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I really shouldn’t write this column.  I know that somehow, someway, this is going to come back and haunt me.  I went back and forth with this decision more times than Billy Donovan and his second guessing on being Mickey Mouse’s neighbor. 
But in the end, it had to be done. 
Certain teams must be called out and ultimately buried, even in the month of June.  They are the organizations that have no chance to make it to the Super Bowl.  I should mention upfront that after last year, I’m not standing on solid ground.  That’s because I completely discounted two teams before the season even started: the Raiders and the Jets.  Obviously, you know which one came back to bite me but this is the state of today’s NFL.  Parity rules and that’s what gives everyone hope for the majority of the season. 
Today, I am here to snatch that hope away.  It’s time to sober up from your offseason of hope and give up the king of wishful thinking gig.
The following NFC teams have ZERO chance of competing for the Lombardi Trophy:
New York Giants – Their best player from last season is now working for NBC.  The only reason Tom Coughlin is still employed is because the front office couldn’t find a more competent replacement.  Word is Michael Strahan’s wife took his pass-rushing skills in the divorce settlement.  I can’t decide whether they have more bums at linebacker or the offensive line and Eli Manning should have his number ten replaced with a question mark.  Pop Quiz: Do you know what happens when you take a gasoline shower while smoking a cigar?  Answer: It’s about he same as having Shockey and Plaxico in the same locker room. 
Washington Redskins – The Skins are on here for multiple reasons.  1) My role as a “journalist” is to be objective and report without bias.  2) Jason Campbell is too young and who knows what production they get out of Antwaan Randle-El and Brandon Lloyd? 3) There is something just not right with this team; Joe Gibbs seems disconnected, Gregg Williams was tuned out last season and Clinton Portis is overrated.  I wonder if Bill Cowher will be crazy enough to accept a check from The Danny.  There, I’m done being a journalist.      
Green Bay Packers – Don’t be fooled by the hot finish down the stretch.  Ted Thompson went out of his way to ignore Brett Favre’s request for help in the offseason.  That leaves them with no running back, a horrific tight end and a first-round pick that left many scratching their heads.  The truth is, this team doesn’t want to actually compete right now.  It’s just a shame no one has the cajones to tell their quarterback.
Minnesota Vikings – You want to know why the Vikings are finished already?  Just listen to their public address announcer on opening day: “Ladies and gentleman, starting at quarterback and the man who will eventually lead to the demise of Brad Childress… TARVARIS JACKSON!!!” 
Wasn’t he in the Jackson 5?
Detroit Lions – Is Matt Millen still in charge?  Yeah, we’re done here.
Atlanta Falcons – I bought the DirecTV NFL package just for Mike Vick.  I loved him in college and I love watching him in the pros.  Unfortunately, a number of things aren’t working in his favor.  When you combine Vick’s accuracy issues, Vick’s health issues, the dog-fighting controversy, the possibility of a Vick indictment, Bobby Petrino’s first year, the absence of Alex Gibbs and the same questions at wide receiver, Atlanta has as much of a chance as the NHL (okay, maybe a little better than the NHL).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Normally a quarterback controversy takes place between two players.  That’s childs play for Jon Gruden.  Is there really any way Jeff Garcia stays quiet if Chris Simms plays well?  Will Simms be healthy enough to play well?  Speaking of health, is Cadillac an every-down back?  Is Simeon Rice finished?  Can you name someone on the offensive line?  How many freckles are on Chucky’s face?  As you can see, way too many questions to answer.
San Francisco 49ers – Settle down Niner fans.  I think you’re team is on the rise just like everybody else but remember, these are squads that won’t be seriously challenging for the title and playing in the NFC isn’t enough to book a flight to Arizona.  They will miss Norv Turner on the offensive side of the ball and with the exception of Vernon Davis, I’m not thrilled with the targets for Alex Smith.  Mike Nolan is assembling a nice young defense but they’re not ready for primetime. 
Arizona Cardinals – Even with Russ Grimm coming over with Ken Whisenhunt, there is no reason to believe the offensive line will drastically improve.  I mean for God’s sake, they lost Leonard Davis!!!  I also don’t think it’s a stretch to envision Matt Leinart’s concentration level dipping with Paris Hilton behind bars.  
I have been informed that Leinart is no longer dating Paris so we’ll have to wait and see if the other 495 guys suffer a dip in concentration.
You may be asking why the St. Louis Rams didn’t make the cut.  I had to have one sleeper and playing in the JV Conference allowed them to qualify.
We’ll turn out the lights on the AFC next week.

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Shan Shariff

About Shan Shariff

Shan Shariff is a Sports Talk host and Program Director for Delmarva's ESPN Radio 1240 in Cambridge, MD.  He is recognized for his interviewing skills and ability to attack a subject from a number of different angles.  He has interviewed the likes of Jim Brown, John Wooden, Red Aurebach, Oscar Robertson, Brooks Robinson and Earl Weaver.  Shan is a native of Maryland and attended college at American University in Washington, DC.  While there, he interned for the George Michael Sports Machine and traveled back and forth to Salisbury, MD for television experience at WMDT Channel 47.  After graduating, Shan did play-by-play and color for the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association. Shan gets made fun of constantly for winning a state tennis championship in mixed doubles although he openly admits to not being good enough to win one by himself.  If you want to harass Shan regarding his love for the Redskins and Lakers, tune in Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm on Delmarva's ESPN Radio AM 1240. More from Shan Shariff


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