Quarterback in the National Football League. Quite simply, the single hardest position to play in all of sports, individual or team. This is due to the fact American Football is unquestionably the most strategic team sport in human history, as every single play--on both offense and defense--is meticulously worked out in advance--or at least, they're supposed to be. Running such a highly detailed strategic game-plan requires that the quarterback be both mentally and physically gifted and be able to make split-second decisions in the face of overwhelming pressure that can make the difference between a team's success or failure for an entire season.
However, that doesn't mean that quarterbacking can't result in hilarious situations, circumstances and controversies. In fact, sometimes it seems, the more serious a person's position of power, the more open he/she is for ridicule. Witness the spoofing and lampooning of the President of the United States--whoever he happens to be. Perhaps it has something to do with fear and envy--we can't be these people, we can't share in their power, so we mock them. But whatever, the reason, when the joke is well crafted, or in the case of a meme, the image is just right, well then, goofing on powerful people is out-and-out funny, and that's all that really matters. And there seems to be no better forum for satirizing leaders like quarterbacks than the modern-day meme. Every week there's a new batch to pick from and we've selected 20 of the most topical--and funniest--that sum up this whacked out 2017 NFL season.
20 HE WHO JERRY FEARS MOST
Who does powerful Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jerry fear more, U.S. President Trump or Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers? After the events in recent weeks, with Trump essentially intimidating Jones into making his players stand for the "Star Spangled Banner," it's hard to tell, but according to the above meme, it's got to be Rodgers who Jerry truly cowers before. Before his season-ending injury, Rodgers engineered yet another game-winning touchdown drive to defeat the Cowboys 35-31.
This result surely broke the heart of Jerry Jones, who must be seething with revenge against the quarterback and team that denied the Cowboys a chance at a sixth Super Bowl title in last season's playoffs, with a very similar 34-31 Packers triumph last January. In his dreams, Jerry Jones sees piles of gold. But in his nightmares, it's surely that sullen-eyed kid with the arm of gold, Aaron Rodgers.
19 DADDY, WHAT'S A QB?
Though Chicago Bears rooters carry their fanhood with an overblown sense of entitlement, when it comes to the already established oh-so-important position of quarterback, Bears supporters have rarely, if ever, known greatness. Even the much ballyhooed Jim McMahon, the "Punky QB" who was behind center for the 1985 team that dominated the NFL in winning Super Bowl XX, was not the prime mover of the team. Rather "da Bears" took the Lombardi Trophy fueled by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan's genius 46-defense schemes and a collection of future-hall-0f-fame defenders (like Mike Singletary and Dan Hampton).
Since the glory days, the quarterback position has been a pathetic collection of bad draft picks (like Cade McNown), also-rans past their prime (like Kordell Stewart), and failed promises (like Jay Cutler--for more memes of him, keep reading). If Mitchell Trubisky can find success as expected, perhaps this is one meme that will no longer be funny and get retired.
18 BIG BEN ELITE?
In the span of three days, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went from a self-pitying cry of "Maybe I don't have it anymore" after throwing a career-high 5 INTs against the Jaguars October 8 in a shameful 30-9 Steelers loss, to a boastful "I'm one of the best ever" on October 10 during his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan, to then outright criticizing those reporters who would dare question his passion and ability!
By October 11, during an ESPN interview with Jeremy Fowler, Ben called out "quote-on-quote professional talking heads"--for considering the very possibility Ben himself had raised three days earlier--that perhaps he no longer has the capability to play QB at a superior level. Some national TV and radio pundits are suggesting Roethlisberger has indeed "lost it", which can happen to older veterans overnight (Ben is 36). Players and coaches alike will tell you that "NFL" stands for "Not For Long." Either way, talk is cheap, Ben--time to prove you're "one of the best" down there on the field for what's left of the 2017 season.
17 WHAT'S SO, "FUNNY," CAM?
Another week, another NFL controversy. During a press conference on October 4, Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton, condescended, in a sexist context, to Jourdan Rodrigue, Panthers beat reporter for the Charlotte Observer. After Ms. Rodrigue has asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' physicality, Cam, with a smug smirk on his face, remarked, "It's funny to her a woman talking about routes like that. It's funny." Newton's implication was that women aren't qualified to ask technical questions about football because they don't truly comprehend the sport.
Cam only made the situation worse, fanning the flames instead of putting out the fire, by originally refusing to apologize to Jordan when she approached him personally after the presser. As seen on the CBS Sports video of the Newton-Rodrigue exchange, the irony of this entire incident is that after his sexist remark, Cam actually gave Ms. Rodrigue a legit answer to her question--but all that got lost in the controversy. As for the meme, we'll let Cam's bizarre fashion sense speak for itself, but it does make you wonder.
16 OWEN 4?
Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the 2017 NFL season has been the dismal showing by the New York Giants, expected by some to compete for a Super Bowl. Instead, they were winless a quarter into the season, and instead of Eli Manning preparing for a potential third Super Bowl ring, there's talk in New York that he's over-the-hill and should be replaced. However due to the insane number of injuries the "Gints" have suffered at wide receiver, including losing all-world wideout Odell Beckham Jr for the season--as well as three other receivers. But personal stats don't really come into play when an expected contender is tanking, and the Giants have been a bloody mess all year, from a shoddy offensive line to a let-you-down defense. New York, New York? For the Giants next year, it'll be, New York, new coach. And maybe, a new quarterback, too?
15 FOREIGN AND-0! (Part 2)
You know a new day is dawning in the NFL when Alex Smith is not the butt of a QB meme joke, but rather the guy writing the hysterical punch line. Not only is Smith a serious NFL MVP candidate, he has the Kansas City Chiefs atop the AFC West. For more on Smith, keep reading. As for the team, the Chiefs' dominance has their title-starved fans dreaming of KC winning their first NFL title. And before you say, "Wait, didn't the Chiefs win a Super Bowl (IV, in January 1970) already?" Yes, they did. However, that was prior to the NFL-AFL merger, so officially the Chiefs only won the AFL crown that year, despite beating the NFL Champion Minnesota Vikings in that Super Bowl.
It's ironic but true: The Chiefs have won a Super Bowl but do not have an NFL title, while the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl (0-4) yet they do have an NFL title (1969). Such are the peculiarities of the NFL merger. If the Chiefs keep playing like this, however, they can erase all the irony and claim their second Super Bowl--and first NFL--championship.
14 THE "KAP" TO ALEX SMITH'S CAREER
Now, as promised, more about Alex Smith's season, extremely impressive through half the year. And as the meme suggests, it's pretty funny to think that at one time Colin Kaepernick was regarded as a superior QB to Smith. Kaepernick can't even find a gig--and while part of that is surely political due to the right-leaning tendencies of the NFL and its owners, now no one could reasonably argue that the wildly inconsistent Kaepernick is any match for Smith at the QB position. This raises the question of whether or not the Chiefs' first-round selection of Pat Mahomes "lit a fire" under Smith to inspire his stellar performance so far this year.
However, it may have as much to do with the collegiate spread offense installed by Chiefs coach Andy Reid in 2017 as preparation for Mahomes' eventual landing of the job. Smith is a free agent at season's end, so whether he stays in KC or heads elsewhere (Jacksonville?), he surely will be cashing some hefty paychecks, although he's already earned $133 million in his up-and-down-and-up career.
13 CARR/MARIOTA ILLUMINATI
With this piece being published on Halloween day, we go with the spookiest entry, one that involves conspiracies and "magick"--not the kind performed on stage, but real-world spells cast by those who have mastered the metaphysical. First, the football: Inexplicably, on this past Oct 1, both Titans QB Marcus Mariota (hamstring) and Raiders QB Derek Carr (back) were injured. What's so strange about that, you ask? The thing is, both Mariota and Carr were hurt last season on the same date as well (during their team's respective Christmas Eve games in 2016), both suffering broken legs.
The meme above suggests that the all-powerful secret society known as The Illuminati ("The Enlightened Ones") intentionally manipulated events from afar in order to injure Carr and Mariota on the same day on the same year. Or perhaps that the pair of injuries were "staged" for whatever purpose The Illuminati deemed necessary. Why exactly a Machiavellian secret society would care about a couple of injured jocks is another question, but we'll play along for now. One central power controlling both parties at odds in every major conflict that alters history, that is how the Illuminati allegedly rule the Earth. And just maybe, the NFL, as well.
12 WHO'S YOUR BRADY?
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's dominance of the Texans and their otherwise stalwart defense is as surprising as it is expected. Just as Brady manages to make the otherwise formidable Pittsburgh Steelers' defense look like a also-ran whenever the Pats and Steelers match up, Brady likewise routinely lays waste to the Texans and their fine front-seven lead by all-world J.J. Watt, now unfortunately lost for the year.
Brady broke Houston's heart this past September 24 when he lead the Pats to a 36-33 come-from-behind victory with a mere 23 seconds left on the clock. The victory elevated Brady's career record to 8-1 all-time against the Texans franchise, including two postseason triumphs. When you own a particular team to that overwhelming degree, even a goofy sideline smile is permissible, and makes for a good meme.
11 AARON THE BEAR KILLER
Just as Tom Brady owns teams like the Texans, all-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers has similar career mastery over the Packers' all time arch-rivals, the Chicago Bears. After laying waste to the Bears yet again 35-14 on September 28, Rodgers' career mark against the Bears increased to an overwhelming 16-4 including the Packers triumph in the 2011 NFC Championship Game. Rodgers' typical pin-point accuracy was on display with one key pass after another as well as four TDs. It was actually surprising that the post-game stats revealed Aaron missed on eight tosses that night. We're sure the Bears felt like he didn't miss a single completion.
Obviously parting ways from the actress/goddess Olivia Munn did little to slow down Rodgers' hall-of-fame game. Aaron Rodgers dominates the quarterback position--and the Chicago Bears franchise- like few before him.
10 AARON THE FALCONS' FOOL
Despite Aaron Rodgers' spectacular dominance over virtually every team he faces, there is one individual in the NFL that gets the better of him. This funny meme speaks to Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn's singular ability to concoct schemes to shut down Rogers' effectiveness. Quinn also got the better of "A-Rodg" as defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013-14. Put it this way: In January 2017, CBS Sports did a story on Quinn's dominance of Rodgers--and now Quinn's beaten his two more times, for a five-game winning streak against the otherwise irrepressible Rodgers. It would have been fascinating to see the outcome if Quinn/Rodgers had matched-up one more time in the 2017 postseason.
However, with the broken collarbone suffered by Rodgers on October 15 via the brutal body-slam by the Vikings' Anthony Barr, another Quinn/Rodgers showdown will likely have to wait another year.
9 TROY "BAKE MAN"
Though he doesn't sit on the highest plateau of all-time quarterbacks--a spot reserved for those precious few who were revolutionary game-changers like Johnny Unitas and Dan Marino--Troy Aikman is still an all-time great due to his astonishing accuracy and three Super Bowl crowns. A longtime analyst (since 2001) for FOX Sports, Troy Aikman was in the Mile High City on September 17 providing color commentary as his Cowboys were trounced by the Broncos.
Besides being a passionate sports town, Denver also happens to currently be the cannabis capital of America (though it's in the process of being supplanted in that role by Los Angeles, now that California has legalized recreational use). This meme captures a shot of Troy during the telecast with extremely red eyes, like maybe he vaporized some Denver Sour Diesel during a commercial break. There was no news reports or questions asked of Aikman about the image, so it's merely some amusing speculation. Next time, try Visine, Troy.
8 CUTLER TD CONGRATS
Any list of jocular NFL QB memes has to include Jay "Cuddles" Cutler in the top 10, no matter what happens to the controversial QB, good or bad. And this year, in the "surprise resurrection" of Jay Cutler, there's been a little of both. But at times, it does seem the meme suggesting Jay may be in over his head coming out of retirement to rejoin coach Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins has merit. Still, Cutler's done about as well as you could hope after being halfway inside a FOX Sports broadcast booth to provide color commentary on NFL games when Gase came-a-calling after Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down with a preseason injury.
So far, Cutler has thrown 7 TDs and 5 INT's while posting a QB rating of 78.8, although he recently went down with a rib injury. That's not awful, though probably not enough to take the Fins to the postseason, but more likely a .500 type finish. But for now, Jay will cash the paychecks and try his best.
7 TONY ROMO BLAMELESS
Funny how in one sense it almost seems like the Tony Romo/Dak Prescott controversy of last season seems like ten years gone. And now that Tony is in the safe environment of the broadcast booth with CBS Sports, he is free to critique and analyze without fear of having his head driven into the turf or his knees knocked out from under him. And while Dak and Dallas have had a bit of a letdown to start the yer, the full statistics of Rayne Dakota Prescott--yes, that's his full name--are more than respectable.
However, Tony Romo will be the first to tell Dak--or anyone else willing to listen--that putting up pretty stats is only half the battle, the Cowboys QB has got to win games, regular and postseason. Of course, if the "Romo to the Packers" rumors--in the light of Aaron Rodgers' aforementioned collarbone injury--have any truth, then Tony may soon be taking the blame for interceptions, blown plays and mental gaffes once again.
6 THE NFL'S LEAST WANTED
The Jolly Green Glennon--Chicago Bears' quarterback Mike Glennon--standing a full 6-foot-6-inches, may tower above teammates and opponents, but he's strictly pee-wee when it comes to excelling at quarterback in the NFL And while we've firmly established that playing pro QB is the single most difficult thing to do in all of sports--solo or team--still, if you want to take the snaps, you've got to perform at a high standard or face criticism such as this. That's why the world is hard on QBs like Glennon.
Despite Glennon beating the perennial contending Steelers earlier in the season, beleaguered Bears coach John Fox has no choice but to bench "Mountain Mike" in favor of the overall number two pick in the draft, the more skilled Mitchell Trubisky. To add insult to injury, Glennon has been slammed routinely on Chicago radio program "The Steve Dahl Show" on WLS-AM-890, in which the legendary "Disco Demolition" DJ Dahl and his cohorts mock Glennon's lack of ability and awkward height.
5 KAP FINALLY GETS A GIG
While Colin Kaepernick will never be compared to Rodgers or Brady, his unofficial "banishment" from the NFL is ludicrous considering he'd certainly be a better option at QB than many hurlers currently occupying pro rosters. The NFL's hypocrisy on the "Star Spangled Banner" is also worth examining, the manner in which they allow the song to be used as a self-aggrandizing platform for a singer to "interpret," however horribly or pretentious at time, some of which are captured by YouTube. If the league were truly about respecting the "Banner" (and how individuals choose to react to it), they would do a much more professional job vetting the singers chosen to sing it. But the NFL would rather use celebrities or wannabe country singers to somehow glorify the league's image. Celebrities have nothing to do with the NFL, and neither does the "Banner" If the Patriots were playing the Canadian Football league champion, then it's acceptable to play the "Banner." But not when it's just two different U.S. states or cities in a state squaring off. Why not play the states' respective anthems? Makes more sense. The NFL likes to pretend it respects standing for the National Anthem, but all it really stands for is the almighty dollar.
4 THE L.A. RIVER(S)
The Los Angeles Chargers--still feels strange to type that--finally broke through on October 8 when they defeated the aforementioned completely pathetic New York Giants, but that doesn't mean we're giving star quarterback Philip Rivers and his childish facial expressions a pass on this list of QB meme ha-has. The irony of Rivers beating Manning in that game is that the two were traded for one another in 2004 and now, 13 years later, there's talk both are on the tail-end of their careers. However, as we mentioned about Eli, the stats for Rivers are better than the team record, as Philip has actually done well leading a Chargers team short on talent.
Did the disruption of moving to L.A. and playing in a terrible stadium situation lead to the Chargers' slow start? If they miss the playoffs, that question will forever linger. As for Philip and his real-life "Eight is Enough" family, don't feel too sorry for them having to move to raunchy Hollywood from sunny San Diego--after all, Rivers is worth an estimated $50 million and counting.
3 MATHEW STAFFORD...OR JONAH HILL
Any meme with some old lady staring at a computer is pretty much comedy gold, and this altered image is no exception. Much has been made of Matthew Stafford's corpulent appearance, and frankly, we can have some fun with this meme because Stafford is certainly providing his critics wrong, not only compiling the stats but also winning. He currently sports a 89.3 QB rating with 12 TD's with 4 INTs, and has his Detroit Lions in contention both for the NFC North title or at least a wildcard spot.
If Stafford were having a difficult campaign, or perhaps the Lions were in last place, then perhaps this meme would be viewed as being "mean." But with both Stafford and the Lions doing well, it's okay to compare Stafford to actor Jonah Hill. The irony here being that Hill is a bit of a changeling, having lost and gained weight at a radical rate for various film roles and health concerns, per In Touch Weekly, while Stafford has pretty much been puffy throughout his pro career, despite claims of losing weight.
2 JOE FLACCO'S "ELITE" SKILL
There was a time when Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco was one of the most underrated passers in the game, as his earthy, blue-collar style often had "Joe Cool" being overlooked for the more glamorous Brees and Manning shining stars of the NFL universe. But now we've reached the point where Flacco is not only overrated.
While having a mediocre season, he's being paid an average yearly salary of $22.1 million. At this pace, Joe might be paid a million per interception, as he's on pace to throw well over 20 picks in 2017, and that won't do anything to salvage the Ravens' season, suddenly given life by the apparent vulnerabilities of the Pittsburgh Steelers' Big Ben (go back to #17 on this list if you missed).
1 BRADY & THE JETS
Last but not least on this descending list is this clever meme depicting Tom Brady as the "owner" of the New York Jets. The meme was made all the more topical by Brady's latest triumph over NYJ, a 24-17 controversy-marred cliffhanger on October 15. That victory catapulted Brady into sole possession of first place of the most regular season wins by an NFL QB with 187. Brady had been in a three-way tie with Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. Brady's success can be attributed to his mostly vegetarian diet that maintains health stamina and vigor. NFL teams generally feed their players well, but Brady takes it above and beyond to his personal life, 24/7.
With a long life likely to look forward to, we could see Tom Brady getting into NFL ownership one day for real--although we'd have to think it'd be the Patriots. If Brady bought the Jets, they might have to move the team due to a fan revolt.