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Commentary from the Edge: Week 4
Kevin Ratterree
September 27, 2011

Okay, so you lost again. You are 0-3 and you are feeling lower than grandpa‘s nuggets on a hot summer day. Have you ever heard of a 10-3 team in the fantasy playoffs? Or 9-4? Or 8-5? How about even 7-6?
Oh yeah. It happens every year. You aren’t doomed at 0-3. Unless you drafted Jamaal Charles, Mike Vick, and Antonio Gates with your first three picks, you can claw your way out of the dungeon you drafted yourself into. But I would seriously suggest you find a way to get a “W” this week, anything short of hacking your opponent’s computer, or “advising” him on who to start at the end of a gun is considered acceptable at 0-3.

But you didn’t draft Mike Vick did you? You did read my players to avoid column where I try to shelter you from the cruel pranks played on fantasy players minds every season, right? Chances are you had sense enough on your own without my prodding. But just in case you didn’t, wow it must suck to be you right now. Because not only can’t your high priced draft pick stay on the field, he is now blaming others for his woes.

“Looking at the replays, I’m on the ground every time, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated. The refs have got to do their jobs. And I mentioned it to the refs in training camp when I talked to them. I’m on the ground constantly, all the time. Every time I throw the ball, I’m on the ground. And I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else do.” (exact quote brought to you by the power of the human ear)

Self awareness does not seem to be one of Vick’s strong suits. Some fact checking Monday revealed that Vick has inspired more “roughing the passer” calls than anyone in his division over the last two years, and I saw someone on ESPN state that Vick drew more 15 yard calls than the top 4 QBs in the league combined. Mike, that cut on your tongue is going to get infected if you keep rolling BS over the top of it.

And I have to tell you, I never get tired of listening to a guy making more money than God bitching about how hard his job is. Poor Mike Vick. Those awful refs won’t stop those big bullies from hitting him. I have an offer for Mr. Vick. Mike, if there is anything left of your beaten and broken hide, drag it over to my house. Give me 1/50th of your game check and you can beat me senseless. There will be no complaining afterwards I assure you. I’ll just buy a new face and go on about my business.

Or you can throw me and another middle-aged dude in a cage and force us to gnaw each other to the death, and have your friends all come over and bet on the whole thing. We won’t ask for pity afterwards. Well, the one that dies definitely won’t.

Football. They call it a “contact sport.“ You can probably look it up in the dictionary and figure out what those words mean when strung together.

Or maybe he can’t. Last week Vick revealed that he still really doesn’t “read” defenses. I think many around the league might have suspected that. But confirming that unfortunate bit of reality to the rest of the league, shows that the “new and improved” Mike Vick still possesses a lot of the old Mike Vick’s judgment.  Telling the guys at the table what your hole cards are.  Not clever.  Then came Sunday afternoon than when Vick turned in his “man-card” at his presser, offering up a tear-jerking rendition of the horrors and injustice of being Mike Vick.

“Late hit, no flag, broke my hand.” Uh, no. Turns out the hand wasn’t even broken. Mike Vick left the game and made a dogs mess over a bruised hand. I guess 100 million dollars doesn‘t buy what it use to.

But nevertheless, he’s a very special player. Hopefully the refs will end their conspiracy against him soon. Or maybe his plight will inspire the league to finally introduce some rules to protect quarterbacks. Maybe put some flags on their hips or something. That’s what this league needs. A way to make it easier to safely pass the ball. Maybe then Mike Vick will finally get a fair shake at achieving his full potential as an aging running quarterback that still can’t read defenses.

But seriously, I thought the Eagles issues were a sieve-like defense, a lousy offensive line, sub-par passing percentages and costly turnovers. I had no idea the refs cheating Vick out of 15 yard slices of heaven were at the root of the evil. Bastards.

Then you have people like Michael Wilbon coming to Vick’s defense. Wilbon probably spends a lot more time talking about sports than actually watching sports, but apparently he has taken Vick at his word on this one and was on board with the whiny little bitch-fest. Good for you Wilbon (and every other analyst that sided with Vick).

Why don’t you and Vick grab Jim Brown and go to the league office to see if you can convince them to stop giving every other quarterback in the league preferential treatment. And while you are at it, please inform them to give the “early whistle” to Vick on plays where it looks like he might be in the grasp. We need to have the same rules for everybody.

Anyway, Vick was likely coached on the err of his ways on Monday morning, and by yesterday afternoon he was singing a different tune ( “I Will Survive” in place of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen“) and Vick claims we will hear no more from him on the issue. But that is really pointless, because the Genie is out of the bottle. You said what you said un-coached and in the spur of the moment. We get it Mike. Life isn’t fair. Just ask the poor bastards that drafted you. Or the Lurie's who backed up the Brinks truck for a part time player.

But what really torques me off about all of this is that Mike Vick put me in the position of defending NFL officials. The same NFL officials that called back a Bears punt return for a TD on a highly questionable call to say the least. So I feel really cheap and dirty now, and I need a scalding hot shower. Thanks a lot Mike Vick.

BONEHEAD PLAY OF THE WEEK:  I keep waiting for the week when I have nothing to report, but that doesn’t seem bloody likely now aye? Ya know, it’s one thing to give fantasy advice, it is quite another to take it. Last week I made a big stink about “the Bill are for real, and start your Bills” and such. But there was my boy Fitzpatrick on my bench while Philip Rivers was struggling to bust double digits against the GD Chiefs. That’s right I said GD Chiefs! Don’t bench your studs. Don’t bench your studs. Hey, guess what? What if you have two? Do you go with your gut, or do you start the guy you drafted higher? See, this is part of the pussification of America. I knew to use the hammer in all 4 of my leagues, but I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Better safe than sorry! And I shot myself right in the sorry ass. Dumbass!

Misery Index

10) Seahawks: So you beat the Cardinals at home. For all we know they might suck as much as you. Unlikely, but possible.

9) Cardinals: It’s not just that you lost the game to an inferior opponent. It’s the fact that any victory Pete Carroll gets might feed the illusion that he is a competent NFL head coach. And that’s just not right.

8) Falcons: Fell for the old ‘hard count” on 4th & 1 with the game on the line. Offsides. Game over. I know defensive guys aren’t traditionally collectively the smartest players on the field, but the coach just reminded you on the sidelines during the time out you took to discuss the play, “don’t jump off-sides, he’s going to try to draw you off-sides.” I wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure that is what he said chances are more than once. I do know exactly what he said when you jumped off sides anyway, and that was OMFG! Being as how I desperately needed more points from Roddy White at the time, those were my exact words as well. In a related note, these guys are also suckers for the old, “there is a spot on your tie” and “you’re shoestring is untied” gags.

7) Jaguars: I’m still really confused as to how this team won a game, because they do not appear to have the ability to do so. The Panthers were on a 1-17 bleeding before the Jags came to apply a tourniquet. Sadly, they did manage to destroy more than the will of their fans to live. Cam Newton was a fantasy stud in two losses, but a dud in the win. Man, you guys f’ everything up don’t you.

6) Eagles: Dream team huh? I only have dreams like this when I have a life-threatening fever and way too much Nyquil.

5) Rams: I don’t know that anybody thought this team would be really good, but few thought they would be to football what Chaz Bono is to masculinity. The real tragedy is that the waiver wires will be burning up for Torrey Smith this week under the false pretense that other teams in the league besides the Rams will allow the rookie to defile them at will.

4) Dolphins: I hate to break it to you, but it is really hard to win in this league with a backup quarterback as a starter and an assistant head coach as a head coach. Sparano is obviously doomed here, but maybe Parcells can get him a job at ESPN when he mercifully gets the axe.

3) Colts: Is it my imagination or does Curtis Painter look like a guy that got kicked out of his mom’s house for smoking weed, and being unable to hold a job, asks if he can crash in your garage for a few days, but then never leaves? After watching his worm burners against the Steelers I’m thinking this scenario could easily play out in the coming years.

2) Chiefs: Late in the game the Chiefs kicker bailed the Chargers out of a “roughing the kicker” call by leaping over an oncoming rusher. I guess the kicker figures if nobody else is willing to take one for the team he sure as hell doesn’t need to. As bad as things are for Chiefs fans right now, the rumor mill was churning last week about the Chiefs front office apparently in love with Josh McDaniels as a head coach prospect for the team. Dear Chiefs muckity mucks, Chiefs fan here. If this unseemly desire you have for the guy that single-handedly destroyed what was left of the Broncos becomes reality, you are dead to me. But you guys do whatever you think is best though.

1) Vikings: Style points matter, and these guys are the master of the second half melt-down. The Vikings were ahead 20-10 late in the 3rd quarter when confronted with a 4th and 1 outside of field goal range. Leslie Frazier’s inclination was to punt and try to pin the Lions offense deep, so he started to send out the punting unit. But then Adrian Peterson (who apparently has the power of veto) waved them back off. Peterson called the shots at a critical juncture of the game. However, when the ball was snapped, it was not Peterson, but Toby Gerhart that plowed into a brick wall of Lions who correctly foresaw the unimaginative play-call. I can’t wait to see if Peterson benches McNabb next week. McNabb heads for the huddle, AP waves him off. Can’t wait.

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