Steelers, Rams and Cardinals… It’s Time for Amber’s Audibles

Mike Vick

Welcome to the first installment of Amber’s Audibles… a weekly opinion series on all things NFL namely the Arizona Cardinals (Birdgang Baby!!), fantasy football (of course), and a little bit of ‘NFL whatever’ mixed in. Yes, I know I’m a little behind the ball in terms of the NFL season as we are on the cusp of Week 5, but late is better than never in my world and hopefully you will agree.

I’m not sure if it’s our cute as pie 15-week-old bully-pit-boxer puppy who’s been digging up and chewing off our irrigation lines, or perhaps it’s because my Cardinals let the Rams be ‘who everyone THOUGHT they were’ on Sunday (ugh!!). All I know is that I’m fired up this week and I’m starting with the Steelers.

Is it just me or is anyone else tired of hearing about Mike Vick’s dog fighting ring? Why do analysts and broadcasters feel it necessary to continually discuss the past week after week after week when they’re supposed to be talking about football? Why is there so much intolerance regarding Mike Vick and his dog fighting investigations, subsequent guilty plea, sentencing, incarceration, rehabilitation and repayment of debts dating back to 2007? He went to jail. He paid his debt to society. He paid back everybody. Yet we are constantly reminded of what he did. Why is that? You know, that other Pittsburgh quarterback isn’t all squeaky clean either yet strangely we hear nothing about his past, unless it’s about football. What’s up with that? Why is there little to ZERO mention of Ben Roethlisberger’s off-field shadiness and sexual assault allegations back from 2008 and 2010? We all know something sinister happened back in Georgia yet Benny-boy seems to have the royal carpet set out for him. Seriously now. There is a huge double standard going on and I can’t figure out why. 2010 versus 2007. A denial versus a guilty plea. A financial settlement versus incarceration and repayment of debt, both to society and to creditors. Why the disconnect when we’re talking about the same team? Why is Ben held in such high regard yet Mike is raked over the coals? Is it because of the Superbowl rings? Is it because of the stats and records? Is it the starting QB versus the backup? The privileged over the disenfranchised? Is it white versus black? Is it more heinous and unforgivable to abuse dogs than to abuse a woman? You tell me because I have no idea and I’m tired of it. I can’t stand the Pittsburgh Steelers and talking about them annoys me but it’s time for the professionals to move on from the dog story and do their job: focus on football.

Well, here in the desert we have come full circle. The St.Louis Rams came back to University of Phoenix Stadium to face off against Carson Palmer (with a newer knee) and the Bruce Arians’ Arizona Cardinals. The last time the Rams were in Glendale, Carson’s season ended from a non-contact injury and the Cardinals finished the game with an emotional W. This time the Rams took care of business because the Cardinals let them. All last week the sports talk was about the Rams incredibly ‘physical’, ‘intimidating’ and ‘good’ defense. Whatever. I didn’t think the Rams defense was that great last week and I don’t think their defense is that great now. They are average: nothing more, nothing less. They beat the Seahawks in Week 1, got beat by the dysfunctional Redskins in Week 2, went all in against the Steelers and held them to 12 points, yet gave up around 450 yards of offense and 26 first downs against the Cards. Their red zone protection was very good on Sunday and I’ll give them that, but otherwise the Rams are nothing but average. Divisional games are always interesting no matter what division you look at and the NFC West is wild at the best of times but truth be known is that the Cardinals could have played better on Sunday and should have played better. They game was theirs to win and they didn’t. The Rams didn’t beat the Cardinals this week, the Cardinals beat the Cardinals. Regardless if it is at home or on the road, when a football team beats themselves there is nothing but a L that will come from it.

Now on to Detroit.

This season I cut my fantasy league addiction in half and have one team in an ESPN league and another in an NFL league. I prefer my team in the NFL league but what’s up with their team league rankings? Most sites base their weekly standings on wins then points differential but for some reason the NFL site is doing its own thing and no-one can understand what is going on (going through the settings didn’t help). I’m the only woman in a 10-team league so I rather my first place 3-1 team be positioned in the First Place slot rather than in fourth, thank you very much. My team faces off against my husband’s kick a$$ team so it should be fun. I’m counting on Carson Palmer and the Cardinals defense having a better week now that they “got their yuck out” as so wisely stated by our 7-year-old daughter. But as luck has it, my opponent in the ESPN league has Carson starting against me. Fabulous… the joys of fantasy football.

Look for me next week for the next installment of Amber’s Audibles!

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