FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 12
Kevin Ratterree
November 19, 2013
 

The road to a “kinder and gentler” NFL is a rough one. The 49ers were swallowed whole by one of its potholes Sunday afternoon. I summed it up on the Huddle message boards. The Saints won a game on the basis of Drew Brees’ neck being grazed by the arm of a defender.

The new rules are the most brutal to swallow when they so clearly and definitively affect the standings at the top, and ultimately the outcome of the season.

Drew Brees in a post-game interview described the play and used the term, “clothes-lined in the chin.”

That is not accurate. A true clothes-line is delivered to the neck and possibly lower chin. We all saw the slow motion view of Brees’ neck being stretched out like a scene from a Road Runner cartoon. That was caused by the physics of a direct hit below the neck, with the delayed reaction of the neck and head following the impact to the upper torso.

Had Brees suffered a true clothes-line, with the force that was delivered on that hit, he would not have been able to describe being clothes-lined, because I doubt he would be able to speak. Granted, Brees’ neck was draped across the defenders arm on his way down. Gravity will do that.

I'm not a cave-man. I understand things evolve.  But calling that play a penalty undermines the basic integrity of the game. The Saints couldn’t protect their quarterback. They ran the defender right into him. The defender made the only play he could, and appeared in my eyes to make every effort to avoid the quarterback’s head.
 
If you can’t make that tackle in that situation as a pass rusher, we might as well go back to the schoolyard and count the two hand touch as a sack. I mean, if you want to uphold the integrity, and keep some semblance of balance in the game. I’m dead serious.

If baseball proposed moving the mound back 3 feet to “protect” the pitcher, while consequently bumping up the offensive numbers in the game, baseball fans would go absolutely ballistic. They would storm the league offices with pitch-forks.
 
But we football fans seemingly swallow whatever the NFL is dishing out. Which at this moment is a “football-like” substance.

As far as I am concerned, the standings in the NFC are compromised. The Seahawks should be sitting on home field advantage right now. And that sucks, because that single play is potentially a huge factor in who represents the NFC in the Super Bowl.  That is sad for all of us that love the sport formerly known as football.

Of course, the Super Bowl, thus the whole season is already compromised in any case, because it will be played in a blizzard, where defenders need not worry about getting to Drew Brees, as any pass he throws will be immediately blown back in his face anyway. So there is your silver lining.

It’s funny, the NFL is supremely worried about quarterbacks getting (gasp) tackled, but they have no qualms putting a bunch of corporate honks, and a handful of wealthy fans at risk of loss of life and limb to get to the big game on a highway that could potentially be best navigated by snowmobile.  

I mean, far be it from me to point out a potentially devastating publicity fiasco to an entity, now so keenly aware of gaping liability. I hope it snows like Siberia. And when London calls for their Super Bowl I hope it is a foggy nasty sloppy piece of crap. Because that is what you deserve when you stick a vacuum cleaner up the golden goose’s ass.

I’m serious. I am rooting for a weather fiasco at the Super Bowl. When your balls get big enough you think Mother Nature is going to her knees for you, someone needs to kick you in those balls.

Goodell is not buying his boxer-briefs off the rack right now I assure you.
   
The Broncos /Chiefs showdown was interesting. Both teams came out and tried to be the opposite of what the other was expecting. The Chiefs tried to throw the ball around the yard, and played man to man against the guy nobody dares. The Broncos turned into a run-first team to keep the rush off the hobbled Manning, but Manning eventually picked that man to man apart anyway as usual when he found out his line was going to hold. Ho hum. I suspect we will see a reverse of fortunes in the rematch.
  
Dwayne Bowe had one of his better statistical days of the season. But hey, you know what happens when you get busted. You lay off the chronic for a while. Gotta keep it tight for a few days here. Let the smoke clear so to speak. And then all of a sudden your head clears up, you are understanding game tape, catching passes and scoring touchdowns. I’ll be damned.

So last week, I took a rare trip out on the limb and advised all against benching/trading/ or dropping the Chiefs Defense. So naturally I didn’t bench them against the Broncos in my big regular season finale game. Wrong. Two points. That cost me a playoff spot. Well, that and the fall of Riley Cooper. Just another typical crash and burn. I talked the talk. I walked the walk. Right off the cliff.

I started Michael Floyd at flex for the bulk of the season in that league. He was the kind of guy that was getting steady but never spectacular points every week. He saved the spectacular for the week I finally decided I had better options than him. I can’t decide if I would rather punch Floyd, Cooper, or myself in the face. All three I think.

I had no business missing the playoffs in that league. If there is anybody out there that can set a damn weekly lineup somewhere north of horrific, please contact me. I draft. I run the waivers. You set the lineups. I’m the GM. You are the head coach. We’ll probably clean up.
 
It takes a long time for we humans to correctly assess their strengths and weaknesses. At some point you just have to look in the mirror and say, “you suck.” And then you let go of what sucks about you, relinquish some control to others. It begins with letting someone else set my lineups, and ends with letting someone else feed me and wipe my ass. The transition has begun.

Here in week 12, I am down to one fantasy team. Damn that is depressing. One really is the loneliest number. And I don’t even like that team all that much. The damn thing is bipolar. Started 4-0, led the league in points. Then went 0-4 with the lowest points. Now on a 3-0 run again. I don’t even know what the hell I have here. But I have done some of those intelligence tests where you have to complete the numerical pattern. And weeks 13-16 look to be on the wrong side of the ledger.
 
Of course, some of you might say, “Hey Kevin why don’t you play them new-fangled weekly fantasy leagues?” Unfortunately that plays right into my weakness, as I would have to choose a weekly lineup. Only now my roster has 300 players. I can’t even pick the right guys out of 20. Or between 2-3 for that matter. What in the hell would make me think I am going to be better with more choices? I could save some time and just mail out checks to people that play those leagues. Same result with less torture.

I do find it interesting that salary cap leagues are back in vogue. I’ll tell you how old I am. I started playing fantasy football in salary cap leagues you found in the back of football magazines in the 80s. You had to send in your roster carved on a rock by homing pigeon every week. Once the internet came along those old salary cap leagues were a thing of the past.

But now they are back with a vengeance using the weekly play format instead of the traditional season-long leagues. Brilliant. I never saw that coming, I suppose if I had I would be sitting on a big stack of money instead of reminiscing like an old fart loser, with no fantasy teams left to manage.

Trent Williams says that mean old official said a dirty word to him. It hurt his feelings, and he tattled on him. Now big daddy Goodell is going to have to take a look at this. Boy, mean people are just taking a beating right now. I wish we could all just hold hands and sing Kumbaya, or Puff the Magic Dragon or some such drivel. In any event, I’m sure Williams did nothing to provoke this verbal assault. Well, relatively sure. Players surely don’t say nasty things to officials, do they? I certainly wouldn’t.

Misery Index

10) Browns: When even Jason Campbell can’t pull you out of your tailspin all hope must be lost.

9) Bills: Let me get this straight. Week before last, against the Steelers, faced with the prospect of going off the cliff at 3-7, you couldn’t get it up. But this week, the team you are playing goes to Dave & Busters the night before the game, and that bursts your briefs?
 
8) Chargers: I don’t mean to alarm you, but the Raiders just passed you in the standings. With some dude I never heard of at quarterback. And with the Chiefs up next you are staring down the barrel at 4-7 all of a sudden. What the hell is going on? Has Norv been hanging around, or texting with the players? Did someone mention him in the locker-room or something?

7) Redskins: I can’t figure out if Shanahan or RGIII is the inept one. Or both. It doesn’t really matter I suppose. RGIII gave a passive aggressive stab at the coaching staff after the game, implying the other team out-coached them. That may be true, but they still could have won the game had RGIII not thrown one of the biggest turds of a pass ever flung by an NFL deity with the game on the line. On 3rd and 1. Yeah, it does sound like someone hasn’t been coached properly.

6) Ravens: The only thing worse than a virtual season ending ass-whipping is a 5 hour plus virtual season ending ass whipping. It isn’t just power companies. Apparently even mother nature hates your ass.

5) Titans: In Greek mythology, the Titans, also known as the elder Gods ruled the earth before they were overthrown by the Olympians. The Titans were associated with the planet Uranus. The play of these modern day Titans sometimes reminds me of something that comes out of your anus. So I think I get the connection.

4) Vikings: I’m beginning to think Coach Frazier is the king of fools. As he sits upon his throne in the Cassel and Ponders how long the Vikings will wait to make him a free man.

3) Buccaneers: Not only did this team win their second in a row, they produced an out of nowhere fantasy running back for some starved fantasy teams out there. Right now you are a rogue and an embarrassment to the Misery Index. You need to figure out a way to turn this around. It’s like you have started caring or something. I don’t even know who you are any more.

2) Texans: So, you went crawling back to Matt Schaub did you? And you found him as you left him. As helpless as the old lady that has fallen, and can’t get up. Andre Johnson, whom had become reacquainted with the end-zone in his absence, did not seem at all amused. Hard to tell if this pointless reappearance was due to after-effects of Kubiak’s mini-stroke, since some of his in-game decisions were decidedly stroke-like before the incident.

1) Jaguars: The race for the Index crown was as tight as Ray Lewis, wearing his “smart glasses” there for awhile. But now it seems almost as anticlimactic as my impending march to assisted ass-wiping.


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