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There are some things you flat out do not want to hear as an NFL fan. Certain phrases that no matter how you slice ’em just add up to all sorts of not good. These are the headlines and sentences that ring like a death knell for a true fan of any NFL franchise. Perhaps not in the solitary significance of the words alone, but often in the broader implications those words carry.

Last night I ran across one tremendous example of such a phrase. It appeared on and read as follows:

McCown Atop Dolphins’ Depth Chart

Five words. Five small collections of letters whose collective significance is simply staggering for any fan of the ‘Phins. Regardless of whether the act of submitting the season’s first depth chart was more a reflection of procedure than anything else, it is nonetheless the take-your-breath-away type of sentence that can remind a fan why any sort of real hope for their season must be summarily tempered.

Which got us to thinking…what other things have we heard, read or seen that should give fans of certain NFL franchises cause for pause, if not outright depression, before a single snap is executed? We did some research (lazy and abbreviated) and decided to share a few that would cause us mild trepidation were we to be fans of any of these teams. The following are actual headlines/comments/mutterings from actual media outlets, blogs or other (borderline) “reputable” sources. Have mercy on fans of these squads.

“Childress gives Jackson vote of confidence as Vikings’ starter”
T-Jax is a wet dream compared to McCown, but any team going in to camp with Brooks Bollinger still competing for the #1 job has got to have some concerns.

“Javon Walker talked of walking away”

An unwanted coach! An unproven quarterback! And, now, an unretired(?) receiver who is highly paid and, quite possibly, lowly motivated! Sounds like good times again in Oaktown!

“Neither Pennington or Clemens distinguish themselves at Jet camp”
Sometimes it’s just nice to assume things and not necessarily hear them for confirmation. Ya know?

“The Detroit Lions are well stocked at WR for the 2008 season”
Uhhh, this formula has not worked in the past.

“Former Tide quarterback handed the reigns to Chiefs offense”

I like Brodie Croyle. I really do. Plus, I’ve never minded looking at his wife. But if Brodie is your answer, you’ve got more than a few questions. But needn’t you fret Chiefs fans, you’ve got Herm. Oh, nelly.

“Atlanta Falcons to show off post-Vick makeover in training camp”
Regardless of your Vick sentiments, any makeover that features Chris Redman and #1 receiver Roddy White (never a sentence you want to see in print) cannot be too attractive.

“Jackson isn’t expected despite deadline looming”
Always good when you’re heading into the pre-season with your best player disgruntled and watching from the sidelines.

There are plenty of other headlines out there that have given many an NFL fan reason to question their allegiance — at least for the 08-09 season. Hit us up with yours in the comments. Or make one up, funny man (or woman).

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