“Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.” Vince Lombardi
As I have previously mentioned this season is not playing out the way it was ‘supposed to’; as such it would be premature, to say the least, for teams to be designing their superbowl rings or gathering in their war rooms to formulate a plan of attack in free agency and the draft.
However, once the clock ran out on the final game of week 6 we can say for certain that, based purely on the number of games won, the Packers are the NFL’s best team and the Colts, Dolphins and Rams share the accolade of being its worst.
Bizarrely, and perhaps in response to the shock of the unknown, a “Suck for Luck” campaign has emerged which has prompted commentators and fans alike to seriously moot the prospect of NFL teams purposefully losing in order to lay claim to the number 1 draft pick; or in other words secure the services of Andrew Luck. When last checked “Suck for Luck” had 86,500,000 results on Google and @SuckForLuck had over 1600 followers on Twitter.
I refuse to believe that any professional athlete would set out, commit or in any way hope to lose, and similarly do not accept that any real fan would will their team to defeat. Let us not forget that in order to be included amongst the 53 men on an NFL team’s roster, you are likely to have the sort of desire, will and competitive temperament to mean you care about coming first in an egg and spoon race, let alone hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. It is also highly improbable that the worst team of 2011 magically transforms into the best team in 2012 merely by the addition of a rookie QB. A team is in the position to draft no 1 because a great many things have gone wrong, and that would not be remedied by virtue of the fact that Andrew Luck is under centre on opening day.
In spite of the above it would be foolhardy to ignore the fact that at the end of this season one team is going to be awarded the first pick in the draft, and the consensus number one pick is Andrew Luck. The interesting question is not so much who is going to get the first pick, but who would actually use it to get Luck?
At this stage in the season the most likely candidates for the number one pick are the Colts, Dolphins or Rams, and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Looking ahead to week 7 it will be surprising if any of these under-performing teams go on to mark a notch in the win column. The Colts play away to the Saints, whose high powered offence will look to make amends for the loss to the Bucs. The Dolphins host a rested Broncos team, who have had time to prepare and adjust with Tebow at the helm; Tebow in turn will be motivated to cement his place as the starting QB. The Rams play away to the Cowboys and I can think of no better way for Tony Romo to keep his mounting critics at bay (for at least one week) than to beat up on the poor, defenceless Rams.
Would any of these win-less wonders actually take Luck? The Dolphins, who have been in the market for a legitimate franchise QB since Marino, would almost certainly pull the trigger. The Colts cannot be ruled out of the equation entirely; securing the services of a viable replacement to the ageing, injured Manning would not be unwise. Failing that the Colts would most likely follow the Rams, who would trade the number 1 pick for gargantuan compensation - what a stroke of luck that would be.