I was watching the end of a routine game between the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings today. Football (the American kind) has a unique notion of “running out the clock”: i.e., wasting time to end the game. This prompted that seer of baseball, Earl Weaver, to reputedly say, “You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”
Anyway, I was watching this game and thinking how generic it was: take away the colors and names, and it could be any two teams playing anywhere. What a waste of local color and character. So it occurred to me: why not allow teams to acquire attributes based on their names?
Imagine if the Vikings had real horns (not painted-on ones) on their helmets, and if the Chargers carried battery-packs that let enabled them to administer moderate shocks. (This would give a whole new meaning to the term “defensive battery”. Aside: the first few hits on Google for “football defensive battery” all refer to assault-and-battery charges on football players.) Various teams (Bills, Ravens, Bengals, Jaguars, Lions, Bears, Falcons, Cardinals, ...) could also outfit with horns, fangs, beaks, and the like. Give the Cowboys lassos, the Redskins tomahawks. The Patriots would be equipped with muskets and blunderbusses: lethal, you might think, but not when you consider the reload time. The Texans presumably arm with concealed weapons and lethal injections. Only the Dolphins, it would appear, are disadvantaged by this scheme.