BRISTOL, Conn. -- Until now, most of us here at ESPN were unaware of the dangerously high amount of hallucinogens being introduced into our cafeteria coffee.
This is the only way to explain the way our 63-member panel of NFL experts voted in our poll of the top 100 offensive and defensive players in the NFL, which is complete today. At the risk of offending some very large people, were they groggy?
I'm fine with Aaron Rodgers at No. 1.
And that's about where it ends.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson at No. 2 should be No. 6, with everybody moving up one. No. 9 A.J. Green shouldn't be in the top 10 at all. That's a year or two too soon. And Texans WR Andre Johnson shouldn't be No. 12. That's a year or two too late.
Seattle was more overrated than Daft Punk in this thing. CB Richard Sherman at 8? He's not even the best DB on that team (Earl Thomas at 17). Please: 49ers TE Vernon Davis? At 18? Really? In what world is Vernon Davis better than Falcons QB Matt Ryan (22)? Please tell me, oh Senile 63, because I want to go there and see if they rank Kate Moss over Kate Upton.
Second of all, who paid for this poll, Jerry Jones? Because there's more Cowboys in this thing than on Turner Classic Movies. The Boys had 10 players in the top 200 -- that's third behind San Francisco (15) and Seattle (13) -- but Dallas didn't even make the playoffs last season. Is it the cool uniforms? Plus: In nobody's imagination is Jason Witten the 21st-best player in the league, including, possibly, Witten's. Ahead of Wes Welker (29), who has just had an unprecedented five straight 100-catch seasons? Did they vote at a glue factory?
(Speaking of the Cowboys, the $108 million man, Tony Romo, was 62nd. Seems about right.)
The other thing I don't like about the poll is how lumpy it is, which is to say lumpier than Johnny Knoxville's skull. For instance, The Senile 63 took a look at the 49ers' two terrific DEs -- Aldon Smith and Justin Smith -- and decided they were the 10th- and 11th-best defensive players, respectively.
Ahh, who has time to tell the difference? Stick them together. I'm double-parked.
The same with clumping all four Young Guns -- QBs Andrew Luck (41) of the Colts, Colin Kaepernick (42) of the 49ers, Robert Griffin III of the Redskins (46) and Russell Wilson (47) of the Seahawks -- into some one-size-fits-all sock.
Crap! Forgot about all the great new QBs! Let's cram them all into the 40s and hope nobody notices.
They all had Schwab's drug store seasons. But Luck had the best one. He took a team that has only three players in the top 200 (third-worst overall) to an 11-5 record and the playoffs. Without any kind of running back. Or defense. As a rookie. In a locker room that had been cleaned out of everything but the chinstraps by the wacky owner. In the shadow of Peyton Manning.
You didn't ask, so I'll tell you. I would've had them: Luck (29), Griffin (32), Kaepernick (42) and Wilson (59).
More quarterback quackery:
Joe Flacco was rated 40th. Fortieth! The guy who just won the Super Bowl. The guy who has won at least one playoff game in five straight seasons. The guy who was just given a contract worth the Gross National Product of Chile. The QB with more wins (63, including playoffs) than any other QB since 2008.
It gets worse: Flacco is 40th and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is 24th. Who the &? What the &? Are you mad? You say, "Well, Roethlisberger has been hurt the past two years." I say: Hurt is part of this! Get un-hurt! It's in the game!
And then there was this: Perhaps out of fear of never getting any more interviews, The Senile 63 threw a wheelbarrow of QBs in at the last second, like a chef who panics and suddenly throws in two cups of oregano at the end. Detroit's Matthew Stafford was 94th. Panic. Chicago's Jay Cutler was 97th. Panic. Carolina's Cam Newton 100th. Panic. Was there a sale? And yet Matt Schaub, who has been better than all of them, was 108th. (They let us see the entire list.)
I'm sure you don't want to hear me complain more, so I will.
Washington RB Alfred Morris, the second leading rusher in the league last year, is only 75th? Like One Direction, the kid should be in the top 40, easy. You don't say about running backs, "Let's see how the youngster develops." Running backs come out of the womb with cleats on. He's a star. Get over it.
And Chargers TE Antonio Gates is 69th? Sixty-ninth what? In his tennis ladder? He's certainly not the 69th best offensive player in the NFL. I didn't even know he was still in the league. I thought he was working at the Lowe's in El Cajon.
Panthers LB Luke Kuechly clear down at 22? That's a crime and should be punishable by every member of The Senile 63 getting cable. The kid is a monster. He plays like he's triplets. He's a top-10 defensive player or the poll should be dissembled, boxed up and dropped into Lake Erie.
Still, I keep wanting to click this thing off my AirBook and I just can't. It's fascinating, like your first ant farm.
" The Raiders don't have a single player in the offensive top 100 (RB Darren McFadden was 112th) and only one on defense (DB Charles Woodson), which is why you can send their mail to their usual spider hole again this year.
" James Harrison, who was nearly the defensive MVP three years ago, barely made the list at No. 99. Hope you enjoy you're going-away present, James.
Which means it's going to be another long season for Rex Ryan. He's definitely going to need some of our coffee.