Commentary From the Edge: Week 11
Kevin Ratterree
November 13, 2012

I have a complaint. Please don’t be alarmed, but the NFL needs to get its collective clock’s straightened out. I’m sure you heard that a full 1:12 ticked away in the Rams/49ers game, as some NorCal ganja smoking hippie in charge of operating the clock fell asleep at the wheel and let 1/60th of the game slip away.

What do you pay for a ticket to the 49ers game? How about those poor people that had to turn to scalpers? What if some fool gave, say $500 for a ticket? That man wants to watch 60 damn minutes of football. Not 59. What gives some ganja smoking hippie with a clock fixation the right to steal a minute, nay, a second of football from that man?

And this clock chicanery is nothing new. It is as old as sports. The home team provides the clock keeper. Homie. Keepin the clock. Nothing could go wrong there? Right? Except for the dude with the $500 ticket that got cheated out of 8 dollars and change worth of football. Oh, and all the fantasy players and over/under gamblers. That minute could be all the difference in the world for some of those folks. Untold mysteries lie buried in that lost minute Mr.Hippie with the runny clock. Just ponder on that next time you want to space out and let your clock run for awhile.

Of course, the hometown weed sucking clock operators have an excuse. They are obviously either keenly unqualified or in the bag for their team. Of course. They didn’t get to keep the clock by not liking the team. The officials, all 7 of them had no such excuses. You‘ve got 14 eyeballs in charge of the game and none of them notice the clock operator is down the rabbit hole with Alice? The strictly regulated NFL can’t produce a crew of officials that can sniff out a stoned out hippie playing with his clock?

But I am jumping to conclusions. The clock operator may have just spilled beer on themselves, or perhaps the clock itself. I mean, that’s a legitimate reason.

In any case, the game ended in a tie. The most horrible of all decisions, no decision at all. That really reflects badly on the NFC West and the league in general. Embarrassing. Very soccer-like.

But despite the fact that the game lasted almost 4 hours with no happy ending, there was a silver lining. Less Bob Costas, and more importantly, less Rodney Harrison. I don’t care if you dress up Harrison in a fancy suit and shove a microphone in his face, to me he’ll always be the thug that loved to wreck knees at every opportunity. Knee-wrecker. I have a dream. That someday Tony Dungy will haul off and smack his ass. Of course, being a man of God and a humble spirit, a far better person than I will ever be, that will never happen. Like so many of my dreams, this too shall go unrequited. I‘m still however, holding out hope Trent Green will show up on set and give Rodney’s knees 40 whacks with a baseball bat.

Of course I am kidding. I am not a violent man. And I don’t hold grudges for dozens upon dozens of years. I can forgive. I’m sure someday I’ll forgive Victor Cruz for dropping a couple of sure touchdown passes over the last two games. Someday. Someday I’ll forgive Eli Manning for turning into Tim Tebow over the last few weeks, and rendering Cruz “salsa-free.” Some day. But right now I’d turn my head and look the other way if Rodney Harrison wanted to take a shot at those knees just for old times’ sake.

Okay, I’m getting a little carried away here. I mean, a game is a game and a knee is a knee. Eli doesn’t deserve a “Rodney Special” just for being as incompetent as the other New York quarterback. Maybe he and Victor have been hanging out at the clock operators house.

ESPN’s Countdown is really “edgy” man. They are straight up “street” baby. Got Lil’ Wayne interviewing Randy Moss. Lil’ Wayne got the gold teeth. Lil’ Wayne got stuff sticking out of his face, looked kind of like a fencepost. Had the sunglasses on indoors. Call me crazy, but I get distracted by an interviewer with sunglasses on indoors. Hard to take a “fence face” seriously. But he and Moss had a nice little heart to heart and for once Randy didn’t come out of it looking like the biggest freak in the interview, so props to ESPN for polishing up Randy’s image.

But hey, I’m not here to rack people up for the way they look. We have a whole new generation of people coming up, and they seem to like sticking things in their faces and drawing pictures on themselves. I release my frustrations by writing smart-ass columns, some people satisfy themselves by impaling each orifice with precious minerals. You keep on freakin’ fence face nation. Lookin’ good out there.

You may sense some hostility in my tone.  Very perceptive.  Things aren’t going so well. My redraft team has now lost in consecutive weeks to the other two top contenders in my redraft FFPC league. The #1 seed is now out of reach, and it is conceivable that I could lose my grip on a playoff spot altogether. And as a bonus I have both Chris Johnson and Victor Cruz on a bye this week.

Of course having Victor Cruz on a bye is suddenly not such a tragedy. Which in itself is a tragedy. I dodged a couple of bullets last week though in losing by 30 points to the high score in the league for week 10. Owen Daniels injury forced me to start Dennis Pitta, and for the first time since September, the free agent money I spent on him seemed worth it. But my coup of the week was spending 35 of my remaining 40 bidding dollars on Marcel Reece, to fill the hole created by Darren Sproles. Bingo.

Both of those moves were season savers in terms of total points, as I kept within striking distance of the leaders, and maintained a semi-comfortable gap between me and the teams currently ranked 4-6. That’s a cushion likely to be tested with a lineup that will feature Marcel Reece as an RB1 and whoever I pull out of my ass for an RB2. As usual, my team resembles one of those runners whose muscles have shut down on them, but somehow they will themselves across the finish line.

I wasn’t real concerned drafting a team that had two of my top 3 draft picks on a bye in the regular fantasy season finale. Oh I noticed, but I don’t sweat byes so much anymore. I try not to concern myself with those kind of distractions while I am drafting a team. I’ll be pretty damn concerned for the next 5 days. I’m set up for a classic, “can you believe this shit happened to me again” moment.

Oh how I spent the early weeks of the season destroying Chris Johnson in this column. And now we have come full circle, as I whine like a little girl about having to survive a week without him. Irony. I never tire of it.

So anyway, the player I dropped for Reece was David Wilson, whom I had drafted and stubbornly held all year in anticipation of the annual Ahmad Bradshaw injury. As you may have noted, Bradshaw is now dealing with a neck injury, and as per fantasy law, the guy I dropped is going to break out and probably destroy the league during the fantasy playoffs, while Reece sits on my bench behind a once again slumping Chris Johnson. You have been warned.

When Chris Collinsworth and Al Micheals are on camera together before Sunday Night Football, I always struggle over where to train my eyes. On the one hand I could look at Collinsworth’s freakishly large head, or I could see if I can find a defect with Micheals ’hair in a can” job he’s using in a failing effort to keep up the illusion of hair. Come on Al, either put on a hat or go au natural. Nobody’s buying whatever magnetic hair follicle voodoo you’ve got going on there. No Al, we don’t believe in miracles.

Misery Index 

10) Chargers: We have a pulse! No, not with the team, but with the beleaguered head coach. Did you see him start to lay into that reporter, then lose steam and trail off halfway through? That tirade was indicative of his teams. But anyway he’s probably getting frustrated with people rocking the boat and trying to fire him from outside of the organization. Norvert has been conning NFL owners for years now, and all the media types pointing out how much he sucks is really throwing sand in his gears. Prediction: The Chargers reel off 4 wins in a row at the end of season, Norv and A.J. both keep their jobs because of the “upward trend” and spend the off-season high fiving each other over how they managed to steal from the owner for one more year without getting arrested.

9) Redskins: Here’s another coach that seems to be surviving on the fumes of his reputation. And from the looks of him, those fumes probably smell like tanning bed funk and cedar chips.

8) Bills: It’s hard to imagine now, but the Bill only missed the playoffs twice between 1988 and 1999. They were a perennial playoff contender. Since then they have just been a perennial Patriots bitch, along with the rest of the sorry ass division.

7) Rams: The Rams celebrated like they won the game after scoring the go ahead points late in the 4th quarter. They got cocky, and strutted and fist pumped the sidelines, only to end up settling for a tie after a pointless 15 minutes of overtime. Many of the players were unaware that an NFL game could even end in a tie, which may explain why nobody seemed to be trying to prevent it.

6) Panthers: The Panthers fired their special teams coach after giving up a return for a touchdown against the Broncos. I’d like to think he will land on his feet, but if you can’t make it here, you probably can’t make it anywhere.

5) Eagles: People say Andy Reid will find a job within minutes of being fired. And that may be true. But he tied his team’s fortunes to an aging running quarterback fresh out of prison, that couldn’t read a defense, didn’t study film, and sported a horrible career completion percentage rate. I’m not sure his head is in the right place. His mustache definitely isn’t in the right place, it belongs on Wilfred Brimley, but that’s a whole other issue.

4) Jets: I think the Jets should try to trade for Cecil Shorts this off-season. This team doesn’t need a major overhaul, the head coach just needs some new material. His jokes about “having the league by the Shorts and Kerley’s” alone would be worth whatever it takes to pry Shorts off the Jags. It may be just the kind of thing it takes to push this team over the top.

3) Browns: Greg Little was inspired by a meeting with Alonzo Mourning to give up tweeting and direct his energy toward making himself a better player for the team. For instance to stop dropping half the passes that come his way. Little gathered the team and told them of his newfound commitment and encouraged everybody to join him and give their all and all that. I wasn’t there, but I would imagine it was about that point when he got distracted and dropped the clipboard his notes were written on.

2) Jaguars: The Jags are averaging less than 9 points scored per home game. Reportedly the tarps covering the upper seating sections are not concerned in the least.

1) Chiefs: So I see Matt Cassel is working on a handlebar. So far, much like his quarterback play, it is kind of half-assed. But there I go again ragging on someone’s personal grooming choices. My apologies Cassel. Your half ass biker ‘stache is no more ridiculous than having a gold fence-post stuck in your face. You go ahead and get your freak on Matty. They’ll love it in Jacksonville next year when you are backing up Mike Vick.

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