If you are a sports fan who lives in North America, then you should consider yourself to be extremely lucky, because literally every single sport on the planet is played here, and it also happens to be home to the biggest professional sports leagues in the world. The MLB, NBA, and NHL, all feature the best players in their respective sports, and they each make billions of dollars in profit every single year, but none of them are close to matching the revenue that is generated by the National Football League. The NFL brought in roughly $14 billion this season, mainly thanks to television packages and ad revenue, which is to be expected seeing as more than 100 million people watch the championship game alone.
With the Super Bowl having been played, the 2017 season has officially come to an end, and like every other sports league, the NFL has had its ups and downs with issues that took place both on and off the field of play. Now that the season is over, it is time to look back at some of the things that made us laugh, whether it relates to an individual player or coach, or one or more teams, or the actual league itself, and what better way to do so than by using memes. A meme is essentially a humorous image with a piece of text attached to it, and most of them are indeed funny, and many of them are funny due to how savage they are, and this article will present 20 of those memes.
20 Now We Know Why The Pats Lost
Over the decades, there have been many bright football minds in the NFL, and although many people hate him, Bill Belichick is in fact one of the best coaches in the history of professional sports. Other than winning 5 Super Bowl as New England's head coach, he also won 2 as a defensive coordinator, which shows just smart he is, but all of his success has not come without controversy. In 2007, he and the entire Patriots organization were disciplined by the league for illegally videotaping the New York Jets during practice, an act that was done in order to study the Jets' defensive coach's signals. This controversy is known as Spygate, and although more than a decade has passed, fans across the entire NFL still remember it, and love to poke fun at Belichick whether he wins or loses a meaningful game.
19 Eli Got His Revenge
Eli Manning has been in the NFL since 2004, and so far, he has played every single game with the New York Giants, the team that he also helped lead to 2 Super Bowl titles, which makes him a very good quarterback...just not as good as his older brother. As good as he is, even Eli could not carry the Giants to a winning season this year, and it is because of their 3-13 record that the team fired their head coach, Ben McAdoo after only 2 seasons. McAdoo may have coached the team into last place in their division, but he also earned a lot of heat for benching Eli for no real reason, seeing as the team's season at that point was already over. In the end though, Eli still has a job so it appears that he has had the last laugh.
18 Tomlin Pulled A Carroll
In 2015, The Seattle Seahawks were literally inches away from repeating as Super Bowl champions, but instead of just running the ball like they should have, head coach Pete Carroll decided to have Russel Wilson throw the ball, a ball that was then intercepted. It has been 3 years since that moment, but because of the colossal nature of that bad call, it is a moment that will surely be remembered for decades. This past December, the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Patriots, and in it, they were poised to take the lead late in the game, but instead of going for it, head coach Mike Tomlin decided to go for a fake spike play, a play that half the Steelers on the field appeared to be confused about, which is why people could not help but compare it to Carroll's terrible play against those same Patriots.
17 The Lions & Their Thanksgiving Tradition
The Detroit Lions may have had a winning record this season, but they were not really that successful, and for the past few years, they have been a real hit-and-miss team that has disappointed more times than not. Since 1934, the Lions have played a home game on Thanksgiving day, in fact they are the franchise that actually started the football holiday tradition as a marketing ploy to attract more fans. For most of their history though, the Lions have been pretty bad, and although they had a pretty good win streak going prior to their lose to the Vikings this season, the franchise still has a losing record overall. The team is currently 36-38-2 on Thanksgiving, which is why the above meme fits so well.
16 The Real Reason Why Marshawn Shoved The Ref
There have been many great running backs throughout the NFL's history, and based on his decade-long resume, Marshawn Lynch can be added to that list, seeing as he made a name for himself with his powerful running style and his ability to break tackles and steamroll over defenders. Handing the ball to "Beast Mode" would have basically cliched the Super Bowl for Seattle in 2015, but as we said earlier, his head coach at the time had other ideas, which is why the above meme is so amusing. While playing against the Chiefs In week 7, Lynch was ejected from the game after running onto the field and shoving an official, an act that landed him a 1-game suspension. We do not know what the ref said to Lynch to warrant the shove, but reminding him of a missed opportunity at greatness would do it.
15 A Truly Awkward Moment
The NFL has 32 teams in total, and like any other professional sports league, there are only a handful of teams who are legitimate championship contenders, and at the same time, there are also a handful of teams who are absolutely atrocious. The Cleveland Browns are one of those atrocious teams, and unlike every other team in the league, they have remained terrible for 2 straight decades. As far as the draft goes, the Browns seem to gravitate towards players who turn out to be complete busts, which is the main reason why they have been so bad, and when they finished 1-15 in the 2016 season, fans thought that things could not get any worse, but they did, as this season they went 0-16. This does in fact mean that the only W that Browns fans saw this year was the one in the team's name.
14 Tom Brady's Super Bowl Career In A Nutshell
Despite having 5 Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady could have easily had 8, had he not lost to Eli Manning's Giants twice, and Nick Foles' Eagles, but he could have also ended up with no rings at all seeing as virtually all of his rings were won via special circumstances. He won his first ring thanks to the controversial Tuck Rule, which saw Brady fumble the ball, but the refs decided to call it an "incomplete pass" instead, a call that ultimately led to New England winning the game. His second ring came thanks to Adam Vinatieri kicking a game-winning field goal, while his 3rd came during a time when New England was suspected of spying on the opposition, with the 4th coming from Malcolm Butler's game-ending interception in the final 20 seconds, and his 5th coming from the Atlanta Falcons who completely collapsed in the second half.
13 If Only The League Itself Knew What A Catch Was
No matter the sport, fans will always get mad at referees, mainly when they penalize their team instead of the opposition, but the refs will really get roasted when they blow a call, or have no idea how to interpret a rule. In football a catch is made when a player has control of the ball in their hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground, and they also need to have both their feet touch the ground while inbounds, which sounds pretty simple, but now the NFL is forced to have to make changes to the rule. Several times this season, we saw controversial calls on the field regarding whether a catch was actually made or not, and we even got a taste of it at the Super Bowl, where the Eagles scored a touchdown that earlier in the year would have been negated due to an incomplete pass.
12 The NFL Has The Best Concussion Protocol In All Professional Sports
If anyone says that football is not a dangerous sport, then that person has obviously never watched a single game, because the game is full contact all the time, with people running into, and tackling each other at full force and speed. Despite every player wearing a helmet, the NFL has a major problem with concussions, which is to be expected, seeing as players frequently get hit in the head in some way, and the league has even had to endure lawsuits as a result of not properly dealing with concussions. Since the big lawsuit was settled, the NFL has made strides in its concussion protocol, but it is still a pretty flimsy protocol, as many players and teams will either lie about a concussion occurring, or a player will simply not report that they are suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
11 Romo Finally Did It!
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the NFL's most iconic and successful franchises, and in order to achieve that status, they needed to have some pretty good players over their history. Tony Romo played in the league for 14 seasons, all of which were spent in Dallas, and although he made A LOT of mistakes on the field, and managed to only win 2 playoff games during his playing days, he was still a good quarterback. Following 2 injury plagued seasons, Romo finally decided to retire last April, but he did not stay unemployed for long, as he was quickly hired to be an analyst for CBS Sports. As an analyst, Romo found himself covering this year's AFC Championship Game, and as it turns out, it is thanks to his new job that he finally got the chance to participate in an NFL championship game.
10 Poor Minnesota...
Throughout the regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles looked like they were real championship contenders, but when Carson Wentz suffered a season ending knee injury in week 14, everyone thought that their Super Bowl hopes were in jeopardy. As we now know, the Eagles were in fact that good, because not many teams can go on to win 3 straight playoff games without their MVP caliber starting quarterback, especially when 2 of those teams were New England and the Minnesota Vikings, who were both heavy favorites. The Vikings really wanted to win their first Super Bowl this year, especially since the game was set to be played in their home stadium, but instead they got demolished by the Eagles in the Conference Championship Game, which is why every Vikings fan must have had a pit in their stomach when they saw the Eagles' logo on their team's field during the Super Bowl.
9 At Least They Won Something
In the NFL, every team will eventually have to go through a rebuilding phase, because no team can remain competitive forever thanks to free agency, and players eventually having to retire. Other than buying a team, the only way to properly rebuild a franchise is through the draft, as it gives every team an influx of young new talent that can help to shape the team for years to come. With that being said though, no NFL team actually sets out to get a high draft pick, because it usually means that they had a terrible season, but when you have been as bad as the Cleveland Browns have been for so long, you begin to cheer for them to actually get the number 1 pick, because it means that they at least managed to accomplish 1 thing during the season.
8 That Moment When A Video Game Gets It Right
The Jacksonville Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC Championship game this season, which was a major accomplishment considering that the team has either been mediocre or just plain bad for a number of years. The Jags have built up a very good defense, which is the real reason why they got so close to appearing in the Super Bowl, as they still have a question mark at the quarterback position. It is true that Blake Bortles had a very good game against the Steelers in the divisional round, but that was just 1 game, and based on his career numbers, there is no way that he can be considered as 1 of the top quarterbacks in the league. Granted, Bortles is not the worst quarterback in the league, but seeing as he he basically did nothing in the 4th quarter of the championship game when it really mattered, we saw what he is really made of.
7 Even Santa Can't Make Miracles Happen
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, as evidenced by the fact that the team has won 5 Super Bowls over the course of nearly 60 years. With that being said though, all of those championship wins came before 1996, and since then, the Cowboys, their owner, and their fans, have had to deal with a VERY long drought in terms of playoff success. The Cowboys have put together some good teams over the past 20 years, but none of those teams, if they managed to actually make the playoffs, were able to have a decent run. Dallas has actually only won 2 playoff games since 1998, which is a terrible statistic for such a historic team, but for everyone who hates the Cowboys, it is incredibly funny.
6 Breaking News: Kaepernick Had A Great Game
For the passed 2 seasons, the NFL has had to deal with players not standing during the National Anthem, which did start off as a protest to bring light to an actual issue in the U.S.. The protest began with Colin Kaepernick, who was still with the San Francisco 49ers at the time, and for some reason, he decided to opt out of his contract with the team in 2016 in hopes of signing elsewhere. Although he helped to get the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, Kaepernick has proven time and time again that he does not have what it takes to be a top tier quarterback, but that does not mean that he cannot play in the NFL at all, because he can, especially as a decent backup, but because he started the protest, no team wants him in their organization; but just because no one in the NFL wants him, does not mean that he cannot find a job elsewhere.
5 Atlanta Just Can't Step Up
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air helped to launch Will Smith's career, and in it, he happened to have an absentee father who seemingly never wanted Will in his life, which is why this meme is so amusing. As we know, the Patriots won last year's Super Bowl by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, but what really stands out about the game, is not the fact that the Pats managed to win, but the fact that the Falcons choked so hard that they blundered a 25-point lead in the second half, and allowed the Patriots to score 31 unanswered points. This season, Atlanta tried to get back to the Super Bowl, and at one point, when they won their first playoff game it looked they could do it, but then they lost the very next week while barely putting up any offense.
4 The NFL's Version Of The Justice League
At the start of every season, it is every football team's goal to try and win the Super Bowl, and it is that mindset that gets fans excited from the very first kickoff. With that being said though, fans quickly realize whether their team is good, mediocre, or terrible, and if you happen to be a fan of a bad or terrible team, then it really sucks to be you, because your team's poor performance will translate into both you and them being ridiculed by everyone else. The Giants were atrocious this year, but then again, so were the Bears and the Colts, while the Packers proved that they are nothing without Aaron Rodgers, and as far as the Redskins, Bengals, Ravens and Cowboys are concerned, perhaps it is time that they consider rebuilding.
3 Eli Really Is Brady's Kryptonite
We have already talked about Tom Brady and Eli Manning, but with this meme, we will see that Brady's Super Bowl success is in fact dependent on whether or not we see Eli's face during the big game. In 2007 and 2011, Brady lost the championship game to Eli and the Giants, which is why many assert that Brady is simply incapable of defeating Manning when it really counts, but based on the outcome of this year's Super Bowl, it appears as though Brady actually suffers from some sort of Manning curse. Eli may have not played in the actual game, but he did appear during the broadcast in a Super Bowl commercial, and seeing as Brady went on to lose the game, it means that he has lost every Super Bowl in which he shares the screen in some way with Eli.
2 The Comparison Is Truly Remarkable
In 1997, Andy Reid won his 1st and only Super Bowl as a member of the Packers' coaching staff, and it is thanks to that win that he was able to get a job as the head coach of the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Reid was with the Eagles for 13 years, and although he and the team made it to the 2004 Super Bowl, most of his tenure with Philadelphia is marked with either early playoff exists, or no playoff appearances at all. Reid has been the Chiefs' head coach since 2013, and since his arrival, the team has performed very well during the regular season, having now won their division 2 years in a row. The problem though, is that Kansas City seems to only know how to win during the regular season, because they have won just 1 playoff game in the past 4 years.
1 2017: The Year Everyone Questioned The Ref's Eyesight
The NFL seems to always have some kind of issue that lingers for most of the season, and this year, other than the problems regarding the National Anthem, the biggest issue was indeed the officiating. Earlier we talked about how the refs seemed to not know what counted as a catch anymore, seeing as Jesse James' catch in week 15 was ruled incomplete, while Corey Clement's catch in the Super Bowl was perfectly legal. That was not the only questionable thing done by officials that week though, as 1 ref actually used a foreign object to help make a call. In that game, Gene Steratore pulled out an index card to help measure a 1st down, an act that is not technically against the rules, but following Steratore's move, the league had to clarify that officials should not use foreign objects in order to determine where a ball should be placed.