Sure, we don't know our football all that well. But that's actually part of the reason we feel pretty justified calling bullshit on Tom Curran's list of "Five Players Ready to Become NFL Superstars."
There are stars and then there are STARS.
And then there are —==SSSTTTAAARRRSSS==—(TM)!!! And then there is also that channel Starz.
And trying to put a player into one category or the other is a subjective thing.
True. Hard to be objective about a distinction that you just made up.
For instance, Carson Palmer … star. Tony Romo … STAR. Agree?
Wait, no. I changed my mind. I'm gonna go with:
If you asked a dozen GMs, more than half would lean toward starting their team with Palmer. But if Tony Romo and Carson Palmer walked side-by-side through, say, O'Hare International Airport, who would be more widely recognized?
Romo. No question. Playing for the Cowboys, dating Jessica Simpson, smirking and grinning and trying to keep T.O. from melting down - all of it has helped make Romo a celebrity as well as a quarterback.
Oh, okay. I get it — this is going to be a list of NFL players who are most likely to date someone famous so they become celebrities. I heard Antonio Bryant was spotted at P.F. Chang's with one of the girls from "90210." He's gotta be on the list!
Also, I saw Chris Cooley's dick on this very website once. Does that count for something?
For Palmer, playing in Cincinnati for a moribund franchise that has a steady kickoff time of 1 p.m. EDT throughout the fall hasn't helped him become more recognizable.
Well that makes sense. I guess we won't be seeing any players on this list from teams with a history of losing, like the Lions or the Texans. (Spoiler alert: A Lion and a Texan are on the list!)
And yet at this time three years ago, Romo was known by nobody outside of NFL personnel and the people who follow the league closely.
So we wondered: Who's going to blow up in 2009?
Three years ago, Romo was backing up Drew Bledsoe, and not having the whitest sex ever with Jessica Simpson. He didn't take a snap in a regular season game until October. Then he became a STAR, which may or may not be a thing. So — if I understand this correctly — we're looking for guys who you've never heard of, but are likely to become superstars really quick.
Let's see what ya got.
We came up with five: quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers of the Falcons and Chargers;
Um, I'm sorry. I seem to have jumped into the middle of an article about some of the most famous players in the league.
Philip Rivers isn't a STAR yet? Can't we all agree he's at least a StaR or something? Didn't Matt Ryan lead his team to the playoffs last year?
receivers Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson from the Texans and Lions,
I have no idea what this list is supposed to be. Seriously, raise your hand if you haven't heard of Andre and Calvin Johnson. You can raise it in all caps if you want to.
and running back Adrian Peterson from the Vikings.
Everything above this was written four days ago. Here's what happened.
I had written some stuff, whatever, going through the article line by line and trying my best to make some decent smartass comments or food metaphors or whatever. Then I read this line about Adrian Peterson — that this might be the year that he becomes a superstar.
I think I reacted properly: I took my MacBook that I was writing this on, twirled around like a discus thrower, and hurled my laptop out the window. Then I blacked out, for I don't know how long, and woke up on my bed. My girlfriend was sitting next to me.
I was like "what happened?"
"I don't know. It was like you were in some sort of fever dream, but you kept saying the same thing out loud over and over again."
"What did I say?"
"Hold on, I wrote it down. Okay, yeah. You kept saying 'For crying out fuck, first of all he's the consensus #1 fantasy football pick, which literally tens of millions of Americans play. Also he's in about 60% of the commercials these days — the dude is one "Cut That Meat!" away from hosting SNL. And! He led the fucking league in rushing last year!'"
"Huh. Sounds about right."
"Also the neighbors came by to drop off your computer. It's gonna take like four days to fix."
Adrian Peterson. Is not a superstar. Yet. That's what we're going with?
All are known. None are known so well they'd be mobbed in an airport, recognized in New York City or be readily identifiable by a nickname.
Adrian Peterson has two nicknames that I can think of, and again, I barely follow football ("All Day" or "A.D.", and "Purple Jesus"). Everyone calls Calvin Johnson "Megatron," but, I guess in a way this guy's right. He doesn't have that mobbable quality because he never dated a dumb reality show star.
Yet. But wait until after this season.
Well, I guess we know what that means. At some point this fall, Andre Johnson is going to tittyfuck Audrina Partridge.