Sunday night at the football gathering brought another one of those stunning realizations that sneak up on you from time to time. I had just finished welcoming Lars to the playoff party when a glance over the standings brought a shocking revelation.
I turned to Carol and said, “You could still make the playoffs.”
She practically dropped her beer. “What?” And she drew out the word in that You better not be kidding or I’ll kill you kind of way.
But there it was. Even with a pathetic 4-8 record and everyone (including Carol) counting her out after about Week 4, her win over Hal means Carol sits one game behind him (WITH a tie-breaker advantage) for the sixth and final playoff spot. If she beats Robbie and Hal loses to Stoner (not an entirely unlikely scenario), Carol is in. Mike then appeared over my other shoulder and asked, “How about me?” I had to tell him, “Sorry. Robbie kicked your ass. You’re out.”
As that settled in, Carol, for her spark of hope, and Mike, for his dashed hopes, both expressed the same sentiment: “I hate this s**t.”
And on that uplifting note, I give you…
AWARDS FROM THE COMMISH
FANTASY OWNER OF THE WEEK: Carol
Because 1) the reasons listed above, 2) She managed to beat Hal while getting exactly ZERO points from her running backs and 3) Stoner actually deserves it, but I want to spite him.
TREND OF THE WEEK: A Vikings’ kicker sucks
While Vikings’ fans were pleased with their team’s victory in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, moving the team to 8-2 and keeping them in position to get a 1st round bye in the playoffs, there was a little mote in their collective eye. Vikings’ kicker Kai Forbath missed his third FG in the last two weeks and whiffed on an extra point to boot (pardon the pun…please pardon it because I HATE puns.) Vikings’ fans are always conditioned to wait for the other shoe to drop (there may be a pun in there. Disregard it.) So after the work of Gary Anderson and Blair Walsh, it doesn’t bring them a lot of comfort to see a kicker struggling in the home stretch. I would feel sorry for them. If, y’know, I cared. Instead…
(If you were looking for a button to that pun running gag…crap, I may have just provided it.)
ZORRO THE GAY BLADE AWARD: Robbie
I feel a word of explanation is in order for this award. In the movie Zorro The Gay Blade, Zorro’s former love complains about her husband’s inattentiveness in the area of, um, intimacy. It leads to this exchange.
MARIA: Do you know we only make love 12 times a year?
ZORRO: Well, once a month is not bad.
MARIA: We make love 12 times IN ONE NIGHT! And for the rest of the year? Nothing!
That exchange always comes to mind when someone has a week (or a season, really) like Robbie’s. Robbie has been bounced from the playoffs (again) mainly due to his team’s inability to score. This week, though, the team went completely hog wild. Rob Gronkowski, Joe Mixon, Phil Rivers and Justin Tucker all contributed to a complete beatdown of Mike. Robbie celebrated with a good round of, “F**k, why couldn’t they do that all year?” But it was one great night, right?
ASSCLOWNS OF THE WEEK: Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib
The Raiders WR and Broncos CB decided to spice up this week’s game by doing their impression of Ric Flair vs Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Crabtree said it was because Talib provoked him. And the video evidence backs him up…
For their show of restraint and sportsmanship, Crabtree and Talib were both suspended for two games. But you can’t blame them. It’s not like their teams are clinging to thin playoff hopes in a division that’s wide open and could really use their star players on the field rather than at home, watching TV. Oh wait…
(I’ll repeat: this whole f**king thing is soon going to be just memes, gifs and videos.)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: A female reporter
In an article by SI media reporter Richard Deitsch, an anonymous female reporter discussed what she’s been through as a woman in her field.
“One of the most frustrating things about my job is knowing that there’s information to be had—for the right price. In our industry, male reporters swap information left and right: Give a nugget to this agent, he’ll tell you a tidbit about this GM; share a rumor with this head coach over here, and he might give you a scoop about his team. But that bartering system can often be a slippery slope for us, as women. ‘What’s in it for me?’ That’s the response I’ve gotten from certain players, coaches, agents, execs, etc., when I’m simply trying to do my job. The implication is always clear, always just beneath the surface. One of the most challenging things for me has been negotiating boundaries as a female sportswriter and accepting that there are some scoops I just won’t get and some professional relationships I just won’t have because I don’t want to deal with certain people in the industry. As competitive and as driven as I am, there have actually been moments in my career where I had to be OK with taking an ‘L’ on a story because it wasn’t worth dealing with the nonsense.”
And if you’re one of those “Well, she should have known what she was getting into” types, please do me a favor: extend your arm out, ball your hand into a fist and punch yourself right in your own nuts.
And finally, in honor of Jon Stewart (we still need you, brother) I give you…
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN: The Curious Case of Brock Osweiler
For those with short memories (and that’s pretty much all of us), let me remind you who Mr. Osweiler is (and was). For a period of time in 2015, it looked like Osweiler would go down in history as the Man Who Replaced Peyton Manning. With Manning on the shelf due to being clinically dead, Osweiler started a handful of games for the Broncos. Eventually, the Broncos decided that even Zombie Peyton was a better option and Manning guided the Broncos to a Super Bowl championship through a wily strategy of taking snaps and killing the clock while the defense won the actual game. Despite his inability to outplay a paraplegic, Osweiler was still considered the heir apparent for the Broncos’ starting job when Manning retired during the off-season. However, Osweiler gave the Broncos the finger and signed with the Texans. After one season of The Ocelot (sue me, dude needs a nickname), the Texans decided to move on and traded him to Cleveland. Before the season started, though, the Browns released him. Think about that. The CLEVELAND F’N BROWNS, a team so desperate for a QB they would give Nick down at the end of the bar a few drives to prove himself, didn’t want Brock Osweiler. He then re-signed with Denver (presumably after crawling through a door marked “Supplicants”) and got his old job back as second-string QB. Since Trevor Siemian is not a name you’re ever going to find enshrined in Canton, it was only a matter of time before Brock was given another shot at the starting job. The plug on the three week experiment, resulting in three straight losses, was pulled this week and Osweiler dropped to THIRD on the Broncos depth chart, behind Siemian and something called Paxton Lynch (who, my sources have confirmed, is an actual person. At this point, though, I think the Broncos are just making stuff up.)
So if you’re scoring along at home, Brock-o (yeah, I gave him two nicknames. What of it?) has lost four starting jobs with three different teams.
Three thoughts here:
1. In the last two seasons, Osweiler is largely responsible for two coordinators losing their jobs. People had more job security working for George Steinbrenner than they do working WITH Brock Osweiler.
2. I’ll repeat what I said a couple seasons ago, and picking up on a theory from Bill Simmons: sometimes a name matters. Just as Bill Simmons was convinced that Joey Harrington would have had a better career if he had gone by “Joe”, I’m thinking a last name as slushy and gross as “Osweiler” doesn’t inspire any confidence. Just pick a simple name as a replacement. Brock Jones? THAT’s a QB we’d follow to the gates of hell.
3. Re-read everything about Brock Osweiler and then add this thought: Colin Kaepernick STILL doesn’t have a job in the NFL.
But, y’know, no collusion or anything, right?
-yThe Rat Pack (Me) 8-4
-yChuck (Chuck) 8-4
-yThe Dropkick Murphys (Stoner) 8-4
Brian’s Song (Carol) 4-8
The Defenders (Mike) 3-9
-xThe Jock Sniffers (T.J.) 10-2
-yThe People in the Band (Lars) 6-6
The Electric Mayhem (Hal) 5-7
Rodgers Blows (Robbie) 4-8
Lethal Injection (Jack) 3-9
JOE DAVIS is the main character in a series of mystery novels by Randall J. Funk. Mr. Davis and Mr. Funk are delighted by the shocking similarities in their opinions and writing styles.