This just just an excuse to not grade papers for a second
Remember when some member of the Pittsburgh Steelers referred to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as "Paper Champions"? Every summer, magazines would predict big things for the Bucs, but the Bucs never turned that into a championship (at least not yet--eventually they did). They were "paper champions"--pre-season darlings of the media, expected to do big things, but champions of nothing.
The new Paper Champions are quite clearly the Carolina Panthers. Ever since they went to the Super Bowl in 2003, they've been early NFC favorites. Various magazines (SI in 2005 and 2006) have predicted Carolina to be in the Super Bowl. In 2004, they bumbled to 7-9. In 2005, they went 11-5, but actually failed to win their division. They won two road playoff games before getting pelted by the Seahawks. Now, in 2006, after a rough Steve Smith-less start then a promising run, they are stumbling around at 6-7.