While we as a nation are on the brink of finally passing the enormous kidney stone that is a national election, I thought it only fitting that I should pay some sort of tribute to the process. After all, much like the election process, much of this column is about mud-slinging. And I use the word “mud” loosely.
But I find it difficult to marry politics and football. It is hard to find parallels between something that gives us as much misery as politics do, and something that gives us as much joy as football does.
I had a hard time coming up with an idea until I saw Pam Oliver’s interview with Jerry Jones. Then it hit me. Jerry Jones is a lot like a politician. I get the same double talk and false innuendo from him that I get from desperate political candidates. Ladies and gentlemen, in an unwilling and unknowing, and completely unauthorized collaboration with Fox Sports, my debate with Jerry Jones hosted by your moderator, Pam Oliver.
Oliver: “Is your team a mess?”
Jones: “Mess is not the word. It’s so close; it’s an offside penalty here, it’s bad timing of a penalty there. It’s missed assignments here but mess I think is real strong.”
Ratterree: Mess. Hmm. When I think of a mess I think of spilled milk on the kitchen floor or dirty clothes piled up in the laundry room. Maybe a pile of dung on a gym floor during donkey basketball. Which I was coincidentally reminded of while Mr. Jones was speaking just then. No, this team is more like a fleet of septic tank trucks crashing into a mall on a Saturday. The Super Bowl favorite biggest baddest payroll in the business in third place in their division at mid-season with a broken down back-up at the throttle? A mess? How about disaster.
Oliver: “You said you’re keeping Wade (Phillips) for the season.”
Ratterree: I happen to agree with my opponent on this issue. When you build a team seemingly unable to handle adversity, it is obviously best not to upset them in any way.
Oliver: “Then evaluating?”
Jones: “No, not at all. It’s ridiculous to think that I would change Wade Phillips. We’ve got a head coach that was very much a part of that turnaround from a year before.”
Ratterree: Once again we agree on this issue as well, it would be ridiculous. Evaluation is over-rated. I mean just because a team has the most talent in the league and still can’t win doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the head coach. That is almost as ridiculous as suggesting that NFL owners hire qualified GMs to run their teams.
Oliver: “What on earth makes (WR) Roy Williams worth $45 million?”
Jones: “When you put him on the other side of Terrell Owens, initially you create problems for the defense. So, he’ll be a big time addition.”
Ratterree: Williams has been in the league 5 years and has 30 touchdowns. That is six touchdowns a year. 1.5 million a touchdown sounds a little un-earthly to me. Add that to the fact that Williams has only one 1,000 yard season under his belt, and has been regressing since that time. If Owens needs more than Witten to take the pressure off at 34, how is he going to be at 35? Or 36? And Owens certainly won’t be a factor very deep into Williams contract. Then you will be stuck with Williams getting his 800 yards and 6 TDs a year cashing the subsidy checks he will keep getting from my opponent regardless. It is like flushing money right down the toilet and only goes further to prove that my opponent just doesn’t get it.
Oliver: “Is it time to cut ties with Adam Jones? You asked him to do one thing and he couldn’t do it.”
Jones: “I have spent a lot of time looking at Adam’s background. I know him to be very smart. He has made bad decisions. He is being asked to really toe the line, as it should be, in a way that probably not many of us have had those kinds of restrictions in what we do. I know from the standpoint of a football player, we’ve never had one on this team that had more things that he couldn’t do and that’s going to take a lot from him. If he does it, then I’ll consider it.”
Ratterree: Here is a fundamental difference between my opponent and myself. My opponent says he knows Pacman is smart. Not just smart, but very smart. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people that are smart, that end up in the back of squad cars on a regular basis. I don’t know many people who are smart that spend most of their social time at scrip clubs, and those that do, realize they are actually at a strip club, not a scrip club. Most smart people I know don’t use phrases like “I was just bein’ rebellion.” I don’t know many smart people that screw up once they get down to their last chance. My opponent has been throwing gallons of perfume in this dumpster, but it is still a dumpster. Maybe when my opponent speaks of “very smart but makes bad decisions” he is actually talking about himself.
10) Chargers: The NFL’s now annual pud pounding trip to jolly old England went right down the loo for the Chargers. I understand that the NFL feels the need to conquer the world since they have already conquered North America. Gordon Gekko said it best. Greed is good. But slipping Mickey’s to each team’s defense before the game was really a dirty trick. Let’s hope the folks across the pond don’t think that Purple Haze defensive effort put forth by those teams represents actual NFL football.
9) Jets: Last week I had some people complaining that they learned nothing from my pointless little commentary. You want some useful information from me? Ok, here you go. Brett Favre (who called the home fans booing him “premature”) has now thrown 11 INTs. He is on pace to throw the second most interceptions in his career, and that is no small feat. The defenses the Jets have faced so far this year have an average ranking of 19.5 vs. the pass. And of the teams the Jets have faced, they have a combined 38 interceptions this season, so Favre is responsible for about 30% of Jets opponents total interceptions for the year, and many of their points as well. Premature booing? Right on que I would think. There. That ought to learn ya’.
8) Colts Have you ever played the old video game Rush N Attack. The Colts play a wierd version it every week. And not very well.
7) Seahawks: The ‘Hawks finally found a team more pathetic than them and surprise surprise, they found it in their own division. The Seahawks have scored an average of 33 points in their divisional games and 11 in non-division games. The bad news here is that the Seahawks only have 3 division games left, and two of those are against the new “best team” in the division Cardinals. If I was a betting man, (and I am) I would say that this is probably the high water mark for this Titanic.
6) Rams: With the conclusion of the Patriots game, the Rams have officially put the hardest part of their schedule behind them. If they are going to make some kind of amazing run, it needs to start this week against Warner, Fitz, Boldin and company. If they can’t get that one, even the rest of their cream-puff schedule probably won’t be soft enough to get them into contention. I’m thinking Kurt Warner re-lives his glory days at the dome this Sunday. I look for Brenda’s prayers for retribution and evil eye fixated on anybody associated with the Rams to be the difference.
5) Raiders: Wow. The NFL is in one hell of a state when a team as bad as this one only rates 5th on the Misery Index. If the Raiders do one thing pretty well (besides giving contracts to washed up players) it is run the ball. In their last two road games since they got rid of that awful Lane Kiffin the team has rushed for 130 yards total, including that stellar 45 yard effort against the Ravens. Yep, it looks like everything is going to be just fine now.
4) 49ers: Vernon Davis might be the only one still believing his press. There’s a new sheriff in town and he is definitely not amused. It has been quite awhile since we have heard a good old fashioned public ass-chewing from today’s more “sensitive” head coaches. Singletary hit his first post-game presser right out of the park. It is an instant classic. “I want winners.” There you go. We all want winners. Singletary is surrounded with losers. He is not happy and everyone’s going to know it. I don’t know about you, but having that guy mad at me would be plenty enough motivation to get off my punk ass and fly right. He just needs lose the shades during the game so his guys can see him searing those death rays through them. Dudes eyes alone ought to be good for two wins.
3) Chiefs: Apparently Larry Johnson is koo-koo for no-no muffs. “Hey baby, don’t you know who I am? I am Larry MF’ing Johnson. Can I buy you a drink? No? Maybe you didn’t hear me. I SAID I am LARRY……MF’in…..JOHNSON. Come on now baby, spread it and you won’t regret it, hey, where you goin’ bitch?” Yes, it seems even a rich guy like LJ can get sent packing with caveman techniques like that. LJ has gone from a homerun threat to a strikeout king. Maybe he and Chris Henry can get Pacman to take them to the scrip club this off-season after all three of them get released. And if there is any justice in the world, STD’s for everybody!!
2) Bengals: Interesting fact. The winless Bengals don’t play the winless Lions this season. No catfight down here. Damn the luck.
1) Lions: Did I mention that the winless Bengals don’t play the winless Lions this season? Oh God, here it comes again. Don’t let me do this. I just can’t take it any more. I can’t keep doing this to myself every year. I say I’m not going to do it, and then I do it. I give my heart to some pathetic loser of a team, hoping they can change my life. Hoping they will give my life meaning with that elusive winless season. And they always rip my heart out in the end. I tell you, I just can’t do it any more! As God as my witness I will never let myself get duped into believing ever again!
Well, let’s see how the next few weeks go…