There’s a problem with success. It makes your boss make you repeat what worked over and over again until what made it successful has had every last drop of life squeezed out of it.
Case in point: The John Clayton Slayer commercial.
It was funny. If you haven’t seen it, it showed “The Professor” doing his ESPN segments from his bedroom in his parents house and rocking out (with a hidden mullet) to Slayer when his segment was over.
It was funny because John Clayton is a nerd and the thought of him headbanging to Slayer and whining to his mom was a hilarious juxtaposition.
And now it seems like a higher-up at ESPN thought this success should be capitalized on and told Clayton to write a music-themed midseason NFL report. The problem is, John Clayton clearly doesn’t really know anything about music. And from the looks of this “theme” he doesn’t like it very much, either. Not only did this theme not work, it forced a bunch of nonsensical analogies into what could have been an interesting breakdown of NFL teams at the midpoint of the season. And near the end, he clearly stops trying.
To help illustrate how bad this is, here’s all the music references in Clayton’s report.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons might not deafen your ears, but like Van Halen, they haven’t disappointed. (Haven’t disappointed? Can someone introduce John to Gary Cherone?)
2. Houston Texans
Wade Phillips might love country music, but his defense evokes Slayer. The Texans will rock an opposing offense until it bleeds. Defensive end J.J. Watt is the Texans’ “Angel of Death.” Running back Arian Foster is like “Raining Blood” as he wears down defenses. This team rocks. (Much better, John. This is, like, 5 music reference in one team write-up.)
3. Chicago Bears
Lovie Smith’s defense is the Jimmy Page of the NFL this year. Few picked the guitar better than Page did for Led Zeppelin. Likewise, this Bears team has been making music with its pick-sixes, having produced seven interception returns for touchdowns. (Uhh, OK?)
4. New York Giants
Judas Priest, will you stop settling for field goals? (I guess this is a musical reference.)
5. San Francisco 49ers
Jim Harbaugh has assembled a running attack that is Megadeth to defenses. (A pun!)
6. Baltimore Ravens
It’s not true that the Ravens have gotten as old as the Rolling Stones, but they do have the wisdom that comes with age.
7. New England Patriots
Like James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Tom Brady plays fast. (I bet if you looked in John Clayton’s Google search history you’ll see “What is Metallica”)
8. Green Bay Packers
If the Packers suffer many more injuries, this group might become a solo act…
9. Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning isn’t heavy metal, but his return has turned an 8-8 Tim Tebow-led team into the AFC West front-runner.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger has gone from Guns N’ Roses to The Beatles. (Or, if you’ve seen Axl recently, from Guns N’ Roses to Guns N’ Roses.)
11. Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are drawing sellout crowds for their play at cornerback.
12. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is living up to his billing as one of the best quarterback prospects to hit the league in decades. (This one was a stretch.)
13. Detroit Lions
(No musical analogy here. I think Clayton starts to run out of bands to reference.)
14. Miami Dolphins
Heading into the season, Ryan Tannehill might have felt he was a solo act like Sting…The Dolphins’ receiving corps might not have turned the offense into “The Police,” but this band is in the hunt for a wild-card spot.
15. San Diego Chargers
(Another no-analogy team.)
16. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are like the song “Macarena” by one-hit wonders Los del Rio. (Yes, a Macarena reference.)
17. Philadelphia Eagles
The Beatles broke up, and now the Eagles — the team, not the group — are set for a similar fate.
18. Dallas Cowboys
I still don’t understand why many Cowboys fans treat Tony Romo like Vanilla Ice. (It seems like John Clayton’s musical knowledge base ended around 1989.)
19. Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III is the one hit for the Redskins.
20. Minnesota Vikings
The 5-2 start drew good reviews, but the schedule gets tough and the wins are getting tougher to come by. (Really starting to wear thin.)
21. Arizona Cardinals
22. New Orleans Saints
(Another team with no musical reference.)
23. New York Jets
What happens when you put Tim Tebow — a one-hit wonder for the Broncos in the mode of the Baha Men singing “Who Let The Dogs Out?” — with the two-hit wonder of Mark Sanchez?
24. Buffalo Bills
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin powered the Bucs out of the elevator shaft and into the one-hit wonder category. (How many times can he use “one hit wonder?)
26. Tennessee Titans
Owner Bud Adams probably heard some Muzak in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to Chicago, when he got in the elevator to head home because of his disappointment.
27. St. Louis Rams
The Rams’ promising season came crashing down in a 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots, but this team has a chance to be a one-hit wonder next year. (Apparently one more time.)
28. Carolina Panthers
I thought Cam Newton would be a rock star this season.
29. Oakland Raiders
Fans want AC/DC. Instead, they’re getting the music you hear before you head into the doctor’s office. In a cornerback age, the Raiders are fielding guys in the secondary who — in dog years — are older than KC and the Sunshine Band.
30. Cleveland Browns
This version of the Browns is more fun to watch than last year’s team, which was an elevator version of “Feelings.” Browns are heading in the right direction, but this year they got carded and thrown out of the club … back into the elevator.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
Watching the Jags is like riding 80 stories in an elevator playing the instrumental version of “You Light Up My Life.”
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.
“One-Hit Wonder” References: 5
“Feelings” References: 2
“Elevator Music” references: 3
“Solo Act” References: 2
“Baja Men” References: 1
“Vanilla Ice” References: 1
Shitty Music-Themed Midseason Reports: 1