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Commentary From the Edge - Week 11
Kevin Ratterree
November 15, 2005

I keep thinking I won't mention T.O. in this column, but the circus just won't close down.  The Reverend Jesse Jackson has added his two cents.  Which is exactly two cents more than it is worth.  The Rev is on the short list of the most opportunistic people on the planet (the other being Don King) but his relevance in modern society falls somewhere between that of Carrot Top and Ricki Lake.

I have an idea Rev.  Invite this poor put upon individual to live in your tax deductible luxury home for a few weeks.  Feed him.  Bathe him.  Lay hands upon him.  Wrap him in swaddling clothes.   Listen to his tales of woe.  Really get to know the guy.  As a matter of fact, make sure you invite his agent as well.  He seems like an agreeable fellow.  Really get to know them both.  Then after the two weeks are up, you will be fully qualified to come out and tell the world just how misunderstood, and wonderful decent folk these fine fellows are.  Oh brother.

Remember last season when the Jaguars had the brutal schedule, and were the best team not to make the playoffs?  Well, the planets have lined up just the opposite this season, and they are definitely going to be a player.

Of course, who goes to the playoffs in the AFC, (or NFC for that matter) really doesn't matter with the Colts in destructo mode.  I'm not ready to get on the "undefeated season" bandwagon, but the gap between the Colts and the rest of the league is reaching Michael Strahan teeth proportions.

I'm sitting here trying to think of some tidbit of information to help win your fantasy league.  But right now I am as dumbfounded as anybody.  The injuries have been particularly brutal and winning a fantasy league this year is definitely as much a war of attrition as anything.  If you drafted a good team and have avoided injuries, or caught on to sleepers off the waiver wire early, didn't draft anybody suspended, or about to be, drafted Thomas instead of Kevin Jones, Keyshawn instead of Andre Jones, you are probably in good shape.  All 20 of you.

Samkon Gado lot of guys out of trouble off the waiver wire.  A fifth stringer.  On a bad team.  It happens.  And I'm usually on the wrong end of it.

Speaking of Gado, we've got quite a barnburner lined up for next Monday Night.  The Vikings and the Packers.  Who would have imagined what a dog this one turns out to be.  But the match guarantees to produce a two game winning streak for one of these teams, and that is just wrong.

There were some other strange sightings last week in the NFL.  Like Lee Evans standing in the end zone holding the football.  And Steve Smith not.

I heard that some number crunchers have come up with a tally on wasted productivity at work due to fantasy football.  Companies in the United States are allegedly  projected to lose $196,000,000 in revenue this year from workers spending company time on fantasy football.  Now, if we can all pull together (pardon the pun) I think we can pass porno and get into the number one spot. 

Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week:  I can't tell you how overjoyed I am with how well the Crazy as Hell Pick of the week is going.  After last weeks miss on the Raiders my record is 1-5.  I started this out as a lark.  An experiment.  I love to pick games.  And I am pretty good at it.  (After 20 years it is bound to happen)  But somehow the magic is doomed once I put my picks up for display in a public forum.   Kind of like how love is great until you proclaim it for each other in front of all your friends, relatives and the local minister.  Sometimes in life you have to just accept certain things.  And I accept the fact that for whatever reason, some things aren't meant to be.  But you can't let those failings deter you.  You just have to build a better mousetrap.  Roll with it baby.  This is the anti-column anyway.  Picking the wrong team is a perfect fit for me.  And for you.  I am here to share.  That's what it is really about here.  Stickin' it to the man.  Is there anything better? 

First a disclosure.  I am a Panthers homer.  I don't live there but I just really like the team.  I have a Panther problem.  I drafted 3 of them in the Huddle writer's league.  I predicted them to win the NFC before the season started.  The Panthers travel to the brutal windy city this weekend to take on the NFC North leading Bears.  There is plenty of motivation for both these teams, and both have been winning.  The football world is coming around to the fact that just maybe the Bears are a good team after all.  Meanwhile the Panthers are on a winning streak themselves and suddenly find themselves the frontrunner to win the conference.  This is not an easy game to pick.  The Panthers, while throttling a weaker opponent last week did little on offense.  The defense which struggled early in the season won the game for them.  That is pretty much the Bears game plan as well.  I can't really give you a solid reason why I would want to pick the Panthers as road favorites by three points in this game.  One of the tougher games on the board this week.  But the bottom line is, the Panthers are simply a better team.  And I think they will win the game, therefore I would be inclined to give the 3.  I know this one has push written all over it, but so goes the gambler and his 10% hill.  Bears +3.

Misery Index

10) Giants:  The Giants had pundits looking for a Peyton v. Eli Superbowl up until last weeks fiasco against the Vikings.  But hold the phone.  Peyton doesn't do the things Eli did Sunday (except against the Patriots in the playoffs.)  This team has a tough schedule coming up and they threw away what should have been a gimme.  I watched a good portion of the loss against the Vikings, and I must say it was a putrid display.  The Giants outplayed them in most every facet of the game including bonehead mistakes.  The only thing they did that really impressed me was to try and take out Tice.  And they didn't even get that right.  Come to think of it though, if you have Dawber on the opposing sideline, do you want to take a chance on knocking him out and bringing in Hayden?

9) Chargers:  Here we go again.  The Chargers come off a bye and normally that is a good thing.  But with the schedule from hell staring them in the face, the climb looks steep.  Especially when your head coach seems to be having one of his "spells".  If they make it to playoffs they will have probably played most of the teams they would face in the playoffs so at least they would be well prepared.

8) Ravens:  Another pathetic performance by the Ravens.  And the Ravens ownership now has sufficient grounds to dump Brian Billick like an all you can eat Chinese buffet load.  And despite his sin of not realizing his team was sporting a juco level offense, with his enormous ego, you can bet that he will be stunned when the axe falls.  Oh boy, this is going to be great!! 

7) Falcons:  There are a few simple rules that you need to follow to win championships.  One of those rules is that you don't get jacked up by a 1-7 team at home.  The Falcons are a prime example of the mediocrity found near the top of the conference.  Capable of greatness.  Capable of impotence.  Viagara for everybody!

6) Chiefs:  Here is a prime example of the fact that though we all consider ourselves geniuses of the game, the fact is that none of us know Schlitz.  The Chiefs coming off the thrilling last second win over the Raiders the week before appeared poised to go on a roll.  When J.P. Losman hit the field the only question seemed to be how much would the Chiefs win by.  Suddenly Losman, (who was about as popular in Buffalo as a guy who gets caught selling secrets to North Korea) doubles his previous touchdown total for the year.  Of course, if he could match up against Eric Warfield every week.......but I digress.  In the end the Bills trampled the Chiefs by managing to blow fewer chances than did the Chiefs.  And that was quite a feat on this day.  One more year Dick?  Probably not.

5) Jets:  The Panthers barely need to show up to the stadium to beat the Jets.  It turns out that turning the ball over 6 times on the road is not a cure for a losing season.  Herm Edwards' name is being bandied about for the Chiefs allegedly soon to be open head coaching position.  And Edwards might be wrenching his neck to get a look at that.  Because the team he has now does not play to win the game.  As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what the game they are playing is, but it sure isn't football.

4) Raiders:  The Raiders are a good 4th quarter team.  Unfortunately, it rarely matters by then.

3) Cardinals:  Carved up by Joey Harrington.  This has to be a low point, but in the Kansas-like relief map that is the Cardinals organization, hardly noticeable.

2) 49ers:  Once again this team is trying desperately to escape the Index.  They gave the Bears all they could handle, (including that hard to overcome single pass completion) but blew it, and in the process attained instant cult status by giving up the longest touchdown run in NFL history.  So the season has not been a total loss I guess.

1) Texans:  Once again the Texans biggest accomplishment was to beat a huge double digit spread.  What use is it to have a league doormat if you can't even count on them to not cover?  As useless as a condom machine in a monastery.