The Dungeonmaster’s Guide to the 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season – Part 2

A founding principle here at The Renaissance Fan is that we believe sports fandom is every bit as geeky as any other passion. Like the Sci-Fi/Fantasy lover, the sports fan loves a narrative. Here, for the convenience of any George R.R. Martin/ Frank Herbert/ Isaac Asimov fans making their first foray into NFL fandom is a guide to the good/evil “alignment” of every NFL team to help you decide which squad you will throw in with this season. The league is divided into two conferences, the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC (National Football Conference); an article we posted earlier covered the former, this covers the latter.

PART 2: THE NFC

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season

THE NFC EAST

The Dallas Cowboys

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
The Cowboys have long been the most reviled NFL team anywhere outside of Texas, known to be a haven for the monstrous (*cough* Greg Hardy *cough*). Their owner, Jerry Jones, is, even by the standards of professional sports team owners, a quasi-loveable egomaniac. They are hated, in part because of the unrealistic expectation that they should always be good, but they are not good enough currently to be fully hated.
Alignment: Neutral Evil

The New York Giants

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
The Giants have two very likeable receivers: The astoundingly talented Odell Beckham, Jr., and the also talented, salsa-dancing, Victor Cruz. The most compelling storyline is in Quarterback Eli Manning, who is destined to live in the shadow of his record-breaking older brother, Peyton. He can only hope to get out from this shadow by winning more Super Bowls, which seems unlikely, but it seemed unlikely he would win as many as he already has (2), so who knows.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

The Philadelphia Eagles

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
The Eagles are a formerly great team who have spent the last couple seasons in freefall, a situation that is commonly, and perhaps justifiably, upon coach Chip Kelly. Kelly took a decent team with some of the most talented players in the league and dismantled it to build a team in his own image. Kelly was recently fired, ridding the Eagles of him, but the residual stink will take a while to wash out. The Eagles do have good helmets but the fans of the Eagles, and all other Philadelphia sports teams, are renowned for their general rottenness. The fans’ reputation is so bad, in fact, that it seems that they don’t deserve to root for a good team.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

The Washington Redskins

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
You did not read that wrong, this team’s name is a racial epithet. Their owner, Dan Snyder, is a horrible little troll who refuses to change the name for no apparent reason beyond general assholery.
Alignment: Actual Evil

THE NFC SOUTH

The Atlanta Falcons

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Their quarterback is Matt Ryan, the more skilled bland white quarterbacks. The also have Julio Jones, who is a contender for best receiver in the league. They wear terrible uniforms but pretty good helmets. There is nothing particularly compelling nor objectionable about this team though they do have a fun touchdown dance.
Alignment: Neutral Good

The Carolina Panthers

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Their quarterback is Cam Newton, the most skilled, talented, and charismatic player in the league. He could be called the Magic Johnson (a basketball player who played with infectious joy and verve) of the NFL. Racist people really hate him. This is not to say that if you root against Cam Newton you are a racist, but you might be.
Alignment: Lawful Good

The New Orleans Saints

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
A recent scandal in which it was discovered that The Saints’ defensive players were paid bounties for injuring the players on other teams effectively neutralized any goodwill the team had garnered as the champions of the Katrina-devastated New Orleans. They quarterback is Drew Brees, player whose greatness is, perhaps, fading a bit. They wear very nice black-and-gold uniforms.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016 NFL (National Football League) Season

They have a pirate ship in the endzone (the place where points are scored) and when they score a touchdown the ship’s cannons fire; it’s a lot of fun. Their running back is a half-hobbit named Doug Martin who is often very good. His nickname is “Muscle Hampster” which is fantastic. The team is very often not good, and they wear dumb-looking uniforms.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

THE NFC NORTH

The Chicago Bears

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Chicago sports fans are the most obnoxious people in the world. Their quarterback, Jay Cutler, is compelling in that he appears to actively dislike playing football. What makes him less compelling is that he openly anti-vaccine. They wear nice, classic, uniforms, and have a great receiver in Alshon Jeffery.
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The Detroit Lions

2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
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The Lions do not have a history of success. Their bland white quarterback is Matt Stafford who has, at times over his career, seemed like more than a bland white quarterback largely due, probably, to the amazing wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who retired at a relatively young age (30) during the offseason, likely sensing that he had little success of winning a championship with The Lions. The Lions have a bit of a reputation for dirty play but its hard not to root for a team from a hard-luck town like Detroit.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

The Green Bay Packers

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
The Packers are known to be the most widely-loved team in the NFL; they have a winning history (four Super Bowls), old-fashioned, small town appeal, are relatively untainted by scandal, and are not owned by any one person but by fans who hold stock. They are Max’s favorite team. Frank believes that the Packers are an “Evil Empire” in sheep’s clothing, citing the winning history, and their quarterback, who does seem like a nice guy, dates a movie star like any celebrity quarterback (totally fine, that’s fine, but it’s the truth), and believes they remain scandal free by avoiding the media scrutiny that would come with a larger market.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

The Minnesota Vikings

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Frank’s favorite team! This is a very fantasy nerd-friendly team, given their mascot. They wear really great helmets on only okay uniforms. The Vikings are one of the two teams who have been to four Super Bowls without winning any. They are hardly ever a better-than-average team and have not-inconsiderable underdog appeal. This appeal is mostly neutralized by their insistence upon keeping their star player, running back Adrian Peterson, who is an unrepentant child-batterer.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

THE NFC WEST

The Arizona Cardinals

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Okay uniforms, classic logo. They are lead by an old, likeable quarterback, Carson Palmer; and an old, likeable receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. They have a very exciting young running back in David Johnson. There is little to not like about The Cardinals. Almost too little… They’re very likeable.
Alignment: Lawful Good

The Los Angeles Rams

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
They’ve just moved to LA from St. Louis and were featured on this season of HBO’s hard knocks. It is hard to not root for a player once you have seen him play with his kids. Also, they have really great helmets and the best young running back in the game, Todd Gurley.
Alignment: Neutral Good

The San Francisco 49ers

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has just transitioned from unlikeable bro-douche to slightly more likeable, very controversial, Civil-Rights advocate. This team is more rootable than they have been in years. Great uniforms.
Alignment: Chaotic Good

The Seattle Seahawks

 2016 NFL (National Football League) Season
The Seahawks have a reputation for employing no-bullshit truthsayers, most notably (Frank’s favorite player!) Richard Sherman, and the recently retired running back Marshawn Lynch. Their quarterback is Russell Wilson, the Luke Skywalker of the NFL. It must be said that they wear terrible, terrible, terrible uniforms.
Alignment: Neutral Good

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