Monday, January 7, 2008

Wire to Wire NFL Playoff Action

The NFL is the greatest sporting league on Earth. The Wire is the greatest show on television. This past weekend marked the first round of the NFL playoffs as well as the first episode of season 5 of The Wire. I thought it would be fun to compare the important players in this year's NFL playoffs to the Wire characters they most closely resemble. Here it goes.

Pittsburgh Steelers/The Barksdales-
The Barksdales represent the old muscle in Baltimore. For years they ran West Baltimore's drug trade with little opposition for fear of the strength and power of the Barksdale crew. With time however, the Barksdales became too weak to protect their corners and too antiquated to compete in the new drug trade. Like the Barksdales, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a long tradition of strength and power. They won five super bowls with a tough as nails defense and a smash mouth run game. This year the Steelers had the personnel of a finesse football team but refused to change from their traditional style.

Jacksonville Jaguars/Marlo Stanfield's Crew-
Marlo Stanfield's crew is a modern and meaner version of the Barksdales. Marlo runs West Baltimore with a take no prisoners attitude and never backs down from anyone. Any competition standing in Marlo's way is dealt with in devastating fashion. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a modern version of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They run the ball and employ a tough and physical defense. The Jaguars stole the smash mouth crown from the Steelers this year with two tough victories in Pittsbugh's back yard.

Brett Favre/Bubbles-
Bubbles is a life long junkie and all around lovable guy. What Bubbles lacks in traditional intellect he makes up with in street smarts and survival skills. Bubbles is loved by everyone in Baltimore and is a favorite among fans of The Wire. Like Bubbles, Favre often gets by on sheer ingenuity and guile. NFL fans love Favre and he loves them back. Just as Bubbles has attempted to clean up his act and succeed on the straight and narrow, Favre has thrived this season by playing within the system and limiting his mistakes. Both however are undoubtedly doomed to revert to their old ways which will lead to their inevitable demises. *Bonus points here for Favre having a Bubbles like addiction to pain killers.*

Todd Collins/Mayor Carcetti
Both Collins and Carcetti took over from their black predecessors with signs of hope and promise. Both failed miserably. The citizens of Baltimore and the fans of the Redskins alike found out the hard way that some things never change.

Michael Vick/Cheese
Cheese was mostly left out of the season 5 premiere and Michael Vick was a no show for the 2007 NFL season. Both love to fight dogs though.

Jeff Garcia/Detective Freamon
Freamon is a skilled and reliable detective who is largely took for granted by the Baltimore Police Department. He continually makes an important contribution to the Special Crimes Unit but is certainly not an interesting enough character to carry the show. Jeff Garcia is an underappreciated quarterback who always seems to get the job done. While Garcia has been fairly successful every time he gets a chance in the league, he clearly doesn't possess the requisite skill to carry a team to the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning/Omar
Omar robs drug dealers and slays those who stand in his way. Perversely though, he is probably the only archetypal hero on the show. He only preys on those who deserve it and he does it with the utmost precision and impeccable planning. And he is gay. Peyton Manning is the face of the NFL. He is a conventional quarterback and all around good guy. His commitment to gameplanning is second to none as is his passing ability. And he is gay...okay, he isn't gay but his brother is.

Tom Brady/Jimmy McNulty
They both bang a lot of girls.

Bill Belichick/Heroin
Both are the unstoppable forces in their respective worlds. Both make you lethargic and suck the life out of you. Both have futile wars waged against them by their opponents. Both illegally videotape their opposition. Both are surly dicks at press conferences. Both wear dirty sweatshirts. Both dump their wives for receptionists. Both are shot in the arm.

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