lord Castleton | Miscellaneous | February 15, 2015 |

By Lord Castleton | Miscellaneous | February 15, 2015 |

Well, this season is in the books, folks. We’re now officially in our second Sunday since August without football. We’ve crowned our Super Bowl champions and everyone walks away a little wiser, a little more humble and a little more in awe of Roger Goodell’s magical ability to not be fired.

From Seth Myers’ opening monologue at the NFL Honors (which I CAN’T EMBED because they’re a bunch of hypervigilant video nazis who get off on withholding and should get hit across the face with a-)

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I know, but it’s 2015. You know when Blade Runner was set? 2019! We’re four years away from having replicants in Los Angeles and we can’t embed a non-football clip from an award show? Come on, dude.

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Fine, but you can’t tell me they don’t get off on being withholding.

Anyway, Seth Myers says:

“You know what’s so amazing about football is its capacity to surprise us. After Seattle started 3-3, who would have though they’d still be here? After New England lost to the Chiefs 41-14 in week 4, who would have thought they’d still be here? And after everything that happened in the NFL this year, who would have thought Roger Goodell would still be here?”


I thought the shot Myers took at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was amazing. The rest of it was mostly just stuff your grandma wrote, but he did a good job all in all. You can find it (grumble grumble) here.


What the hell are the NFL Honors, you ask? Special awards for players who aren’t caught with an uzi and a lacerated runaway in their car at 4am? No! They’re the night-before-the-Super-Bowl annual award show, complete with red carpet walk-ups, men in black button-downs, A to B+ level celebrities and hazy Bob Costas style vignettes of all the good things the players do. It’s two hours of everything the NFL wishes it was, but isn’t.

The NFL Honors are four years old and until this year, were all hosted by Alec Baldwin. So naturally, when you’re spoiled with the Maybach of Alec Baldwin, the Seth Myers version can tend to feel like a wood panelled-P.T. Cruiser . I wonder aloud: Seth Myers: Actually talented, or just relatively talented because the guys coming off the bench are……these guys:


I’m not saying these guys can’t bring the funny, I’m saying that whenever they do bring it it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s like finding an onion ring in your fries. It’s something we’ve been conditioned not to expect. Maybe they just weren’t quite ready to become starters.

You know who is ready to become a starter? Malcolm Butler. Here’s him with the Chevy that Tom Brady won for being the Super Bowl MVP, but then gave to Butler.


I know he’s just posing for this picture but I can’t shake the idea that there’s a police officer just out of frame saying “just hand me them keys reeeeeeal slow.”

“But it’s my truck, I swear!”

“Just hand ‘em over niiiiiiice and easy.”

I’m not going to dwell on the Super Bowl, though I’ve watched it on a loop for the last two weeks, crying and cheering, throwing schnapps at pinball machines and chasing my kids out of the room like a drunken Paulie in Rocky II, but if you take anything away from the game, take this picture right here:


There are lots of folks who say “the Patriots didn’t win that game, the Seahawks lost it.” Okay, I mean, whatever. Semantics. One team did get to go home with some hardware. But for the people ripping Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson, just stare at this picture.

That’s a touchdown about to happen.

It isn’t a bad play call. It isn’t playing loose with the ball. It’s a quarterback delivering a perfect strike to a wide open receiver. It’s Seattle about to take home another championship. That’s what this is.

The only thing that stops this from being an exclamation point on an amazing drive is the play of one player. #21 Malcolm Butler. That’s it. And it was set up that way by Bill Belichick not taking a timeout and knowing he had the right players on the field. It was set up months ago, when an undrafted Malcolm Butler was called by the Patriots. It was set up in training camp, and endless hours of Malcolm Butler film study. In fact, right before this play, Butler walks up to Brandon Browner, the cornerback in front of him, pats him on the back and reminds him to jam his player (Jermaine Kearse) so that Butler doesn’t get rubbed out of the action in case this exact play was the play that was called. According to Bill Barnwell over at, there were 108 passes thrown from the 1 yard line this season and none of them were picked off. Sixty six percent of those throws ended up as touchdowns. None -I repeat- were intercepted. Until the next one.

The rest, as they say, is history.

It could have been a storied win for the Seahawks. They were a team we grew to love, but fate had other plans. And in the words of Jim Morrison, “Love cannot save you from your own fate.”

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Jim Morrison also said “some of my worst mistakes were haircuts.” So.

In the final analysis, the reason the game was so provocative was the very clear writing on the wall. Based on what we were seeing, the Seahawks were going to win and the Patriots were going to lose. Like a great film, it came down to those last precious seconds.

Remember in Galaxy Quest when Taggert and DiMarco made it through the chompers to manually disengage the self destruct sequence and it wouldn’t stop until it hit one second because that’s when it always stops on a show? That’s how this Super Bowl felt. Just look at the mood swing of these poor Seahawks fans.

That’s like a Shakespearean tragedy. The mood shift is so violent. It’s like a car crash. By the way, this video alone might keep everyone in New England alive through the winter. Watching their disbelief and pain is like drinking unicorn blood for us.

The tantalizing thing is how close they were. Remember this scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? The Seahawks were Indy, with their finger brushing up against the Lombardi trophy. That crazed look of destiny in their eyes. They were soooooo close. Soooooo close. And they didn’t have James Bond to pull them back from the abyss.

Here, finally, is one more splash of misery for Seahawks fans. A compilation of the 20 logos of the teams that didn’t win the Super Bowl. You’ll notice the Patriots have the most.


Getting through adversity is what the great teams do best. Tom Brady has played in six Super Bowls and he put his team ahead in the fourth quarter of every single one. But you know the old mantra. Defense wins championships. That’s how the Patriots came away with the victory. I have absolutely no doubt that Russell Wilson will be back in the hunt very soon. He’s one of those quarterbacks who’s just too good to keep down.

So the Super Bowl is a thing of the past and now we have to all settle in to a long offseason. Brrrrrrr it’s so cold with no football. But it’s a good time to take stock of the things that are really important. Like finally watching Short Term 12 or blackish. Or reading what my favorite players had to say about the Grammy’s!


OH NO YOU DIDN’T BRANDON BROWNER! You did not just suggest that Beck isn’t a five star red belt in Gymkata. I know that’s not what you’re saying.

Here are some of my final parting thoughts on the season that was and the season we have to look forward to:

Only 73 days til the NFL draft! Bookmark it!

With Aaron Rodgers receiving the MVP award, the league is saying that it’s an offensive award. J.J. Watt was spectacular this year. Breathtaking, even.

We can map the human genome but we can’t invent a better method for closing cereal boxes than this tab bullshit? It NEVER works like this.


Rex Ryan to the Bills sucks out loud. I would be the first to say that he gameplans the Patriots better than anyone, but his career is starting to look like a Oxygen network battered wife movie. Why stay in Belichick’s division? “I love the taste of me own tears!” He could have been a golden god in the NFC South. Or in the booth. He’s like an old one-toothed hag in a belfry yelling “I’ll get him one day!” Pathetic.

Rex had to have his tattoo of his wife in a Jets jersey recolored to blue. This is obviously the “before” picture. And yes that’s his hot-footed wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey. Daddy’s a freak, y’all!


Cleveland deserves better. In so many ways.

I’ve never hoped a player would stay healthy more than Odell Beckham Jr. What a dynamic talent. He was the best receiver in the league over the last half of the season and he missed most of the first half. What’s his sophomore year going to look like?


Finally, good guy Mike Smith is out in Atlanta. Whew! Dear god. Now they have a chance to win something other than the “Best Darn Smiles on the Rootin-Tootinest team in the Region.” Long overdue.

Peyton sure doesn’t look like he’s retiring.

This Borg was at the Super Bowl. Locutus has given them our security codes! They’re past Earth’s defense perimeter!


I look at this picture and I wonder what life would have been like had I been raised by people who dressed me less stodgy as a kid. Look at the chest hair just Tom Jonesing out of this dude’s v-neck. What’s it like to be this guy? Me and my crew necks will never know. This dude just lets it flow without a care in the world.


Marc Trestman having Joe Flacco as a weapon is a dangerous combination

The Bears are stuck with Jay Cutler, at least through next season and that means the Bears will officially suck again. Cutler is the worst. Just a cancer of a player who can’t and won’t do what it takes to take the step to the next level. He’s a coach killer.

That’s not exactly saying much. John Fox is the guy you hire when you don’t really give a shit about winning but you want to appear like you’re trying. John Fox is the Chicken Parm of the league. Great person, uber-average coach.

Speaking of the Bears, I hope Brandon Marshall lands on a team with a great quarterback. He’s never had that.

The team to watch next year in the NFC North? The Minnesota Vikings.

Todd Bowles isn’t going to put up with any Percy Harvin booolshit for even one second. That’s a great hire for the Jets, by the way. Bravo, new GM Mike Maccagnan. Bowles is the real deal and he brings in a veteran playcaller so he can focus on Bowlesfying that Rex Ryan D. They’re still a few years away, but this is a great core in the front office and on the sideline.

Pulling hard for Jim Tomsula on the Niners sideline. But he’s already making me wince a little. You ever back a horse and then watch it just kind of go off the rails? Check out the first one-on-one interview with Tomsula. Holy cow. This is so painful that I’m even more enamored of him. I don’t know if my affection for Tomsula is well placed, but I’m doubling down. You might think he’s in over his head. I say he’s rope-a-doping everyone. Time will tell.

Either way, I love a good rags to riches story. Guys with Homer Simpson-style five o’clock shadow never used to get the CEO jobs. It’s all these pretty boy John Harbaughs and Pete Carrolls. And pilgrim-looking Joe Philbins and Chip Kelly’s. Don’t tell me you can’t picture Chip Kelly in one of those black and white Puritan ruff & doublets. And Jason Garrett is so androgynous he could have played the Tilda Swinton role in Orlando. Now we’re starting to get a quorum of dudes who actually shave. Like Mike Zimmer and Bill O’Brien and Ron Rivera. That’s a good thing. I like a little meat n’ potatoes on the sideline.

Jason Garrett IS Jimmy two-times. I don’t know how this hasn’t been picked up on by everyone. It’s like a speech tic. I just randomly googled Jason Garrett coaching and this came up (sorry can’t embed the @$%#&! NFL link). That’s just the first video I found. He’s like that all the time. It’s just crazy how often he says things twice. And he’s been doing it for years. If I played for him it would drive me batshit crazy. It’s like when your teacher used to not fully erase the blackboard (or whiteboard). The little missed bits would drive me insane. In any case, here’s the Jimmy two-times part, in such a shitty lo-res form that it’ll drive you insane.

I think the NFL should switch it up and pick a different charity every season to promote for the month of October. I’m burnt on the pink of it all. It’d be much cooler to see them in yellow stuff one year and blue the next, etc. Also, it would help promote some causes that people actually don’t know about, like foreign accent syndrome and laughing death.

I fervently request that right after the NFL Honors the players attend a NFL Players Ball where they have to wear the jersey of a player on another team. It would be fascinating to see the choices and would lead to some great comedy and possibly some blood-fueds. The best NFL games are the ones fueled by rivalry. This is an easy way to build more of that.

This is my last football article of the season and I just want to thank you all for sticking with the inaugural season of HMS Pajibaball, even those of you who don’t actually watch American Football. Some of the most fun Sir Winston and I had was reading the comments from people who had absolutely no idea what the hell I was talking about and kept reading anyway. Wouldn’t you say, Sir W?

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You know, you can just say like, yeah. You don’t have to be all formal and shit. This isn’t a job interview.

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I suppose not.

With that, we bid you a fond farewell. As The Bard says, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” May this offseason be bountiful for your chosen teams. May we all have great drafts that fuel a bizarre, false sense of hope in all of us. May your cup never runneth dry and may the road rise to meet you all!

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Sigh. Okay fine. Thanks for a great season everyone. San Dimas High School Football Rules!


Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.