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Quick Inside Slant: Week 3

Impressions of the 2012 NFL Season as perceived by a Creative Writing graduate student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend.

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By: Dustin Fisher

You know, if Tom Coughlin would have just scouted what the Buccaneers did on kneel down plays there would not have been a problem at the end of the game.

I’m trying to figure out how to dress my 3-month old daughter for Halloween this year. Because she cries and whines all the time, I was thinking about getting her a Jay Cutler jersey. But on Sunday, she spends half the games asleep and the other half being incompetent, so I think I’m just going to get her an official’s uniform instead.

Much like how the Jets reminded us that anybody can look good for one week, the replacement refs regressed to the norm in Week Two. After a defensive holding penalty in the Monday Night game, they marched off 11 yards. That’s halfway between a collegiate defensive pass interference call and a 7-yard penalty that doesn’t exist. All this considered, I’m actually still on the replacement official’s side. It’s not their fault they’re the most qualified people willing to take the job. I remember a job search where the first four candidates turned down the job. My boss said “Well, I guess we have to hire this guy.” As it turned out, he sucked at his job. But we knew he was going to, so it seemed unfair to blame him for the incompetence we all knew he was capable of. These refs don’t really know the rules that well and the help they’re supposed to be getting is slowing the game down and not working. Therefore, coaches and players are arguing with the refs to get their way, and sometimes do. It’s lunch time in high school and the substitute teachers are in charge.

Bush League

With the Harbaugh/Schwartz handshake underperforming, I was happy to see the Coughlin/whoever-coaches-the-Bucs handshake picked up the ball. I’m sure the first-year coach has a name, but I’m just going to refer to him as Jerkface. Maybe this isn’t the first time in the history of the NFL that a team down one score and facing the kneel-down “Victory Formation” decided to charge into the offensive line and plow into the quarterback, but I can’t recall another. No, it’s not illegal according to the rules of football. That doesn’t mean it’s not illegal according to the rules of not being a Jerkface. In the press conference after the game, he said he didn’t know if “that’s something that’s not done in the National Football League,” an indirect answer to Tom Coughlin’s presser. So apparently this guy hasn’t seen a game before, because this kneel-down formation happened in seven other one-score games in Week Two. Oh, and his team did it in Week One. So I’m calling bull$#!+.

He then said that he coaches his team to play hard until they tell him the game is over. More bull$#!+. What the Bucs did had nothing to do with winning the game. This was a sucker punch on a guy who was trying to shake your hand after beating you in a game of chess. A game, by the way, in which he lost his queen and both rooks in the first half. You should have won the game. And then when you lost, you should have just lost the game. Instead, you lost your cool and the respect of everyone in the league. Half of me hopes the next time a team beats you and decides to line up in Victory formation that a tight end goes in motion and he and the tackle decide to high-low Ronde Barber to end his career and then give him a little note when they cart him off that says “You can thank Jerkface for this.” He’ll know who they’re referring to.

Bonehead Move of the Week: Being an Eagles fan living in D.C. territory, there is no one who takes greater pleasure in the Skins’ failure than I do. Especially in a year where they fell axe-backwards into the baseball playoff hunt. So when Josh Morgan caught a pass in the waning seconds of a three-point game and ran backwards rather than pick up the first down, I giggled a little inside. Billy Cundiff will never be able to make a 47-yard field goal. And then, when he threw the ball at Cortland Finnegan and pushed Cundiff back to a 62-yarder, I peed myself a little bit. As did my daughter. See, we all know those crazy Irish cornerbacks have their tempers and probably should have gotten a penalty. But that’s no excuse to cost your team at least a fighting chance at the game because you’ve been dissed. And he’s now received three death threats as a result of this, which is overkill. But they aren’t the same as when Andres Escobar got death threats. And at least there’s a passion for football in D.C. this year.

Fantasy Stud of the Week: Reggie Bush is always capable of scoring a third of his allocated fantasy points for the season on any given week, but this was the coming out part for Danny Amendola. Who would have thought that with Jordy Nelson, Wes Welker and Eric Decker that Danny Boy would be the best white receiver in the league? He even has more fantasy points than Roddy White, which should count for something.

Backwards Stat of the Week: They say that turnovers are the most telling stat in the game. Well, the Eagles have decided to fart in the face of whoever they are. Nine turnovers in two games and somehow, we’re 2-0. Take that, Kansas City. At least when we play crappy, we still win.

Stupid Sportscaster Saying of the Week: It’s almost Week Three, which means it’s time to start throwing around the term “must-win game.” Trey Wingo used this term to describe the Saints’ game against Kansas City. Granted it’s only Week Three, but as they are 0-2 and the Chiefs suck, I see his point. But both Mark Schlereth and Brian Dawkins called the Jets’ game in Miami a “must-win game.” Both teams are 1-1. I think these guys are confusing the term “must-win game” with “game.”

Administrative Move of the Week: This comes to us courtesy of the NFL, who pulled a side judge from the Saints/Panthers game because his facebook page had pictures of him with a Saints hat. Unfortunately for the Saints, they didn’t replace any of their defensive players.

Ironic Play of the Week: Anybody see that fake field goal by the Packers? The impressive thing about that play is that they needed to get all the way to the one-yard line for the first down. Most fake field goals are designed to pick up a first down five yards down the field. Not this one. Green Bay put all their chips in the middle on this one. And I doubt they can erase the memory of the Philadelphia Fourth and 26, but if they win a Superbowl, especially if it’s at the expense of Philly, maybe they’ll be able to point to their own Fourth and 26 that got a struggling 0-1 team going.

Fantasy Dud of the Week: Really, this is the fantasy dud of the last 18 games. Anybody else fall into that trap of picking up CJ2K12 in the first round this year? I have never been more thankful I didn’t have the 8th pick. He has 21 yards on 19 attempts. That’s an average of 3.3 feet per attempt. And when your yards per attempt can be measured in feet, you shouldn’t be a first round fantasy player.

Other Notes From Week Two:

  • John Fox challenged a tipped ball and a 12-men on the field penalty. He desperately needs a red flag consultant. And blood pressure medication.
  • Do you think Adam Vinatieri was happier about the field goal he made to win the Colts game or the one Gostkowski missed to lose the Pats game minutes later?

Prediction for Week Three: An official for the Jaguars/Colts game will march off 7 yards for an offensive holding penalty. Then he’ll replace the ball with a jar of peanuts and scream “Not the Mama!” as he puts on his cape and runs from the stadium.

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Dustin Fisher is an amateur standup comedian, storyteller, freelance writer, and stay-at-home dad, all of which are just better ways of saying “unemployed.” He worked in the area of collegiate recreation for the previous 14 years at UMBC, Miami University and the University of Baltimore. There, he became somewhat of a folk legend on the flag football field and actually got paid to play fantasy football. Dustin is currently in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore seeking a Masters degree in Creative Writing. He has made contributions to various publications including The Good Men Project and the Baltimore Fishbowl. For more about Dustin, check out his stay-at-home dad website, Daddy Needs a Nap. Dustin lives with his wife and daughter in New Carrollton, MD in a house surrounded by too many trees to get the Dish Network.

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