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Commentary From the Edge
By Kevin Ratterree
November 18, 2003
  The big thud you heard this Sunday night was the Cowboys falling off their perch. The "Bill Bowl" lived up to expectations. A low scoring game with more kicking than a soccer game. The student took the master to the woodshed. The better team won.

I noticed before the game that Bill Parcells hair was a natural shade of gray instead of the surfer boy blond dew he had been sporting. First of all, let me be the first to thank Bill Parcells on behalf of all of us. That surfer boy look was hard to stomach on a old man with such a, well.......stomach. The question is did Parcells decide to go that way, or is the impending doom overpowering the industrial strength dye job? And after Parcells was beaten, the two men hugged. The still shot photo of the embrace that was on the home page of ESPN was disturbing. I'll just assume that was a very awkward moment in the embrace, and try somehow to erase that horrible life scarring image from my consciousness.

Parcells has performed wonders on the team America loves to hate. No question about that. But even Parcells can surely see his team has hit a wall. They simply won't be able to go anywhere with the offense they have. But even so, if they win half of their remaining games they'll still make the playoffs. All Parcells has to do is keep the wheels from falling off, stay away from the Clairol section of the beauty aisle, and everything is still gonna be just fine.

Aside from the man hug, the most disturbing thing on television last Sunday was the barrage of promo's for Fox's new show "Simple Life". You know the one I am talking about. The one where the two good looking skanks are forced to live as farmers for our entertainment. Sort of a "fish out of water" show so to speak. The sight of the one skank putting her arm up a cow's wazoo time after time all day really cut down on my urge to snack. This is what television has come to? They think that I, as a football viewer am the perfect audience for this new skank arm up a cow wazoo show? Let's get back to basics. How about a weekly show of Anna Kournikova playing tennis against some other hot chick, and call it Battle of the G-Strings. Or better yet, All Star No Panty Tennis. With plenty of slow-mo. That's what we want to see damn it. Is that so hard to understand?

My how our Bungles have grown. Chad Johnson called his shot and his team backed him up. I suppose that at this point it would be inappropriate to continue calling them the Bungles, so I now proclaim them Bengals. Welcome back Bengals. It's been a while. Nervous? America loves a loser, and we want to come along on the ride with you. Don't let us down. You are in the worst division in football. You are in first place. The season is almost over. Hang on Bungles....uh, I mean Bengals. We're rooting for you. (Note: The views expressed above do not necessarily reflect the views of fans of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.)

And what of the team they took down. Yes, the team on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, the Chiefs. Kansas City has been nicked. A chink in the armor. It's probably a good thing. When you hit 9-0 you forget how it feels to lose. Also the pressure with the mythical "undefeated season" speculation is instantly killed. And now the Chiefs suddenly have an AFC crowd nipping at their heels, all looking for home field advantage.

BIG KAHUNA'S PICK: I played the parlay last week on The Cowboys and the under for the "Bill Bowl" and was only half right, which is completely useless in the world of parlay betting, which is why I don't like them in the first place. It's tough enough to get one pick right. So, back to the drawing board. And back further out on a ledge I go.

But before I venture out on the ledge let me give you a bit of information you might actually be able to use for a change. I told you a few weeks ago how much I love the home dog pick. This week let me tell you another one of my favorites. I used to think that guys who played halftime lines were truly sick individuals that just couldn't pass up an opportunity to bet. Kind of like guys who constantly bet on regular season hockey games. But there is one halftime bet that seems to be a real winner. Are you listening? In a blowout, and I'm talking about at least a 17 point lead, preferably 20-21points. Always bet the under on the halftime line. I used that technique in both of the late game blowouts this Sunday (Denver and Seattle games) and hit them both.

The concept is simple. The team in the lead is usually going to slow down the game and milk the clock. The team behind is reduced to being one dimensional, making the job of defending them much easier. I have no solid percentage numbers to give you, all I know is that I hit it almost every time I play it, and it makes watching the second half of a blowout much more interesting. Now that is bang for your buck. Don't thank me, giving is it's own reward. Ok, that's a load of crap. What I meant to say is, your undying admiration is thanks enough.

Now, on to the pick. This week I completely lose my mind. I will take Arizona +8 at home against the Rams. Reasons? Of course. As horrible as the Cardinals have looked for most of this season, a very strange thing is happening when teams visit the desert. The dry desert air has not been kind to road teams. Every game in Tempe it seems visiting players end up getting IV's and hitting the stretchers. And the Rams, while winning the last 2 weeks certainly have not looked pretty doing so. And Martz seems intent on letting Warner back on the field at the first opportunity. It seems like a whacked pick on the surface, but it is perfect for the big kahuna's pick of the week. If you are going to follow my advice on this one, I would gamble on waiting later in the week to see if the spread moves to 9. Unlikely but possible. CARDINALS +8

MISERY INDEX

10) Cowboys: Terry Glenn said he hates everything about New England. New England loves everything about Terry Glenn. They love the fact that Terry Glenn plays for a different team. They love the fact that when Glenn comes to town with his new team, he catches one pass for 8 yards. And they love the fact that they don't have to look at Glenn's nappy hair on the sideline anymore.

9) Corey Dillon: Everybody is dogging Dillon. Personally I feel sorry for the guy. I really do. He gave the best years of his career for a lousy team, with no light at the end of the tunnel. And now that the Bengals have finally found respectability, Dillon is like a poor kid with his nose pressed up against the display window of the toy store. Dillon put his hand on the doorknob, and Rudi has shoved him out the door. Corey, thanks for coming.

8) Buccaneers: The Buc's have become a sunken treasure. They do fall hard in this league don't they. It's been quite a season. Warren Sapp and Keyshawn have somehow managed to make me hate them even more, which I did not think was possible. And then the team pulls a tank job, which I could not have imagined. Not a bad parlay.

7) Cardinals: The only thing that scores less on the road than these guys are fat, smelly, obnoxious guys with bad breath selling insurance out of the back of their Chevette.

6) Chargers: That old Flutie magic expired quicker than clearance priced meat at the grocery store. They are fighting tooth and nail with the Jaguars for that 1st draft pick, which the Chargers are hoping to waste on the next great "bust" quarterback.

5) Jaguars: So desperate for wide receiver help, they take on a known cancer causing agent known as Kevin Johnson.

4) Bills: The Bills offense is like following an old lady in a 68 Galaxie driving 40 mph down a two lane. The turn signal is on, but she never turns. She used to drive fast, but now she is afraid. Her reflexes are slow, and she makes mistakes. She doesn't know which direction she is going. She can't make decisions fast enough, and you wonder if she has been drinking.

3) Roiders: The 'Roid Rage' gang rides again. Romanowski wastes a teammate. Now Ty Wheatley smashes a cameraman's face on his way out of court. But, hey I'm sure there is no connection between these guys being tested positive for 'roids and their pre-occupation with smashing faces. Rick Mirer is on Firer. They let him throw the ball 13 times and he completed 9. If you have Roiders left on your fantasy team do yourself a favor and pick up some Falcons or Chargers instead.

2) Vikings: The only thing these Vikings are plundering is their once insurmountable lead in the division. Last week I blasted on Moss for dogging it, then come to find out he was on the field with a concussion as a "decoy". Ok, I accept that explanation I suppose. I guess it's ok to have your superstar on the field with a head full of cobwebs. What harm could come of that? But what happened this week? Is Randy still not right? Culpepper is winning fantasy games for his owners but is helping lose games for his team. Vikings fans are scrambling to re-route their late January vacation plans.

1) Bears: Ok, let me get this straight. Jim McMahon drinks??? My world just doesn't make sense any more.