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Commentary From the Edge
Kevin Ratterree
November 16, 2004

Peyton Manning is just plain sick.  Do you remember when you first started to play fantasy football and one of the first things you learned was to not draft a quarterback too early.  One thing they forgot to tell you.  Every decade or so there is a quarterback that puts up numbers capable of carrying a fantasy team.  So you laughed at the guy who took Manning at the end of the first round this season huh?  I'll bet he's doing ok if he wasn't a complete idiot later in the draft.  Manning has to be the MVP at this point.  The question is will his defense undermine his record setting season......again.

Randy Cross told his audience that the Colts had "no class" for continuing to throw the ball after the game was in hand.  I guess Randy didn't catch the Rams 4th quarter comeback against the Seahawks earlier this season.  Randy, if you were playing on a team with a defense like the Colts I think you'd probably want to remove all doubt before you lay down the pads.  I'm sure the Colts would like their defense to play as pressure free as possible whenever possible.  This isn't Little League baseball or the Church league softball.  There is no mercy rule.  There is no mercy.  It is called football.  Besides, Peyton is trying to break a record here, so give it a rest.  Blowouts are tough for announcers.  That is when some of the stupidest words are uttered.

Speaking of uttering stupid words, there has been some conversation on the message boards about Merrill Hoge and his continuing saga of spouting mouth manure.  I have finally trained myself to ignore any show Hoge or Salisbury is on, because these guys both have short circuits upstairs.  Concussions can have long term effects, and ESPN seems intent on making us all painfully aware of that fact.

Fox NFL Sunday is getting pathetic with their cross promotion gimmicks.  This week they trotted out Jason Bateman from the Arrested Development show to hang with the pre-game gang for a few minutes.  I am watching this and thinking first of all, "who the hell is this guy" and "why the hell is he on a football pre-game show?"  Then at the end of the bit they mentioned that Jason's show was on Fox at 7:30 Sunday night.  Up against ESPN's Sunday Night Football. 

First of all Mr. Bateman displayed the personality of a rock giving me little interest in checking out his "work".  Secondly, as long as there are repeats I will never pass up a live football game to watch network drivel.  Even if that game is being announced by the most annoying crew ever to strap on a microphone, and the game turns out to be a giant turd like almost all the Sunday Night games have been.  What these mindless cross promotions really induce me to do is to skip the pre-game shows altogether.  Luckily it got better after that shameless sales pitch.

Best one liner of the day:  Jillian Barberie, the "weather babe" on Fox made a Freudian slip that was very amusing.  She started out her little segment by saying, "You know, people are always asking me if it is true I am dating Howie....I mean Terry".  Howie Long (married) was shaking his head as the camera panned to him and said, "It just got stormy in Virginia".

On another pregame segment Sunday Pam Oliver was interviewing Packers coach Tom Rossley about his recent heart attack.  The first thing Pam said to the coach was, "Ok, show me your little friend".  (he pulled out his bottle of nitro, which a bit different than what I was thinking I would show her)  It was just one of those moments you to wish you had Tivo.

It was very interesting to see the bit on Monday Night Football where they showed the mysterious goings on in the replay booth.  Did anybody notice that the replay guys are looking at a little bitty monitor?  That explains a lot.  They can't afford  a huge monitor where they could actually see details of the play?  Unbelievable.

My favorite moment on Monday Night Football was the shot of Moose Johnson enjoying a longneck, and the sheepish look on his face when the camera busted him.  Now that's reality TV I can enjoy.  Don't sweat it Moose.  Most of us figured you for a six pack a game kind of guy anyway.

It was amusing to watch Brian Billick try to convince the referee that Wayne Chrebet was actually bullying on Ray Lewis. 

Orlando Pace was ejected for contact with an official when he tried to use the weight of the ref to keep him from falling.  The refs did not see it that way and tossed the beefy one.  He may have not been guilty of malice, but I take it Mr. Pace never had to take a physics class in college. 

The Sunday Night games must just be jinxed.  This one had me wanting to check out that Arrested Development show after the opening kickoff and 10 minute delay while the stripes discussed details of the rule book, which by their advanced age surely must have been memorized at some time or another.


10) GIANTS:  Yep, I thought it was a mirage. 

9) BILLS:  As I was trying my best to be a good football fan and watch the Sunday night slaughter I kept thinking to myself, "How bad must Bledsoe's back-up be if he hasn't got a shot yet?"  Then they brought out the rookie late in the game.  Sure enough, he's even worse.   Glad I stayed up for that.  Even so, Bledsoe is experiencing the last few starts of his career unless the league expands to 40 teams in the near future.

8) SEAHAWKS:  Mike Holmgren (former genius) is just full of surprises.  4th and less than a yard on the Rams 40.  No brainer.  You give the ball to Shaun Alexander, right?  Nope.  You give it to the fullback in a single back set.  Real creative there genius.  Stuffed.  Game over.  First place gone.  Fans plotting murder.  No jury would convict them either.

7) BROWNS:  Well you have to hand it to them.  They pulled almost every trick in the book to try and get into the Steelers heads.  The quarterback threats.  Bodily fluids.  The pre-game brawl.  But in the end they held the short straw.  Reminds me of an old song.  You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit in the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Ben.

6) CHIEFS:  You tell me what is going on with this team.  They have beaten Baltimore on the road, Indianapolis and Atlanta.  All teams with winning records.  They have now lost to every team they have played with a losing record Carolina, Houston, Tampa Bay and now New Orleans. 

5) COWBOYS:  Last year Parcells got this ragtag bunch to overachieve.  This year he hasn't even got them to achieve. Unless you call a serious sense of futility an achievement.  The coach sees more muffs in an average game than Martha Stewart does in an average shower about now.  Parcels feels responsible for the idiocy occurring on the field.  But as the line from Cool Hand Luke goes, "There are some men you just can't reach."  

4) TITANS:  There were some people upset when Manning had to share the MVP with McNair.  I think we can all see at this point what Steve McNair means to this team.

3) 49ers:  Niners fans who were becoming bored with the run of the mill weekly butt kickings, were no doubt entertained by the teams new blow a big lead routine.  It's nice to give the people something different once in a while.

2) REDSKINS:  Brunell's 1 for 8 start with an interception finally got Gibbs attention, and the faithful in Washington were appeased by the next sacrificial quarterback, Patrick Ramsey.  Luckily for Ramsey, he only sucked as bad as Brunell for a while then settled into sucking just bad enough to secure the loss.

1) MIAMI:  A different QB and a different head coach will only scratch the surface of the problems here, and neither would appear to be an improvement over the originals.  The only thing left to question is whether they will get the top overall pick.  They will play the 49ers in two weeks to settle that one, and possibly decide the winner of the Misery Index competition.  Circle that one on your calendar fans.  Surprisingly it is not the ESPN Sunday Night game.