We love sports. We love our guys. But sometimes, bad things happen to good people, forcing them into awful, awful situations, and sometimes leaving them with no rings. Here are five guys who feel victims to that trend, but if they get out, it may not be too late…
By all account, Tony Romo should be the feel-good story of the NFL. Undrafted out of FCS/Division I-AA Eastern Illinois, Romo has statistically become one of the best NFL quarterbacks in the new century, working his way from fringe practice squad guy to starter. Romo’s career passer rating (97.1) ranks 3rd in NFL history, and his other numbers stack up just short of some of the modern leaders. But because Romo plays for the Dallas Cowboys, a team that has made its share of moral and entertaining mistake and retains one of the biggest followings in the history of sport, Romo is ridiculed. Others, like Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers, seem to escape the constant belittling Romo is subjected to a nearly daily basis, to the point he may lose his job to a young up and comer in Dak Prescott. Say what you will about Romo’s shortcomings in the 4th quarter (though statistics says you really can’t go wrong with him under center), fans of teams like the Browns and Jets would give their arms and legs for the kind of consistency and continuity Dallas has had at QB over the past decade. With Prescott seemingly forcing Romo closer to the Dallas brink, Romo could find redemption with a new franchise soon enough…provided, of course, he stays healthy.
The Brow should really be browsing for a new team. Picture the pre-superteam era Cleveland Cavaliers teams led by LeBron James, except James is hurt all the time, the city of Cleveland is super is somewhat indifferent to basketball and he has to play in a conference with a bunch of superteams, not the then-weak Eastern Conference…that’s the situation Davis finds himself in New Orleans, where he plays for a team named…the Pelicans. New Orleans stumbled rear backwards in the number one pick in Davis’s rookie year, somehow leapfrogging literally the worst team in NBA history, the Charlotte Bobcats (the one that won seven games that season) for the top pick. While Charlotte, who plundered the Hornets moniker back from New Orleans, is regarded as a young and exciting team, Davis is stuck in a city that already lost basketball once and has to carry the load. In the Pels’ first couple of games, Davis surpassed Michael Jordan…yes THAT Michael Jordan…for the most points scored in the first two games in a season…yet the Pelicans are 0-2. Someone please save this guy.
Sure, the Portland Trail Blazers have had moderate success as an NBA franchise, the summit coming when they captured the 1977 title. However, we will never let go of the fact that the Blazers are responsible for not one, but two of the biggest missed opportunities in NBA Draft history. The first came in 1985 when they went with Sam Bowie with the second overall pick. 22 years later, it felt like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and take Greg Oden with the top overall pick. The next two picks in those respective drafts? Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant.
The Blazers didn’t swing and miss on Lillard, the sixth overall pick in 2012 out of Weber State, but they have seen some of his notable help, like LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, venture off to new destinations. For his credit, Lillard has spoken out against superteams and has vowed to stay in Portland. But with the way the West has been going, with Golden State’s reign of terror dominating the landscape, not to mention Mommy and Daddy’s attempt in LA, we fear Lilard’s career could play out like Tracy McGrady’s.
While some of his antics can prove to be a little much, the currently injured Watt does seem like a generally nice guy, always mingling with fans and showing great support for military and community servants. However, he has the misfortune of playing in Houston, a team that has been trying its best to go as long as it can without a franchise quarterback…seriously, the best QB in the history of this franchise is Matt Schaub. Watt could very well play quarterback…heck, he’s done everything else for the Texans, offense and defense included. It also doesn’t help that Watt plays for the team that isn’t even the most popular in its own sport in its own state, with Texans constantly playing second fiddle to the Cowboys. So Houston, you have a problem…you’re hogging what could be one of the best defensive players the NFL has ever seen. Oh and while we’re at it, let DeAndre Hopkins go too.
This would’ve made a lot more sense a few years back, but Fitzgerald is another who needs to get the heck out of Arizona. Another genuinely nice guy, Fitz has had Kurt Warner and (currently) Carson Palmer throwing him the ball…but in the interim, there has been an unholy quarterback hydra of Matt Leinart, John Skelton, Max Hall, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer…OK, OK, I’ll stop!
Anyway, Fitzgerald, the anti-Terrell Owens, has never publicly went against the organization for the quarterback horror he has had to endure, and instead has made the most of it, helping keep Arizona on the NFL radar and scoring 1000+ yard season in all but three of his season thus far. Even when the Cardinals are good, the losses are painful…Fitzgerald ensured last year’s NFC Championship Game shellacking at the hands of the Panthers, and also was dealt an L in arguably the best Super Bowl of all time against the Steelers. It may be warm in Arizona…but as warm as a ring on your finger.
Who else should sent to a new team to get a ring? Tweet @GeoffMags5490 and keep the conversation going.