fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


Commentary From the Edge
Kevin Ratterree
November 2, 2004

I have been treating DirecTV like a cat treats a litter box in this column.  Blacked out games are marring our once beloved NFL Sunday Ticket and I am not adjusting well to the change.  After last week's rant a fellow Huddler informed me that he is getting a refund from DirecTV for games he has missed.  I thought to myself, now that's an interesting concept.  Instead of wasting my keyboard strokes throwing darts at the satellite giant, maybe I should be a reasonable mature adult and see if we can come to an understanding. Surprisingly it worked.  I would suggest that all of you subscribers do the same, as a matter of fact I insist. 

Just go to the DirecTV website and get the customer service number.  Now, let me warn you that the phone system is automated and it will take you a while to make your way to an actual human being.  And when you talk to that human being they will most likely be speaking broken English of varying degrees.  I simply explained politely but firmly that games were being blacked out that were not even being shown on my local affiliates or within hundreds of miles of my house.  I explained that I was missing about 15% of the product I was suppose to be receiving therefore I wanted a refund.  The refund was credited to my account quickly and politely.  Give it a try.  Or you could just wait for the class action suit.  Whichever.

Keep in mind I would much rather have the games I have and will miss due to this degradation of service, but at least they are willing to do the right thing and give back the money they accidentally took from me.  Try that with a credit card company.  Don't even get me started. 

Thumbs up to DirecTV, and get ready for calls from a few of my friends.  I am here to bring people together.  It feels so good.

Terrell Owens continues to impress me with his hot dogging originals every week.  The Ray Lewis "dance" imitation was a beauty.  I take it Terrell has never seen a brother get shanked. 

Ray Lewis told the interviewers that he did not see the celebration dance.  Don't worry Ray, even if you didn't see it (wink wink) I think it really was meant for your hometown fans and the national audience.  We enjoyed it a great deal. 

Lewis also called Owens a coward.  A coward?  He came, he saw, he conquered, then he danced on the grave.  Terrell punched the playground bully in the nose in front of the whole class and took his lunch money.  If that's a coward sign me up.  Take a good long look in the mirror Ray.  

On the other end of the spectrum Jabbar Gaffney wins the weekly Plaxico Burress award for spiking a TD pass just a few inches shy of the end zone.  Easy there big fella.  Stick it all the way in before you start celebrating. 

Pittsburgh made believers out of even the most staunch non believers with the victory over the previously undefeated Patriots.  Amazingly they play the only other undefeated team next week in the Philadelphia Eagles.  Is this league scripted or what?  How does this sort of thing always seem to happen in the NFL?  It's just amazing that this league produces storylines like this on a weekly basis.  No sport can touch the NFL for the ongoing saga that it is.

And you just know Terrell Owens will have something planned for the folks at Heinz Field next week.  I'm guessing he pulls a ketchup bottle out of his sock, pours it all over the football, and then eats it.  He will have to if he wants to top the Lewis funky chicken dance.

The weekly bonehead fantasy team decision on my part was to bench Chris Brown. Luckily for me also I have Priest Holmes on that team, and I have found that the Priest absolves all sins of ignorance.  

The election is finally upon us.  A grand day for the Republic.  The nonviolent shift of power.  Democracy in action.  And yes, finally the end of all the political commercials.  If you were to come to me before the beginning of the election season and say, "Kevin either you can walk out of here of your own free will and live your life normally, soaking in all the political ads you come in contact with......or we can whack you in the face with this big stick and knock you into a coma until November 3rd", there is a good chance you wouldn't see my columns until NFL week 9 during election years. 

And what of this choice we will all be making today?  Let me just say this.  If I were to interview for a job, spewing the kind of crapola that gets thrown around by both of our candidates, the employer would likely toss me out on my ass after about 3 minutes.  And if I was a CEO running a business like this country has been run the stockholders would have already thrown me out on my ass.  And if I ever tried to tour the White House I'd probably get thrown out on my ass but I don't really give a rats ass.  I'll check the place out the first time a President sends his son into active duty for the good of all mankind.  And after that I'll finally take that ice fishing trip to hell.  I'm Kevin Ratterree and I approved this message.


10) REDSKINS:  Mark Brunell I hate to say, has done what seemed impossible less than a year ago.  He has actually moved Redskins fans to beg for Patrick Ramsey to stand behind center. 

9) COLTS:  When you score 35 points and rack up 500 yards in offense, and still get your butt kicked, you can forget about clearing a place in the showcase for the Lombardi.

8) CARDINALS:  Held the Bills to their typical 65 yards of offense yet still got pounded like a porn queen in a gang bang scene.

7) PANTHERS:  Ok, I get it.  This team goes to the NFC Championship game every 5 years or so, and the rest of the time they make their season ticket holders wish they had blown their money on lottery tickets instead.

6) DOLPHINS:  At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if the entire team doesn't quit football and follow Ricky to ganja land. 

5) BRONCOS:  Jacked up two weeks in a row by supposedly inferior teams.  Now they have squandered their nice first place cushion  Worse yet in the offseason the league will be finally forced to make the Broncos favorite dirty little blocking technique illegal instead of just immoral.   

4) RAIDERS:  Charles Woodsen spent the first quarter against San Diego getting toasted by the likes of Eric Parker before being mercifully injured so he could watch the rest of the slaughter safe on the sidelines.  But the guy I really feel sorry for is Warren Sapp.  He has now been reduced to starting shouting matches with his coach on the sidelines to get his much needed attention.

3) BEARS:  The Bears finally found a team that could compete with them in the area of incompetence.  This victory proved that they are not the worst team in the league, but slightly better than the worst team in the league. 

2) 49ers:  I tried to watch the Sunday Night game, but after a day of watching football I just couldn't stomach to watch whatever sport those two teams were playing.

1) The NHL:  When you throw a strike and the only people that give a damn are the people that pump your suds, and tear your ticket stubs, you might want to re-think your value to the human race.