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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Some geography lessons for Ryan Tannehill

By DJ Gallo

Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill points to whichever freaking way the other freaking guy is supposed to run.
You decided to read this. This is about NFL football. It's on ESPN.com. So chances are you follow NFL football at least a little bit. This means you know much more about NFL football than Miami Dolphins franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill does. Congratulations!

Here was Tannehill on this week's episode of "Hard Knocks":

"I wasn't a huge pro fan growing up; I wasn't loyal to any one team. So I don't really know the divisions, and even really conferences. I know most of the conferences but some of those, I really have no clue. And they don't make sense. You have the AFC East, and we're freaking in the bottom of the map, and the directions don't make any sense where the teams actually are."

Tannehill then went on to guess that the New York Giants play in the NFC North and that the Kansas City Chiefs are in the NFC East. No. Really.

To help Tannehill -- a biology, not geography, major at Texas A&M -- here is a quick guide on the divisions and conferences of the NFL.

AFC East

Yes, the Dolphins are at the "freaking" "bottom of the map." This is true. But look at the map again. How many sides does it have? Four, right? A freaking bottom, a freaking top, a freaking left and a freaking right. Which two freaking sides is Miami closest to? The freaking bottom and … ? Yes! Also the freaking right. In the map world, the freaking right is called "East." So the Dolphins are in the AFC East. All of the other teams in the AFC East -- New England, Buffalo and the New York Jets -- can also be found near the freaking right/East section of the map.

Conferences

You said you "know most of the conferences." This is troublesome, as there are only two conferences: the AFC and the NFC. Of the two conferences, you could know zero, one or two of them. None of those numbers count as "most." Instead, you should say you know "none" of the conferences, "half" of the conferences or "all" of the conferences. My guess is that "none" is the most accurate answer for you.

Nonsensical directions

Of the 32 NFL teams, there are only two instances of a team being in a division that is not appropriate geographically: the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. But as there are no Midwest divisions, they both work fine. And neither case is nearly as nonsensical as a team from College Station, Texas, playing in the Southeastern Conference.

That reminds me: Please never talk about the conferences, divisions or geography of college football. They are legitimately confusing. If you think Roger Goodell is tough on those who deliver head shots, just imagine what he'd do to a player who causes heads to explode.

EDIT: Oh, right. The Dallas Cowboys are in the NFC East. Maybe this Tannehill fellow knows what he's talking about after all.