Commentary From the Edge: Week 12
Kevin Ratterree
November 20, 2012

Did you ever have one of those days? I left you last week with my sense of impending doom in my FFPC league. To recap, I had been at or near the top of the standings most of the year. Some late losses had dinged me, but I was still in good shape points-wise. All I figured to need last week was an average performance to make the 4 team playoffs. I lamented last week about the untimely byes I was facing with Chris Johnson and Victor Cruz both out for my team, and Darren Sproles likely still out with injury. I was going “patchwork” in the most critical week of the season.

But wait. Good fortune blew a fresh breeze right up pant-legs when we heard reports all week last about Sproles. Sproles practicing. Sproles looking good. Sproles has an excellent chance to play on Sunday. Hmm. All signs point to Sproles being active. Against the Raiders. Sign me up. Sproles and Marcel Reece. Yeah. That’s a fine combo right there. Nope. Sproles a late scratch. Turns out the breeze up my ass was actually smoke being blown by the Saints.

Of course by the time I heard this bit of bad fortune lineups were already locked, and Ronnie Brown would have been the only plug-in I could have used by then anyway. Brown's 5 points wouldn’t have saved me. Not after the early games disasters.

Matt Ryan.  So this was the week you decided to give tribute to Mike Vick 2012? My team was scoring so slowly, that every time you threw an interception you moved my score back to zero. Or below. Do you know how depressing it is to finally get on the scoreboard with 2 points from the Tampa Bay defense, only to have you throw 2 picks and move me back down to zero? Hell, I spent about a half hour Sunday with negative points for my team. Quite possibly the most humiliating moments of my fantasy life.

Granted, it was a bit of a slow scoring day overall Sunday, so while I sat in the muck waiting for anybody from my team to score a point , the rest of the league wasn’t exactly running away from me. Well, except for the guy closest behind me in points. He blew by me like I was standing still. Which of course, I was.

Dwayne Bowe. Yes, I contemplated long and hard on this one. Didn’t feel good about starting him. Could have sat him for Malcom Floyd, or even Emmanuel Sanders. But I didn’t. First Cassel got the hook, virtually killing Bowe’s day. Then Bowe got injured, actually killing Bowe’s day. Bagel. They are so rare, yet I find them so consistently. I love me some bagel.

Somewhere over the Dwayne Bowe, on a Victor Cruz bye.
I saw my team land in a dumpster, sat in my chair and cried.

Matt Bryant was my high scoring player in the early games. A kicker. Seriously? And that was only because my stud quarterback couldn’t have found the end zone if he had fell ass-backwards in it.

So while I’m sitting there stunned by the crash and burn, mouth agape, emotionally ruined after seeing my baby wander out in traffic and get hit by a semi, I missed the "Sproles inactive" news like an douche bag amateur, and whiffed on the opportunity to be further disappointed by Ronnie Brown instead. This was really going well so far. Horrible luck and a criminal lack of attention to details. Twin bagels. Hard to do even if you are trying. “I would like two bagels for which I will gladly pay for on Tuesday, er, Monday night”

Yeah, Marcel Reece filled in nicely for Chris Johnson, and I got a stellar day out of TY Hilton in place of Cruz. Unfortunately they were like the two untouched trailers in the edge of the mobile home park that got blowed up real good by a tornado.

As an added insult the dude that passed me by was sporting a lineup with such standouts as Jermicheal Finley and Jonathon Stewart. That was the first time Finley broke double digits since week 4 and Stewart’s 14 points was a season high. Way to go fellas! Each of your sorry asses kicked Matt Ryan, Darren Sproles, and Dwayne Bowe’s ass combined. Break out the party hats you sorry bastards.

So needless to say, Ditka wasn’t the only one having a minor stroke on Sunday. Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Ditka have several mini-strokes over the years. Since when does he start going to the hospital for them?

Skip Bayless has a stroke at least once a week. You would have to have suffered multiple strokes to still be hanging onto the Tim Tebow dream. Bayless has spent a nauseating amount of time stroking Tebow on his show.

Bayless:  If I‘ve said it once I‘ve said it 634,000 times Tim Tebow should be the starting quarterback of this team, and it’s a crime against humanity that he isn‘t.

Smith:  You are a stone cold, uh, uh, uh, lunatic aren’t you? Are you having a stroke? When you close your eyes at night do you dream about Tim Tebow? Do ya have a little Timmy Tebow doll that you clutch to your chest every night, as you suck your thumb and pray in a fetal position that be gets another chance to be a starter?

Bayless:  I do. I do. I have a Tebow bobblehead doll next to my bedside and a Fathead on my ceiling. What’s it to you?

Smith:  Oh it ain’t nothing to me. It might be something to your housekeeper, who finds herself constantly having to clean and disinfect your fathead, but it ain’t nothing to me!

Look I hate to harp again on the “throwback” Steelers uniforms, but since they inflicted them on us again for Sunday night football I’m going to revisit the topic. I understand the “throwback” thing is all about making money. I get that. But I think the fashion freaks that have infiltrated the NFL are missing a key point about retro gear. We like it because it brings back memories. It triggers an emotional response.

Oh sure, there are people that have to own every jersey their team offers. They will buy the hideous Steelers prison outfits. No questions asked. But why would any casual fan who is not legally blind, or in need of serious counseling wear something like that?

There is no emotional connection to these “nuclear queen bee” abominations. They found a picture of the team dressed in these, but there is no record to show if they even actually played in them. And if they did play in them, it was for a very brief period of time. In the 1930’s. To remember that team you would have to be close to 100 years old, and I have to think the 90+ year old jersey buyer is a bit of a narrow market.

The uniforms are butt ugly and no living person would feel nostalgic for them. What am I missing here?

So how about that Marcel Reece, huh? I have to tell you, I traded for him in my dynasty last week. I needed some temporary muscle at the position with Sproles out, and I am having visions of Larry Centers with this guy. Reece has been on the fringe of fantasy relevance over the last couple of years, but it was only after being pressed into heavy service that his true potential has been unveiled.

Some may argue that his opportunities will be limited once the Raiders RB injuries are resolved, but I am banking on his skills being better utilized by the coaching staff going forward after this successful audition. For those of you that don’t know Larry Centers, he was a fullback in the same mold as Reece. A Swiss army knife of a player that caught a ton of passes. Back when there were still fullbacks. Please consult Wikipedia.

PPR wasn’t as prevalent as it is today when Centers was in his prime, but in that format, Centers was a valuable player. Will the coaching staff expand Reece’s role even after McFadden comes back healthy? Will McFadden ever be healthy? I traded an emerging tight end talent from the same team, Daniel Myers to find out. But this trade was more about my lack of faith in McFadden getting and staying healthy for the rest of this season than it is for future consideration. That being said, I am very intrigued by Reece as a dynasty stash after what I have seen of him in an expanded role.

So anyway, back to “Black Sunday” for my redraft team, after looking over the wreckage of the standings I discovered I wasn’t quite dead. There was still a path to a playoff spot, all I needed was for one of the playoff teams to score less than 39 points with his 4 remaining players, and I would wrest away a playoff spot from the team with 2 more wins than me but 50 less points. Ray Rice did his part with a quiet 14 point night on Sunday.

Come Monday, I was left hoping for less than 25 points from Gore, Gould, and the 49ers defense. Unlikely. But I really started to believe at halftime, when the trio had only mustered 10 points. Predictably though, it was just the fantasy Gods head-faking me and drawing me in for more punishment. The 49ers safety late in the 4th quarter was worth 5 points in this scoring system, enough to push me out of the playoffs. By 3 points. Just an extension of Sunday’s torture.

Interestingly, the safety would never had been a safety, and I would be in the playoffs if Harbaugh hadn’t felt the need to challenge the play, originally called an illegal forward pass, resulting in 4th down at the ½ yard line. Harbaugh‘s boys were up by 23 at the time, playing against the corpses that used to be the Bears. I certainly can understand why you would need to hold up the game for those 2 points. Douchy.

Remember, this is the same over-thinker that declined a penalty that would have netted his defense a safety just a few weeks ago in a similar situation, thus costing me both a fantasy game and a wager as I recall. I have concluded that Harbaugh has some sort of personal vendetta against me, and as a result I have no choice but to hate his guts. Along with his yearning for late-game pointless decisions that always seem to cost me money. I’m offering a bounty for any opposing coach that busts him in the face, and the amount is equal to the league fees he would have screwed me out of next year. I’ll get a lot more satisfaction out of the punch. Hold on. Wait a minute. I have been informed by the Huddle offices that bounty programs may result in suspensions. Okay, never mind. Someone will just have to bust him in the face for the fun of it. (wink, wink)

Misery Index

10) Steelers: Leftwich shocked the world when he ran in a touchdown to open the scoring Sunday night. Unfortunately he broke his ribs on that play, but the team spent the night pretending he was just fine while a capable Charlie Batch rode the pine. Okay, I know Leftwich’s windup and delivery is legendarily slow, but is it my imagination or does his ball travel exceedingly slow as well? “And Leftwich goes back to pass, he sets his feet and winds, this pass attempt brought to you by Mid-Town Motors where you always get the Mid-Town promise of excellence and quality. And Leftwich releases. The pass is at the 30, its at the 40, its at the 50, lots of hand checking going on, and the pass is batted down at the 40 yard line. The Steelers are really eating some clock here, that pass attempt took 30 seconds….”

9) Jets: Tom Brady said he was bringing his own food to New York for the Thanksgiving match up against the Jets, because he was always afraid someone was going to poison him down there. Don’t worry Tom, nobody gives a crap about this team any more. Well, probably not enough to kill you over anyway.

8) Raiders: So you are giving up 32.2 points a game. You would really have to blow the rest of the way to break the Baltimore Colts NFL record of 33.3 a game back in 1981. So don’t worry. Everything is fine. Did you see the Al Davis eternal flame? I guess it’s a proper tribute. But I’m sure that business man Al Davis would wonder why they don’t offset the cost of the gas they are wasting by selling hot dogs roasted in the eternal flame. Maybe call them “Silver and Blackfurters“. Or maybe, “Just Weenie Baby’s.”

7) Cardinals: Wisenhunt got a gift in Atlanta when Matt Ryan turned into Ryan Leaf and handed the Cardinals an early 13-3 lead. Coach took this opportunity to see what life beyond John Skelton was like, benching Skelton for the rookie Lindley. As it turns out it was like the difference between being buried up to the neck in the back of a fertilizer truck, and being submerged in construction site Port a Potty.

6) Rams: Hey, didn’t you guys spend a couple of years waiting for Danario Alexander to be healthy enough to stay on the field and give Bradford someone to throw to that doesn’t suck? And then you decided he was a lost cause and cut him earlier this year? And now he’s destroying the league out in San Diego and says he feels fine? Nice work. The Chargers thank you for getting him through the tough times.

5) Panthers: You lost a game you had no business losing. And suddenly the universe seems back in its proper place.

4) Jaguars: I have to give you props. The Texans thought you guys were a joke, so the defense took the day off. You almost made them pay. Instead all you did was make the poor bastards facing Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub pay. Oh, and you pushed Warren Moon to the side in the record books. Damn racists.

3) Eagles: Hey coach Reid. Have you ever considered yelling at someone? Maybe give a dirty look to a player that screws up? Pretend to be upset by the atrocity before you every Sunday afternoon? Putting your house on the market before the full brutality of winter and your impending unemployment strikes?

2) Browns: Getting beat by the Cowboys? Not such a disgrace. Getting beat by yourselves? Just another day at the orifice.

1) Chiefs: So this is what it has come to. Your starting quarterback is a Browns reject. Welcome to hell.

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