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Commentary From the Edge: Week 13
Kevin Ratterree
November 27, 2012
 

Do you know what a burden it is to be charged with the duty of railing against all the “wrongs” in the NFL? I find myself in all sorts of uncomfortable positions. For instance, I have been thrust into the role of “Mr. Blackwell” as a critic of both horrific throwback uniforms, and weirdly costumed singers of theme songs. What am I, a fashion critic? Who am I to insult Matt Cassel just because he wants to grow a handlebar mustache? But dammit, somebody has to do it.

Therefore, as much as it pains me to do so, I am compelled to say what needs to be said. What’s up Aaron Rodgers?

Everything was going good for you guys. Five wins in a row. You reestablished yourself as a stud quarterback. Apparently all this went to your head, and you decided to embellish your “stud” image by going all 70’s porn star on us with the ‘stache. And look what happened to you.

We have seen the carnage wrought by the bad mustache in the NFL. Joe Flacco sported his handlebar special for the playoffs last season. The Ravens almost overcame the mustache curse, but in the end the football gods didn’t smile kindly on outrageous face fur.

You don’t believe me? Dan Fouts was one bad-ass quarterback, but you won’t find any Superbowl rings hidden in that chin forest. Ron Jaworski couldn’t overcome his many facial follicular follies. Indeed, Rodgers himself went with the handlebar for awhile the year they won the Superbowl, but the only reason the Packers actually won the big game was because Rogers went baby butt smooth for the big game.

What about Tom Brady you ask? Well, the rough half-ass beard stubble look doesn’t seem to piss off the football gods like the porn or biker ‘stache.

In fact, after minutes of exhaustive research, my findings indicate there have only been two quarterbacks that won a Super Bowl while sporting a mustache. Jeff Hoffstetler and Doug Williams. I’m not sure why these two old school NFC East QBs escaped the curse of the mustache, after Jaworski had failed before them, but neither were exactly “Hall of Fame” material, so maybe the football gods were more forgiving of their transgressions. In any case, there is just no escaping this fact. The road to a championship is not paved with mustache wax.

And as I think I mentioned in a past column, there are precious few head coaches that overcame the curse of the ‘stache. Andy Reid? Need I say more? But I noticed McCarthy is sprouting his own Magnum P.U. Double trouble stubble.

Come on guys. You’ve had your fun. You have made us all cringe and feel uncomfortable gazing upon your faces. But if you are serious about getting rings, break out the blades and do what you know must be done. This is about the ring. This ain’t no mustache thing.

The Packers can’t win without Rogers, and he can’t win the with the mustache. This isn’t just me being an uppity mustache critic. We’re dealing with scientific probabilities here. Why would you want to buck the odds? I’ve tried to shed light on the subject so you can see the dark path you are headed down, as your disposable Gillette’s gather dust in the closet, and your season slips away.

Is your mustache more important than winning a Super Bowl? That’s all I’m asking. Now you need to ask yourselves. Because you are going to have to answer to 52 other guys in that locker room. Come on Aaron. For the good of the team, and our mental image index files. More Joe Montana and less Dirk Diggler.

So everybody’s excited about Notre Dame going undefeated and playing in the championship game? I’m not all that impressed. It’s a down year in college ball. And besides, for all their hype the Fighting Irish have yet to win a conference championship! Not one I tell you! I looked it up just to make sure.

But seriously, as much as it pains me to say, I think the Domers will give Alabama or whoever they face a pretty good game, so we have that to look forward to. In a year like this, it’s nice to have a team like Notre Dame in the big game. It gives people someone to root for or against. I generally root against Notre Dame, despite the fact that the deity Montana went there. I also have to consider that Theisman went there as well. That carries a lot of weight. A giant steaming pile of weight.

In any case, as a gambler type, putting aside any personal preconceived notions, Notre Dame looks like a team that should be favored in the championship game but will not be. So I am thinking I am probably going to be a Notre Dame fan on a cold January evening. Dogs be with me on a cold January night! And also with you. You may be seated.

It warmed the cockles of my tiny “Grinch-like” heart Saturday night when ABC felt fit to intro the USC game behind the backdrop of Ronnie James Dio’s “The Last in Line.” Those people at ABC obviously understand me and my kind. Unlike those who would impale us with a lethal injection of Ceelo over at NFL Network. Dio on network television? Never saw that one coming. Maybe there is hope for television sports after all. ABC metal-heads. Disney and Dio. Love that.

Last week I threw an immature and misguided tirade against 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh for his decision to challenge a meaningless play, that kept me out of the playoffs. As it turns out, my team would have tanked last week and been buried in embarrassing fashion by any of the teams that made the playoffs. Yes, the coaches arbitrary, mind-boggling late game decision was in the end, a mercy killing. Further humiliation averted.

To all the people thinking the mind boggling coach would be nuts to turn over the reins of his “championship ready” team to Colin Kaepernick, I say, not so fast my friend. Well, I would had Lee Corso not highjacked the phrase all for his own.

Based on what I have seen so far, I don’t think it would be crazy at all to roll with Keapernick. I mean, Smith is still on the team, right? Can you give him an even bigger chip on his shoulder than he has now? Would that be a bad thing? I’m just saying. The kid gives that team a dimension just not possible with Smith. If he can continue to play basically mistake free in terms of turnovers, the advantage to the ’Niners would be huge.

I see more upside than downside in turning over the reins to Kaepernick. And if that happens, they go to the top of the list in my mind for NFC Championship. The ’Niners were about a Kaepernick away from winning it all last year. I think it would be crazy if Harbaugh doesn’t keep rolling the dice until this kid craps out. He might not. Tom Brady didn’t. Ben Roethlisberger. Jeff Hostetler. Doug Williams. Just don’t let the kid grow a mustache for football god‘s sake. Big mistake that mustache.

The next in a long tradition of misguided and ill conceived “themed” Misery Index’s, I give you the “Big Lebowski” edition.   "We’re talking about unchecked aggression here dude."

Misery Index

10) Chargers: It was speculated on Monday that Ray Rice finally gave Norv Turner that final nudge into the grave with his 29 yard catch and run on a 4th and 29. Indeed, even the apathetic fans in sunny San Diego might have a few choice words for the GM & head coach about now.   "I don't like your jerk-off name, I don't like your jerk-off face, I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you... jerk-off."

9) Jets: Well you did it. You finally made Fireman Ed take his ball and go home. I hope you’re all happy. The bestest most swell Jets fan of all can’t stand the sight of you any more. You never deserved him anyway. He was too good for you. He was the only one that cared. And you treated him like crap. Just because he wouldn’t bow to your Tebow god.    "Aw f’ it dude, let’s go bowling."

8) Lions: What a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition the Lions are building. Come to Detroit, win a game, and have your head stomped or nuts kicked by Ndamukong Suh. And I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do before I join a fantasy league is to have a full understanding of the rules. Apparently Coach Schwartz could learn a thing or two from me, because his lack of knowledge about the rules cost his team a win. A head coach cannot challenge a play that by rule will be reviewed. This is the second week in a row a head coach has boned himself on that one. Wow.  “Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a s--t about the rules? Mark it a zero!”

7) Panthers: Despite their struggles, the Panthers have great home attendance numbers. But they showed up in Philadelphia and found themselves in a mausoleum. I guess people weren’t interested in watching dumpster fire v. train wreck.   "I could just be sitting at home with pee stains on my rug."

6) Cardinals: What happens when you try to play football in the quarterback era, without a quarterback? This pile of bird doo doo. I guess the good part about not having a quarterback is that when you get down to the 3rd stringer it’s fairly painless. Unlike the Steelers, who have fallen apart without Big Ben, the Cardinals fans experience no such letdown, because they expect and receive so little in the first place.   "No Donny, these men are Nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of."

5) Browns: Alright, alright. You beat the Stillers. But lets face it, that wasn‘t really the Stillers. That was like coming up on a victim of a mugging, and kicking him a few times while he is down. You did what you had to do. Still, that beat up punk did land a few blows. Looked like you might be in trouble there for a while so I wouldn’t go bragging about it.   "Yeah, well that’s just like, your opinion man."

4) Jags: The Jags finally took off the Blaine Gabbert shackles and discovered the freedom from sucking they had so desperately yearned for. But don’t shed any tears for Gabbert. He got paid. This whole “starting QB” thing didn’t work out. Something else will. Chad Henne got another chance, maybe he will too. I think it may have had something to do with the mustache, but whatever. We all make our own choices.   "The Dude abides."

3) Eagles “I’ve had rough night, and I hate the f’ing Eagles man”

2) Raiders: Carson Palmers’ new team got rung up for 34 points and stayed in the running for that most points allowed in a season record. But they did at least put up a good fight. They stink. They are kind of hopeless. But they never quit. Not yet anyway. So that’s nice.  " I myself dabbled in pacifism once, that was before 'Nam of course."

1) Chiefs: There is a reality show called the “Biggest Losers” but that show generally has a happy ending. This reality show starring the NFL’s biggest losers appears to have no such ending. There isn’t a quarterback on the roster, and the alleged geniuses that paid a fortune to Matt Cassel have been found to be fraudulent. The coaching leaves a lot to be desired, and the fans have taken to wearing paper bags over their heads. The first pick overall might seem like a nice consolation prize but there is no clear-cut franchise quarterback waiting for them, meaning the shaky “brain trust” will be in a somewhat precarious situation come draft day, assuming they survive the guillotine that follows football types who produce one and two win teams.   “My son can’t hold a job, my daughter’s married to a f’ing loser, and I got a rash on my ass so bad I can hardly siddown. But you know me. I can’t complain.


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