Feschuk: How to win fans and mislead people

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

In many NFL cities, now is not a time of hope and excitement. Unless you believe the teams’ slogans…

With free agency under way and the draft ahead, it’s time for NFL teams to try to land more season-ticket holders. Let’s take a look at some of the slogans being used to lure fans to stadiums in 2014.


Slogan: “The Future is Now.”

Subtext: This could refer to the team’s belief that its 14-year playoff drought is poised to end. More likely, it indicates that the Bills have been so bad for so long that their sheer incompetence has fractured the space-time continuum. As a result, the future is now, the present is yesterday and the past will be tomorrow, which is great because punter Brian Moorman still has a pair of parachute pants in his dresser.

More effective slogan: “We Still Sell Beer.”



Slogan: “Your Experience Will Never Be the Same.”

Subtext: The team that gets sent to London every year (presumably as payback for Coldplay) is focusing on structural improvements to EverBank Field, including the installation of “the two largest video boards in the world.” If fan satisfaction is truly the goal, one assumes the screens will at all times be tuned to reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

More effective slogan: “If You Sit Far Enough Away, We Kind of Look Like the Panthers.”



Slogan: “Our Town. Our Team. Our Time.”

Subtext: Did you see how they tried to trick you there, Browns fans? The way they lowered your defences by beginning the slogan with two indisputable factual statements? “Our Town.” Yes, without question, Cleveland is “our town.” “Our Team.” Yes, without question, the Browns are “our team.” “Our Time.” Yes, without ques—WHOA HANG ON JUST A MINUTE! Cleveland lost seven games in a row to conclude the 2013 season. The GM fired the coach. Then the owner fired the GM. And so far, the off-season has been highlighted by rumours that the team will bring in Mark Sanchez, and not just for hairstyling tips.

Bonus factoid: The best headline of the off-season was posted on the Browns’ site: “Newcomers genuinely happy to join the Cleveland Browns.” It’s the word “genuinely” that makes it. Honestly, guys, they really seem happy and not at all suicidal to be here!!

More effective slogan: “Have You Been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You Have? Then This Is the Only Other Thing to Do Here.”



Slogan: “It’s a Bucs Life.”

Subtext: I don’t get it. What does that even mean? Is this an expression they use in conversation in the Tampa area?

Old man: “Hey, I went to see Jimmy Buffett last night, and tonight I’m going to go see Jimmy Buffett.”

Older man: “It’s a Bucs life!”

Old man: “In the meantime, my bursitis is acting up and I can’t find my keys.”

Older man: “It’s a Bucs life!”

More effective slogan: “Jimmy Buffett Concert Tonight.”



Slogan: I couldn’t find a slogan on the team’s site. Possibly this is because Dolphins staffers are focused on what truly matters in the modern NFL: coming up with adorable wordplay related to your team name. Everything’s a pun with these guys: Finatics, DolFans, Finsiders, Fin Club, Finstagram. It’s got to be more than a coincidence that one of the team’s free-agent signings this winter was Cortland Finnegan. Or as he’ll surely be known on the team’s website: Finblowhole DolFinnegan.

Subtext: These people need serious help.

Bonus factoid: The Dolphins’ season-ticket pitch touts the team’s “never-ending quest for excellence.” You heard right, DolFans: Your team’s quest for excellence will never, ever be achieved. Welcome aboard!

Suggested slogan: “This Is Our Time—to Finish Behind the Patriots by Slightly Less.”

This story originally appeared in Sportsnet magazine. Subscribe here.

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