A few days ago, when it looked like Aaron Hernandez was about to be arrested for obstruction of justice, I not-so-subtly accused him of having committed considerably more than that. I made those allegations on the basis of no specific information in particular, which I suppose means I may have exposed myself to liability for libel had he never been so charged.*
But no matter: Hernandez was finally arrested this morning and charged with murder — bad news for Hernandez, but good news for my credibility. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those darn texts and deliberately-sabotaged home security system and actual video footage and proximity to the event and acquaintance with the victim and especially for those meddling kids.
Hernandez’s team, the New England Patriots, immediately tried to distance itself from the tight end, announcing his release just two hours after news broke of the arrest — and just one year after signing him to a 5-year, $37.5 million contract. The NFL as a league tried to distance itself, as well, releasing a statement calling the arrest “deeply troubling”:
The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling. The Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez, who will have his day in court. At the same time, we should not forget the young man who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Odin Lloyd’s family and friends.
But those efforts come off as somewhat unconvincing. I mean, to paraphrase Allen Iverson (admittedly hailing from another league and another sport), we talkin’ about the NFL. This is the league that’s been home to Ray Lewis and OJ Simpson and Leonard Little and Rae Carruth — and that’s not even touching Plaxico Burress or Aaron Hernandez** or Marvin Harrison or Michael Vick. So with one man dead and another in prison, it was only a matter of time before people started asking the truly important question:
Every NFL team carries players who have gotten in trouble with the law. Some are more risk-averse, and some do it more than others, but every team has played its fair share of criminals and general miscreants. Hell, the Seahawks just drafted a player literally one night after he had a run-in with the police. In other words, the question’s not as absurd as it might seem on its face — and so when it came time to suggest where Aaron Hernandez should take his talents next, the (t)wits on Twitter were ready with their answer: a resounding “Pretty much anywhere he wants.”
In alphabetical order (by city), all 32 teams of the National Football League:
I tried to pick the most unique offering for every team. As you can see, original thought is not allocated proportionally on a geographic basis — and of course, not every city was equally prolific. C’est la vie.
Some noteworthy tidbits (since I did the research, why not?):
- The most common suggestion, by far, turned up for the Jets, followed by (in no particular order), the Ravens, the Raiders, and the Bengals. I suspect Patriots fans… but mostly Jets fans.
- The fewest seemed to be the Colts — though one Denver fan suggested his team should sign Hernandez because Peyton Manning misses throwing to Marvin Harrison (Manning’s former teammate on the Colts). Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any jokes drawing a connection to the Colt (disambiguation: gun).
- Most of the Broncos hits were actually OJ Simpson jokes involving Tim Tebow being a white bronco.
- A lot of uncertainty out there over whether it’s worth taking a flier (flyer? phlyer?) on Hernandez in Fantasy Football. (It’s not. But I can’t wait to see what The League manages to do with this.)
- Thank god Seattle has the right Hernandez. [I didn’t see this anywhere on Twitter, it’s just true.]
*I don’t actually know how libel works.
**The Aaron Hernandez who allegedly shot someone in the face at a Florida night club but managed to avoid charges — in that case.