On the first day of 2017, the 2016 season concludes with a big pile of boring football games. To lighten the mood, the 49ers fire head coach Chip Kelly, general manager Trent Baalke, and anyone else they can find. Their list of coaching possibilities is simply a post-it note with the word “Anybody” on it.
The San Diego Chargers also fire Mike McCoy so they can use his salary to buy boxes and packing tape for their upcoming move to Los Angeles, where they will play their games for the next two years in Elon Musk’s backyard.
Alabama fires Lane Kiffen a week before the national championship game. This isn’t an NFL story technically, but anyone who followed Kiffen’s career at any level will find it hilarious.
Oft-troubled cornerback Pacman Jones, seemingly bored with regular crimes, gets arrested for felony harassment with a bodily substance.
On the 22nd, we settle in for a championship Sunday doubleheader, which proves to be about as much fun to watch as a movie with Will Smith and one of his kids. Atlanta advances to their second Super Bowl, and New England goes to their 73rd.
Kirk Cousins plays in the Pro Bowl, thus invalidating the entire concept of “all-star games.”
The Raiders relocation to Las Vegas, which hit a snag after casino boss Sheldon Adelson backed out, runs into a full-on brick wall when Goldman Sachs also pulls out. Undaunted, the Raiders say their new plan is to take the $750 million from Vegas to the roulette wheel and “put it all on black.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame voting is announced, and once again, Terrell Owens does not have to get his popcorn ready.
Super Bowl LI. Tom Brady does that thing he always does in the playoffs. So does Atlanta, as the Falcons decide with a 28-3 lead, they no longer need to run the ball or block. Brady stages an epic comeback, wins the game in overtime, claims his fifth Super Bowl title, cures cancer, creates light without heat, and rescues Liam Neeson’s daughter.
Brock Osweiler is traded from the Texans to the Browns for a case of warm beer and a fidget spinner.
Tony Romo announces his retirement from throwing interceptions.
ESPN responds to changing economic conditions by firing everybody, which leads to a slew of homeless people in Bristol, Connecticut, holding signs that say “Will #HotTake For Food.”
At the NFL Draft, John Ross goes to Cincinnati with the ninth pick, then vanishes, never to show up on a stat sheet again. The New Orleans Saints select possible future Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year. The Cleveland Browns select possible future Lowe’s Employees of the Month.
At the spring meeting, the NFL decides to lighten up on penalties for touchdown celebrations. However, they don’t advise players to take some kind of acting classes so we can actually figure out what they’re trying to mime, which leads us into a whole season of vaguely-acted-out improv scenes.
The NFL also decides to allow teams to increase the number of players brought back from injured reserve from one to two, planning ahead for a season where about half the league would sustain major injuries, including everyone on your fantasy football team.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announces he doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for training camp. He also doesn’t specify training camp of which year.
Derek Carr becomes the NFL’s highest-paid player, as reported by the NFL’s Department of Ironic Foreshadowing.
OJ Simpson is granted parole, possibly so FX can get a second season for “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”
According to the Colts, Andrew Luck is almost ready to return from injury. They are only off by about 13 months.
Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension appeal ends with less relevant testimony than your average episode of “Judge Judy.”
After Hurricane Harvey, J.J. Watt tries to raise $200,000 for disaster relief, and winds up raising $37 million. Coincidentally, that’s almost the exact opposite results of the XFL.
Brock Osweiler is cut by the Browns and signs with the Broncos, who are used to him disappointing them.
Le’Veon Bell finally shows up for work.
Due to Hurricane Irma, the week one game between the Buccaneers and Dolphins is rescheduled to November, with both teams’ bye weeks reassigned to the playoffs.
The Miami Dolphins respond to their 4-3 start by trading their only decent running back to the best team in the NFC. “That’ll teach him,” the Dolphins brass say as they nose-dive.
In spite of multiple injuries, NFL teams decline to sign Colin Kaepernick, choosing instead to sign backup quarterbacks Shane Falco, Willie Beamen and Uncle Rico.
The Cleveland Browns attempt to make a move for Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron at the trade deadline, but accidentally wind up trading for a Reds relief pitcher and a middle infielder to be named later.
San Francisco becomes the first team in the history of the NFL to get the better of Bill Belichick in a trade.
The courts rule Ezekiel Elliott ineligible to compete in the next six seasons of American Idol.
The New York Giants react to a losing season by taking a knee during third downs.
An injured Andrew Luck flees the country to escape the Colts.
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo benches Eli Manning for the first time in his career. The next week, the Giants would bench McAdoo for the last time in his career.
Running back Reggie Bush announces his retirement, although he actually rushed for more yards in his first year of retirement than he did playing for the Bills in 2016.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson responds to reports of sexual harassment payoffs by announcing he’ll sell the team, to allow some other billionaire to judge Blue Jean Fridays around the office.
Steelers tight end Jesse James has a touchdown overruled when replay shows even though he made the catch with two feet and a knee on the ground, he did not spend enough time with the ball to be legally common-law married in Pennsylvania.
On the final day of 2017, the NFL plays another pile of boring games, although somehow the Buffalo Bills slip through to claim their first playoff berth ever in a year that begins with the number “two.” The Cleveland Browns go winless, completing their “From Worst To Last” game plan.
- Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid’s second book, “I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” is out now on Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.