You are very ill. The slightest movement signals the confused brain in your skull to shoot pain unending throughout your entire body. There is a noose on the floor beside you. On the table, an uneaten pizza. Empty bottles of malt liquor. A toppled shot glass.
It is Tuesday morning. You try to recall the events of the night before. Terror sets in as the fog clouding your memories begins to fade away. A figure emerges through the haze--Mark Sanchez. His jersey is clean. They never laid a hand on him. He takes a knee with thirty-three seconds left in the 4th quarter. The clock expires. The Jets win. You couldn't be happier.Your mind is clear, now. You recall hearing Jon Gruden say something about "this guy" and "clutch." It becomes apparent that the scene you now observe is playing on your own flatscreen television. There you are, in your favorite spot on your favorite couch. The image of your remembered self fist pumps as the Miami Dolphins head for the locker room, losers again. Tony Sparano briefly acknowledges Rex Ryan in the middle of the field but you can tell he's distracted. You wonder if he's already figured out what team will hire him as their assistant offensive line coach next year.
You snap back to reality. The Dolphins are 0-5. The Jets are 3-3. Even. They snapped their three game losing streak by laughing our team out of the Meadowlands. Matt Moore was under duress the entire night. Conversely, Sanchez looked exultant, throwing three TDs and zero picks. That's not for a lack of trying. Two balls hit Dolphins' defenders right between the numbers. A third is tipped at the line but the shock of making a play is so severe they let it flutter helplessly to the ground. They celebrate anyway.
You feel like a chump. You didn't exactly root against the Dolphins last night. That's what you keep telling yourself. The 2011 Miami Dolphins are adorable in their helplessness. Around week three, when you realized no force in the galaxy could help a Dolphins QB connect on a deep ball, you just started smiling at the ineptitude. You want to muss up their hair and tap them on the backside. Aw, you big lug. Back to the huddle.
The last time you felt this much guilt your college girlfriend caught you with that cutie you had a crush on in high school. I was just showing her the dorms! Liar. You're surprised how much rooting againt the Dolphins, no, rooting for the Jets feels like cheating. You know the strength to carry on separates the men from the boys. I would let Bart Scott share a romantic evening with my wife if it meant drafting Andrew Luck. I'm not married. But maybe you are. I am married, you think to yourself. I need Bart Scott's number.
It takes all of your courage to pull yourself off the couch and stagger over to the MacBook in the corner of the room with the Dolphins sticker covering the Apple logo. You wish Steve Jobs had invented a way to make Marc Colombo suck less before he died. Now you feel badly for making a joke about Steve Jobs. While clicking your way to NFL.com you come to the conclusion that last night was unquestionably the worst night of your life. John Conner scored a rushing touchdown and you loved it. Nevermind that they call him "The Terminator" in a flashy display of contempt for the fact that John Connor was the leader of the human resistance against the brutality of Skynet's mechanical army of robot soldiers. I digress.
Never again, you tell yourself. 0-5 has to be good enough. The Dolphins can lose well enough on their own without your help. Then, while perusing the weekly standings, it hits you. After keeping it close until the fourth quarter, Pierre Garcon quietly fumbles the Colts to 0-6. Ball game. Elsewhere in the league, Donovan McNabb leads the Vikings to a stunning 4th quarter victory in an alternate universe where teams earn points for stalling drives outside of the red zone. 1-5. Christian Ponder looked sharp. Maybe they don't even want Standford's QB. Maybe. Maybe they do. The Panthers and Rams round out the Voltron of Terrible Football, forming the left arm and right leg, respectively. But they couldn't possibly draft Andrew Luck. Still, you are nervous.
You close the MacBook. The horror of your reality is before you. You know that if you blink it will consume you. The Dolphins must lose, and they need all of us to make it happen. In your head, you've already started allocating funds to purchase a Broncos jersey for week seven.
There is puke in the bucket on the floor to your left. Ignore it. You stagger back to the couch. Muscle memory flips the channel to NFL Network.
You grab a slice of pizza and close your eyes. Tim Tebow drops back to pass ...