It's funny how far a catchy rhyme can go. It seems thousands of NFL fans have become enamored with a new phrase: "Suck for Luck."
I'll admit it rolls off the tongue nicely. But I'm not buying it.
I'm not going to write about the potential of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. The junior is again tearing up the college game with a Heisman-level season. Many of the NFL's top scouts believe he's a fortune-changing passer, destined to win a Super Bowl. Their assessment is good enough for me.
I'm talking about the fans who think the best way to support their team is to hope it's bad enough to get Luck.
The way the NFL has gone in the past few years, it seems impossible to have a special season with a mediocre quarterback at the helm. Sure, when I was growing up in Maryland, Trent Dilfer was all the Baltimore Ravens needed to win the Super Bowl. But progressively, rings are being won by Brady, Manning, Brees, Roethlisberger and Rodgers.
I understand how badly NFL franchises crave all-star quarterbacks, but "Suck for Luck" is really going out of control.
Football pundits are openly discussing the possibility that an NFL team could throw games for a chance at the likely No. 1 pick Luck next spring. Destroying the integrity of the league for a draft pick? How can that be good for the game?
So many NFL fans, particularly tortured franchises, spend their time concerned about the future more than the present. It's one reason the NFL Draft has evolved from a glorified teleconference to prime-time television. Think about it: One of the biggest sporting events in April is the NFL Draft, 90 percent of which is talking heads praising or panning teams taking players who've never played a down in the NFL.
Besides the uncertainty of draft picks, look at how the NFL has shaped up this season. Long-suffering fans of the Detroit Lions, the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers are seeing their teams at or near the top of their divisions.
While the Lions can really credit much of their success to the past few drafts, the Bills and 49ers are made up of many players they had last season. Would you ever have guessed Ryan Fitzpatrick could be helping Buffalo get into the playoff conversation? And former Ute quarterback Alex Smith is finally showing the promise that made him the No. 1 pick in 2005.
Are these guys necessarily long-term solutions? Maybe not. Are they going to win a Super Bowl? The odds are stacked against them.
But do you hear those fan bases in San Francisco or Buffalo complaining? Are they grumbling that the success will be short-lived, or that they'll collapse in the end?
You hear cheering. Because that's what fans are supposed to do: Cheer for their team to win.