Sep 272012

My dear Widows, it is with a heavy heart that I am writing today. This week proved to be a real eye opener for me about the game of football. Here are my lessons learned:

Apparently the city that NFL teams call home, or at least my personal feeling about visiting that city, has NOTHING to do with game outcome. I guess I could just chalk up my dismal showing in this week’s predictions to my lack of desire to actually go to any of these places to watch 3 hours of football, although I won’t. Instead, I’ll just move to acceptance that maybe my criteria this week was lacking. So far, helmet attractiveness yielded the best percentage. Maybe I’ll have to track that alongside my actual pick criteria for the week.

That brings me to revelation number two. We now have three weeks of football in the can and I am starting to care!! On Sunday, as we watched the split screen on NFL Sunday Ticket on Directv, I noticed that I actually knew which teams I had picked to win and was actually experiencing an emotional response when they didn’t. Note the use of the word “we”. Yes, ladies, WE watched. I sat and looked at a television screen with 6 different squares, some with games and some with the name of the winner of a game that was over!! I won’t even do that with 6 of my favorite sit coms, and yet I did it with football. I thought perhaps it was merely that I am more competitive than I thought I was, hence my investment in game outcome. Then came Sunday night…

I settled in with Ghost Rat to watch the Patriots/Ravens game on Sunday night and was blown away within the first few minutes of the game by the atrocity that was the officiating. I know that the word atrocity is a word that is typically used to define acts of extreme cruelty, especially when committed against innocents. Neither team can exactly be held harmless in the outcome of that game, so I am referring to the impact that the series of flagrant errors on the part of the officials had on us, the viewers.

Then, I made the mistake of watching most of the Monday night game. I went from not knowing what the definitions of the various penalties were 10 days ago to screaming about flags thrown and not thrown on Monday evening. It was at that point that Ghost Rat pointed out that maybe I was becoming a Football Wife instead of a Football Widow! To him I say “Bite your tongue!” At least he didn’t call me a “fan”…

I have two glossary terms to add this week, completely out of necessity:

Field Goal: (I thought I knew this one until Sunday night). When the team with the ball doesn’t get quite as far as they would have liked on their turn, and they are pretty close to the big, yellow tuning fork that is stuck in the ground at the ends of the field, they call in a player to kick the ball between the upright tines of the fork. This is only half as good as getting a touchdown, and they only get half as many points for this process. In order to be awarded the points, the ball has to go between the yellow poles. Or sort of over. Or at least half of the ball has to be over one of the poles and only if the official can see it from his angle although it may be nearly impossible to tell if it is, in fact, over the pole, unless it’s obviously between the poles…

Shared possession: This is an extremely rare term, seldom uttered on the field of play. It is, in its simplest of definitions, two players catching the ball at the exact same time, with equal control over the ball. In this case, the ball possession is awarded to the offense (the guys who started with the ball in the first place). Shared possession apparently also occurs when the defensive player (the guys who didn’t have the ball in the first place) makes the catch and the offensive player just throws his arm in after the fact and pretends that he caught the ball too. It works best if the officials reside in the land of make believe and are willing to pretend that touching the ball is the same as controlling it. When this occurs at the end of the game, it results in the defensive team taking their toys and going home.

(Note: With replacement officiating going downhill fast week after week, I may have to amend my definition of shared possession to include controlling the ball with one’s mind.)

It is time for my predictions for Week 4. Since my husband’s birthday is Sunday, I planned to simply choose all of his picks to win for the upcoming week. Given my newfound concern over the outcome of the games, I am abandoning my plan and I am making some actual predictions…based on my instinct! That’s right, folks. This week is Widow’s Intuition Week!

Thursday night has the Browns visiting the Ravens. After the Ravens’ showing against the Patriots, I am choosing them to win this week. I really had you going there, didn’t I? I am choosing them to win because they are playing the Browns and I have consistently chosen the Browns to lose!

As a gift to my loving husband, I am going to say a little prayer to the Football Gods for a Patriots win on Sunday. They are my pick against the Bills and they are good and angry after last week. Tom Brady plays better when he is focused.

How do I even know enough about these teams in this short period of time to have an opinion? Will I ever finish the scarf that I was trying to knit during Monday night games? Will I actually end up needing my OWN fantasy football team next year? Did I inadvertently drink the Kool Aid? I don’t have all of the answers, widows, but I think I am getting sucked in to the vortex.

Week 4 Picks:

Ravens over Browns
Patriots over Bills
Texans over Titans
Chiefs over Chargers
Lions over Vikings
Falcons over Panthers
Seahawks over Rams
49ers over Jets
Dolphins over Cardinals
Broncos over Raiders
Bengals over Jaguars
Packers over Saints
Redskins over Buccaneers
Giants over Eagles
Cowboys over Bears

Rats Widow

Rat's Widow is very happily married in spite of her football widow status. She is a mom, a step-mom, and a professional who enjoys shopping, cooking and knitting. She is learning quite a bit about football in spite of herself...

  2 Responses to “Rat’s Widow Week Four Picks: A woman’s prerogative”

  1. Rats Widow, if the Browns weren’t so bad, I would think you have a vendetta against them:-)

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