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Commentary from the Edge: Week 16
Kevin Ratterree
December 20, 2011

Monday Night Commentary

7:00 I inform the wife that I have decided to make a large investment in the Steelers money line, and she concedes the big TV, wanting to be as far away as possible from the intermittent cursing should the 49ers prove to be Christmas-killers. Actually she is going to watch television in the other room. There are men on TV that aren’t obsessed with football. She gazes lustily upon them, I just know it.

7:10 Stu Scott. My eyes start drooping and I get sleepy every time I see him. He directs the action to some sideline dude I’ve never seen before that sounds a lot like Kermit the Frog. Wow. What a crew.

7:18 Shot of Mike Wallace warming up. Okay Mike, all I need you to do is outscore Antonio Brown by 21 points and I am golden. This is your time man. This is what it’s all about. Impossible? Yeah, but hey if I can’t dream tonight I got nothing!

7:21 On “Come on Man.” College referee explaining overturned call. “The boy who dropped the ball…..” Wow, that’s a big oopsie. I’m surprised Al Sharpton isn’t staging a sit-in on his lawn.

7:28 Boom, boom out go the lights. Oh yeah. I picked a hell of a night to write my column based on a game as it happens. Gonna be a rough final edit at 2 A.M. Genius!

7:30 Crew reports all is calm in the stadium after the power loss. I think to myself, the NFL should never schedule a night game at Oakland. Power outage at the Black Hole? That’s just a crime scene waiting to happen.

7:37 Lights back on! Monday Night Football is saved! The column is saved! Well, let’s not get carried away. It still might very well suck. I mean, come on…

7:44 There’s Big Ben. All shot up with the best drugs money can buy and ready to ruin my bookie’s night! This is what I tell myself.

7:46 Chris Carter starts going on about how you can’t get an effective painkilling shot in that local area, cause he had that injury Ben has and he couldn’t make it through the 3rd quarter. Thanks for pissing on my parade there Chris. But if you don’t mind, this is Ben Roethlisberger. He is a quarterback. He does not run routes all day. Please try to get in the neighborhood of relevance.

7:47 Chris Carter picks the 49ers to win because there is no way Big Ben can do something he couldn’t do when he was a player.

8:00 Finally kickoff. Just like the old days.

8:02 First down Steelers but Ben’s clompers getting stepped on already. That has to feel good.

8:04 Big hit to Wallace then an interception in the end zone. Huge swing the wrong way for me. The pass was intended for Wallace. Double enema early. Nice.

8:10 49ers marching down the field. I’m wondering what the record is for cuss words in this column.

8:14 Approaching the red-zone. Here is where I counted on the Steelers defense stiffening.

8:16 Third down conversion by Alex Smith. 1st and goal. Steelers aren’t going to hold? Holy crap you’ve gotta be kidding me!

8:19 Whew. They held after all. Oh yeah, I’m going to get my money’s worth of hyper-tension tonight. 3-0 ’Niners late in the first quarter.

8:24 Roethlisberger over-throws Wallace when he had the defender beat deep. That’s two. I’ve seen this movie before. Come on Ben! It’s Christmas. Don’t Scrooge me!

8:27 Ben hits Antonio Brown in stride and he can’t catch it, almost tips it to a defender.

8:28 Another interception Roethlisberger. Holy crap just shoot my freaking ass right now. What’s your address Ben, I’ll just send my wallet directly to you. 49ers ball. Great field position. Steelers looking prone to getting absolutely bitch-slapped and we’re only one quarter in. Looks like Roethlisberger using the first quarter as his weeks practice maybe wasn‘t such a solid plan.

8:37 ‘Niners marching toward the red-zone again.

8:39 Defense bails out Roethlisberger again. Field goal. Akers killing someone else this week after ruining my dynasty season last week. Welcome to hell people that had a lead and going against Akers! SF 6-0.

8:44 And out go the lights again. Ah yes. The only thing worse than death is a slow and painful death. We finally get a Monday Night match-up that doesn’t suck and the city of San Francisco can’t keep the lights on. It’s a 50 year old stadium sitting in a puddle. This isn’t good. I’m going to be a zombie this week I just know it.

8:49 As the ESPN crew back at the studio go impromptu, I wonder if I didn’t make a terrible mistake tonight betting on the Steelers, and the power issues will cancel the game and nullify the play. Kind of like a Christmas miracle. Yeah right. More like Ben’s pain injection has worn off completely by the start of the 2nd half with all the delays. Alrighty then, it's off to the liquor cabinet. Hope the rest of the column turns out alright but I need a pain killing injection myself. See you after the ’Niners pay the light bill…

9:01 Clap on. Mendenhall abusing the ‘Niners. Ball to midfield.

9:04 Third penalty on the drive. Referees not about to let the power company steal all their thunder.

9:06 Steelers backed up 2nd & 25, Ben sacked, but bailed out by an illegal contact penalty. See there, I knew I was due for a break eventually.

9:10 Roethlisberger comes a whisker away from his third INT. Missed Wallace again. Punt coming. I’m thinking this could be worse. I could have bet the over 38. Those people are ones really hating themselves right about now. ‘Niners 6-0 in an oft-interrupted yawn-fest. Yep, I know how to pick ‘em alright.

9:16 Steelers pinned them deep then let Smith convert on yet another third down and long. This is like a freaking nightmare! Unless you are a ‘Niners fan. Or rooting for me to write a column that sucks as much as the game it is based on.

9:17 Alex Smith gashes them for a big run. I think I’m going to be ill. Speaking of which, happy death-day to Kim Jong Il. You were such an asshole, and your name sounded like an exotic communicable disease. Which I guess is pretty fitting. Anyway I hope you enjoy the afterlife as much as your citizens enjoy their current lives!

9:24 I get tired of some commercials, but I’ll never get tired of the dog and the bird singing the 80s hit “Take Me On.” Now that is some quality entertainment right there my friends.

9:27 Steelers finally give Akers a rest and bring out the punter. A minute and a half left. Plenty of time for another Big Ben pick. Steelers pinned deep. At this point I will be thrilled if they can run out the clock and come out in the second half with a new plan.  Or just a plan would be nice.

9:30 Mewelde Moore busts a big one , then a long pass to Antonio Brown. Near midfield with over a minute left.

9:35 Steelers run out of time before they get to field goal range so Big Ben gets a last heave. And they end the half at the 10 yard line with zero’s on the clock. More gut-wrenching. I was so confident the Steelers wouldn’t suck tonight. Then again, PG&E was confident they could keep the lights on.

9:40: Berman interviews Dwayne Wade at halftime. Excuse me? Why should I give a rats ass? It’s the NBA, wake me up when the second round of the playoffs start. Or when the commish meddles in some more trades. Gotta love that stuff.

9:51 There’s the new sideline reporter, Kermit again. Sideline reporters are so useless in the first place and even more so when they have a penis. I’m sure Kermit is a nice guy and all but please, no mas
9:54 Steelers finally get a 3 and out. SF punting from their own end-zone. Maybe the special teams can pull this out of the fire. And so begins the desperation…

9:55 Nope. 60+ yard punt and two penalties on the return team. Field position opportunity blown to hell. This is like those nightmares that never end when you have a fever. I wonder if my little grandson would mind if grandpa gave him a box for Christmas this year, and maybe put an IOU in there from the Steelers. Kids like to play with the boxes more than the toys anyway, right? Am I a bad person? Yeah, I think probably so.

10:00 Another punt by Pittsburgh. Loose ball. Interference Steelers. I’m starting to think these guys really have a fear of success. I mean, it’s right there for them. The game, the home field. Everything. Where are they?

10:06 3 and out ’Niners again. Oh they’re just letting the Steelers hang around and hang around. And Ben will hit Wallace or Brown eventually. Right? ‘Niners don’t seem to want this any more than the Steelers. The only thing winning here is my urge to nod off.

10:10 Heath Miller long catch and run to the 50. Whoa! Be careful guys, you almost woke me up there!

10:15 Antonio Brown makes the circus catch going out of bounds on third down. Ruled incomplete on the field, 4th &2 coming and we have a challenge. Close but no catch in my view. The hand touched out of bounds before the 2nd foot. If not, it was too close to overturn using the criteria they are supposed to use.

10:17 Hey they got one right. Good on them. Field goal attempt coming. Suisham pulls out a long one. Steelers have life. 6-3 mid 3rd. Hey guess what? I still need Wallace to catch a 90 yard touchdown pass to put me back in the hunt for a championship. I mean, if it’s not too much trouble? Getting late.

10:22 Long pass to Vernon Davis. Midfield. Well good deal. We needed some action here!

10:24 Steelers get gashed on a screen play. Field goal range again. Then a long pass to Davis at the goal line. Looks like its lights out for the Steelers for good this time. They’ve been playing like they were in the dark all night though, so…

10:30 Great play-call by the 49ers makes long-suffering Vernon Davis owners very happy if they survived this far. Touchdown ‘Niners. Steelers flailing now. Is Kansas City the only AFC team that can handle these NFC types? Really! 13-3 Niners.

10:34 Long pass to Cotchery to the ‘Niners 30. Yea.

10:36 Drive stalls right there. Suisham misses this one. So I am sitting here going through my mind, the upper crust of the AFC. Ravens? No. Steelers? No. Patriots? The Patriots that let Tebow go for 2 bills and hit 50% for the first time? No. These AFC teams are weak sauce.. And it gets uglier from there. Speaking of ugly. This is one ugly-ass game. Turn the lights out again for God’s sake! Kidding!

10:42 Steelers force a punt but they are backed up inside the 10 again. Wait a minute. I just had a flash. I need a 90 yard touchdown. They are 90 yards away. As I falsely told my first girlfriend, get ready for some magic baby!

10:46 False start penalty on Antonio Brown on 3rd & 5, but Cotchery pulls them out of the fire with a big 3rd down reception. They had to kick it out of there and it was probably steel curtains.

10:48 Sack, fumble, ‘Niners recovery. I really wanted to get everyone Christmas presents too. But hey, if you guys aren’t into it that’s cool. Three games in prime time and every one of them a turd. Vegas loves you guys!

10:52 Unsportsmanlike conduct call on 49ers takes a field goal off the board. Seems the refs don’t like it when you climb an opponent's back to block the kick.

10:53 Easy TD for Gore! Gore owners unite and celebrate. Steelers backers such as myself admit complete failure to comprehend that they threw away money on a team that sucks. Screw you Stealers! I bet on you, you lose. I bet against you, you win. Alright, it’s over between us. This is it you jerk wads! My grandson is getting a GD cardboard box for Christmas! Do you understand that? A cardboard box! Have any of you bastards ever had a paper-cut? Well it’s nothing compared to a cardboard cut. I’ll send you losers a picture of little juniors infected swollen leg after gang green sets in from playing with the Christmas present you gave him!

10:59 Pittsburgh has the ball back, pinned yet again. Now I start to wish them physical harm and further humiliation. Come on Ben, throw another interception you limping bastard!

11:03 Three and out, Roethlisberger gets pounded. Niners totally manhandling this “tough” team. Pathetic. I can’t decide which of these AFC front-runners I am less impressed with. They are all as flawed as my typical column and way harder to read.

11:06 I notice the game clock is at 5:30. In 30 seconds the game is official and there will be no miraculous reprieve from PG&E. Oh sure, where are you bastards when I need you? How about a tremor. Could I get just a tremor?

11:08 Hey Mike Wallace caught a pass. Then Roethlisberger got sacked again. This offensive line is getting punked on every play. They don’t seem all that bright. Still. I bet on them so who is the real dumbass here?

11:11 Yet another Roethlisberger INT (intended of course for Wallace) and that puts a pretty bow on the 49ers thrashing of the Steelers.
What the hell is going on this week with all the floundering frontrunners? Simple. We have an bunch of average teams. Every one flawed, most in multiple ways. Yet I bet money on them? Amazing. Now if you will pardon me I need to go find some cardboard boxes.
Bonehead Play of the Week: I drafted Greg Little in my keeper league. Sad but true. Held him on the bench all year. Why? Waiting for him not to suck. Briefly thought about starting him over David Nelson at my WR3, but why take a gamble like that? Dude has done nothing. And I survived most of the year with Nelson. I was going to win the game with Rex Grossman, Victor Cruz, and Brandon Jacobs. Well, there’s always third place…

Misery Index

10a) Giants: You were in the driver seat, but now you are riding bitch with the Cowboys at the wheel and the Eagles plotting a car-jacking in the back seat. And you just sit there nervously clutching your purses.

10) Bears: There was optimism that Cutler would be back for the playoffs. There was optimism that the Bears would actually be in the playoffs. There was optimism Sam Hurd would be satisfied with his overly generous contract, and not feel compelled to start a drug enterprise on the side.

9) Buccaneers: To put it Blountly I am ashamed I ever said drafting Blount was a good idea. To put it Blountly it was a horrible idea. But it isn’t just Blount. The whole team is playing like they are doing blunts. Is this the lucrative market Sam Hurd was targeting?

8) Chiefs: I can’t imagine a more wonderful scenario than the Chiefs playing the Broncos for the division title in week 17. Orton v. Tebow. Are you kidding me? This has to happen. If it does, it may surpass the Pats/Broncos game of last week, which is now the highest rated regular season television game ever.

7) Ravens: Come on, this is no Superbowl team. I noticed Flacco grew a slick handlebar moustache. Is that supposed to make you look more tough or intimidating there Joey? Let me tell you what is intimidating. A completion rate higher than 55%. That is intimidating. I will give you credit though. The ‘stache fits you. It’s definitely you. It’s more you than you’ve ever been.

6) Bills: Hey Ryan Fitzpatrick, you might want to grab your lawyer and sit down at the table, just the three of your, you, your lawyer, and your beard, and go over that contract of yours sit a fine tooth comb. I’m pretty sure there is no incentive bonus for interceptions. Hate to break it to you. Check it out. Oh, you might want to give rat’s nest you call a beard a few strokes with that fine tooth comb while you are at it.

5) Browns: That was not nice what you did Sunday. I bet on the Cardinals and I was not amused with your untimely covering of the spread. Very painful. I was going to buy you all Christmas gifts with the money, had I won. But hey, you want to play scrooge and now you pay! You’ll get nothing from me. There. Go gnaw on that awhile Mr. Smarty-pants‘s.

4) Rams: Remember when the Lambs players got caught up in all that karma in St Louis when the baseball team won the championship, and inexplicably whipped up on the Saints? That actually happened. We all saw it. I watch the Rams play and I have no idea how they ever won a game. They are every bit as bad as the Colts, but a few nasty runs of good luck screwed up otherwise exceptionally putrid season. Damn you guys just can’t catch a break. Or a pass. Or a block. Or a run. Or a clue. Well, you get the idea.

3) Vikings: And somewhere on a tractor in Mississippi, Brett Favre smiles. They were never the same after he left. And somewhere on a couch, eating a bag of potato chips, McNabb daydreams about how he could have easily led this team to twice as many wins if they had stuck with him. And he thinks about calling his agent, but all he gets lately is the secretary. So he just watches some Price is Right. And finds out he’s been getting ripped off on his appliances and other major purchases for the last 10 years. And he sighs.

2) Jaguars: And somewhere in Texas a young quarterback holds his trophy, and wonders how long it will be before he holds another one if he ends up in a black hole like this. And in the black hole a rookie quarterback hopes he has done enough to get a backup job, because that is the perfect job for a guy that doesn’t like those painful collisions out there on the field.

1) Colts: Hey, divisional games are just like fights with the kids from the neighborhood. You all know each other. You know each other’s tricks. You can’t lose ’em all. We really appreciate the effort anyway. You gave us a thrill we never dreamed possible this year. You were far worse than we could have even imagined. Your underachievement without King Peyton is the stuff of legend. Hold your heads up Colts. This win doesn’t make me think any more of you. Merry f’ing Holidays losers!

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