The destabilization continues. 

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Football is back!

imageThe NFL preseason begins this weekend, with the regular season kickoff a month later on September 10th.

Whether they be a rookie or veteran, there are certain players we love to watch and others we’re just curious to see how they’ll turn out.

What players from around the NFL are you most anxious to see perform this year? What players from your favorite team are you most excited to watch?

The top three players from around the NFL I’m interested in:

image3. Johnny Manziel
I am no fan of the man, and since I don’t follow college ball, I know very little about him. What I do know is that he is the Justin Bieber of football. All the hype that surrounded his entrance into the NFL ended up fizzling last year so I am curious to see if he can actually perform, or if the Browns made yet another bad draft choice.
image2. Frank Gore
It was sad to see him depart San Francisco but now he’s in Indianapolis and I wish him the best. I am curious to see how he’ll perform behind a new offensive line and how much gas he still has in his tank. I won’t be rooting for Indianapolis, but I will be rooting for Gore.
image1. Tim Tebow
I’m glad he’s finally getting a chance to play again (after being blacklisted because of his faith). As long as Blaine Gabbert has a job in the NFL, you will never convince me that Tebow isn’t good enough to play pro.

I am a lifelong 49er fan, and of course, I look forward to watching the likes of Tank Carradine, Lawrence Okoye, Colin Kaepernick, and others, but my top three most anticipated players to watch from the 49ers are:

image3. Jarryd Hayne
The Australian rugby player is taking a stab at the NFL for the first time. I am anxious to see how he’ll do playing American football.

image2. Reggie Bush
I welcome Bush to his first year as a 49er. He is a former Heisman trophy winner and ten-year veteran of the NFL. I am excited to see what dynamic plays he will contribute to an offense that struggled last year.

image1. Carlos Hyde
The second year running back will likely receive the bulk of the carries now that Frank Gore is in Indianapolis. I enjoyed watching him in his limited playing time last year and I look forward to big runs from him this year.

Since the devastation of last year’s offseason injuries are eclipsed only by the devastation of this year’s offseason retirements (and Aldon Smith’s most recent arrest), there’s no reasonable expectation of a winning season for the 49ers (especially in the NFC West), but I look forward to the season anyway, with perhaps some pleasant surprises.

Pain Rankings: The seven NFL teams who have caused their fans the most pain and suffering.

imageWhat better way is there to ring in the 2015 NFL preseason (beginning in two weeks) than by ripping open the wounds of fans whose teams have caused them the most pain and suffering for many years decades.

But please do not take pleasure in the misery of the fans of these teams . . . they have been through enough.

Without further ado, I introduce you to the NFL Pain Rankings, written by the witty Dan Hanzus. (Click on each team name for the full article.)

7). Kansas City Chiefs

image“Where were you the last time the Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game? That would be Jan. 16, 1994, when 37-year-old Joe Montana led K.C. to a comeback win over the Houston Oilers at the Astrodome. Me? I was probably taping Ace of Base singles off Z-100 while plotting out a battle plan for the upcoming Spring Fling dance.”

6). Cincinnati Bengals
image

“The Bengals are the NFL’s Kings of What Might Have Been. With some better decisions, improved timing, maybe just a pinch of luck, they could be seen as one of the NFL’s most successful organizations. Think about that. The Bengals. But each time the Bengals approached greatness, they made a wrong turn or were otherwise detoured away from a better place in history.”

5). Minnesota Vikings

image“The Minnesota Vikings are a franchise committed to family: They have pain to share for all generations. For decades, they’ve bonded the people of the Upper Midwest with their ability to lift you up, then throw you down like a Prince thunder jam from the banks of Lake Minnetonka. Remember when the Metrodome roof collapsed a few years back? That’s what being a Vikings fan is like. Everything looks safe … beautiful even. And then … whoooooooooooooooosh.”

4). Detroit Lions

image“Lions fans are still waiting. The Super Bowl will celebrate its 50th anniversary next February, and you can safely assume the NFL will go all out to honor America’s grand sporting spectacle. If history is any indication, the league’s Detroit franchise won’t be anywhere near San Francisco.”

3). Buffalo Bills

image“On Jan. 20, 1991, the Buffalo Bills dropped a 51-3 bomb on the Los Angeles Raiders to become AFC champions. The Bills would go on to successfully defend that conference title in the three seasons that followed. It remains a remarkable achievement — one that might never be duplicated. Which makes it all the more cruel that this feat is not remembered for its success, but rather for its failure. That’s what happens when you follow each of those wins with a painful Super Bowl loss20-19. 37-24. 52-17. 30-13. No God-fearing citizen of Western New York will ever play that set of numbers in the lotto.”

2). New York Jets

image“Same old Jets. Seasons come and seasons go. As do players, coaches, owners, stadiums and Fireman Ed. Everything changes. Everything, except the Jets. For the past 45 years, they’ve remained the one New York team you can trust above all others to break your heart. (That’s a pretty big achievement in a market that also houses the Mets and Knicks.”

1). Cleveland Browns

image“How could it be anybody else? For the past two weeks, we’ve counted down the NFL teams and fan bases that have suffered the most through the years. Deciding where to slot each of the damned in the ‘top seven’ was a difficult process (a process, it must be acknowledged, I took waaaaay too seriously). The truth of the matter is that a case can be made for each of the teams to land anywhere in the first six spots. Each team except . . . the Cleveland Browns.”

For the love of football and grammar.

Have you ever wondered which NFL team fanbase has the best or worst grasp of grammar? Me neither. But if you did . . . well, wonder no more!

I just happened to stumble across this fascinating article in the WSJ about the grammar skills of the fanbase of all 32 NFL teams.

“[Grammarly] reviewed 150 reader comments that were at least 50 words long from the news section of each NFL team website (12,728 total words, on average, per team).”

To find out where your team’s fanbase ranks, see the image below.

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