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The Lowdown - Week 1

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Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 1. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Fine Whine

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh  continues to play the part of the perpetually offended feminist. This week he complained to the league office that he was worried that the Green Bay Packers (and linebacker Clay Matthews specifically) were “targeting a specific player” — 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Of course, Matthews is targeting a specific player: the opposing QB. Last I checked, that’s his job. I refuse to believe that Harbaugh truly thinks that the Packers have some sort of Bountygate going on; rather, he is acting like a hyper-sensitive host on MSNBC, taking offense at every utterance. His ultimate goal is to put some bias in the minds of the referees that are officiating the game this week, so that when Matthews separates Kaepernick’s head from his shoulders after the fifth-consecutive read-option, it’ll be Matthews who gets ejected.

I really hope Harbaugh gets some sort of horribly uncomfortable jock itch that lasts throughout the entire season.

New York State of Mind

Not only are the Jets destined for a horrible season, they seem destined to lead the league in drama. Thanks to their blowhard of a head coach, Rex Ryan, every action and reaction becomes a subplot to some as yet undefined TV “Movie of the Week:” 

  • Did Ryan set up the lovable yet comically inept Mark Sanchez to fail by putting him back into a meaningless preseason game in the fourth quarter surrounded by third-stringers? Because no head coach would do that with his starting quarterback, right?
  • Is talented bad boy wide receiver Santonio Holmes still recovering from last season’s foot injury? Or is he making a “business decision” to stay off the field while rookie quarterback Geno Smith gets a few games under his belt?
  • Speaking of Smith, why is he refusing to watch film of Darrelle Revis? Is it confidence, cowardice or lack of higher brain function?
  • In a league where every team can seemingly sign or draft at least one player to sell jerseys, the Jets have managed to avoid doing so.

Thankfully, it’s not like New York is a big media town, so Ryan can probably just keep a low profile until he gets fired at the end of the season and then gets hired to be the new defensive coordinator for whichever team is stupid enough to make his twin brother Rob Ryan its head coach.

Shocking Truths and Revelations

Former Chicago Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher recently admitted that the Bears’ defense would fake injuries when facing an up-tempo offense in order to slow the pace of the game. While everyone who’s been around any level of football for any amount of time accepts this as a tactic of the game, sportswriters around the country seem to have never really noticed this occurrence. I can reasonably arrive at this conclusion because “FakeInjuryGate” has been as revelatory to them as Benghazi. Be on your toes, Chip Kelly!

I’m waiting for the next big Watergate-level revelation to emerge from Urlacher — how he would occasionally yell “hut-hut” to confuse offensive linemen or insult Aaron Rodgers’ momma during a game. Get those pens and note pads ready boys …

Defensive Downgrade

Watching the preseason games, it’s been abundantly clear that all the rules implemented by the league to cut down on big hits and transform football into a slightly more feminine version of Italian League soccer have succeeded. Defenders are visibly pulling up prior to making contact, especially on crossing routes and slants and (with rare exception) are simply not interested in making big hits due to the risk of being heavily fined or suspended.

Of course, like most rules and regulations implemented “for our own good,” there’s unintended consequences — for example, in the few cases where I have seen safeties or linebackers go for the big hit, I’ve noticed that they seem to be going lower…which will likely lead to more serious knee injuries. Which will lead to more rules next season…and so on and so forth, until we’re all forced to skip watching the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game in favor of the more masculine and hard-hitting Manchester United-Arsenal match. At least those guys have several decades of experience of flopping, whining and getting fans to watch boring sporting events.

And if you know anything about me at all, you know that the fact that I was forced to type “Manchester United vs. Arsenal” means that I need to go take a shower, ASAP.



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