The Paper Champions - Weekend Of Compromise (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Paper Champions

Weekend Of Compromise (2004)

Reason Y

On December 23rd, 2002 a heated match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took place. The week leading up to the game involved plenty of trash talking by athletes on both sides of the ball. Safety, Lee Flowers (now a former Steeler) got under the skin of the Bucs when he stated "…they're paper champions. That's all they are, that's all they're going to be." Implying that on roster sheets and sports casts Tampa Bay looked like a great team, however when it came down to actually playing they weren't much of anything. By the time the game started was ready to go bad mouthing ensued, a fight broke out on the sidelines, and Warren Sapp even trotted through a few Steelers warming up. The pads are what do all the talking though and within the first four minutes of the game the Steelers mounted a 14-0 lead that proved to be a foundation for what became a 17-7 whooping. Flowers appeared correct on his statement for the time being. Of course a month later the Buccaneers ousted the Oakland Raiders for their first ever Super Bowl Victory.

After reading the press release for this Atlanta based band I was rather eager to hear what these guys had to bring to the field. Just check out all these sugar coated adjectives:

"Combining hi-powered hooks with full throttle rock aggression…Ontricate, interlocking guitars, fluid bass, steadfast drumming, and earnest vocal stirs up a simmering brew of seething post-hardcore and jangly melodic rock that rises and falls with tightly wound tension."


Despite the gloating The Paper Champions stack up very similar to the comments Lee Flowers made prior to the big football game. Instead of living up to the hype and expectations written so elegantly, they fumble at the one yard line and are just another trite emo-rock four piece. Occasionally they complete a pass for a first down, for example, the intro hook to the record set's up pretty well. Although the back to back sacks of vocals that refuse to fit and lyrics that couldn't pass a physical leave them third and long. Nearly all of the songs hover around the four minute mark and really kill the play clock as nothing interesting happens within the long periods of time. Perhaps cutting down the time on their scoring drives and not wasting them for a minuscule punt could help their season out.

I can see a few fans of the genre getting into these guys, but like the Buffalo Bills of the early 90's they choke at the vital moment and come no where near gracing a coveted Super Bowl ring. At best they achieve a field goal, three points for TPC. Perhaps with a little more practice in the off-season or a free agent signing might help these guys step it up a notch. In the mean time there's always ESPN's NFL2K5.