See that World Series Game 2 on Wednesday night? Home runs, lead changes, drama, heartbreak … it was everything you want out of sports. And there are still at least three games to go!
Now, imagine if the magnificent, devastating Falcons-Patriots Super Bowl was just Game 1 of a seven-game Super Bowl. Pretty sweet idea, huh? (The entire city of Atlanta wrenches necks into whiplash nodding yes.)
Obviously that’s not going to happen; by Super Bowl Game 3, every player this side of Tom Brady would be nothing but gray cheese, bones pulverized, muscles shredded, concussions everywhere. The only way around that would be to stretch the Super Bowl out over seven weeks, and while fans would be cool with more football, whichever teams made it to the Super Bowl would be useless for the next three seasons.
Still, it’s kind of interesting that football is the only major pro sport* with a winner-take-all championship game. The NBA, the NHL, baseball are all best-of-seven. Heck, even golf takes four days to crown its major champions. For a sport that does its level best to devour the entire calendar year, football’s biggest moment is over in a relative eyeblink.
(*-Does tennis count as a major sport? Well, tennis still has a one-and-done game. And so does NASCAR, for now, but NASCAR changes its championship format more often than the Browns change quarterbacks.)
Every World Series is like a Netflix show—extensive, often overlong and a touch bloated in the middle, with storylines that seem so important early on completely forgotten by the conclusion. On the other hand, every Super Bowl is like a Marvel movie, epic and overwhelming, a kickass spectacle that consumes you in the weeks leading up to it, but one you’ve usually forgotten in 48 hours.
But then again, nobody gathers all the friends and neighbors to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Nobody wants to call in sick the day after a midweek World Series game (though Los Angeles and Houston are probably trying right now). The Super Bowl doesn’t last as long as the World Series, true. But we can appreciate a tale that’s over and done in a few hours. And at least with the Super Bowl you don’t need to stay up until sunrise to see who wins.
Anyway, let’s get to some teams that are going to have a tough time reaching the Super Bowl, no matter how many games they play. It’s time for the Sorry Six!
A reminder: the Sorry Six aren’t necessarily the worst teams in the league, though being terrible is a good way to make the list. No, this is a list of teams that consistently underachieve, teams that are so ugly that to stare at them very long means risking your sanity. Accordingly, for the time being, we’re taking the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants off the board. Fourteen games and exactly one win between them? That’s a trajectory that’ll have both teams burrowing into the earth’s core by Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there are plenty of other worthy candidates.
Atlanta Falcons (3-3, Last game: Lost to New England 23-7)
How can the exact team that almost won the Super Bowl last year look this bad? The fog Sunday night was a blessing; the fewer people watching this horror show right now, the better.
Carolina Panthers (4-3, Last game: Lost to Chicago 17-3)
The Falcons’ division rival fumbled and bumbled its way to a cringeworthy loss against Chicago. With two interceptions, including a pick-six, Cam Newton played like he had the Bears’ defense on his fantasy team. What does the team plan to do after a trainwreck performance? Next question.
Indianapolis Colts (2-5, Last game: Lost to Jacksonville 27-0)
When you get blown out by Blake Bortles, it’s time to start reconsidering your priorities. If I’m Andrew Luck, I’m going into witness protection until the offensive line gets tougher than Christmas present wrapping.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4, Last game: Lost to Los Angeles Rams 33-0)
When your backup quarterback takes the field dressed as Supergirl and it’s only the second-ugliest thing to happen at the quarterback position that day, you’ve got yourself some real problems.
Baltimore Ravens (3-4, Last game: Lost to Minnesota 24-16)
It doesn’t get much more garbage-time than the Ravens’ touchdown Sunday as time expired to only lose by eight, and it doesn’t get much more garbage than Baltimore’s offense right now.
Denver Broncos (3-3, Last game: Lost to Los Angeles Chargers 21-0)
The Broncos’ first shutout loss since the first George Bush was president is a sign: the deal Denver made with the devil to win that Super Bowl with the graham cracker bones of Peyton Manning is coming due.
Total score this week: Sorry Six 26, opponents 145. Yeesh.
Sorry Six Tailgate of the Week
Kicking off a new feature here at S6: the tailgate of the week! Send us your videos, tweets, bail requests, etc. and we’ll run a new one each week. Here’s our current offering, from—where else—Buffalo:
Tuesday and it still feels good. Let's do it all again Sunday? What do you think?? pic.twitter.com/ofmmS8TbEp
— Red Pinto Tailgate (@PintoTailgate) October 24, 2017
I feel like we could run this entire series with nothing but Buffalo tailgate pics. Anyway, there are half a dozen ketchup shooters up there and almost none of them get anywhere close to the burger! No wonder they’re cool with Tyrod Taylor as their quarterback.
Sorry That Happened To You
The NFL is a league of brilliant athletes capable of performing astonishing feats. The problem for some is, there are also brilliant athletes on the other side of the ball, as Seattle’s Tyler Lockett learned when he tried to hurdle the Giants’ Landon Collins:
Ouch. Not everyone can be Saquon Barkley, dude. Most of us need to stay a lot closer to the ground
Sorry Six Fan of the Week
Check out Mr. Patriot here:
OK, look. It’s great that you’re taking pride in your team’s astonishing run of success. (We’ll leave the, uh, creative use of the American flag aside for now, but we hope this cat isn’t saying that kneeling players are disrespecting Old Glory.) No, where we have the issue here is that this is body paint. Body paint! This stuff will come off in the shower … or with a garden hose, if the wife isn’t letting him back in the house. Come on, dude, you want to show you’re a real fan, get a 5X tattoo! Body paint. Come on.
Sorry Matchup of Week 8
We’re kicking the week off with a dog of a game, the Cutler-less Dolphins against the Flacco-full Ravens on Thursday night. That’ll be nastier than roadkill pie, and yet it’ll still outdraw the World Series, bet on it. For Sunday, look to an underrated and unexpected sorry matchup: Indianapolis at Cincinnati. Remember when the Bengals and Colts were lining up to be the team that would knock off the Patriots back in 2015? Man, that seems like forever ago. And this game will be a photo-negative of that era.
That’ll do it for this week. Congrats to all our winners, and even more congrats to the teams that didn’t make the list. Remember, friends: never be sorry.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Got a question/comment/tip/tailgate video? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.