AFC North Report

Sir Barksalot channels the four distinct AFC North personality types as he looks at the 2002 AFC North.

Every week this 2002 season, the AFC North Report will bring you the week in review through the eyes of the astutest of astute fan representatives: Stillerfan'at, Birdwhore, Bungleboy, and Brownsman.  With the NFL season a mere 13 weeks away, it is high time these voices in my head…errr…avid football fans chime in with their pre-pre-pre-preseason prognostications.  In order of 2001 finish, here they are:

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Stillerfan'at

 

Greetings, AFC North fans.  Because the Stillers will most definitely sit atop this division all year long, I look forward to being the first to speak to you each and every (Carducci!) week this upcoming season. 

 

Going into the 2002 season, not much has changed.  Our offensive line still kicks ass n'at.  Bettis still kicks ass n'at.  Our defense still kicks ass n'at.  The Clarks might as well start writing our Superbowl anthem right now…n'at. 

 

With THREE, yes count them 1 (Kordell), 2 (Hines), 3! (Randel El) QRs (QB/WRs) on our roster in 2002 we can turn tricks all the way to San Diego.  We might just have to if our Bus breaks down again…n'at.

 

2002 Final Standings:

 

Pittsburgh Stillers          16-0

Mistake on the Lake     2-14

Modell's Harem           2-14

Cincinnati Bungles         2-14

 

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Birdwhore

 

I'm not looking forward to this year quite as much as Stillerfan'at, but that's OK.  No, really!  What's going on in Baltimore right now is all very natural for an NFL franchise.  It's all cyclical, man.  [Editor's note to anyone actually buying this: The cumulative plastic in Birdwhore's back pocket amounts to an expired Sears card and a Capital One Visa with a $100 limit and a 90% interest rate]

 

Sure we've taken a few hits this offseason, but Gerard Warren has been here since this past January and I must say he's a very generous man!  RIMSHOT!  My god do I kill myself.  [Editor's note for the kids at home: Unfortunately, he didn't mean that]

 

So how do we hope to succeed in 2002?  Well, you know, filling out an entire 53-man roster is really very overrated.  Anything more than about 30 players or so is a bit excessive for our tastes.  Don't ask me how, but Chris Redman and Travis Taylor will no doubt transform into Joe Montana and Jerry Rice overnight.  Jamal Lewis' ankle won't be a problem because I said so.  Finally, the 3-4 defense will work magnificently because…well…it has to since we have no defensive linemen. 

 

Like that growth on Hasim Rahman's head, the undefeated 2002 Baltimore Ravens will, without a doubt, disgust you more than ever!

 

2002 Final Standings:

 

Baltimore Ravens          16-0

Pittsburgh Stoolers        2-14

Mistake on the Lake     2-14

Cincinnati Bungles         2-14   
                         
  

 

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Brownsman

 

The Browns went into this offseason with one of the worst offensive lines I've ever seen.  It was without a doubt the biggest problem area for this football team.  However, as much as we all begged and pleaded with Butch & Co. to pick up some first rate free agent offensive linemen, they didn't.  We settled for Ryan Tucker and Barry Stokes instead.  As much as we all begged and pleaded for them to draft an offensive lineman early on draft day, they waited until the 3rd round to take Melvin Fowler instead.  Now we have to settle for begging and praying that William Green has room to run and Tim Couch doesn't get killed.

 

On paper, which of course means everything in the NFL, the Brownies' defense is looking very very tough, especially against the run.  Getting Orpheus Lang from the Redskins, Earl Holmes from the depths of hell, and Robert Griffith from the AARP ought to make this defense one of the best in the league in 2002.

 

None of the above will really end up mattering much in the end, because the secret to the Browns success this year (don't you go and tell anyone; you wouldn't want to ruin the secret now, would you?) will be some super-duper spirited praying, neighbor!  Everyone knows that the Packers won in the 90s because Reggie White prayed a lot.  Everyone in Cleveland knows that Butch Davis is God.  Reggie White knows that Asian people can turn a watch into a television set.  What does all that tell you?  The Browns are going to the Superbowl!

 

2002 Final Standings:

 

Cleveland Browns        16-0

Pittsburgh Stoolers        3-13

Cincinnati Bungles         3-13

Modell's Harem           0-16

 


CINCINNATI
BENGALS

Bungleboy

 

I'd like to start this here off with some gen-u-ine down home Cincitucky honesty.  I did not have sexual relations with that cousin.  The Bengals did not add a decent QB or CB this offseason.  What I got was my other cousin.  What the Bengals got was Gus Frerotte and Jeff Burris. 

 

WHO DEY!

 

Sure Drew Bledsoe was available via trade and sure Trent Dilfer was available in free agency, but us Bengals knew better and that's why we chose Elvis Grbac.  With the Bengals' track record, I think it's safe to say that none of us are in any position to second-guess that decision.  Of course, Elvis preferred either a backup role in Cleveland or even retirement to playing for the Bengals so we settled for Frerotte. 

 

WHO DEY!

 

What ought to really clinch it for the Bengals this year, however, is the fact that we're due for Christ's sake.  I mean, what are the odds that the Bengals could have a losing season again? 

 

I know you odds-makers out there are saying to yourselves, "but Bungleboy, don't you realize that the odds aren't any different this year than any other?"  AHA!  But that's where you'd be wrong.  The most respected journalist since Woodward and Bernstein, PETE-FREAKIN-PRISCO himself says we'll contend this year!  If that isn't proof of something, then I don't know what is….

 

WHO DEY!

 

2002 Final Standings:

 

Cincinnati Bengals         16-0

Pittsburgh Stoolers        2-14

Mistake on the Lake     2-14

Modell's Harem           2-14

 

 


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