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Commentary from the Edge - Week 16
Kevin Ratterree
December 22, 2009
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Hello, my name is Kevin and I benched Jerome Harrison.

Welcome to Idiots Anonymous!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was blathering on about my "secret weapon" for the playoffs?  How Jerome Harrison was going to shred the Chiefs and the Raiders during the playoff weeks and catapult my team to fantasy glory?

Oh how I dreamed.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life was worth living
I dreamed Harrison would be my guy
I dreamed Mangini would be forgiving

But alas, I was victimized by the amazing Mangini once again.  But weren't we all?  Well, those of us that were clever enough to stash Harrison in the first place, that is.  (shameless self promotion)

It was his week 14 state of nonexistence that put me off him.  Harrison was reserved for some pass blocking and a few token carries.  As if his week 13 performance meant nothing at all to Mangenius.  Back to the bench punk.  Back to the bench indeed.

So I started Leonard Weaver Sunday last and was treated to the pedestrian 10 point performance I was expecting.  Believe it or not, I won anyway.  I scored below my season average and I won anyway.  On the other side of the bracket I would have been brutalized.

Ahh, yes my friends, the Christmas miracle.  Slithering into two championship games despite amazing mind-numbingly bad roster decisions.  Better to be lucky, as always.

I started Schaub over Roethlisberger where I had that option.  Safe.  Wrong.

I started Ryan Grant and Leonard Weaver over Jerome Harrison.  Safe.  Wrong.

I started Devone Bess over Hines Ward and Josh Morgan.  Risky.  Wrong.

I started Rackers at kicker over nobody.  I failed to roster a back-up kicker for the playoffs in my keeper league.  However I did tote an extra defense, and of course started the wrong one.  Stupid.  Wrong.

A special thanks to Hakeem Nicks hamstring for allowing me the necessary cushion required to win a playoff game with no kicker. 

Despite my good fortune, once again, my bench would have kicked most teams ass last Sunday.  This is becoming an extended excruciating sick joke. 

And I suppose the natural crescendo of this season-long symphony of roster moron-a-thon would be my decision to start Jerome Harrison in the championship game.  Because you know I am going to.  The guy just erased a Jim Brown line from the record book.  What kind of a moron would bench Jerome Harrison in week 16 I ask you?

I have no choice.  If I bench him now given my other options I look like a blithering idiot.  But I know what is going to happen before it happens.  Why not just document it right now and try to help some people out.  Leonard Weaver will go off for three touchdowns. Harrison will inexplicably give way to Jennings this week.  Everybody that starts Harrison will get burned, and nobody will be starting Jennings as he goes off.   

That's just the Mangenius way.  You can't get inside that head.  Oh no.  You think you know what is going on in that wobbly squirrel cage?  I don't even dare to think that I do.  And here I am shackled to him by destiny.  Life can be so cruel.

All I know, if I know anything from playing this game 20 years, is that when you have a hot player in the playoffs you play him.  That is what I know.  (besides the crap about life being cruel and all.)  And I know that Jerome Harrison has put up fantasy game winning performances over 2 of the last 3 weeks. 

And I might be wrong.  This might be the big set-up for the final big kick in the nuts of the 2009 season, but as God as my witness I will not bench Jerome Harrison in week 16.  Because it is just the right thing to do.  For me and my team with no running back.  God help me.  Or Santa.  Or anybody. 

I saw this coming.  I felt this coming.  I held Harrison on most of my rosters all season just in case this was coming.  I felt strongly enough about it to write of this potential fantasy armageddon two weeks ago in this very column.   And in the end I didn't even trust myself enough to listen to myself anymore?

This game is extremely humbling sometimes, downright gut-wrenching at others.  I can't tell you how many times I berated myself on Sunday as Harrison put up one of the best fantasy performances of the season.  The self-loathing.  The cursing.   The cursing self-loathing. 

What good is it to be a genius when you are simultaneously an idiot?  Maybe I should call Tiger Woods and ask him.

Mangini has the opportunity to take the top spot in my hatred index this week.  My opponent will be pulling for him I'm sure.  Mangini, my sanity and what's left of my hair is in your hands.  Remember, wash, rinse, repeat.  Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse...well, you get the idea. 

But my little trauma's are but a tick on a goat's ass compared to some of the wacky stuff happening around the league.  The mighty falling.  The kickers missing.  The coaching insanity.  This thing could end up being a scramble yet, though it is hard to take your eyes off a Saints/Colts matchup. 

The Saints needed to get their butts kicked before the playoffs.  That may have been the best thing to happen to them.  Get the nasty taste of losing in their mouths.  It was definitely the best thing that could have happened to the Cowboys.   

Maybe the 'Boys finally got tired of hearing Colin Cowherd playing his atrocious "Cowboys Got Run Over By December" parody, and hearing everybody matter of factly declare them doomed.  Or maybe they just needed it one hell of a lot more than the Saints did.  All people need is motivation.  Like a head coach hearing how he will get the axe, and a formerly hot property OC figuring he is about to get passed over and possibly passed on for the head coaching job.   

Misery Index

10a)  Vikings:  Vikings fans, I hate to do this, but I'm afraid it's just my job.  I think we have seen this movie before.  We all know how this is going to end.  The important thing is that Childress got his contract extension while his stock was it's highest, and Vikings fans can look forward to his next "song and dance" routine to follow up the highly lucrative "Favre Waltz."  

10) Steelers:  I defended Belichick when he made his call, but not so sure I can defend this one.  I mean, the coach of the freaking Steelers showed a lack of faith in his defense?  The head coach thought that his best chance of winning the game was in the hands of the hands team and the  offense.  Granted, they won the game anyway.  But these definitely aren't your daddy's Steelers.  Steel curtain?  Steel uncertain.

9) Browns:  I think I have said about all that needs to be said.  Do what you will Mangenius.  Jim Brown believes in you.  Then again, Jim Brown believes video game makers should pay him money if their game features a brown player wearing #32 in Cleveland colors. 

8) Redskins:  The league was stupid enough to give you a Monday night gig.  And I was stupid enough to watch it.  Was that some kind of a "sit-down" strike or something?  Were you trying to embarrass Danny Snyder for creating such a disaster, or embarrass the league for having the audacity to put the calamity on full view in front of a horrified nation?  Or were you all showing off for your new "GM."  All trying to buy a ticket out of town I suppose.  That was one of the worst football games ever played.  You didn't just embarrass the city and the sport, you embarrassed mankind. 

7)  Bears:  Sometimes I feel sorry for myself for drawing those high draft picks this year, and wasting them on Matt Forte.  But then I think of the poor wretch that drafted Jay Cutler in a -2 point per interception league, and I smile a little.     

6) Bills:  Oh, ok.  I see.  Your whole reason for being this season was to shut down Wes Welker in week 15?  Is that what it has all been about?  Is this how you reward me for keeping your worthless asses on the outer fringes of the Misery Index?   Thousands of fantasy ballers out there, riding Welker's PPR coat-tails to championships derailed.  All because you had to be heroes.  Unfortunately you failed to stop Randy.  And FYI, boring your opponent into submission is not a viable strategy.  Might want to work on some stuff this off-season.     

5) Chiefs:  The Chiefs experienced their first blackout in 19 years on Sunday.  Particularly fitting I suppose considering the game featured the Chiefs giving out record breaking performances left and right.  Chiefs fans should actually thank the NFL for not subjecting them to the carnage.  If it is a bad product, (and it is) are you really doing yourself a favor showing it to everybody that might be otherwise conned into showing up?  I guess there is a certain wisdom in the blackout rules after all.

4) Buccaneers: So you finally ran across a team that has thrown in the towel.  Isn't that always the way.  Well good on you.  That feeling you experienced Sunday is the feeling you have been giving everybody else all season long.   Well feel this, you might have just lost your chance at Suh in the draft.  You might want take a cue from the Seahawks and go sleepy-time over the next two weeks.

3) Seahawks:  Let's get real here.  The two wins against the Rams really don't count.  And you just got it handed to you in your own house by a one win team.  I think this spot represents a fair view of the relative slum area this team resides in the scheme of things.  Hard to believe such a progressive city can produce such a regressive team.  Merry Christmas Seattle we love you!

2) Lions:  I didn't whiff on too many guys this season, but I was dead wrong about Calvin Johnson.  Megatron could overcome any deficiencies around him.  Yeah, that's what I thought.  I was living in a fool’s paradise.  I haven't been so wrong since the last time I drafted Roy Williams.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn't have been any more wrong if I had drafted Roy Williams in the 4th round instead of Calvin Johnson in the 1st.  Alright.  Let me get my mind right.  New rule.  No more receivers that have anything to do whatsoever with the Detroit Lions.  That should just about cover it.  And now we've grown a little. 
  
1) Rams:  Looks like Santa had a little something for the Buccaneers but all the Rams got was a lump of coal.  Maybe the Easter bunny will be a little kinder.  I'm pretty sure he will.  But for now, you have in your hands the best Christmas present of all.  Congratulations, you have reached the bottom of the heap.  You have outlasted the competition.  If not for one unfortunate slip, you could have reached the greatness of the '08 Lions.  Some teams are born to putridness and some have putridness thrust upon them.  And I must say you have taken more thrusts than most this season.  Just a couple more and we are all done.

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