Santa spreads a little cheer to everyone’s hood on Christmas, but some teams – and fans of those teams – received gifts this that only a fortunate few good boys and girls will have had the honor of unwrapping. The others are just assed-out till next Christmas.
Here’s list the Five Best Gifts of the NFL season
1. Purple Jesus returns and takes Minnesota from laughing stock to possible playoff-party rock.
AD not only returned from career-threatening knee surgery in less than 10 months, but he defied science and medicine, rehabbed like a rabid pit bull on a hot sauce and pepper diet and came back better than ever. He-singled-handedly turned Minnesota from 3-12 suckas in 2011 to a conglomerate-respected 9-6 squad, knocking on the playoff door. Santa hit these cats off with the big bag.
From his Christmas stocking of stupid skills, Purple Jesus has pulled out an MVP-type campaign, with a single-season rushing total of 1898 yards. He needs just 102 yards in Game 16, to become the seventh-player in history to reach the 2,000-yard mark. If he dreams big (this is AD we’re politickan about), a 208-yard performance against the Packers this weekend will break Eric Dickerson’s 1984 single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards.
2. Santa’s Maybach Sleigh doesn’t do warm weather. Peyton Manning goes where the snow blows.
Santa closed his eyes, reached into his bag of potential destinations for Peyton Manning and pulled out the Broncos, winners of the Christmas bonanza. Manning has been everything that John Elway hoped for when he put on the full-court-press and placed the future of the franchise on a 36 year–old QB coming off multiple neck surgeries. When Elway envisioned this Denver offense with Manning at the helm, he couldn’t have imagined it any better.
The Broncos ran away with the AFC West, boasting a 12-3 record, and if they could pull playoff upsets with Tim Tebow driving, get ready for a run at something real in these playoffs. It took Peyton an eye blink’s time to start melting defenses like snowmen again, and the marriage between two Super Bowl winning QBs seems to be magic .
3. Santa’s helpers spread gifts of destruction throughout the NFL
Little annoying elves called replacement refs were in unusually giving moods during the early weeks of the NFL season. They ran around in striped suits blowing calls and perpetrating. The elves most egregious gift came wrapped in a funky bow for rookie Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in an MNF telecast against the Packers. The Seahawks were awarded a last-second TD on a loopy Hail Mary tussle in which Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings came down with an interception that was unfathomably ruled a Gold Tate game-snatching grab. Tate never appeared to have possession of the ball, but the little elves gave the game to Seattle and had us thinking we must have gotten sprinkled with elf dust, and dreamed the whole thing.
The call built confidence and sparked more dramatic comebacks throughout the season for the playoff-bound Seahawks . It also lit a fire to the slow-burning-butt of negotiations between the NFL owners, the commissioner and the 121 locked-out officials, and spread joy to the incensed players and irate fans/victims of the 2012 referee lockout.
4. Tagliabue returns to the NFL as Saints Nicholas
Paul Tagliabue rode back into the NFL wearing a bright red Santa suit and bearing gifts for suspended players of the infamous Saints Bounty-gate scandal. Tagliabue, who was appointed by Goodell to handle a second round of player appeals, tossed all player suspensions, allowing Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita to spend Christmas as reinstated NFL players. In Tagliabue’s ruling, he basically sat Goodell on his knee and chastised him for his poor holiday spirit. Saints QB Drew Brees says Santa came a bit too late to save the Saints disappointing season, but players like Vilma who were fighting more for reputation than money, feel vindicated.
No one from Brooklyn to the Bayou believed the suspensions would be overturned. Goodell’s power hadn’t ever been successfully challenged. This holiday season, he caught the first reindeer smack-down of his tenure, and thanks to Santa Tagliabue, Goodell is rocking Rudolph’s red nose.
5. Chocolate City gets a messiah.
When Santa blessed the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 1 pick, a lot of Redskins fans were salty. They traded up to get the No. 2 pick, but didn’t want the consolation prize again. The struggling franchise needed a sure-fire stud signal caller to run Mike Shanahan’s offense and return the Skins to former glory. They didn’t know Santa had a trick up his sleeve in the form of Baylor QB and Heisman winner RG3. After a season of watching both QBs turn their respective franchises around, it’s obvious Santa distributed these gifts to the appropriate cities and neither party settled for second best after all.
RG3 hit the NFL like a shooting comet , captivating fans with his arm and leg work. He has replaced Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg as the wonder kids of DC sports. The people have spoken, making his jersey the item everybody wants to cop. The NFL has responded, making RG3 the untouchable face of the league.
RG3 has been a gift for any fan of football, but he is especially owed a holiday thank you from Shanahan whose record since returning to the NFL was an ugly 11-21. Some gifts last for a season (Bo Jackson). Some last for a moment (Mike Vick). RG3 is a Christmas gift that Washington hopes it will be cherishing for a lifetime.