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Commentary from the Edge - Week 1
Kevin Ratterree
September 8, 2009
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Hello sports fans and welcome to another season of Commentary From the Edge. It has been an amazing off-season to say the least. Lots of changes. Lots of movement. But the biggest stories of the summer involved quarterbacks well past their prime moving to new teams. I have thoughts.
First of all, am I the only one that thinks that Brad Childress looks a lot like Papa Smurf with his new “full-on” beard? Yeah, I know the Smurfs were actually blue, but if you put a Vikings sweatshirt and red sock cap on Childress, that’s Papa Smurf.

Anyway, Papa Smurf spent the summer playing footsies with Smurfette, and the whole sickening display was mercilessly covered by the media. Smurfette played coy, but Papa Smurf finally got Smurfette to move in with him.

So it is all set now. Smurfette will be making most of the decisions from here on out. Then she will change her mind. Then change it back again. Threaten to leave. Cry and say she’s leaving for good. Then come back. It’s never boring with Smurfette around.

My gut feeling? That whole thing ends up a Smurfed up mess. A Nordic Greek tragedy of sorts. Papa Smurf just needs someone to take care of the house. Tidy up a bit. Keep things in order and running smoothly. But will Smurfette be happy with that role? Smurfette has a wild side. She likes to sow her wild oats once in a while. Smurfette will get bored and want to gamble with Papa Smurf’s money. Smurfette doesn’t like being told what to do. She likes to do as she pleases. And Papa Smurf will probably stand by and let it happen. Papa Smurf practically begged her to come stay with him. Smurfette has the upper hand.

Smurfette is used to getting whatever she wants. And what she wants most is to stick it in and break it off in Gargamel up in Green Bay. She probably thinks Gargamel is jealous, but Gargamel is shacked up with a younger, hotter version of Smurfette, minus the nasty gambling habit. Gargamel is laughing at Papa Smurf and Smurfette. And I suspect he will have the last laugh as well.

In other summer romances around the league we may have witnessed the last chapter in the Tony Romo/ Jessica Simpson hook-up. Dude dumped her at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Just how annoying do you have to be to look like Jessica, and get dumped by the side of the road? Amazingly, Jessie was only the second biggest pain in the ass that Romo rid himself of over the summer. Maybe he can concentrate on football now. The clock is ticking Tony.

And last but not least Tom Brady added to his long list of improbables, snagging a beautiful woman that actually has more money than he does. Mr. Brady, if you would please forward me Satan’s number I’ve decided to sell mine too.

Misery Index

10) Bills: Can T.O. turn around a franchise? He was supposed to be the missing piece in Philly. He was supposed to be the missing piece for Dallas. Didn’t work out in either case.  But he will put asses in those seats for awhile.  Owens has made a habit of blaming everybody else for his team’s failures, but luckily for him he has finally worked his way down the ladder far enough that his responsibility denial may at last prove well-founded.

9) Jaguars: A struggling franchise. A disinterested fan-base. A brutal division. They should pack this thing up and move it to L.A. where at least they would have good excuses why nobody gives a rats ass.

8) Redskins: Danny boy just keeps on spending, and the wheels just keep on spinning. While most would agree that the Washington defense will be a formidable one with the addition of Albert Haynesworth, most also expect this bunch to be the 4th best team in a 4 team division. Congratulations Mr Snyder. Yours is truly the best last place team in football. And who knows? Maybe Haynesworth will stay healthy and continue knocking out every QB that crosses his path, and you can win your division against the likes of Kitna and Mike Vick. Yeah, it could happen. Worth a shot I guess since you are in this deep already.

7) Buccaneers: This just doesn’t look good. A lot of teams cleaned house this off-season and the Bucs fired the opening salvo with the firing of Jon Gruden. But when you try to assemble a team of coaches to replace the outgoing Chucky, you might want to make sure that your new OC has actually called plays at some point in time before now. And realizing that mistake 10 days before the start of the season is probably something you might want to give a re-think. This team is certainly unlikely to be a contender (the same thing I said about the Falcons a year ago) but at the very least they may have saved Monday Night Football by donating Gruden to that problematic third chair. Well done.

6) Bengals: There seems to be a ground-swell of hope surrounding this long suffering franchise. Carson Palmer is back. Ocho is happily tweeting his way into America’s hearts, and the schedule looks kind of do-able. But let’s not get carried away here people. I mean, these are Bengals. They find ways to screw things up. It is just what they do. I am probably giving them too much credit ranking them 6th in the preseason. I am probably just overly optimistic since God help me I drafted Cedric Benson on more than one of my fantasy teams. Cedric Freaking Benson! Multiple drafts. Oh the humanity!

5) Rams: It seems every season there is a team that sucked last year that turns it around and starts kicking surprised ass after surprised ass. Well, no ass would be more surprised than mine if this team turns out to be that team. The bright spot here is that the Rams finally parted ways with Orlando Pace, so he can spend the season injured on someone else's dime. So they have that going for them.

4) Chiefs: Sports Illustrated thinks the Chiefs are poised to break out of the Misery Index. Peter King has predicted an 8-8 finish. I have a prediction of my own. Someday Sports Illustrated will stop making absurd predictions. Come on now. The Chiefs will be lucky to win 8 games over the next TWO seasons, and that is only because they meet the Broncos and Raiders 4 times over that span. Money man Matt Cassel has already begun taking his weekly beatings behind center, and his odds of him lasting 16 games is roughly the same as those of Titanic v. iceberg. There is a lot of nice new decor in the front office, sidelines, and behind center, but all in all, this is probably still a dump for some time to come.

3) Lions: This is a tough one. The Lions set the standard for the Misery Index last year. 0-16. Perfection. But that was then and this is now. There are a new cast of characters in place and for the first time in years the Lions have nowhere to go but up. Unfortunately no matter how much change the new regime brings, the other teams in the division have seemingly all improved as well and the gap between them and the Lions remains very “Madonna-like.”

2) Broncos: After living in the shadow of the Raiders bungling front office for years, Pat Bowlen finally threw his hat in the ring. The Shanahan firing was somewhat surprising, but it was only the first surprise and nowhere near the worst. I think if I was a new head coach taking over a team in as much trouble as the Broncos that I might find a way to keep my franchise quarterback happy, no matter how big of a horse’s ass (or Broncos ass) he might be. Coach Skippy treated a bee-sting with amputation and left the Broncos faithful to bleed for 17 weeks….or years.

1) Raiders:  Nothing has changed here. Trading away a valuable first round pick for a defensive lineman on the downside of his career was just standard operating procedure for this “franchise.” The Raiders are still a Dr. Kevorkian visit to Al Davis’ office away from contending.

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Early Injury Report
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