FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 9
Kevin Ratterree
October 29, 2013
 

Jason Tarver is the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. On Sunday he became one of my heroes when he expressed his objections to a “defenseless receiver” call by flipping off the officials. I do the same damn thing every Sunday when I see officials vigorously implementing “vagina-ball.” Of course, I only do it to my television set, where my maniacal gyrations are far from the prying eyes of television cameras or mental health professionals. It is a far less satisfying than the experience I lived vicariously through Mr. Tarver on Sunday.

Here is the problem with anything that becomes too popular. Overexposure. Take Duck Dynasty. A cute little show about a bunch of hygiene challenged hillbilly entrepreneur’s got popular. Now they are omnipresent. This weekend I saw an advertisement for a Duck Dynasty Christmas CD. Really?

I really liked the show. But I didn’t need it with me 24/7. Nor do I need a Duck Dynasty flashlight, plastic tea cup, fake beard, coffee cup, pens, hats, shirts, socks, camo’s, calendars, toilet paper, sleeping bags, chili mix, flatulence remedies, lottery tickets, duck jerky, energy drinks, feminine napkins or underpants.

The Duck Dynasty phenomenon is being milked for all it is worth, and to tell you the truth, I’m pretty much over it at this point. As with all things that are overexposed, backlash is coming, and the show will likely hit the wall in short order. They have jumped the shark. .

The same kind of shameless money grabbing is occurring in the NFL. We now have multiple games in London, and the Commissioner is bound and determined to put a franchise there. The NFL it seems is destined to jump the shark across the Atlantic.

It was fitting that a franchise like the Jaguars was sent to London for this game. Take a good long look, my friends across the pond. That is a pretty good facsimile of the team you will sport if our money-grubbing league awards you one. As a matter of fact, it may be the actual team you end up with. Jacksonville and London are about as different as two cities can be, but they would attract the same kind of players. None.

The whole London concept is flawed from almost every single angle except that of blind greed. Aside from the obvious logistics nightmares, creating potential competitive disadvantages for teams involved, the consequences of which can only be imagined, there are a myriad of other issues.

Here is what the league seems to disregard. Players are people. American people generally like to live in America. Wives of Americans like living in America. Their children like living in America. How many hurdles would a London team have in convincing a big time free agent to change continents? What is the tax situation over there? Do people care about things like that? I think so.  So you have to pay ridiculous money to get players to go there, or to stay there.

And what you end up with is a crappy franchise that every potential draft pick dreads hearing call his name. A road trip from hell every NFL player dreads seeing on their schedule. Yes, the owners will stuff their pockets even further in the short-term, until the “new” wears off and London gets as tired of harboring a loser as Jacksonville is right now. And then we will see the tarps over the seats at Wembley just like we see at Jacksonville. Doomed to fail. So clear to the rest of us without the foggy spectrum of greed. Foggy indeed.

More is not better. Better is better. If anything we need fewer teams. With all the extra injuries created by the “off-season sit on your ass” debacle, franchises can barely field teams as it is. Seems unsafe to expand from here. And to put players on 16 hour plane rides from the west coast to jolly old Jetlag. Just remember kids. Safety is key, when it comes to “vagina-ball.”

Yeah, the Raiders DC summed up my feelings pretty well on the subjects at hand. I’ve got a big FU for all that nonsense.

Dez Bryant was throwing around a few expletives of his own on Sunday. I guess after spouting off about being as good as Megatron, the least your team could do is get behind you and focus the game-plan around you regardless of anything else. Who could blame you for lighting them up? They were making you look bad. The OC, Romo, that other receiver on your team that scored a touchdown before you did. “Megatron has 200 yards, can I get a pass you sonsofbitches? “ Okay, so there was a moment that Bryant owners could relate to. Indeed, get him the damn ball. And they did.

But flaming when the defense did what Dallas defenses tend to do in road games that look all but won? Meh. That was kind of pointless. It’s like yelling at the sun for coming up in the morning. You’re just screaming to hear yourself scream. Shut up and grow up. You will always be stuck with losers if you act as one.

Just because Calvin Johnson kicks your ass 7 ways on Sunday, that’s no reason to go off like a wife that just found a stray pair of panties in the back seat. We all knew Calvin was mac daddy going in. You were the only one that didn’t.

Speaking of losing, damn I am every bit the Cowboys equal. I stand there and yell and cuss at myself in the mirror just like Dez Bryant did Sunday. Never seems to help. Stuck with a loser.

I have been deadly sharp on some free agents and sleepers this season, however I missed out on far too many of them. It started in the preseason when I noticed #80 the little known tight end from the Broncos was catching everything in sight, and dominating match-ups.

Julius Thomas was so far under the radar I just jotted his name down toward the bottom of my draft notes and thought I would get him at will. Didn’t happen. Others had seen what I had seen, and didn’t need any fantasy publication to endorse him before taking a flyer earlier than I anticipated. Critical draft mistake. I underestimated my competition. Much like the Dallas coaching staff on Sunday.

Last week I started Jeff Cumberland on one of my teams. I don’t know how that happens to an experienced fantasy veteran, but I feel like having Dez Bryant come over and yell at me about it. It would probably make us both feel better.

Of course, depending on Thomas’ ankle, his owners may be throwing a tantrum of their own and starting Jeff Cumberland for awhile. Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.

I learned something this weekend besides to never end up with Jeff Cumberland as your tight end. Never buy Halloween candy the weekend before the actual holiday. Much like starting a slug at TE, it’s never going to make it.

Halloween is on Thursday night. So you might need to make plans to assign candy duty to someone else. I am going to dress as “guy who ignores everybody while football is on.” I think I can pull it off.

Beanie Wells mercifully injured himself during his tryout with the Ravens. Bernard Scott was not so fortunate.

Remember Bernard Scott? He was supposed to be what Gio Bernard is. Well, was before this weekend. Can I please get a consistent fantasy player?

My redrafts are both 11 week regular seasons. And I have a sinking feeling that I am going to miss the cut for the playoffs in both. I am still hanging near enough the top of the point standings in one league, but my won/loss record is 3-5. My other team is 5-3 but down big on points. I’m hanging around with 3 weeks to go. But I feel like have felt all season, uneasy. Like a man with his neck in a noose. Despite my efforts, I don’t think I am ever going to live to see whether rostering Andre Brown for 9 weeks was as moronic as I suspected it might be.

Come to think of it, had I not rostered Brown, maybe that one added player would have been the one to push me over the top. Maybe I wouldn’t be in the gutter with Jeff Cumberland. Maybe my arrogance to think I could work with a handicapped roster was my downfall already. Damn, how about that. Self realization. And you were here to see it. Hoarding Andre Brown ruined my fantasy season.

But he DOMINATED the toilet bowl. Well, he would have, had I not benched him. Oh yeah. Loser.

Misery Index

10a) Cowboys: Only the Cowboys could have lost that game Sunday. The Lions chance of winning down 6 with a minute left was 2%. The ’Boys bucked 98% probability. A stunning statistical anomaly. Like losing a game when you win the turnover battle 4-0. On the brink of impossible. Yet none of us are really all that surprised. And that defines the Cowboys.

10) Dolphins: So anyway I picked up Brandon Gibson a few weeks ago to cover my Giants WR byes this week. IR. Masterful the way fate kicks my ass at each and every turn, seemingly without fail. I don’t know what I did in my former life, but it must have been bad.

9) Giants: And just like that you are only 2 games out of the division lead. I am so rooting for a 7-9 division winner. Let’s make it happen. Oh, and his name is Reuben Randle. You tricked me into thinking it was okay to start him and then gave all his looks to some dude named Jernigan or something. You may have sunk my fantasy team right there. You suck. And you made me suck. You think about that on your bye.

8) Falcons: I don’t know what Stephen Jackson or Tony Gonzalez did in their former lives. But it must have been bad. Here you go, one last kick in the ass on the way out the door. Thanks for coming!

7) Rams: Tough choice for the sports crowd in St. Louis Monday night. The team they love, or the team with Bruce Springsteen’s dead saxophone player at quarterback. 

6) Texans: Don’t worry Matt Schaub. The Vikings will add you to their stable of broken quarterback dreams and let you duke it out for first op to be benched again next year. And hey, if you can hang on long enough, there’s always London. You seem to be playing in a fog most of the time, so I think you might work out over there.

5) Eagles: You let the Giants shut out your offense at home. What’s worse, you go through quarterbacks like Lindsay Lohan goes through pharmaceuticals. It seems hopeless. But this is the NFC East, where hopeless might get it done this year.

4) Vikings: Josh Freeman allegedly exhibited “concussion like symptoms” after his ill-advised first start. I’m not sure, but I think that is why they ran him out of Tampa. Well, that and his horrendous completion percentage. But I can see why you were attracted to him. In any case, if your motive was to make Ponder look competent by comparison, mission accomplished. His 145 yards and no interceptions was a relative beauty.

3) Redskins: This team is like the man with severe Elephantitis in his testicle. Can’t move the ball. Of course the defense tends to key on the quarterback when your coach forgets you have running backs. The Redskins ran 1 time in their first 3 drives after taking a two TD lead. Nice showing for the Rat homecoming. Let this sink in ‘Skins fans. Jason Campbell looked better than RG3 Sunday. Redskins. Just thought I would type that word again to make up for those that choose not to. Redskins. Redskins. Redskins. Oh the humanity!

2) Buccaneers: As bad as it is to trot out your putrid franchise on national television for all to see, it pales in comparison to the genuine hatred exhibited by the hometown fans toward the head coach. Dedicated lot they were, they hung around long enough for the TV camera guys to get bored and point at them. Nasty, real hate.  The kind usually only reserved for opposing divorce lawyers.  I wonder if Schiano realizes this game is over. Or is he going to attack on the kneel-down.
                  
1) Jaguars: “I say old chap, that team in black seems to be having a rough go of it eh? I ’ope when we get a team it will be these maroon and gold chaps. Anybody ‘ave the real football scores?”


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