California football fans must be taking a bit of solace knowing that theirs is not the least competent state in the nation when it comes to professional football.
I mean, as long as there is Ohio – and more specifically the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals – California is safe in 49th, and yes, that includes the 29 states that don’t have an NFL team.
The Bengals and Browns have been fighting over who couldn’t file paperwork correctly on the now-famous A.J. McCarron trade (the latest development: it was the Browns), and we remind you here that we’re speaking of A.J. McCarron, who will almost certainly be a career backup quarterback. Not that McCarron deserves any grief about this, even indirectly, because all he’s done is exist. It’s the teams who wanted him who are framing this sitcom.
Now when you look at California, you have one city that hasn’t yet shown that it cares about football at all (Los Angeles, twice), one that is about to be de-teamed (Oakland) and one that has won 18 percent of its games since 2015 (San Francisco). That’s not exactly confidence-building.
But the Bengals are also best known for making the playoffs and then vomiting all over themselves, and the Browns are worse than the 49ers (30 wins IN THIS DECADE!). And the 49ers at least pulled off the most impactful trade of the last decade by getting Jimmy Garoppolo. Impactful, of course, being a code word for “screwed up the most teams’ plans for 2018.”
So there’s that.
And ultimately this means that California, though it is one of the hot messes that has helped the NFL lose its traction as the indomitable American sports machine, is only 49th out of 50.
Well, 50th out of 51, if you consider that Washington represents the District of Columbia. Not that DC is terribly proud of what it has, either.
But at least California isn’t worst. Don’t get smug, though, kids. It’s still really really close.