FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 17
Kevin Ratterree
December 24, 2013
 

The line between fantasy and reality is getting as blurry as your average NFL replay official’s vision. Look at all the air-brushing these days. You never know if what you are seeing is real or not. Well, except the cover of Colin Cowherd’s book he mercilessly whores. That is obviously airbrushed. But I was thinking more along the lines of feminine forms.  Is that Kim Kardashian's butt?  Or is that some pocket protector/horn rimmed glasses pimply faced little twerp's computer skills at work?  More importantly, why am I looking at Kim Kardashian's butt?  I hate panoramas.
                                
For instance, I never questioned the authenticity of Playboy’s Playmate of the year for 1978, the lovely Miss Debra Jo Fondren (Who lists her turn-offs as “pushy and opinionated people” and for this reason I knew we would never couple. Well, that and several hundred other reasons we need not delve into now.)

In any case, I had no reason to question that the woman I saw in that magazine I “borrowed’ from my friend Clyde’s dad, was just as she appeared in those soon to be chemically bonded magazine pages. Ahh first love. You just can’t beat it.

Yes, Christmas always brings back warm memories. But my point, before I got horribly sidetracked was that you knew where you stood back in those days. Okay, you might not know where your September ‘77 Playboy issue went, but otherwise, pretty solid ground.

We were on pretty solid ground just last week, back when we knew nobody could beat the Seahawks in Seattle. The Giants couldn’t win anywhere, and we just knew someone wanted to win the NFC North bad enough to actually show up for their game. All down the drain like everything that didn’t end up on those magazine pages. Disgusting? You bet.

I do hope nobody is eating breakfast right now. But let’s face it, the next few days are going make your belt wish it were a snake so it could bite you. I’m only doing you a favor. Falalalala lala la la.

Yes, I am in the giving mood. I have been giving all year already. My league-mates. My bookie. My sanity. I have contributed mightily. But I still feel I have more to give. Does anybody need a slightly used copy of the September ‘77 Playboy? Didn’t think so. That’s okay, I’ve got something for everybody.

Misery Index

32) Broncos: Santa Claus was oh so nice to the Broncos this year. Here’s hoping you keep escaping the reality of the brutality of winter as long as you can. In any case, though it led to my ultimate ass-whipping in general this season, it was a pleasure to see Manning do it one more time, and it was practically a “Debra Jo Fondren-esque” experience when you broke pretty boy’s record. But it looks like you will have to slay the GQ beast one more time if you want to punch your ticket. And Jack Frost figures to be on his side. Too bad the game won’t be in OMAHA! That would be awesome.

31) Seahawks: Oh yeah. Nothing like a heaping helping of humility right before the playoffs. I told you last week I was unconvinced of their invincibility at home. Little did I know it would be those scruffy little redbirds that would prove the point so poignantly. And suddenly you don’t look so super. After that little nest pooper.

30) 49ers: Hey, I like this team. And if it weren‘t for Harbaugh‘s tormented facial expressions I am pretty much over, they would be a fine watch most of the time. But considering their workhorse back has knees that sound like the grinding gears of a ‘69 dump truck when he runs, with sparks and parts flying off, I don’t trust them as far as I would drive that dump truck. And by the way - couldn’t someone around there have said, "say hey Willie - pull that nose-hair" prior to his interview on MNF? That was a worse ambush than interviewing Joe Namath 10 highballs in.

29) Panthers: If they reach the Super Bowl, they will have a chance to match their win total of the last two seasons. Almost three. Do I think they will win the Super Bowl? Not really. Do I really have a clue who will win the Super Bowl? Not really.  I think we have established I don't have a clue about anything.  Well, except that Nick Foles call.  That was pretty bad-ass.  Does anyone care?  Not really.
 
28) Patriots: At this point I am convinced Hoodie and Brady are both vampires. They simply can’t be killed. Somehow. Some way. Deep down, I still expect them to make it to the Super Bowl. Of course at that point they will probably be overcome by a more rounded physical NFC contender loaded up with silver bullets and wooden stakes. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they are the sacrificial lamb. Which is fine. I never tire of watching them don their frowny-faces as they are dragged into mortality.

27) Bengals: Oh, I’ve wanted to believe in the Bengals many, many times. I wanted to believe in them against mighty Joe Montana in the Super Bowl. I wanted to believe in the Icky Shuffle. One time I actually did believe in them, and the Steelers whacked Carson Palmer’s knee, and it all crashed like an 80s computer searching for Debra Jo Fondren images in the internet. I’m not going through all that again.

26) Colts: It seems like nothing has really changed here. Sometimes the quarterback pulls superhuman feats and bails out an otherwise suspect team. And in a league that is currently decidedly un-superhuman, that is enough to get you to the playoffs every year. Hey, anybody feel safe closing out the Luck/RGIII “debate” yet? Yeah. I think so.

25) Chiefs: The childlike Santa-believing dreamer in me wants to think Andy Reid spent Sunday making damn sure not to show any of his cards to a team he will be facing again in two weeks. The cynical, reality based Chiefs fan in me, saw that as a glimpse into the corpse-like soul crushing type performance they are likely to deliver when the house lights come on for real.

24) Saints: Let’s face it. The NFL screwed you last year by kidnapping your head coach, and they screwed you along with every other American by putting the next Super Bowl in an environment potentially better suited to the Iditarod. Brees will have a lot more fun watching it on TV like the rest of us, rather than spending the day trying to see over the snow drifts.

23) Eagles: This is a team that personifies the season. Are they the team that got rung up by the Vikings, or the team that ran through the Bears like reindeer piss into a Coors can? They are both. And they are neither.
   
22) Cardinals: In a season where mediocrity has been richly rewarded in so many cases, here we have a team potentially winning 10 games and missing the playoffs. And they are the only team that has proven they can beat the #1 seed on the road. Tragic. How very BCS. I’m sure Cards fans will just call it BS.

21) Bears: Remember when the Bears not only “played” defense, they actually embodied it? Honestly, if you slap some Cream sickle uniforms on these tackle dummies, I could have sworn that was the 70s Buccaneers out there flopping around Sunday night. And this is a team playing for the playoffs! Those 70s Bucs were ahead of their time I tell you. They would be a solid 7-8 right now. Debra Jo would be all into them.

20) Packers: The fact that you still have a chance to win this division without half of your offense only tells you how badly you should be blowing them away with them. Look, somebody has to win this damn thing, and somehow you are still the best chance we have a seeing a semblance of game in the first round of the playoffs. So let’s try to get it together and get Matt Flynn another ridiculous contract. Just for the hell of it.

19) Ravens: The problem with an already immobile quarterback playing on a bum ankle is that they can’t sidestep out of the way of defenders that blow past linemen - making a bee-line to the exact spot they know the quarterback will be. That realization would have been most welcome sometime last week. It certainly was for the Hoodie.
 
18) Steelers: So now you have earned yourself a chance at a lottery ticket. Too bad you showed up for work so late or you wouldn’t need it. Guys. The season starts in September next year. Just like it did this year. Check it out.

17) Bills: Robert Woods was compared by some to Steve Smith when he was selected by the Bills in the second round. I did see flashes of that during the season, but his attempt to punch out an over-zealous opponent in the win versus Miami really brought it home. I think that one is going to be just fine.

16) Chargers: Well, if nothing else we determined that Philip Rivers was not washed up, just awash in the cesspool that was Norv Turner’s reign of terrible. Go figure.

15) Titans: Looks like Munchak will be hitting the bricks, so Jake can probably clean out his Locker as well. Coaches that can’t crack .500, and quarterbacks that seem to crack everything leave their fans wanting to do crack. And let’s face it, in Nashville there isn’t much else to do. So in the name of public safety let’s clean house and keep the little childrens off the pipe.

14) Rams: I had my doubts about Sam Bradford since he reigned at Oklahoma. And really nothing he has done has removed those doubts in either his ability or availability. Not to mention the fact that the team looked just as good (better really) without him. I’m thinking he is going to make a fine backup. More financially secure than most, but a fine backup.

13) Dolphins: Can you definitively say that the Incognito scandal doomed their season? No. Can you definitively say the Ingognito scandal may have actually saved their season? No. Can you definitely say Incognito is an immense asshole? Well, no. I wouldn’t. Not to his face anyway.

12) Giants: Oh, so one week you flat out quit, but the next you come out and do your best impression of an NFL team just to crush the dreams and aspirations of another? While simultaneously blowing every greedy Vegas gambler with an eye for “corpses” right out of the water. Well isn’t that nice. I think we are growing to hate you.

11) Lions: Remember the good old days when the Lions lost all the time instead of just over the last half of the season? But hey, false hope is better than no hope. Like that movie preview I saw about a dude falling in love with the voice on his operating system. Hey, as long as it keeps you medicated man.

10) Cowboys: Nothing I can say here will trump the statement that will be made this Sunday night. The circus is coming to town and Jerra’s big-top will break out the clowns for one last big show. Fortunately the star of the show has already been beaten to a pulp trying to save Cirque De Silly from foreclosure, so nobody will hang the impending Sunday night scene from Goodfellas on our boy. Good for you Tony. Screw ‘em all.

9) Jets: Lets be fair. Had I not been on hiatus to start the season, the Jets figured to open at the bottom of the Misery Index, and that is where they figured to stay. So in those terms, the 7-8 record looks like a massive overachievement. The reality is that the rest of the league was just much worse than anticipated, and the turds kind of all floated toward the middle. Rex says he will be fired anyway. And he should. You can’t be a head coach in the NFL and treat your quarterback and offense in general like a bastard stepchild. Rex is thinner. But still quite thick where it counts.
 
8) Raiders: Well, you got a good long look at McLoin. After your prior look at Pryor. Now in your ongoing commitment to excellence you have decided to take one last peek at the Pryor in week 17. Against the Broncos. Who need to win. And Pryor says, “ Oh, okay. Now you want me to come in? And the Al Davis eternal flame burns bright.
 
7) Browns: Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon will be the hottest Cleveland commodities in fantasy football in a long time. Well, that‘s assuming you can find an actual quarterback and drag him kicking and screaming into camp…..
 
6) Jaguars: The Jaguars held a ceremony at halftime honoring retiring center Brad Meester after 14 years with the team. Wait. Somebody stayed with this team for 14 years? Willingly?  They should build him a statue. And I do hope they will provide him all necessary therapy going forward.

5) Buccaneers: Coach Schiano told NFL Network earlier this year that the Buccaneers would win “their share” of games this season. Apparently their share was 4. Here’s hoping the Bucs give him his fair share of severance pay when they can his ass the day after Christmas.

4) Redskins: When you are the bitch of the NFC East, you are the bitch of all bitches. Merry Christmas bitches!

3) Vikings: The Bengals presented a floor-show on Sunday, with the ever-popular “monkeys riding dogs, herding sheep.” Granted it seemed a bit chaotic, but it was far more coordinated than the Vikings game-plan, and certainly more entertaining.
    
2) Falcons: Boy, before the season started that Monday night game against the 49ers looked like it was going to be relevant. But then again, so did you. Just an FYI. I have decided I like Julio Jones too much to ruin his career. Next year I will let someone else draft him, and kick my ass thusly.

1) Texans: The good news is Debra Jo Fondren is from just down the road in Beaumont. So that is a feather in your cap. The bad news is you don’t have a capable quarterback on the roster. The worse news is, you don’t have a prayer of protecting one even if you had one. And your defense has morphed into a monstrosity just this side of the Chicago Bears. Oh yeah, you should have no problem getting a big name coach to sign up for this. Happy New Year!


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