NEW ORLEANS -- Last season, the NFC West became the first division in NFL history to produce a champion with a losing record.
While the Seattle Seahawks' upset victory over New Orleans in the playoffs helped quell some of the outrage, the NFC West remains a convenient symbol for overall mediocrity -- and that's on the division's best days.
The latest example came Sunday night when NFL owners gathered for their annual spring meetings. Left-leaning political pundit James Carville, on hand with his more conservative wife, Mary Matalin, as part of the night's entertainment, told NFL owners the Republican presidential field for 2012 was as bad as -- you guessed it -- the NFC West.
In November, the Onion turned its satirical wrath on the NFC West with a piece suggesting the NFL had sent thousands of volunteers to help clean up the division.
"At press time," the Onion wrote, "actor Sean Penn had arrived in the devastated area and was helping the wide receivers of the San Francisco 49ers with their route running."