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Commentary from the Edge - Week 4
Kevin Ratterree
September 28, 2010
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Michael Vick is not a dog’s best friend.  Apparently Vick is not a fan of cats either.  He has spent the last two weeks torturing, and killing unworthy Lions and Jaguars.

Congratulations Michael Vick.  You are becoming the player we all thought you could be 8-9 years ago.   One can only wonder what your career might have been had you dedicated yourself to your craft way back then instead of being prodded into it by the biggest fall from grace in American sports history and subsequent stay at the Gray Bar Hotel.

While many are falling over themselves gushing over the “new and improved” Mike Vick, I think this re-birth only serves as further confirmation of a sad truth.  Mike Vick never appreciated the opportunity and talent that he had, and pissed away nearly a decade of potential greatness because he just wasn’t willing to put in the work.  I mean, why would you want to study film when you get your real jollies knee deep in mangled, bloody dogs?  Oh the glory.

So good on you Mike Vick.  When pushed into a corner by society, and your intellectually challenged priorities, you manned up and did the right thing.  And you have been almost instantly rewarded.  America loves a great come-back story.  We are all about second chances.  We have become forgiving to a fault.  I mean, if Hitler was found alive today, we would probably give him his own talk-show and Monsanto endorsement deals.  

I’d like to buy in and believe that you have “arrived.”  But it will take more than carving up a couple of patsies in back to back weeks to buy my confidence.  I will watch you, but I’m not rooting for you.  Well, except for when I have money on the Eagles or you are throwing at Jeremy Maclin. At those times, you go dog.  Oops.

That Napa know-how commercial makes me want to blow a hole through my television.  I never really had anything against Napa auto parts, but their nauseating commercial with the lip synching dufus has left me no choice but to avoid them like Cowboys running backs at a fantasy draft. 

Will someone please tell Michael Irvin that Donovan McNabb does not pronounce his name MacNabb?  And would someone tell all television producers that have anything remotely to do with sports that Michael Irvin does not compel us to watch a program, but rather compels us to decide if any information me might glean is worth enduring his projectile vomit inducing schtick.

Here’s what I hate about kickers.  Everything.  The guys on the team don’t like the kicker.  We fantasy guys don’t like the kicker.  Head coaches don’t like the kickers.  Gamblers hate kickers.  Kicker’s wives hate kickers.   You don’t think so?  What woman wants to move every couple of years…or months? 

Garrett Hartley committed the only sin worse than missing an extra point.  He missed a game winner from inside 30 yards.  C’mon Garrett!  What the hell?  Little Forrest Gump coulda made that kick!  Mama coulda made that kick.  Post-war Lieutenant Dan coulda made that kick!  And even if any of them had missed the kick, they wouldn’t stare down at the holder trying to “figure out” what went wrong as it sailed wide-left.

You shanked it dude. You tossed your lunch.  I don’t care if the holder put it down point toward your foot, you don’t miss that kick.  You are being paid a lot of money to work 5 minutes a week.  Could you at least hit a cross-bar with the game on the line?  Everyone holding a Saints -3 ticket Sunday wanted to personally kick your ass through those goal-posts.  But I suppose they are the real fools because they let their hard earned money ride with the fragile emotional head-case that is the average NFL kicker every week. 

But the biggest fool of all may end up being Sean Payton.  He brought in John Carney on Monday.  Apparently Payton doesn’t remember that at the end of Carney’s last stint with the team, he was missing one of these chip shots about every game.  Absolutely horrific and an embarrassment to the sport of football.  And that is going to be an improvement?  Really?  Mama always says, “stupid is as stupid does.”     Don’t be stupid Sean.  One head-case is as good as the next.  Stand pat and take a shot at looking like a genius.  There is no way in hell you end up a genius bringing in Carneysaurus.

Why are we so stupid?  Why am I so stupid?

I mean, who was I to think that I was getting a gift during that draft where Andre Johnson got drafted 4th leaving me with MJD at pick #5?  Who was I to think that I was finally “lucky” enough to pull a draft spot higher than my customary “basement pick?”  Yeah, I was all set to take Andre Johnson.  Stud receiver as usual, and go on about my business.  But no.  No, no, no.  Drafter #4 got cute.  And I got burned.  Oh, I could have taken Randy Moss, or Miles Austin.  Or even another of my favorites Roddy White.  Just imagine the shock and awe that would have caused in the draft room.  Oh “what a fool” they would have thought to themselves.  What a horrible, horrible reach.  Idiot.  Indeed, why would I put my ass on the line when I had a chance at that rarest of beasts, a stud running back.  Maurice freaking Jones freaking Drew.
Note to fantasy football gods:  I know I have done a lot of bitching over the years about never getting a top pick.  Please disregard.  Picks 10-12 are just fine.   This isn’t nearly as much fun as I was led to believe.

But then, I did win big in the Austin Collie lottery.  That kid is de-stinkifying fantasy lineups all across the land.  Wow!  I felt really bad when I had him benched in week one when he blew up.  I felt worse when I started him in week 2 and he missed his previous week’s mark by about 30 points.  Then last week it became apparent to me that I am some kind of genius, and it always feels like the first time. 

Pure luck?  Yeah, I guess.  But Austin Collie just seemed like a no-brainer pick to me this year.  I think I got him in the 12th round of both redrafts where I own him.  A Colts receiver in the 12th round of a PPR fantasy draft?  Sign me up.  What the hell have you got to lose?  All upside.  Collie is looking like one of those “magic pill” players that will elevate teams to championships.  At least that is what I am telling myself as I shake the lifeless body of Maurice freaking Jones freaking Drew.

But it isn’t just MJD.  Few of the highly ranked running backs are turning out to be good investments to this point:

Johnson (64) pts.  #11 overall
Rice        (37) pts. #69  injury issues
Peterson (78) pts.  #2
MJD  (30) pts.  #115  injury issues
Gore   (73) pts.  #7
Turner  (34) pts.  #87
SJax  (42) pts.  #53 injury issues
Mathews  (14) pts  #232 injury issues
D. Williams  (23) pts  #156
Mendenhall  (50) pts.  #32
Jamal Charles  (44) pts  #47  insane head coach issues

Tell me again why we gnash our teeth over these guys in every draft?  For the two or three of them that actually pan out?  Next year I’m already thinking WR/WR no matter where I draft.  Anybody coming?

Braylon Edwards was arrested for DUI last week.  Maybe you heard?  He claimed decongestants may have falsely bumped up his blood alcohol content.  Okay, look Braylon.  Even if you have a point about skewed test results, let’s face it, you deserved to be arrested for that beard regardless.   

I almost didn’t write this column.  Why should I?  Just because I signed a contract promising I would?  What, that makes me a slave?  Now that I know the way Fat Albert feels about labor relations, I would like to put in my application to be his Escalade detailer, chauffer, pool cleaner, gardener, agent, plumber, electrician, and the biggest job of all, personal grocery shopper.  You can rest assured Mr. Haynesworth that I take my obligations just as seriously as you do so we should get along fine.

Misery Index

10) Redskins:  A little over a year ago,  Donovan McNabb reached an olive branch to a drowning Mike Vick, and pulled him from the depths to the loving arms of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Less than a year later, McNabb was double slapped by those loving arms as he was not only traded, but insultingly traded to an in-division rival.  Meanwhile, the team that dropped him like a morning after the buffet load is now in the throes of a passionate love affair with McNabb’s little buddy Vick.  Oh my what a tangled web we weave.  Now McNabb, (whose flaws are most well known by the team that ditched him) will have to play said team with said “red hot” quarterback next week.  Luckily for McNabb and the Redskins, they are no strangers to disappointment so they should shake off this upcoming humiliation the way they have all those in the past.  

9)  Cowboys:  The only real downside to the win against the Texans is that some poor fools will be tricked into wasting waivers on Roy Williams.  I’d suggest they instead search the waivers for similarly otherwise useless receivers that have the Texans on their upcoming schedules.   

8) Jaguars:  L.A. called and said if this is the best they can get, pass.

7) Chargers:  I can’t decide which is more demoralizing.  Getting your ass kicked by the Seahawks, or getting your ass kicked for the benefit of an owner that wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on your hair if it was on fire.  Maybe there is some connection between the two.   

6) Vikings:  Grandpa’s probably pissed off that nobody told him about Sidney Rice’s hip.  Grandpa should have left well enough alone and he knows it now.  I suspect about loss number 7 or so, grandpa’s ankle pain is just too much to bear and he checks out.  I mean, it’s only fair.  The Vikings hijacked him into coming back just before Rice’s hip injury went public.  Grandpa was brought here under false pretense.  He was assured there would be more glory and Metamucil as far as the eye can see.  But, Grandpa has stuck it to the Vikings many times in his career.  Grandpa figures one more won’t kill them.  I mean, it’s not like they aren’t already dead or anything.   

5) Giants:  Tom Coughlin used to have the reputation of a cruel task-master in the NFL.  Then he lightened up and this team won a Superbowl.  Maybe he has gone too far the other way, because now he finds himself knee-deep in undisciplined, underachieving players.  These guys have all the self-control of Lindsay Lohan within 20 yards of a crack pipe.  Ya’ know, if Plaxico really cared about his old team, he would break out of the joint, come back and mentor these guys about their decision making skills.  

4) Panthers:  I really can’t give you one good reason why I put this team higher than the other winless scrubs on this list.  None really, except that Steve Smith likes to punch people when he gets pissed.  I figure the odds are pretty low that would single me out for a good punching, but why tempt fate?

3) Browns:  When I can’t find a reason to put this train wreck higher than third on any given week, you know there is some serious ugly out there.  I’m already looking ahead to week 14 where you and the Bills may face off in an epic battle of suckitude heretofore unimagined for a loser take all Misery Index showdown.  Mangini is more than just an a-hole.  He is your ace in the hole in this race to the rankest.

2) Bills:  It seemed last week’s number one ranking would stick for a good long time.  But you scored almost as many points on Sunday as the ‘Niners have for the season, the Pats defense wasn’t calling out your offensive plays before you ran them, and nobody was picking your sorry asses for the Superbowl before the season started.  Tough break.  Advice?  Go ahead and cut the rest of your “quarterbacks” and go Wildcat for the rest of the season.  At least that would give people a reason to watch you besides as an alternative to Ipecac.

1) 49ers:  Mike Singletary said Monday morning that offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye would not be fired.  That was probably a few hours before Singletary realized that someone was getting fired, so it might as well not be him.  If I were Singletary, I would probably consider doing that “eyeball thing” he did back when he was a player.  Now off with the sunglasses and let ‘em have it.  You want winners?  Eyeballs Mike.  Eyeballs. 

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