This week is the final weekend of football in the NFL this calendar year, and in looking back at 2016 as a whole, perhaps the thing that stood out the most from a cultural perspective was an intense focus on nostalgia.
Personally, the one phenomena that I hope comes back in 2017 more than anything else: team-made music videos. As the Redskins get set to play the Chicago Bears this weekend, of course it’s natural to think back to the most notable example of golden-era 80’s videos: the The Super Bowl Shuffle.
The video was filmed one day after their Monday Night loss to the Miami Dolphins, their only defeat of the season, and was a precursor to their Super Bowl XX victory. With the perfect balance of cheesy rhymes, off-beat choreography, and conspicuous green screening, The Super Bowl Shuffle has managed to yield parodies and pop culture references to this day.
While everyone knows about the Bears’ song and dance, a year later our very own Washington Redskins put out a little ditty of their own, “Thanks To The 12th Man,” that in my mind elevated the genre to the next level. Take a look (the funky fresh beats kick in around 4:40, but the whole thing including the intro is worth the watch.):
I’m at a loss as to what’s the best part of that video. Is it the white sneaker and jeans combo? Is it the call and response “no, you’re the best”-fest with the fans? Darryl Grant’s chain/ sunglasses/ top hat? The blooper reel? It’s all so good.
There’s been a lot of negativity around these parts of late, as opportunities have undoubtedly been squandered to secure back-to-back playoff appearances for the Redskins for first time since 1992, but if we can take one thing from this video it’s the refrain:
“When we’re down, there’s no need to fear, because the FANS pick us up with the number one cheer!”
So why not take that same winning attitude into week 16 and hope that the 2016-17 Redskins can finish the same way the 1986-87 version did: with some slick dance moves and a Super Bowl ring.
Here are the staff picks for this week:
Bryan H. Stabbe (3-1): 27-22, Redskins
On short rest and on the road (again), Washington has the deck stacked against them, even against a vastly inferior team. Following their loss on Monday Night Football, the Redskins don’t have the luxury of being able to take their foot off the gas at all in this game or to look to week 17 against the Giants. Cousins and Reed finally get back on the same page and the duo wills Washington to a season-extending victory.
Tom Garrett (1-3): 31-17, Redskins
How bad are the Bears? Will the Redskins come out flat again? Is it fair that Washington has to play on the road five days after a Monday night game? Even if the Redskins win, will they have a good shot to make the playoffs now? I don't know the answer to any of these questions. But I do know that the Redskins are better than the Bears. Even on the road, this would be an awful, awful game to lose.
Alex Rowsey (0-3): 25-22, Redskins
Gabe (Cadillactica) (1-2): 27-13, Redskins
Unlike any game this season this one will start off slow and cause fans some anxiety before the Redskins have a more dominant second half and pull away.
Aaron Lesher (1-1): 24-17, Redskins
This is an absolute must-win for the Redskins if they want any shot at making the playoffs, so even on the short week with a beat-up team, I think the Redskins come out swinging and make the score 14-0 early. The Bears are a bad team at 3-11 but they've been improving throughout the season, especially their defense under Vic Fangio, so this will by no means be a cakewalk.
However I think Kirk Cousins and the Redskins' offense will rebound from their dreadful performance against the Panthers, and Matt Barkley does not scare me whatsoever. The Redskins let the Bears back into the game with a late score, but Washington leaves Chicago with a W.
HogHunter (2-2): 28-19, Redskins
The Bears are a very bad, very injured team this year, and the Redskins should put them away easily. But the Redskins don't like making it easy on themselves, or the fans. Washington has slim odds (25%) of making the playoffs, and they need this game to keep hope alive. They will take care of their business on Christmas Eve, and once again hope for the kindness of others.
Now it’s your turn to give us your predictions. Submit your prediction in the comment section below, and share who you think will win and why.
Also, if like me, you asked yourself, “what other teams did kitchy music videos in the ‘80s?” I’ve got you covered: Seahawks Locker Room Rock (1985), L.A. Rams: Ram IT (1986), Cincinnati Bengals "Who Dey Rap" (1989), Raiders “Silver and Black Attack” (1986), Dallas Cowboys Christmas songs- I Don't Want To Be Home For Christmas (1985) & The Twelve Days Of Christmas (1986), 49ers Rap (1989), Miami Dolphins "Can't Touch Us" (1989), and what can only be described Bernie Kosar’s fever dream “Cleveland Browns: Masters of the Gridiron” (Part 1 and Part 2.)