A lot of was made about 2011 being the Year of the Quarterback. Passers put up gaudy stats. Defenders were detained and locked in underground cells with the doors cemented over for even looking crosswise at a QB. It was a thing. ESPN even made a nifty little graphic to let everyone know.

[If SOPA or PIPA were to pass, we could get shut down just for posting that. Yay poorly conceived, far-reaching legislation!]

Anyway, 2011 gave way to 2012. And as we’ve quickly learned, 2012 is the Year of the Tight End. To many, this has been confusing. How can a single NFL season overlap two distinct trends? Simple: some thought that the phrase “Year of the Quarterback” was actually a lazy media’s facile means of giving that much more press to an already obsessed-over position, but no. It was actually a phenomenon dictated by the lunar calendar. For you see, ancient footballers believed that an individual position assumes an overwhelming influence over the events of that year and these switch off in a neverending cycle. This practice has continued to this day. Learn me with the handy guide below.

Quarterback
Element: Hype
Partners well with: Receivers, Running backs, Tight ends, Media, Jesus
Characteristics: Fragile to the point of shattering upon touching, bottomless reservoir of credit and blame, either elite or clown fraud

Tight end
Element: GRONK
Partners well with: Quarterback, Fullback, Porn stars, Basketball, Jesus
Characteristics: Former hoops player if good, fond of dunking ball over crossbar upon scoring, never without two safeties hanging on him trying to make the tackle

Head coach
Element: Stress
Partners well with: Reporters, Other people’s wives, Drill sergeant, Satan
Characteristics: Possesses all-consuming misanthropy, has keen misunderstanding of clock management and when to challenge, can’t call plays as well as you

Kicker
Element: Laces
Partners well with: Nothing
Characteristics: Didn’t ask for this, the reason Tebow wins most of his games, aspires to be good enough to be drafted by the Raiders

Longsnapper
Element: Obscurity
Partners well with: Kicker, Quarterback, People on bench, Jesus
Characteristics: Powerful bond with low-level functionaries everywhere, usually in line behind you at supermarket undetected

Ox
Element: Earth
Partners well with: Snake and Rooster
Characteristics: Not involved with football, doesn’t respond well to coaching, good drive off the ball

Nose tackle
Element: Drain plug
Partners well with: Food, Snacks, Grub, Chow, Jesus
Characteristics: Produces overwhelming joy when able to get a long interception return, bad but humorous dancer

Tweener linebacker
Element: MAMULA
Partners well with: High expectations, Low results, Jesus
Characteristics: Outside linebacker in the 3-4. Defensive end in the 4-3. Lost and unstable in all other defensive schemes.

Workhorse back
Element: Shattered bone
Partners well with: Dr. James Andrews, Fantasy football first round, Jesus
Characteristics: At best doomed to have amazing output curtailed by devastating injury, will probably screw you over the year you draft him

Wide receiver
Element: GLORYBOYISM
Partners well with: Bi-polar disorder, Domestic abuse, Innovative dance technique, several deities at once
Characteristics: Criminally insane, possibly gritty depending on skin tone, has entertaining Twitter feed

Fullback
Element: Weird facemask
Partners well with: Workhorse back, Quarterback, Tight end, Jesus
Characteristics: Occasionally allowed to run for two yards at a time, one time Larry Centers caught a bunch of passes

Safety
Element: Colliding helmets
Partners well with: Wide receiver, Tight end, Quarterback, Jesus
Characteristics: Forever daunted by the challenge of distinguishing which receivers are defenseless and which are not, highly ineffective if white and not John Lynch