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Quick Inside Slant: Week 9

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.


By: Dustin Fisher

Remember when we said the Green Bay Packers had the worst throwback uniforms ever? Yea, we retract that statement.

The 1934 Steelers took care of the Redskins pretty easily this week. They then eluded the Keystone Kops on their way home from the stadium by throwing a bunch of banana peels on the sidewalk.

I didn’t get to watch much football this weekend, as I was busy filling up the bathtub with AA batteries, which my wife later told me was not exactly what the news people told me to do. I did manage to see that the Atlanta Falcons stayed perfect this week, inching a little bit closer to Mercury Morris’ neighborhood. Of all the 7-0 teams there have ever been, this is not necessarily the one I’d put my money on to go 19-0, but I’m still rooting for them to do it so they can take that game ball and shove it into a dark, unexplored place on Mercury. In doing so, they also ruined Andy Reid’s perfect 13-0 post-bye career record. Of course, the Falcons were also coming off a bye too, kind of negating the extra week the Eagles had to prepare.

Timing is Everything

Thursday and Monday games suck a little bit for the teams involved, but they suck fairly equally for both teams. However, I always thought it was a little unfair for teams that have Sunday games to play against teams that had Thursday games or byes the week before. This gives teams either an extra three days or an entire extra week to prepare for your game. I also just figured it all came out in the wash. For every advantaged game you give up, you likely gain an advantaged game. No big deal. But last week was the fourth week in a row that the Eagles have played a team either coming off a bye or a Thursday game.

Granted, the Eagles and Falcons were each coming off a bye, so that’s a wash. But we played the Lions in Week 6, straight off their Week 5 bye; the Steelers in Week 5 straight off their Week 4 bye and the Giants in Week 4, just after their Thursday night game in Carolina. And after our Monday Night game this week, we play the Cowboys in Week 10 on one day less rest and we play the Redskins in Week 11, and – go figure – they have a bye Week 10. We have another Monday nighter in Week 12 against the Panthers and have to play the Cowboys in Week 13 on short rest after their Thursday game, just to add three more days’ worth of salt to the wound. The only advantage we get is a Week 16 game against the Redskins after our Thursday game against the Bengals.

To sum up, that’s one advantaged game we get with an extra three days to prepare versus six disadvantaged games with a total of 29 days less to prepare. We shouldn’t be firing our defensive coordinator, we should be firing our team scheduler.

And the league shouldn’t allow this to happen either. Why doesn’t anybody ever bring this up.

Dispatches from the Midway Point – NFC:

NYG: If Washington remembered to cover Victor Cruz and Dez Bryant had gotten a manicure last week, the G-Men would be 4-4 and 0-4 in the NFC East. Instead, they are just where they need to be to begin that late season collapse. Prognosis: Lucky as crap (but they’ll still probably win the NFC East

PHI: Well, the schedule is obviously against them (as noted above), but the schedule doesn’t hold onto the ball for five seconds on a three-step drop. Prognosis: Complete coaching overhaul at season’s end

DAL: Any given year, the Cowboys could go 12-4 or 4-12. They sure do get a lot of primetime games for an 8-8 team with one playoff win since 1996. Prognosis: Perpetually overrated

WAS: Every four years, some new guy moves into town and gives the nation’s capital hope. But if RG III keeps running the option and going out for deep passes against the Steelers two weeks after a “minor” concussion, he’ll be the new spokesman for Obamacare. Prognosis: Exciting, but let’s not get carried away just yet

ATL: While the cat is suspended for a year for allegations of bounty-related activity, the mice will play. They finally managed to get out from under the shadow of big brother, but they’re doing it with smoke and mirrors, almost losing to the likes of Carolina and Oakland. Somebody will find out where in that hat the rabbit is hidden sooner or later. But they should run away with the NFC South and a first-round bye on momentum. Prognosis: Good timing

TB: Ever since they hired that Jerkface from Rutgers with his Victory Formation Blitzkrieg nonsense and his booing, I have not rooted harder against a team and a person. And that includes Eli Manning. Prognosis: Public Enemy #1 (or at least Dustin Enemy #1)

NO: I have heard way more than I need to about the damn bounty scandal. They’re not getting to the playoffs. We’re not playing the season over again. Let’s please talk about something else. Prognosis: Mulligan

CAR: Last year it was Miami. This year, Carolina is the hard luck team of the season. Five of their six losses have been by one possession, two of which saw them in the lead with less than a minute left, seemingly with game in hand. They’re finding new and exciting ways to lose. Prognosis: Maybe the third year is a charm

SF: Well, they didn’t surprise anybody this year and Jim Harbaugh already shook hands with Pete Carroll and Jim Schwartz without incident. Prognosis: Exactly as good as their record

ARI: I had a feeling that 4-0 record was just a smokescreen. Careful. The re-entry back into our atmosphere can be a bit rocky. Prognosis: The losing ways continue and only they themselves can’t figure out why

SEA: Boy did everybody just love Russell Wilson in the preseason. But he has only been the leading passer in two of his eight games, and one of them is the game they knocked John Skelton out of. He averages less than 184 passing yards. And unfortunately for them, the replacement refs have been replaced. Prognosis: Overrated, but good for you

STL: I know they only get to see one game a year over there, but even so, would you stay to watch a 45-7 blowout if you were in London? I guess if they only had one soccer game over here, people would probably stay until the end. Ah, per chance to dream… Prognosis: Try to get out of that London deal stat

CHI: I keep forgetting they made it to the NFC Championship game two years ago. Wow. Maybe they are pretty good. Prognosis: No they’re not. The Pack is coming

MIN: Can somebody check Adrian Peterson for robot parts? Prognosis: Great story. Enjoy the winning record while it lasts

GB: I keep waiting for them to finally hit their stride and take over the NFC North and the NFL and the world like everybody knows they’re going to. Except when you don’t. Because sometimes you won’t. Prognosis: They will, Doc

DET: Remember last year? You guys were in the playoffs. Wasn’t that awesome? Prognosis: At least no one talks about the 0-16 season anymore

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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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