Arizona Cardinals – Franklin Delano Bluth
Franklin Delano Bluth was GOBs black ventriloquist puppet that he used to perform his hilarious blackie comedy routine, or to take a stab singing (his debut album: Franklin Comes Alive! with the hit song ‘It ain’t easy being White, it ain’t easy being brown). Without GOB to give Franklin voice and movement he’s nothing, just stuffed fabric and clothes. Without a QB last season, the Arizona Cardinals were nothing, despite having quite a bit of talent. Neither Franklin nor the Cards can function without their master, but with the Kolb trade, the Cards can fly again, and entertain us all, just like Mr. Franklin Delano Bluth.
Atlanta Falcons – White Power Bill
No, this doesn’t have to do with any white-extremism/Atlanta Falcons connections (which I should say are not there, as far as I know). White Power Bill felt compelled to terrorize other inmates mainly because he was ashamed of himself. He lacked self confidence. The Falcons are similar in that they seemed to lack the self confidence to build the right way, mortgaging part of their future with that Julio Jones trade where they gave up a slew of draft picks. Let’s hope this act of hidden desperation doesn’t en up like White Power Bill, falling off a railing into death. (Admittedly, this was a weak comparison; they’ll be better. I promise).
Baltimore Ravens – Maebe Funke
The rebels without a cause. Maebe Funke was rebelled against anything her parents did. When her mother started being anti-leather, Maebe became “pro-leather”. When her parents wanted to kill a tree, then save it, then kill it again, she wanted to save it, then kill it, then save it again. The Ravens, like Maebe are also the rebels of the NFL, moreso than the Raiders. They go against anything Goddell does. Even more than the Steelers, they complain about refereeing decisions nearly every week, saying other QBs are protected and that the league is out to get them. The Ravens are rebels, and taking alleged bad-boy Jimmy Smith in the 1st round only adds to that.
Buffalo Bills – Lucille 2
Lucille 2 as famous for suffering from vertigo (as well as nailing both Buster and GOB, but that’s for another time). The Bills are in an unending state of vertigo. They’ve fallen and really haven’t gotten up. They had brief periods where they were “stable as a table”, like in 2004 when they won six straight games to go from 3-6 to 9-6, and in 2008 when they were 5-1. Of course, they took that spin in Michael’s convertible and it was all over, as both seasons ended disastrously. The 2008 Bills lost 8 of their last 10 to finish 7-9, and memorably followed up a 54-31 win by putting up three points in two straight games. The 2004 team lost their final game to the Steelers, primarily against backups, when a win would have given them the #6 seed. They then fired Mike Mularkey, which has really set the whole team in a downward spiral ever since.
Carolina Panthers – J. Walter Weatherman
Just like the J, Walter Weatherman, the Panthers have long played seemingly with one arm. First it was that they always had just one receiver (this is post-Muhsin Muhammad of course). Then it became they had a great running game but bad passing game (2009). Now it is that they have a good defense, but bad offense. They can never be a complete team, but they are great in teaching lessons to the rest of the league; lessons like: That’s why you don’t cover Steve Smith 1-1, and That’s why you make sure you don’t give a QB coming off a 5-pick playoff performance a 5-yr extension.
Chicago Bears – Barry Zuckerkorn
Barry Zuckerkorn was the incompetent lawyer who secretly might have been competent. He had many obvious foibles, like his proclivity to not read plea bargains (“it’s very long”), or pick up male hookers, but he always claimed “I’m a lot more competent than you think,” while Lucille always claimed “He’s very good.” The Bears are similar. They have obvious foibles, like Cutler’s proclivity to getting injured, or their o-line being a vast oasis of suck, but they are quietly a lot more competent than you realize. Matt Forte had a nice season, that defense is still top-10 and they still have good ol’ Devin Hester.
Cincinnati Bengals – Carl Weathers
Cheap. It is one trait that describes both Weather’s fictionalized character and the Bengals and their wish-he-was-fictionalized-Owner. Just like how Carl Weathers screwed Tobias out of his last $1,100 dollars for “acting classes” which consisted mainly of Weathers telling Tobias how he was able to save up on the food he got at movie sets to make nice stews with the leftover chicken bones, Mike Brown is screwing up his team with his continual cheap behavior. How is it that Carson Palmer will not be granted his wish to be traded (a trade chip that could land the Bengals a 2nd round pick minimum), but Ochocinco is allowed to go? I’m never sure what Mike Brown is doing, but just like Carl Weathers, I feel like he’s the type to eat at Burger King, a lot.
Cleveland Browns – Ann(abell) Paul Veal
This comparison was “as Ann as the nose on ‘Plain’s’ face” as Michael Bluth would say. She’s bland, and they are bland. In the yearbook, under Ann’s picture it said “not pictured” and it might as well for any picture of the Browns. The Browns have a nice QB, kind of like how by the end of S2, Ann had a nice face, but the rest of the skill positions/body parts were just lacking. Peyton Hillis is nice, but he’s got the Madden Curse on him. The WRs are about as bad as you can get. I guess the defense has something, but overall it’s just bland. Also, it kind of makes sense that Mike Holmgren’s team would be the character that most resembles a Walrus.
Dallas Cowboys – Maggie Lizer
Just like Maggie Lizer, the Cowboys trick us into making us like them year after year to do well. It’s probably the star on the helmet, which is the Cowboys’ version of Maggie Lizer’s fake blindness. The Cowboys really aren’t that great of a team. Romo has peaked. The team has peaked. Their defense will probably go to hell without Wade Phillips there to call plays, yet somehow people still pick them to do well. Lizer was someone who had very few redeeming qualities. She was a liar. She pretended to be blind, then pretended to be pregnant, then tried to steal two gay cops baby. The Cowboys are the same, as they have a dick owner, and they play in a palace built on cash and narcissistic excess, but we still like them.
Denver Broncos – Rita Leeds
This one would have been better if the man known as Josh McDaniels was still prowling the sidelines, but alas, they have a somewhat competent head coach now in John Fox. Then again, they have all the symptoms of the trainwreck that was Rita Leeds. They have a quarterback who’s really a glorified running back with a throwing motion that takes more time than the average golf swing. They have a WR who is so erratic and up and down that many people thought if he was, in the football sense, mentally retarded. The Broncos are one of the worst teams in the NFL, fully capable of, like Rita Leeds, winning first place in the “two-legged race” for Andrew Luck.
Detroit Lions – ICE
ICE was the bounty hunter/caterer that was hired to keep an eye on Michael, and then track down George Bluth in Mexico. This comparison really only works on one level: the bounty hunter aspect (I couldn’t think of any caterer connections to the Lions). The Lions have built a d-line to fear. They have a coach who worked wonders in Tennessee with his rotating bunch of d-lineman. They have a rookie who had one of the best rookie seasons in a long, long time in Ndamukong Suh. They drafted bad-boy Nick Fairley (who sadly is hurt). Add to that KVB, Corey Williams and more and the Lions have one of the best pass rushes in the game. There’s a bounty on every QBs head the Lions face, and they are as capable as ICE of hunting it down.
Green Bay Packers – Michael Bluth
The star, the straight man, the champion, the President and CEO of the company; the Packers and Michael Bluth are both on top, but they are both secretly not all that great and likable. Michael Bluth was, if you look at it, the craziest of them all considering he couldn’t fully grasp the crazy around him. Bluth was, in all honesty, detestable since he took advantage of people and played people all the while thinking of himself as a really good guy. The Packers are similarly underratedly hateable. Everything just worked a little too perfect, with their long-haired white Linebackers, and their fat Nose Tackle getting pick-6s and dancing around like a bafoon. Not to mention Aaron Rodgers just seem a little too cool for school, and that ‘title belt’ celebration is nauseatingly awful. It’s under the surface, but just like with Michael Bluth, the hate is there.
Houston Texans – Starla, the Business Model
Starla was the beautiful yet shallow boat-show model recruited to be a new secretary, although she had basic problems like thinking that photo-copying meant copying documents on photo-sized paper. Oh, plus she had a weird affinity towards Quincy Jones bordering on stalking him. The Texans are quite similar. They can be beautiful, with one of the league’s best offenses in that they have the defending rushing champion as well as the Matt Schaub – Andre Johnson connection. That said, they have problems with basic things like holding onto the ball or not giving up 350 yards passing. Also, they have shown a weird affinity to keep holding onto Gary Kubiak despite him coaching 5 years with zero playoff appearances. He’s probably one of the few coaches to not make the playoffs in any of his first five seasons but still make it to year 6.
Indianapolis Colts – Lucille Bluth
People think that the Colts are no longer a glamour team, just like Lucille Bluth was no longer living the life of luxury. However, she really was as everyone counted Lucille out a little too soon. Lucille continued to buy anything she wanted (“The SEC is making me document all my purchases to make sure nothing was bought with company money, and nothing will be after I doctor all these receipts”), and continued to be as biting and caustic and great as ever. The Colts are in a similar situation. People are counting them out, mainly because of them getting a little too flukily injured in 2010 and Manning having a flukey 3-game 11-int stretch. Don’t count on those things happening again, as Manning and the Colts offense still packed a strong bite in 2010. They’ll be back. They aren’t dead yet.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Oscar Bluth
Yeah, the Jags really are the lost, decrepid, stoner Uncle sitting on a worthless property. For the Jags, that property is Jacksonville, where the city has become the one city where the NFL has failed. Oscar Bluth of course has that head of hair, “Oh, that beautiful hair”, that one trait that makes him the least bit redeemable. This is just like the Jaguars who have one aesthetic trait, with their handsome head coach Jack Del Rio. Sadly for the Jaguars, Del Rio’s best if used by date was sometime in 2008.
Kansas City Chiefs – Rav Nadir “The Indian Kid”
Rav Nadir (AD’s hilarious Indian-ization of Ralph Nader) was the 3rd candidate in George Michael Bluth’s high-school election. It was supposed to be a fight between George Michael and Steve Holt, a fight that was quite one-sided (Maebe called it, “comparing them is like comparing apples, and a fruit no one’s ever heard of”). Of course, because Steve Holt found religion, and George Michael was someone no one’s ever heard of, Rav Nadir walked away with the election. Anyway, this is much like the Chiefs in their improbably run to the AFC West Title last season. Just like Rav Nadir, the Chiefs capitalized by the Chargers bastardized special teams accounting for three early season losses (Chiefs, Seahawks, Raiders pt. 1). The Raiders were a little too spotty despite statistically in a lot of ways also being better than the Chiefs. It didn’t matter, as the Chiefs made the playoffs by default after those teams left the race, and were unsurprisingly slaughtered.
Miami Dolphins – Wife of GOB
This one is another comparison stretched really then, and it’s only here because I just loved the “Wife of GOB” character (aka: Crindy, Saul Zentzman, Usarmy). The best connection is that she deals seals, and seals are aquatic mammals, much like Dolphins. Also, she never “sealed the deal” with GOB (if that phrase is too hard to parse, that means had sex with GOB), much like the Dolphins never “sealed the deal” to bring Kyle Orton to Miami, much to the dismay of the Dolphins’ fans while also to the delight of Matt Moore and his family.
Minnesota Vikings – Kitty Sanchez (Post-Operation)
Kitty Sanchez was George Bluth’s fiercely loyal (aka: fuck-buddy) secretary. Of course, she had major problems in that she was revolting, with frazzled hair and googly eyes. This is much like the Vikings QB situation, with frazzled hair (Favre) and googly eyes (T-Jack) being the two options. Then, Kitty went and got surgery. The surgery was breast implants, but in reality, it made post-surgery Kitty quite attractive (as well, Judy Greer is quite attractive), just like the Vikings picking up Donovan McNabb got rid of the googly eyes and frazzled hair. Of course, the surgery wasn’t perfect, as her nipples were pointed in opposite directions, which is also kind of like how the Vikings are built, with many aging older star players declining, and young players who aren’t really any good. The Vikings are still a mess and a little delusional (“you don’t have the hiring and firing power!”), but at least they are a little better on the eyes.
New England Patriots – George Bluth Sr.
Pats are kind of like the Patriarch of the NFL, as Belichick is seen as the lead coach, and they are still held up as the gold standard even though they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004. Also, they get away with anything. I’ve always sondered how George Bluth was allowed to be placed under house arrest in S3 after he fled then faked a heart attack, fled the country and then drugged his brother, shaved his head and tried to pass him off as himself. Then he gets rewarded with house arrest? Kind of like how the Pats haven’t won a playoff game since 2007, how Tom Brady has been bad in the playoffs two straight years, how they’ve choked away numerous playoff games since 2005, and people still genuflect at their presence.
New Orleans Saints – The Milford School
The Milford School is famous for its belief that kids “should be neither seen nor heard.” The Saints have been the perfect Milford student so far in 2011. No one in the mainstream-media is really talking about them. They haven’t been seen or heard on many Super Bowl picks, but they could be a juggernaut. They still have a great offense, and Drew Brees probably won’t throw 22 picks again. Their defense was quietly top-10 in 2010 (although horrible in their playoff game). They won the title in 2009 and were 11-4 before a rest-a-thon and the Seattle game in 2010. The Saints are flying under the radar. As GOB would say, the Saints have been “spectacularly quiet” after last offseason when they went on a 7-month party celebrating their Super Bowl win.
New York Giants – Wayne Jarvis
Wayne was the lawyer who Michael wanted to replace Barry Zuckerkorn, due to the fact that Jarvis was a professional in every sense of the word. Yet, in reality, Wayne was crazy, agreeing to hide under the table to avoid meeting Lucille (seeing it as a professional way to dodge a meeting), and then trying to bribe Michael into giving away his father’s secrets after the joined the prosecution. The Giants act like professionals, with their “each game is a business meeting” motto, but in the past two years, they haven’t been really business-like, with the late season collapses, Osi’s spat with Coughlin, getting rid of Steve Smith. Somehow, they still feel a lot more competent than they should, just like Wayne was still a lot better than Barry.
New York Jets – Steve Holt
Just like Steve Holt, the Jets have all the makings of the most popular team in the world. They have the good-lookin’ latino QB, the Super Bowl MVP Wideout, the fat, jolly, smarter-than-you-realize head coach, and the brash defense that talks smack to the Pats, and then backs it up. Their brashness actually perfectly emulates Steve Holt’s, who is known to yell “Steve Holt” before he enters the conversation. The Jets might as well yell “The Jets” before all their games. The other connection is Steve Holt dating an underage-girl in Maebe, which is kind of analogous to Mark Sanchez brief affair with a 17-year old from New Jersey. It’s amazing how little staying power that story had. I mean, let’s not forget, Mark Sanchez had sex with a 17-year old. The attractive QB of the New York Jets decided, on his own accord, to not sleep with the multitude of appropriately aged women, and instead bang a 17-year old.
Oakland Raiders – Annyong
Annyong was the son Lucille Bluth adopted, partly to make the family look compassionate, and partly to make Buster jealous. Annyong was a character that was unceremoniously sent away in the middle of season two, shipped off to the Milford School “to teach him a lesson.” Annyong really was just misunderstood, namely about his name, which was not Annyong (Korean for “Hello”), but ‘Hell-Oh’. The Raiders are also criminally misunderstood. People saw Al Davis giving out big contracts to players not named Nnamdi Asomugha. What they failed to totally get was that the Raiders had little shot of keeping Nnamdi, so instead they locked up the rest. By the end of the series, Annyong returns to plot his revenge, just like Al Davis hopes to one day return to the top of the league, and take reveng on all those who doubted him.
Philadelphia Eagles – GOB Bluth
Just like the Magician, GOB Bluth, the Eagles pulled quite the magic trick in the offseason. How they were able to fit Nnamdi, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie (and keep Samuel), Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, and then to cap it all off steal Steve Smith from the Giants is beyond me. GOB Bluth hates to use the term “trick” (as a “trick is something a whore does for money”), instead going for “illusion” and the Eagles are pulling one of those anyway. They have the illusion of a super team, despite Jeremy Maclin having some hush-hush strange injury, a logjam at corner, a defensive-coordinator who was last employed at offensive-line, and Michael Vick who is due for some serious interception regression. They really are the jokers.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Sally Sitwell
Sally Sitwell, after finding out that her father wanted Michael to date her, told Michael that “I would rather date someone my father doesn’t approve of” (which was to the ironic dismay of Michael who finally decided to ask out Sally because his father didn’t approve). The Steelers are kind of similar. They love it when we don’t approve of them, when we don’t consider them entering into a season. The 2008 Champions and 2010 Runner-Ups both entered those two respective seasons a bit under the radar. In 2008, everyone was up in arms about the Patriots trying to go perfect again, and the Cowboys, and the Steelers went out and had the best defense since the 2002 Bucs. In 2010, with Roethlisberger’s suspension, no one really thought of them as Super Bowl contenders (other than ironically Peter King, who is usually hilariously wrong with his Super Bowl picks). They then cruised all the way through the season and got there again. This year everyone likes them, so they are set up for disappointment. The Steelers don’t perform to well when they have everyone’s approval; just like Ms. Sitwell.
St. Louis Rams – Larry Middleman (the Surrogate)
Just like the surrogate was able to be the de-facto George Bluth in public situations outside when George was on house arrest, the Rams have become the de-facto Giants. They have the Giants old d-coordinator. They have a #1 overall pick at QB. They have the belief that you can never draft enough pass-rushers. Of course, they haven’t emuylated everything the Giants did, much like Middleman couldn’t emulate tone or inflection to relay George’s sarcasm. The Rams don’t have the Plaxico deep threat, but they’re close to getting to where the Giants were from 2005-2008.
San Diego Chargers – Lindsay Bluth Funke
Lindsay is beautiful, funny, good-hearted, and sweet. The only problem is that she is not bright and married to a doofus of a husband. The Chargers are powerful, beautiful (at passing), explosive and youthful. The only problem is the make ridiculous mistakes, sleepwalk in the beginning of seasons and have a doofus of a coach (in terms of game management). How Norv Turner lasted this long is incredible. The Chargers glaring weakness was their special teams, which rebelled against the rest of that team (#1 offense & defense by conventional stats), just like Lindsay rebelled against her mother. That said, when you forget about Tobias, Lindsay is quite a catch.
San Francisco 49ers – Surely Funke
Surely Funke was the sick wheelchair bound girl Meabe pretended was her sister to cash in checks that went to Surely for fundraisers. Her affliction: B.S (What are the symptoms?”, “I don’t know, it’s BS”). The 49ers are kind of like the Surely Funke version of the Maebe Funke Ravens. First of all, they hired the Ravens’ coach’s brother in Jim Harbaugh. They also have an affliction of BS,QB, with Alex Smith somehow still a member of the 49ers (and also still just 27). The 49ers also tried to use ex-Raven LB Coach Mike Singletary, after using ex-Raven DC Mike Nolan as head coach. They really have a bad case of wanting to be Maebe Funke.
Seattle Seahawks – Mort Meyers (Maebe’s boss)
He’s not a very famous character by name, but Jeff Garlin’s recurring role as Maebe’s boss led to a slew of slightly pedophilic jokes about Mort wanting to have an affair with Maebe, who would always give her standard answer of “Marry Me!” The Seahawks are also desperately trying to get with the younger crowd, opening up their wallets in free agency. Like Mort, the outcome is one of rejection, as I’m sure the NFL Playoffs will reject the Seahawks 2011 application led by Tarvaris Jackson. Even in that division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – George Michael Bluth
The only redeeming character on the show was not Michael, the nominal straight-man. No, it was George Michael, the only one who could kind of see the lunacy behind his whole family. Of course, he was also madly in love with his cousin, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was the innocent one. The Buccaneers are the innocent of the NFL. They have a young team. They didn’t og out and get anyone in Free Agency, instead decided to steadfastly stick to their plan which is coming together faster than anyone could have hoped. If you want an NFL comparison, they remind me a lot of how the 1999-2003 Titans were built, although without an Eddie George. They are the rare virgin team in a league who’s teams usually whore it up.
Tennessee Titans – Stan Sitwell
The man without any hair (“You mean were meeting with a guy who can’t grow his own hair? Come ON!!”), will be paralleled with the team that lost its hair in every way. First the dreadlocked one is holding-out (although that probably won’t last). Then the sometimes-Afro/sometimes-cornrows Randy Moss was cut. Then they go out and sign the notoriously bald Matt Hasselbeck. To cap it off, they fire the man responsible for arguably the best facial hair in the NFL over the past 15 years: Jeff Fisher. His resume includes a brilliant mustache, and the sadly-forgotten great beards in 2002 and 2003. The loss of Jeff Fisher’s mustache in the NFL is huge.
Washington Redskins – Tobias Funke
I don’t know if this is really saving the best for last, but it might be the strongest comparison. Tobias was the joke. The other characters we laughed with sometimes (instead of laughing at), but for Tobias he was the joke: his obliviousness nature, his never-nude affliction, his not-so-hidden gay-ness. The Redskins, and moreso, Mr, Daniel Snyder, is the jok. He never learns from umpteen free agent disasters. He builds a non-descript giant bowl of a stadium and then squeezes out every penny. He tries to control the media to laughable results. Also, since coming to Washington, Mr. Shanahan has been o better, emulating Tobias in the way that he is making fun of himself when he says things like “I think Rex Grossman can do better than Donovan McNabb in my offense.” There’s even the case that Snyder, Shanahan and even Tobias were respected professionals in past lives (business magnate, coach in Denver, anal-rapist), but are ridiculously awful in their current venture (NFL owner, coach in Washington, actor). And finally, like Tobias, the Redskins under Snyder have been anal-raping their fans for a long, long time.
Characters That Just Missed the Cut
- Nellie the Stripper
- ‘Girls With Low Self-Esteem’ creator Phillip Litt
- Warden Stefan Gentiles
- Cindy Lightballoon (the mole)
- Tony Wonder (really sad I couldn’t include him)
- Judge Reinhold
- Mrs. Featherbottom