You read the headline and you thought, “Where can this go.” Heck, I did and I wrote this. We have reached the 70% mark of the regular season and that went fast. The USFL Network released our Power Rankings and it received some heat; And I am not talking about the heat that my Boston Celtics extinguished in the NBA Playoffs. We ranked the one-loss Generals over the undefeated Stallions. The Generals lost their one game to the Stallions even but it's about feeling. Every team has played each other at this point and the Generals feel like a team on a mission. So I rattled my brain on how to explain it to the masses and the first thing that popped in my head was Johnny Depp. Yes because I tune in every day to get a recap of the trial that is in jury deliberations. I watch the Social Media recaps as if it was some SportsCenter highlight and then form my own opinion. It's kind of like a Power Ranking. So without a further introduction, my USFL Power Rankings in the eyes of Johnny Depp’s career.
8: Maulers or Rum Diary.
Too bad, Johnny Depp didn’t star in Lost. The team just seems like it doesn’t want to be there. The coach seems to make every other franchise feel comfortable with their coach due to the mistakes. And the first thing that popped in my head for the Maulers was Rum Diary. Rum Diary is about a journalist that is down and out and challenged on a lot of personal levels. This describes the Maulers. And this is the movie that Depp and Amber Heard starred in together and just screams insanity. And that is what the Maulers do scream insanity.
7: Panthers or Platoon
Platoon is a great movie. In fact, Depp has had a great acting career so storyline has to play a part when matching the film with the USFL team. The team was the favorite going into the season if you followed the gambling lines. So there is obvious talent on the roster. Platoon is a movie about idealism falling when life changes. And this idealistic team (good roster, great RB room and the most successful coach) has struggled with ideals and reality.
6: Gamblers or Edward Scissorhands
Science fiction is a concept that I personally struggle with. I am a numbers or black/white type. Before connecting Houston with Edward Scissorhands, I think to myself imagine having scissors as hands. So you have a normal body but those scissors hinder you at every point. Going to the bathroom, drinking, and even wiping your face would be a challenge. Houston is a normal looking team. Good defensive line, creates turnovers, can run the ball, and a decent QB are all things that you like about this team. But maintaining a lead is a characteristic that teams needs to be successful and that is their scissorhands. They cant do anything right when they have the lead in the second half. They try to wipe their face and they get all cuts. They try to live a normal life but they just can’t.
5: Stars or Charlie and Chocolate Factory
Stars are just like the film classic or even the novel by Roald Dahl. They have their own operation led by a mysterious character, Bart Andrus. They do things differently and are somewhat successful. If their star QB stayed healthy, they may be higher on this list. Their record is inflated due to playing in the North but they have handled the bottom half of the South too. Just like this film, it's enjoyable when you are a kid and exciting but the reality is that one man creating all the decisions will lead to mistakes. They abandoned the run early in the season even as they were being effective with it. They missed a few picks on the offensive line so far and that is obvious. They need a more complex decision making team and when they do that they will run more effectively. Less Oompa-Loompas and more Charlies needed.
4: Bandits or Black Mass
Black Mass was the movie about Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. It is a fascinating story. His rise in the underworld of Boston to his ultimate defeat. This film was supposed to be special. It had Depp playing Bulger and the cast was star studded. It had everything. And it ended up very average. Kind of like the Bandits. They had the inventor head coach, the QB, NFL talent on defense and has turned to be average. This was one of my easiest matches.
3: Stallions or Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
First off, I truly respect any vote that has these three teams in their top 3. Just as I respect all of the movies that are matched to these teams. Roger Ebert wrote in his review, “The movie is great if you understand the mindset”. The mindset here is win every week. Battle through adversity and move on. It is not for everyone in a power ranking. They have executed proper delivery every week but it still is puzzling some weeks. They have a giant match against Breakers this week and if they find that mindset again, they will move back up in the power rankings.
2: Breakers or Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tim Burton movies are hit or miss for me. This motion picture was a giant hit. This is the bloodiest musical ever. And the Breakers try to be different than anyone else as well. They use the pace and space concepts on offense and their defense is just tackle and play tough. Essentially offense is the musical and defense is the story arch. The cast is there just like the film. This is a different genre for Depp’s career and the Breakers are the USFL different genre. This a match made in heaven or whatever.
1: Generals or Pirates of the Caribbean
The top team must be Depp’s most successful film or in this case films. Jack Sparrow is a different character and captain as the case with Mike Riley. His optimism is infectious for the team from the Trenches just as Jack Sparrow. I will tell you that I was not a big fan of the first film of the Pirates franchise but it grew on me. Go ahead and check where I had the Generals in the preseason rankings. Yup, 8th. I missed badly on the Pirates and the Generals. This is a scary team heading into Canton and as long as they don’t find their own Amber Heard, they should be making successful films for a long time.
So that is my ballot. Rip apart like you have Scissorhands or drink yourself into a stupor like you were on the set of Rum Diary.