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Commentary From the Edge - Week 13
Kevin Ratterree
November 29, 2005

It's not mine.  The words uttered by every person ever busted with a pipe.  Oh Michael, say it ain't so.

Slick story.  Yeah, uh, my friend just got out of re-hab ya see, and uh, he had this pipe with him.  And I didn't want him to bring it in the house so the kids wouldn't get hold of it.  Yeah, I was going to throw it away the next day but I forgot.  More holes in this story than a brick of Swiss cheese.  I mean, who has this NOT happened to?  It's the old, "I picked up a friend from a re-hab facility he left the crack pipe he had with him coming out of the re-hab facility in my car" story."

Ya' know, I would be the last person to judge, and Irvin may be innocent.  But I think that after you get popped in a hotel room full of hookers and rock, you pretty much have forfeited your "dog ate my homework" privileges.

There is a crack pipe in my car, but I forgot.  We haven't forgot.  We haven't forgot that this is the guy that got racked up in a hotel room with people and substances of questionable repute.  The guy hopelessly miscast as a television commentator.  The guy we all suspected was high when he clung to Terrell Owens backside like a rhesus monkey while T.O. was busy making a mockery of the game. 

Our worst fears realized.  What was clear to the viewing audience but mystifyingly hazy to ESPN execs.  Crack induced statements may have indeed been broadcasted to a nation of innocent and impressionable viewers.  Oh the humanity.

Lets get the ball rolling for a write in vote on the next "overbearing loudmouth" for ESPN to plant in Irvin's soon to be dusty chair.  Any suggestions?  Let's see now, what former player do a large portion of football fans really hate, barely speaks English, and has no business in a broadcast facility.  Let's start the nominations there of course.  On second thought, let's not speculate.  ESPN, surprise us.  Please consider the possibility of the benefit of placing someone that does not rate high in the "annoying" demographic for males 25-50.  Somehow, somewhere along the way, that fact has escaped the powers that be. 

Irvin should have said the pipe was from one of ESPN's programming execs.  Now that's a story I would buy.

Who am I kidding, Irvin will skate on this.  Good things never happen to me.

What kind of a world do we live in where Mariucci is fired for not being able to coach a bad team into contention while Dawber still trolls the sidelines seemingly unaware that he is the new Rasputen.

Joey Galloway should get serious consideration for Comeback Player of the Year.  He definitely should be considered the Fantasy Comeback POY.  Nobody gave this guy a sniff in the preseason, and in some cases he went un-drafted.  But in points per reception scoring he is the 6th leading wide receiver.   I drafted him in a couple of leagues, and am paying a heavy price for missing him in others.  I have a lot of good ideas, but I have a problem of not listening to myself sometimes.  That ever happen to you?  In any case, I think Galloway deserves major props for turning around a career most of us thought was all but over.  Sir, may we now call you Joe?

There are more players that deserve a lot of credit this season.  Orton in Chicago.  Disaster averted.  (they weren't going to be good with Grossman anyway, at least that was the prevailing wisdom) Bledsoe, back from the fantasy grave.  The Seahawks as a group I think have surprised some people.  Including themselves.  Larry Fitzgerald proved that he doesn't have to be on a great team to put up great stats.  He was a great draft day bargain this year.  Lamont Jordan has had a solid year on a bad team.  I was dead wrong about him.  It happens.  I admit it.

And every year he is an afterthought on draft day.  And every year he puts up numbers,  Warrick Dunn.  If you loaded up on receivers early in the draft and grabbed Dunn as a #2 he has been rock solid.  Undervalued every year.  One of these years Dunn will fall, but I'm tired of betting on it.

The big question now is who is holding the magic combination of players to make it through your fantasy playoffs.  You can almost hear the spaghetti Western music in the background.  Only one guy in your league has the right combination of players.  Is it you?  This is the moment we have all waited for.  The big payoff.  Here's hoping you have a shot going into week 13.  That's about all you could ask in this wacky fantasy season.  Just a chance!!  Because once you are in....................... anything can happen and usually does.  Good luck to all within sight of these words, except the guys I play against of course to which I say BURN!

Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week:  The record is 2-6 after another loss last week on the Cowboys +3.  That was a close one.  I'm tired of living on the edge and depending on the likes of Ron Dayne to pull me out.  Do you have any idea how guilty I felt about that while I ate the steak dinner I won on the game?  This week I seek more solid ground.  As I look at this weeks board for a crack I must say it looks tight.  It looks as tight as ............nah, better not go there.   It is still early in the week but I see very few games that look attractive to me.  I would be very selective this week. The Ravens are laying 8 at home against the Texans.  That looks tempting.  The Ravens really aren't 8 points better than anybody.  Are they?  But I'm not going to pick that game.  Because I am not completely insane.  Picking games between two lousy teams is risky business.  I tend to avoid it unless one team has clearly quit and the other has not.  The point here is to help you and I have honed in on one game.  The Browns host the Jaguars and the opening line is 2 1/2 with the road team favored.  The Browns are 0-2 as a home dog.  The Jags 2-1 as a road favorite.  It seems to me that the oddsmakers have possibly discounted the Jaguars without Leftwich a bit too much in this spot.  That is to your advantage.  Grab this wager early, because it will probably hit 3.  Still attractive, but not as solid as the 2 1/2.  With or without Leftwich this Jaguars team is superior to the Browns in every way and unless the Jags turn the ball over 5 times I see no way in hell the Browns can ruin this one for you.  This is a game the Jags are supposed to win and they will take care of business.  Which can only mean my pick is the Browns + 2 1/2. 

Misery Index

10)  Jaguars:  Oh boy.  Snake bit again.  What is up with this franchise?  They had the yellow brick road to Indy lined out in front of them.  And they still might get there with the easiest schedule possible remaining.  But with Leftwich probably went any hope for a rainbow at the end of the journey.

9)  Steelers:  Bill Cowher's decision to onside kick to start the second half spoke volumes.  Now the Colts mystique is really starting to play into games.  Opposing teams that are clearly outmatched like the Steelers are resorting to a "go for it all" mentality.  Meanwhile with the loss, where Cowher allowed several questionable and curious play calls to help bring down the ship, the Steelers are teetering on the beam with other AFC teams breathing down their necks.  Everybody has them penciled in for the playoffs but I'm not so sure any more.

8) Giants:  We all Feely your pain.

7) 49ers:  A more convincing loss for the 'Niners, but they did hold the lead for awhile.  They should probably be a few spots higher on the list, but they just aren't losing convincingly.

6) Lions:  The axe had to fall on someone I guess.  Mooch bites the dust.  I am not a big Mooch fan, but I suspect he wasn't nearly as big of a problem as a GM that cannot evaluate talent.  Let me correct that, cannot evaluate football players.  Loading a team with talent is fine but ideally you want those guys to translate talent into play on the field.  You need FOOTBALL PLAYERS.  Not prototypes of what a player looks like.  You need players. And you need a GM that knows one when he sees one.  Blow 'em up and start over again.

5) Ravens:  Jamal Lewis finally showed up for a game, coincidentally about the time the whispers for Chester Taylor became shouts.  But the end results for the bird droppings were the same.  A pleasingly disdainful Brian Billick in the coach's conference is must see TV.  Catch it while you can.

4) Raiders:  Jacked up at home by Miami.  There is no punch line needed here.  The Black Hole is more like a festering boil.

3) Packers:  Samkon Gado fumbling problem. 

2) Jets:  Jacked up at home by the Saints.  You don't need a punch line for that one either.  Less than a year ago, this team came a whisker away from upsetting Pittsburgh in the playoffs.  Now, here they are playing beeyatch the to the NFL's version of the Road Warriors.  Sad.

1) Texans:  Now THAT was a performance that you would expect of a Misery Index Champion.  A virtuoso in putridity.  Instant legend status.  When you knock out a visiting team's 2nd string QB and they bring in a rookie (Ivy League no less), then you proceed to build a huge 24-3 lead at halftime, you really have to be something special to piss all that away.  I have to tell you, I got sucked into taking the Rams -4 in this game.  By halftime I had already prepared myself for the ultimate death of my wager, and tried to rush through the grieving process and move on with my life.  But then, thanks to the legendary ineptitude of the Texans I saw my wager raise the coffin lid at the end of the game and crawl out in overtime.  It was only a cruel joke after all.  God Bless the Texans.