I'm not mad. Before we go another sentence, let's be clear about the fact I'm not mad.
As a matter of fact, I kind of like it. This shows the NFL might be a massive, bloodless, unemotional corporate entity, but it's still run by human beings. Spiteful, vindictive, resentful little humans who aren't above a little pettiness. This is the kind of thing that Vince McMahon does so well to his villains, and it's great every time it's tried.
All I ask is that we not kid ourselves this isn't a total troll job by the league's social media clone troopers. Because there's no way this is anything else. You need a photo to illustrate a team's odds of making the playoffs. Let's see, you can choose from among:
A) The winningest player of all time
B) The coach who just picked up his 300th win
C) The reigning Super Bowl MVP
D) The best cornerback in football
E) Any member of the league's best defense
But sure, let's go with:
F) The rookie with four career games and five career catches on the play where he got jobbed out of a touchdown by the worst officiating call of the season that, if they got the call right, would've made his team's chances of making the playoffs at an even 100%.
Damned if I don't admire it the sheer trolling audacity of it. It's what, in the spirit of the Hanukah season, I'll call chutzpah. It takes a lot of conviction for a social media department that's supposed to represent the 32 teams that pay their bills equally to just admit one of their teams is the Bad Guy and deserves to be treated like one. I mean, the odds that they'd pull out the Nickell Robey-Coleman non-call to represent the Saints is negative a billion. And the league would disband voluntarily and sell all their assets off to the XFL before they'd show a photo of the Fail Mary in a post about the Packers.
So well done by you, NFL social media. I respect anyone for confirming that it's not just our imagination. You really do hate your most important team.