Monday, September 11, 2006

NUFCED by wikkidpissah

It didn’t occur to me until Sunday morning that my first LOCKERROOM column for the ’06 season would appear on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. It would be brainless & heartless not to take notice of that, even in a column on a fantasy football blog. But what am I going to say? Do I recall the moment itself? Do I comment on what it is within the human mechanism that causes us to be a lot more healed over about that day than we ever imagined we’d be? Do I line up to indict our incurious President & his insidious administration for their acts in its wake?

The thing that strikes me most about being five years out from that awful day is the difference between 9/11/01+5 and 12/7/41+5. The previous occasion on which America was attacked occurred on an island territory 3000 miles from our shores and provided no immediate images of its horror to ever reverberate in our memories. Yet, five years later, we had emerged victorious from the TWO largest-scale wars ever conceived by man and were not only well on our way to rebuilding the homes of our ENEMIES, but embarking upon an era of unprecedented prosperity and mobilizing to conquer the social issues that were the next impediment to liberty & justice for all. Five years ago, tons of steel, mortar & pulverized human tissue crashed down upon our neighbors in front of our very eyes and we have emerged impotent in the face of our enemy, are well on our way to the end of America as a force for good in this world and have embarked upon the first generation in human history that didn’t leave it better than it found it.

A good part of the difference is that, after Pearl Harbor, we joined hands and fought for what was right & ours and, after the World Trade Center, we pointed fingers and shopped for what we were told. Yes, the fact that we saw every second and aspect of that tragedy is at the root of the difference between the two times. Media has expanded our worlds but shrunk our desires to live intimitely with it, enhanced our view but limited our focus, increased the flow of information & communication, but decreased the flow of kindness & courage. What distinguishes us now from us then is that we have turned from being citizens to consumers. There is no aspect of American life which has not been considered by McDonald’s, Hallmark, Exxon and Disney for its impact on their bottom line. Two generations of campaigning against our better instincts for their greater profits is starting to take its toll. We’re desensitized, insensitive and nonsensical, turned into 300,000,000 nations of one. That’s how they want us, isolated to more easily influence our choices. The ready options of our remotes haven’t liberated us, they’ve put us in headlocks. Are they using the terror without to create a terror within, so we’ll buy stuff to make us feel better and watch Katie Couric more often?

Pretty ridiculous subject for an internet fantasy sports blog, but anniversaries are our best excuse to examine the differences between the past & present. I am disturbed that we may not as close to solving the defining problems this attack signified as we are to 9/11 becoming the occasion of memorial mattress sales. “We remember the insanity by offering insane discounts to you today”. Uh-oh – I’m getting a feeling that opening paragraphs of NUFCED could turn into tutorials on having more to say than devices for saying it but, hey, it COULD attract enough attention for us to get sponsors!

Let’s take a break & have a look at this opening week’s action:

STL 18 DEN 10

I don’t think there’s anything more hilarious in sports than when Jake Plummer has one of those games he does where he looks like bookies are holding his family hostage until he loses the game. It’s funny cuz it’s not in the least an indicator of anything but that he completely loses track of what he’s doing out there & looks like a confused high school sophomore coming in for the injured starter....Jim Haslett is off to a nice start as the Ram DC – good mix of pursuit & staying home....Mike Bell is a tough little shit, but he looks 3rd-down-back small to me...Just once, I’d like to see Shanny leave Tatah in there for a whole game – the results could be transforming....It didn’t seem Bulger liked his new coach’s dink-&-dunk pass offense.

NYJ 23 TENN 16

Disturbing innovation of the day: QBBC?!?! I wasn’t trying to spell Quebec there, Fish shuttled Vince in there a number of times....Kerry’s always been a start-at-the-top-&-work-way-down performer. With that start, he should be burrowing under the field by Wk 3....Hate to say anything nice about Kevan, but the Jets offense worked a lot better with him over Blaylock out there....There is no NFL lead under 20 pts that is safe – total suckage by the Tits had Jets up 16 pitching a shutout. A fourth-dn gamble & ensuing turnover and, within 5 minutes it was tied....Coles wakkawakka’d PacMan ALL DAY LONG.

PHIL 24 HOU 10

If they stay relatively healthy, Wikkid say Iggles are in SB XLI. After an impressive opening drive by the Texans, the Green was dominant & had more fun than any team I saw out there today....D-Mac has added a Peytonish OC-on-the-field element to his game with the Mouth leaving for the south and is my odds-on choice for MVP....Houston didn’t suck, but that line is still lame....It’s the rookies who are supposed see pine for missing assignments, but it was Morency (even tho looking better with the ball than His Lundiness) who lost touches due to being a complete d'oh on fundamentals.

CIN 23 KC 10

Dunno if it’s cuz of all the o-line turnover, Vermeil not leaving a Martz behind this time or some of both but, even b4 Green went down, the KC offense did not in the least resemble its ’05 incarnation, in swagger as well as style....Cinci seemed to know they didn’t hafta do much so, excepting a 2nd Q burst, they didn’t....30 yrs later & I STILL cant see a back board without thinking of Darryl Stingley....Huard didn’t suck as much as I thought he would, but the Chiefs are in tough if he’s at the wheel for long.

NO 19 CLE 14

That is one uglyass o-line the Brownies got themselves there....Was it Dan Reeves that ruined football forever by getting Duckett to vulture TDs from Dunn? Now they dont even wait to see if smallish backs can handle the red zone b4 cuffing him to big dude....This would have been a shutout if KW2 didnt uncover when Charlie needed him most (which was a lot). I REALLY hope Frye dont get happy feet as he indicated he might in the opener - his strength is in going thru his progressions like a vet....Deuce looked waay slower, but maybe that's just compared to the WRATH OF GOD and to be expected after a knee.


‘Hawks looked a lot more like their old Road Worrier selves than defending NFC champs today....You could see Detroit working on a lot of stuff & getting things more right here & there but just finding the Seattle D too tough to put it all together....KJ had his moments, but fumbled twice....The ’06 Seattle defense reminds me of olskool Ds – relentlessly competent instead of flashy.

JAX 24 DAL 17

Dr. Jekyll takes an afternoon nap. The 1st Q was the most lopsided of all Wk 1’s, even the shutouts. Lefty looked like a hotdog vendor who snuck into a uniform, Freddy flashed the footspeed of a Grecian column & not a single Jag defender had an answer for anything Da Boyz offense tried. Just as I was thinking Dallas & Philly might again become the best rivalry in FB, quicker than you can say Mr. Hyde, the impostor is replaced within Lefty’s uni, Freddy becomes more slippery than Grecian Formula & Da Boyz are throwing their hands in the air more as a function of complaint than completion. I predicted when they picked up TO that he would punch backfoot-throwin, who-me-shruggin Bledsoe by October. now I’m wondering if he might hafta stand in line behind the Tuna to do so....I can’t think of anyone to compare with Matt Jones. After 45 years of watching fb, that’s sayin summin

NE 19 BUF 17

Case #1 for not starting rookie QBs – I never thought I’d say this, but JPLoseman may not totally suck. He has a reasonable chance to reach a Patrick Ramsey mediocrity one day if he can unlearn all the bad lessons of ’05....Lawrence Maroney is gonna be a big, fat star. He’s got the Kavorka....Bet you ten bucks Coach B calls Branch and tells him he’ll get his dough if he’ll just shut up for 3-4 days to make it not look like a cave. The Pats won’t win 10 games without someone like him.

AZ 34 SF 27

Case #2 for not starting rookie QBs – Alex Smith showed leadership out there, if not real skills. I still hafta be more worried about the Cards D than excited about the Niners’ O, but they have my attention....And Smith got VD faster than I seen since I left showbiz....Edge looked like he shoulda worked harder in preseason in the 1st half. His 2nd half was better, but Az may be passing to set up the run a lot this season.

ATL 20 CAR 6

The most exuberant display of mad skillz on this day. The Game 1 blues of the JFox Era Panthers continue, but the Falcons showed everything you wanna see in a football team. John Abraham was a beast all day, Mr. Mexico showed he can reign in the fireworks if the rest of his team gives him a reason and the o-line appears to have passed the Chiefs as the best in the game....DeShame Foster is NOT a starter-quality RB.

And, now, the shutouts....

BAL 27 TB 0

CCCHHHHRRRRIIIISSSS SSSSIIIIMMMMMMMMSSSS SSSSUUUUCCCCKKKKSSSS AAAASSSSSSSS!!!! It was nice to see the Crows kickin’ beaks and takin’ names, but Major Applewhite is STILL a better QB than Golden Boy Jr....Gonna be a fun year in Bawlmer – their new old QB is a breath of fresh Air....Prison really must do something to the will that is vital to the athlete. Jamal looked gangbusters out of the box but lapsed into the same ennui that has marked his and Tyson’s post-greybar careers. I wouldn't even play catch with Carruth now....don’t know whether you heard but CHRIS SIMMS SUCKS MARTYRS – he fucked that game up so bad that it’s impossible to analyze the performance of his teammates.

CHI 26 GB 0

The hottest Halloween costume this year? Dress in Green & Gold and tell people you’re disguised as a Bye Week. How ‘bout the new Commish giving cap relief to the Packers for letting Brett replace Trent Green with KC (making the Chiefs the official retirement present for QB legends). I’m sorry but no real Packfan can want to see Favre go thru this....Again, it’s impossible to establish how meaningful this Bears’ performance was in light of their “competition”.

SNF (reads like a noise my dad would make during an easychair nap)

INDY 26 NYG 21

The Giants got it all, speed and strength on both sides of the ball, leadership from seasoned vets, major talent at all the skill positions.....except quarterback. Eli Manning has passed straight from savior to liability without passing Go, without collecting $200....While Dungy wastes time denying that his RBs stink, DCs are gonna figure out that offense. They are soooo close to jumping the shark that I’d give a 1st for even a mediocre (THenry?) option at the Jacobs a total freakatron or what?!

Besides envying Opening Week unders-bettors, the most significant thing about yesterday was that the NFC may have caught up to the AFC like THAT. I often said last season that the playoff-missing Chiefs & Chargers were better than the top NFC team. But, with Philly & Atl in resurgence and the possibility of KC, NE & even Indy taking steps back, conference parity may arrive quickly.

My thoughts are with the living victims of that day five years ago. I know how I grieve on the anniversary of my loved ones’ deaths. If I had to relive the murder of one from every angle and endure the professional pity of Katie Couric once a year (plus sweeps weeks), I don’t know if I could bear it. My best wishes go with them as they try. Play hard -

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