Hey the NFL Playoffs are coming up! So I am going to compare every NFL playoff team to a 2012 album.
1. SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: New Orleans Saints
2012 album that reminds me of the New Orleans Saints: Fun.- Some Nights
On Aim and Ignite, Fun. was the Pittsburgh Steelers: they combined old school influences (Beach Boys and Queen) with new school ideas and execution. The Pittsburgh Steelers love to run the ball and deal out helmet to helmet hits like it is 1965 (Beach Boys and Queen) but they also have one of the best passing games in the league led by nightclub enthusiast Ben Roethlisberger (new school ideas and execution.) A&I had something for everyone to love just like the Pittsburgh Steelers have something for everyone to hate.
This year Fun. seem to be focused on perfecting a modern sound: "We Are Young" is a beat driven anthem that kind of sounds like a tamer version of "Baby Girl, I'm A Blur," "WTF" is a five minute uncensored version of "At Least I'm Not As Sad As I Used To Be," "Carry On"sounds like a 2011 remixed song off of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and "It Gets Better" has the chance to have the generational impact that "Imagine" had over thirty years ago. So while Fun. has not totally forgotten their old school influences they seem to be using less and less of these influences to make their next modern masterpiece. The new fun. album is the Saints modern offense that passes over fifty times a game then sneaks in a draw to Darren Sproles to keep the defense on their toes. Some Nights will make Fun. the biggest band in the world just like the Saints passing offense made them the best team in the National Football League.
2. AFC Champion: New England Patriots
2012 album that reminds me of the New England Patriots: Phoenix- TBA
Phoenix is a poor man's version of Fun. just like the Patriots are a poor man's version of the Saints. Phoenix have just a little less energy than fun. (the same way the Patriots are a little less explosive than the Saints,) Phoenix are a less less catchy than fun. (the same way the Patriots are a little worse on the offensive line,) Phoenix have a little less of the "generational defining" quality than fun. (the same way the Patriots are so much more evil than the Saints,) and Phoenix are a little less consistent than fun. (the same way the Patriots defense is a little less horrendous than the Saints defense.) I still think this is going to be an awesome album though. But after talking to the three fans that Phoenix have they seem to have expectations that are "Radiohead ridiculous." So will a runner-up type of album be good enough for Phoenix nation? Will just an AFC championship be good enough for Boston?
3. NFC Runner Up: Green Bay Packers
2012 album that reminds me of the Green Bay Packers: The National- TBA
When something is "obviously going to happen" in sports that usually means it is not going to happen. Kansas was OBVIOUSLY going to beat VCU and go to the Final Four, the USSR was OBVIOUSLY going to kill the US in the 1980 Olympics, Mike Tyson was obviously going to bite Buster Douglas's face off, and their was absolutely no way that North Carolina State was going to upset the NBA all star team that was Phi Slamma Jamma. Well in case you don't care about this stuff VCU did go to the Final Four, the US (lead by Al Michaels moaning) upset the USSR, Buster Douglas upset Mike Tyson, and NC State and a confused Jimmy V upset Houston. When you think something is obvious in sports, bet on the exact opposite thing happening. The same kind of thing is true about music. Radiohead was OBVIOUSLY supposed to put out the best album of 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West were OBVIOUSLY going to OD on their egos and not even release an album, Sufjan Stevens was supposed to make an album for every state except Missouri, and Casey Whitman was NEVER supposed to allow these kind of crazy posts on his site. Well I cannot find one person who said The King of Limbs defined 2011, I cannot find one person that does not jam out to "Niggas In Paris," I can only find two "state albums" by my man Sufjan Stevens, and I am still writing. So when you think something is obvious in music and in sports, bet on the exact opposite actually happening.
The Packers are the Super Bowl favorite and the National are the favorite for album of the year but I just do not think the Packers or the National will come through. The Packers are going to get upset by a scrappy Saints team in the NFC Championship game and the National will eventually make a bad song. Aaron Rodgers will eventually throw an interception and Matt Berninger will eventually write a lyric that just comes off as weird. The Packers and the National cannot stay perfect forever, but they can still stay pretty damn good.
4. AFC Runner Up: Baltimore Ravens
2012 album that reminds me of the Baltimore Ravens: Frightened Rabbit- TBD
The Baltimore Ravens have been depressingly consistent for years. They have consistently had one of the best defenses in the league, they have consistently had one of the best running games in the leagues, they have consistently had a game managing quarterback that could not manage his facial hair, they have consistently won 11-14 games every season, and they have consistently been borderline unwatchable for more than ten minutes at a time. Frightened Rabbit have also shared this depressing consistency. They have consistently made great songs, they have consistently had awesome lyrics, they have consistently had a lead singer with an awesome accent, they have consistently made B+ to A+ albums, and they are consistently hard to listen to for over three songs in a row. Both the Ravens and Frightened Rabbit are great but both almost play to slow to win games and album of the year awards consistently.
5. AFC Divisional: Pittsburgh Steelers
2012 album that reminds me of the Pittsburgh Steelers: U2- Songs of Ascent
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been "that team" for about fifty years now. They have been that team that has the fans that swear and think they are cool because they wave towels, they have been that team that has a Hall of Fame quarterback that has a funny accent, they have been that team that brags about making sure opposing players are in diapers by the age of 46, and they have been the team that seems to win the Super Bowl every other year. U2 have also been "that band" for what seems like fifty years now. They have been the band that has fans that go to Africa for absolutely no reason, they have been the band that has the lead singer that is extremely talented but according to cartoon sources might actually be a piece of crap, they have been the band that is going to be singing "save the world" ballads until they are in diapers, and they are the band that seems to make the album of the year just about anytime they put an album out. Even though both the Steelers and U2 are disgustingly great they will both take a little step back this year. A couple of U2's ballads will fall on deaf ears and a couple of Big Ben's behind the back shovel passes will get intercepted. U2 and the Steelers will still be great but they will not be Joshua Tree or "Steel Curtain" good.
6. NFC Divisional: New York Giants
2012 album that reminds me of the New York Giants: Say Anything- Anarchy, My Dear
I really want to fall in love with both the "new look" of the New York Football Giants and the "new sound" of Say Anything. The "new look" Giants are a team that rushes the passer well, a team that is led by two bruising running backs, a team that does exactly the opposite of what its senial head coach says, and a team that plays its best football in the fourth quarter. The only thing that keeps the Giants from being the NFC team in the Super Bowl is that they say they are going to give their offense over to Eli Manning. I would trust Casey Anthony with my new born before I trusted Eli Manning in a playoff game. I know that he led the Giants to an improbable Super Bowl run in 2007, but I also know that the only reason he made that run was because of one 5th stringers helmet catch and because they had a 6 foot 5 receiver before he shot himself in the leg. I have no faith that Eli Manning can lead the Giants past the divisional round of the playoffs.
I also want to fall in love with Max Bemis and the new sound of Say Anything. The "new" Say Anything is supposed to offer us a political version of Is A Real Boy...., is supposed to be combine the sounds of Queen and the Pixies, is supposed to be "more mature," and is supposed to be the best album that Say Anything has put out yet. The problem is that Max Bemis simply cannot write songs like he used to anymore. He is no longer on drugs, he is no longer looking for love, he is no longer having phone sex, and he is no longer making awesome Notorious B.I.G. references. This would all be fine but we all know that Max will not shut up and this album will just be 45 minutes of him ranting about nothing and trying to make it sound like it is something. "Burn A Miracle" would have been brilliant if Max would have "let the music breathe" but Max always has to make it seem like he has something to rant about. The only thing is he actually has nothing to rant about anymore.
7. NFC Divisional: San Francisco 49ers
2012 album that reminds me of the San Francisco 49ers: Paramore- TBA
The San Francisco 49ers were the best team in the NFC West! They somehow outlasted the -2.9 passer rating of Jon Skelton and the Arizona Cardinals, they somehow outlasted Marshawn Lynch and his Seattle Skittles, and they somehow outlasted the Rams! Wow! Actually, I am really not that impressed at all. Winning a division with those three teams is like breaking the hearts of three 400 pound fat girls over a seventeen week period. Just like any man could break the heart of three 400 pound women over a seventeen week period, just about any of the other 28 teams in the NFL could have won the NFC West. The 49ers have a good defense but they also have a Quarterback who thinks getting sacked for a loss of seven yards is a good play. The 49ers will lose in the divisional round and it will not be pretty.
Paramore is the best female led pop-punk band in the mainstream! They someone outlasted the efforts of absolutely no one! Paramore is like the 49ers in the fact that they will be successful because they are really good at one thing AND because they have absolutely no competition. Paramore will look good because they are the only female led pop-punk band making really catchy songs, just like the 49ers only looked good because of their stellar defense and their less than stellar competition. Paramore will make a memorable album, but an album that is not quite original enough to win album of the year.
8. AFC Divisional: Houston Texans
2012 album that reminds me of the Houston Texans: The Killers-TBA
I love everything about Houston except their quarterback. I love everything about the Killers besides their lead singer. I also refuse to write about the Texans until they start Jake "Bojangles" Delhomme.
9. NFC Wild Card: Detroit Lions
2012 album that reminds me of the Detroit Lions: Sigur Ros- TBA
Just about everything about the Detroit Lions is perfect: they have a quarterback who passed for every 5,000 yards, they have a receiver who has the skills of a Michael Bay robot, they have a defensive lineman who can sack you, stomp you, and then get you to buy a car, they have a coach who takes offense to being slapped in the back by some west coast douchebag, and they have fans who have been so humbled that they give standing ovations after two yard gains. But after Jahvid Best got injured the Lions have absolutely no running game. And the John Fox side of me wants to say that you cannot win a playoff game without any semblance of a running game. Just about everything about Sigur Ros is perfect: they have instrumentation that sounds like an orgasmic combination of Radiohead, Queen, and Explosions In The Sky, their lead singer has unlimited range, they make music that is beyond beautiful, and they have awesome accents. But it is almost impossible to have a normal connection with the music because the lyrics are not in English. It is impossible for me to see Sigur Ros making a top five album this year simply because I am shallow and cannot connect to an album that is not in my native language. Detroit's lack of a running game and Sigur Ros Icelandicness will bring them down a couple notches.
10. NFC Wild Card: Atlanta Falcons
2012 album that reminds me of the Atlanta Falcons: 50 Cent- TBA
The Falcons are really talented. They have a top ten quarterback, two "game breakers" at receiver, a Pro Bowl running back, a huge offensive line, two really good pass rushers, solid linebacking, and good corners. The Falcons have so much talent though that they are constantly having identity crises. Should they run the ball 30 times a game or should they pass it 50 times a game? Should they trust Matt Ryan or should they trust their defense? Should they blitz more or should they trust their corners to make big plays? The Falcons are so talented that they "don't know what to do with themselves" and it will result in a first round loss.
50 Cent is also really talented. He made one of the best mainstream rap albums ever, consistently makes great singles, and is still one of the most versatile rappers in the mainstream. The problem with 50 Cent is that he is also so talented that he is also in an identity crisis. Should he be a "gangsta rapper" or should he make a whole album with songs like "21 Questions?" Should he be an actor or should he just focus on his music? Should he embrace the role of villian or should he make peace with all of his rivals and become a "good example?" The problem with the last three 50 Cent albums is that he is "so talented that he doesn't know what to do with himself" and it has resulted in mediocre music. 50 Cent and the Atlanta Falcons are both so talented that they end up being mediocre.
11. AFC Wild Card: Cincinatti Bengals
2012 album that reminds me of the Cincinatti Bengals: Meat Loaf- Hell In A Handbasket
Meat Loaf has broken our heart so many times that we just do not care anymore. He has made bad album after bad album, he has played bad gig after bad gig, he has ate bad ham after bad ham, and he has even started to become a mediocre actor. Meat Loaf is like our cousin with a crack addiction who says he is "recovered," we want to believe it but we have to much evidence against it. We want to believe that Meat Loaf can still make good music, but there is just way too much past evidence against it.
The Cincinatti Bengals have broken their fans hearts so many times that they just do not care anymore. They might have a great ginger quarterback but they have no faith that the front office will not release the "Red Rifle," they might have a great defense but they have no faith that anyone on that defense will stay out of jail this offseason, they might have a great young receiver but they are just waiting for him to turn into Ocho Cinco, and they might have a coach that looks great right now but they also know that he is an awful coach 75% of the time. Bengals fans want to believe that this is finally the "turning of a new leaf," but the leaf has been crapped on so many times that they do not even want to come near it. The Bengals and Meat Loaf are both begging their fans for second chances, but their fans just are way too logical.
12. AFC Wild Card: Denver Broncos
2012 album that the Denver Broncos remind me of: Insane Clown Posse- The Mighty Death Pop!
The Broncos might be the worst team in the NFL right now and they are still in the playoffs. We are going to watch the Broncos to see Tebow try to throw a spiral, see Von Miller try to get nine sacks in one game, see a receiver try to run something below a six second forty, and to see how many draws John Fox can call in a row. I know the Broncos are probably going to lose by 35 to the Steelers, but I am going to watch because I know I am going to be really entertained by their failure.
The Insane Clown Posse might be the worst band in the world right now, but they are still going to sell a ton of records. I am going to listen to ICP just to see how stupid their lyrics are, to see them try to get political, to see them try to make music, and so I can flirt with community college girls. Also ICP and Tebow fans have the same kind of illogical passion that makes people hate them so much.