Commentary From the Edge: Week 15
Kevin Ratterree
December 11, 2012

Hey Pete Carroll. What’s your problem? Up 51, late in the game. You've got the Cardinals reamed and bleeding all over themselves. Ready to roll up in a ball and puke. And you're still firing the heavy artillery bombs downfield. Thank you sir may I have another?

Well, Mr. Carroll, you seem to have forgotten your credo. Was it not you that confronted Harbaugh after his boys toasted your ass at USC? Was it not you that asked him afterward, “What’s your problem?” Am I remembering this correctly? I’m getting older and my mind plays tricks on me sometimes, but I think that’s the way it went down.

So what is your problem coach? Yeah, tiebreakers for points scored is a part of the tiebreaking process. But unlike college, we here in the pros don’t feed numbers into a computer and let the computer decide who should play for the championship. Nobody is impressed that you kicked a corpse for the last 15 minutes of a game.

It certainly doesn’t approach the relevance of a blowout Stanford win over USC. Where there may have been legitimate motivation to pile on.

I have to tell you, I have a pretty strong stomach for piling on. I’m a “stop ‘em if you don’t like it” kind of guy. And I generally don’t find myself lashing out against it. But that was a horrible spectacle at the end. I mean, going for it on 4th and 23? Really?

My impressionable son and I should never have been exposed to something like that. I turn the channel when the lion starts ripping at the caribou entrails. I turned the channel here. There are just some things I don’t need to see. It is quite possible my son and I may be scarred for life. I mean, I already saw that game back in the 80s, several times.  It was called the Superbowl, with the Seahawks playing the role of the NFC. I survived it. The scars healed. I hate to see my son exposed to the same sort of horrors at about the same age I did. Recovery is a long process.

But bottom line, Mr Carroll: You thought what you did was best. You did your job to the best of your ability. Just like Harbaugh did on that fateful day when he planted his boot up your ass. And if you hadn’t said what you said to Harbaugh, I’m not wasting my column space on you. But since you whined like a bitch when it happened to you, I just have to ask. What‘s your problem?

But that wasn’t the only disturbing thing I saw on Sunday. Oh hell no. How about Luck’s knee landing with a thud on the turf moments before the pass left his hand? Did you see that one? Returned for a touchdown by the Titans. Reviewed and allowed to stand as called. Knee on the ground. Ball in the hand. Perfect camera view. No if’s and’s or but’s. That’s called down by contact. Nope. Touchdown Titans. That replay official should be fired, or maybe even should have his entrails eaten by a lion. That was so NBA.

More horrible stuff in the NFL. How about the word last week that the commish was open to the idea of axing the kick-off altogether? They’ve already pretty much ruined it, I guess there’s no reason not to do away with it altogether. I mean, it’s not even really a part of the game. Nothing exciting or interesting happens on those plays anyway. I can’t even remember the last time a team scored on a kickoff. Oh wait a minute. David Wilson just ran a 97 yard kickoff return on Sunday night? Big deal. There’s plenty of exciting ways to score in the NFL. For instance the 40 yard pass interference penalty. Those are exciting and lead to way more scores. That’s the direction we need to be headed in.

Yeah, and while we are at it, are punts really THAT much more safe than kickoffs?  I say we do away with those while we are at it. Just spot the ball, say, 50 yards downfield. We can get almost all the “foot” out of football if we really want to.

Of course, I’m not sure this melds well with the NFL’s unseemly desires to land a franchise or two over in jolly old England. I’ve watched those London games. Those Brits only get excited when someone is kicking the ball. They think everything else is just filler. They bloody well won’t care for this rot.

I remember thinking to myself a couple of years ago, how will the NFL ever crash? What can possibly bring down the beast that is the NFL? The answer is now readily apparent. Lawyers and litigants. Alas, pens and not swords will slay the mighty beast.

By the time I kick this carcass our boys will be playing in bubble-wrap uniforms, with big Great Gazoo helmets, on a green Styrofoam field, with flags hanging from the waists of offensive skill players. The game will be unrecognizable, and unwatchable as Bruce Jenner‘s post-operative face.

The only real upside to all of this from a personal level is that at this point I think I can honestly say that I am actually glad I am closer to death than birth. So thanks to all responsible for getting me over that hump.

Speaking of humps, I get tired of hearing people call Colin Kaepernick “Colen.” Do you people realize what you are implying when you call this young man a colen? From what I have heard about him, he is not a colen at all but in fact a quite nice young man. Please, sportscasters of the world, keep your Colen’s to yourselves.

I survived week one of the playoffs unscathed. Finally ran into someone with worse luck than me. Semi-final bound baby!

I have an interesting dilemma in my keeper league. I have rode a combination of Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, and Morris Albert to a #2 seed. And I am considering benching all 3 in the biggest game of the year so far. I have Bryce Brown and David Wilson. The "hot" hands. 

It seems over the years of playing this game, that many times the teams that end up winning championships often have these “out of nowhere” players propelling them. Running backs in particular, and I attribute it somewhat to “fresh legs syndrome.” Tired defenses vs. fresh legs= fresh legs win. Especially where there are opponents with already low resistance. I haven’t broken down the match-up of each of my backs yet, but just off the top of my head, without seeing the match-ups, it would be perfectly conceivable and possibly preferable to start a couple of guys that until a few weeks ago were far off the fantasy radar.  Wild.

Will I have balls enough to do it? I’m not sure. But I do know this. I drafted David Wilson in my keeper league and kept him on the 18 man roster all season long. I had that luxury when my last round stab in the dark - Albert Morris panned out, giving me the 3 RBs I needed to safely navigate the season. But I did hold onto Wilson with just this scenario in mind. Late in the season. Bradshaw breaking down. Tired defenses lined up to chase the speedster. I am so proud of my patience. 

But now I have created a problem. I have 5 legitimate RB’s late in the season. A rare moment in the history of fantasy football for me, or most anybody I would suspect. And thus the opportunity to win if only I can pick the right combination. Yet the opportunity for an amazing dose of self loathing if I choose wrong. I have a deep stable of healthy RBs in the playoffs. Yet still I worry and yearn for inner peace. For every silver lining there is a cloud.

Misery Index

10) Saints: Bounty may be the quicker picker upper, but there aren’t enough paper towels in the world to clean up the mess bounties left this organization in.

9) Panthers: Andrew Luck. RGIII, Russell Wilson. All rookies leading their teams to the playoffs. All with winning records. All look poised for great careers. Yet all of those guys combined aren’t as great as Cam Newton thinks he is.

8) Titans: Did I mention how glad I am that I am to be in a position to bench Chris Johnson in my week 15 playoff game? Oh sure, he’ll probably rip off an 80 yard TD on the first play from scrimmage. But right up until that horrific moment when the neighbors hear my muffled profanity laced tirade? Bliss.

7) Dolphins: Did you see John Freeney on punt coverage grab the ball on the 49ers 2 yard line and carry it across the goal line for a touchback? What exactly are you thinking when you are doing something like that? Is the concept of punt coverage beyond your comprehension? It’s a mystery. I’m going to go Matlock on your ass and solve this mystery. Mendocino County, just north of San Francisco is well known for producing some of the nations most powerful weed. Mystery solved.

6) Steelers: You lost to the Chargers at home. And we have our answer. No.

5) Lions: Coach Schwartz lodged a complaint about his running back, Joique Bell excessively celebrating a touchdown in the loss to the Packers, resulting in a penalty. Hell, if I had such a bonehead coaching staff like Bell does, I’d be celebrating any time I managed to score a touchdown despite them too.

4) Raiders: Last week there were rumors that Jon Gruden might be interested in coaching the Raiders. After watching him pontificate and slobber all over below average players on Monday Night Football for the last 2 years, I am convinced he would do cartwheels over the Raiders roster. Once again, near Mendocino County. Very handy for enhancing delusional thinking.

3) Jaguars: You let Shonn Greene score a touchdown against you. Which is kind of sad and pathetic. Borderline criminally negligent. But on the bright side you gave the Jets false hope that they might sneak back into the playoff hunt. Which reminds me, Fireman Ed resigns, and the team is 2-0. You call it a coincidence if you want to.

2) Chiefs: Well I thought you guys had this thing all wrapped up. And on a normal week where you lose to Cleveland, your spot in the Index is only further cemented. But we have a team that wants this thing badly. I hate to rip it from you after it looked like you had it wrapped. And you still could get it. But I need to see something horrendous this week. Dwayne Bowe is mercifully on the shelf, but I think you guys still have enough underachieve in you to get this done without him. Now, as the adult film agent tells all his new talent before their first gig, go out there and suck like you’ve never sucked before.

1) Cardinals: Okay I’ve ripped on Pete Carroll. But the real criminal lives here. My god what an abomination. I don’t even know what to say. I thought that Jets game a couple of weeks ago was the worst game ever, and you clowns managed to top it. I’m sitting here trying for the life of me to figure out how in the hell you ever won a game, let alone 4 in a row. Winning percentage counts for a lot here. But it is called the Misery Index after all. And this is about the most miserable excuse for a team I have ever seen. And quite possibly the worst ensemble of quarterbacks ever assembled. You may not have the least wins. But you have really made up ground with some quality losses.

But most important of all, you have rendered one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game as flaccid as those creepy would be erectile dysfunction suffering husbands on the Cialis commercials. And to tell you the truth, the Cialis commercials were a welcome relief from watching you get pummeled by that hypocritical hippie and his ‘hawks on Sunday.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t