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Commentary from the Edge: Week 15
Kevin Ratterree
December 13, 2011

On Sunday Countdown one of the nation’s last remaining unabashed Tebow bashers Merrill Hoge continued his crusade. Now Hoge is telling everybody that it’s the offensive line that is solely responsible for the Broncos meteoric rise from Misery Index bums to playoff bound. Hoge contends that Tebow doesn’t deserve credit for any of this. Anybody could be having this kind of success behind that line.

You don’t believe him? Just ask Kyle Orton.

Hoge and Ditka debated the issue, and the debate soon turned into a shouting match. At the end of the verbal melee Ditka got in a parting shot on the ever so smug Hoge. “Be careful, you might hear something when you aren’t talking!”

But I’m pretty sure Hoge was talking at the time so…

Hoge does love to hear himself talk. Unfortunately he is in the minority on that one. Hoge, I’m sure believes at some point the league will figure out that you should never ever run a “prevent” defense against Tebow. Eventually opposing players will fail to cooperate by making every mistake necessary to facilitate a miraculous comeback. And the whole thing will crash and burn. And then Hoge will stand at the podium and receive his award for “most prophetic genius football analyst ever” and then spend the rest of his life reminding us all how he was right once.

Everybody seems to have moved away from Hoge’s myopic view of Tebow. Most of us realize that despite his shortcomings, Tebow is winning. In amazing breathtaking fashion. It’s a fun story. We don’t even care anymore that he looks like the drunk guy at the fair trying to throw the football through the hole, only to have his fluttering flings bounce it off the board every single time.

I was as critical of Tebow being drafted, and forced into a starter’s role by fans demands as anybody. I thought the whole thing was a joke. And maybe it is a joke. Maybe this is just a blip on the football radar like the “wildcat” was a few years ago. Probably.

But unlike Hoge, I am not fixated on what Tebow can’t do. Or the fact that his inept play over the course of the first 45 minutes of most games necessitates the heroic comebacks that ensue at game's end. All I see is a team that was going nowhere, that made a move and saved their season. Or so it would appear.

I see a team that had no shot of sniffing the playoffs now in control of their own destiny. I see a team that deserved to be ignored, now commanding attention. They are the talk of football in a year when Dan Marino’s passing record is being assaulted, and the Packers have a chance to wipe the smirk off Mercury Morris’ face.

So why bother continuing to bash Tebow? He’s too young and naïve enough to know he isn’t supposed to be able to do any of this. America loves winners. And we don’t care how you get it done. Just ask any stockholder.

At some point you just have to accept what you are seeing, tuck your doubt and scorn in your pocket, quit shorting the stock, buy in and enjoy the ride. If you bet red six times at the roulette table and it comes up black six times, you probably should put your next bet on black.

The interesting thing about this phenomenon is that the whole concept of “self fulfilling prophesy.” As the legend of Tebow grows week by week. Teams around the league see what happens to those that play the Broncos. Unimaginable, unworldly, often out of character mental breakdowns at the end of games, that ultimately lead to self-destruction. Now Tebow and the Broncos are in everybody’s heads. No matter how self-confident and competent a team may be, the seed is already planted. “I wonder if that could happen to us?”

This sets up a fascinating game this week with the Patriots coming to Tebow-land. Tom Brady v. Tim Tebow. Winning pretty v. winning ugly. I’m thinking we see four touchdown drives in the last two minutes of regulation. I have no idea who wins that game, but there’s no way in hell I am betting against ugly.

Ugly is a 6 point underdog and is 6-0-1 against the spread over the last 7 weeks. The chosen one has provided for his faithful flock.

How ugly was the word that Tom Brady said while in a shouting match on the sideline that his face had to be digitally blurred in the ESPN footage? Apparently you didn’t have to be much of a lip-reader to catch it if they felt the need to censor it. Brady and the OC should stop cussing at each other and start cussing at the DC. “We wouldn’t have to sweat this $&#% if you %#@&’s would do something about the mother %#$&%$ Division One piece of $%@& defense we are running! “

Amid all the fanfare at the end of the Broncos game, there was a timely camera shot of the owner's box where John Elway was seen spitting some ’baccy in a cup. I thought that was a good look. Apparently ESPN does not share MLB’s dimming viewpoint of tobacco exposure on television, because they replayed that shot on First Take Monday morning. Or maybe they just didn’t realize what “spit-cup” action looks like. In any case kids, it's okay to chew some ’baccy but just don’t cuss while you are doing it. Words are very dangerous.

Well, I gave you a tidbit about Julio Jones last week and his “road warrior” status, and he certainly lived up. Chalk one for me there. Julio almost saved my dynasty season. Unfortunately his heroics could not overcome a few horrific "Denver Broncos opponent-esque" twists of fate. Jimmy Graham had back spasms and turned in a season low. That was of course aided Mike Carey, who stole a touchdown reception from Graham even when replay clearly showed he kept his feet, and knee inbounds.

A superhuman effort by an amazing athlete erased by a douche bag referee. Screw you Mike Carey. I wish you a horrible Christmas filled with plumbing disasters and projectile vomiting. Which also happens to be my natural reflex when I find out a game I give a rats ass about is officiated by you and that bunch of attention whores you call an officiating crew.

Rex Grossman who I correctly stashed and played in week 14 yielded a touchdown pass to some dude named Brandon Banks, as Skeletor found it in his heart to screw me just for old time sake with one of his quarterbacks instead of the traditional running back ream-job. God bless you Skeletor, you are certainly one clever dick you are. Well a dick anyway. Didn’t see that one in the fantasy projections. No sir.

Damian Williams, who I had to plug in after losing Fred “Sweetleaf” Davis was standing alone in the end zone at the end of the Titans game, waving his arms like was bringing in a 747 and Locker couldn’t find him. I lost a huge parlay payout on that one too. So that kind of made me want to slit my throat, but that’s really just a hollow impulse to such a narcissist at heart.

Alas, there was no need for any of that self inflicting, for in the second half of the day I suffered death by a thousand cuts when the 49ers couldn’t buy a touchdown, but sent Akers out to kick long field goal after long field goal. Yep, if you erase all the other crap, I got taken down by a f’ing kicker.

In the end I lost by 3 freaking points. One lousy field goal.

Gee, that was fun. One and done for the dynasty team. And then there was one.

I don’t talk much about my keeper league. But I have some of the same key players. Jimmy Graham, Mike Wallace, Victor Cruz, Matt Schaub, and as a result of that, Rex Grossman. It’s odd, I spend way more time obsessing over my dynasty team, and my redraft teams than I do my keeper league. Yet every season, this team manages to put me in the money.

Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. Less thinking is better? I suppose it might as well be that way when all your well-laid plans can be brought crashing down by an idiot referee having a bad day. Or in the case of camera lens lusting Mike Carey, a day.

Bonehead Play of the Week: Amazingly I entered optimum lineups for my 1-1 performance in the playoffs. But just to continue the pointless saga about my heartbreaking redraft team. This would have been my first week in the overall prize tourney, and my team put up a season high 187 points. Even paired with my lower season average score, this would have put me firmly in the top 20% of the competition with huge momentum. Wow. Just, wow.  But enough of that.  I’m going to go way back in time and give myself a bonehead play of the century. Rob Gronkowski spent 4 weeks on the waiver wire last year in my dynasty league. But I was sporting Gates, Jimmy Graham, and a red-hot Jacob Tamme at the time. And Aaron Hernandez looked to limit Gronk’s upside going forward. Nothing to see there. That is what I thought. Wow.

Misery Index

10b) Cowboys: Yup. Uh huh.

10a) Bears: Marion Barber was the latest Tebow enabler on Sunday. But I don’t know if we can attribute all that to the curse of playing Tebow. I mean, you can take the player out of Dallas, but you can’t take Dallas out of the player.

10) Dolphins: Whew! Management was hoping they would finally lose one so they could go ahead and drop the axe. Too bad they didn’t win out. That would have been cool to watch them squirm some more.
9) Bengals: Just like the ugly dude dating the ridiculously hot chick, eventually fantasy succumbs to reality. Hit the bricks Poindexter. Hope you took some pictures.

8) Bills: Ditto.

7) Panthers: This team is the antithesis of the Broncos. They have blown 7 fourth quarter leads. Mike Smith was so surprised his team was the recipient of one of these generous melt-downs he had to go to the hospital afterwards. You lose so fine you almost give a man a heart attack. Have to give you props for that. You guys do have a flair for the aromatic.

6) Redskins: Jabar Gaffney’s “Lambeau Leap” into the lap of an unconcerned Patriots fan and the surrounding apathetic Redskins fans was a bigger flop than Danny Snyder has been as a team owner.

5) Chiefs: You look at all the key injuries suffered by the Chiefs this season, and you wonder if a head coach deserves to be fired under those circumstances. Maybe not. But that neck-beard in itself was reason enough to can Haley so I say he got what he deserved. Now instead of just looking like a homeless dude, he has taken an important first step toward becoming one. I mean, you are supposed to go: 1) lose job 2) grow neck beard. But the order isn‘t absolutely critical.

4) Browns: Colt McCoy was on the receiving end of a helmet to helmet hit. Some thought he should have been checked for a concussion rather than shoved back onto the field. However I saw little difference between pre and post trauma. Which basically proves nothing.

3) Vikings: I think it’s fair to say that the Vikings got screwed Sunday. But they bent over and grabbed their ankles like always so I suppose it was inevitable. In any case, I viewed that game as something of a “passing of the torch.” You have officially replaced the Lions in the role of “everybody’s bitch.” Now, go fix me and Aaron Rodgers a sammich. Bitches.

2) Rams: Dear NFL. Let's make an exemption. You have to have won at least 4 games or the next year you get no prime-time gigs. Unfair? Maybe. Any less fair than subjecting millions of viewers to this kind of unspeakable cruelty? It took these clowns 10 plays to score from the 2 yard line. We only have so many Monday night football games in a lifetime. Look what you feed us!  We want charbroiled steak, not wieners roasted over a dumpster fire.

1) Colts: I thought this team was a disaster before Manning showed up. But those teams would kick this team’s ass. On the bright side you have covered the spread for the last two weeks, so Vegas finally has a handle on just how horrible you truly are and betting against you isn‘t the money making proposition it was for the first 11 weeks. Now all you have to look forward to is an ugly divorce with Manning and starting over with Luck, Oh, and joining the Lions in Misery Index infamy. Don’t lose sight of the prize guys.

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