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The World According To 'R' - JUST SAY NOBEN

<P><B>The Marcus Spears fiasco taught the Ravens a valuable lesson that hopefully they'll benifit from, namely "get it in ink" before firing up the dreaded Pimp-O-Lux 2000™ PR machine, lest they enjoy modeling egg the way Victoria's Secret runway waifs sport Dior.</B>

This just in at Owings Mills- the NFL is a cutthroat business.

There are no "gentlemen's agreements" anymore in a league overstocked with 32 teams all desperate to scavenge anything with even the faintest whiff of talent from an already depleted pool. Attention shoppers- It's Dollar Daze at KMart, and every pensioner in the store desperately needs new support hose. If you're still naively adhereing to any rules of decorum while approaching this bargain bin, the smash n' grab grannies are going to elbow and cane your delicate ass into a new way of thinking, pronto.

Can we blame the KC Chiefs for sneaking in another offer under the wire to a verbally-comitted Spears after minicamp revealed shakiness on their offensive line? Are you on drugs?

They're the freaking Kansas City Chiefs. Hello?

The last time they won a Lombardi it wasn't called a Lombardi because Lombardi himself was still very much alive and had just won the "Crazy Legs Hersh" cup (or whatever they called the league champion trophy back in the ‘60s) himself the previous season. They haven't been a threat to win it all since Buck Buchanan and Willie Lanier were clacking away in the spokes of my "Lil' Tiger" Schwinn with the training wheels and the boss striped handlebars- banana seat combo. They are the midwest chapter of the "Victims of Elway" society; not to be confused with the rust-belt chapter the Raven's owner used to be Grand Poobah of.

And these professional also-rans are supposed be courteous to a team that is five years old and just won a Super Bowl 15 months ago? Girlfriend, stop the madness.

The Preist Holmes gift we gave them I'm sure was greatly appreciated (and sheesh, you'd think the bastards would owe us a solid for taking locker room cancer Elvis Grabass off their clammy hand) but we're still talking about the Swedish Chefs of KC- where the BBQ is just right but the football team is always half-baked. Bork bork bork.

This team drives all-pro tight ends into wanting to switch sports in mid-career. RavensOrg is barking up the wrong tree if they're looking for table manners from these starving Ethiopians.

In retrospect, the Ravens were probably fortunate to have this deal fall through. Competitive fire doesn't seem to be a Spears strong suit. Judging from this surprising about-face, combined with the underachieving former 2nd round draft pick's previous seven years of bench-polishing duty before last season, it's safe to say Spears would have been no firebrand on the Raven's OL.

Remember, the guy went from "I only want to be a starter" to "I only want my wife to shut up- can I get your duffle bag for you again, Mr. Tait?" in a mere matter of hours. Yeah, that's some fire, boy. Odds are good this non-move probably won't come back to haunt anyone but the Chiefs.

But in the wake of these developments..can I offer some free advice to RavensOrg about a pending move that more than likely will be lamentable?...

Please tell Roman Oben to take his jacked-up salary demands and slide them up his bulbous, Buick-sized posterior. Pretty please?

We are rebuilding. The fans have accepted this fact. They'll be able to cope with it easier than most fanbases, what with the glorious memories of XXXV still relatively fresh on the brain-pan, so don't panic.

Now is NOT the time to start caving in to mediocre NFL saddletramps looking for steal more caviar paychecks in return for Cheez-Wiz performance.

This is the surest way to sabotage a rebuilding project- letting aged, perfunctory career "never-weres" swipe valuable PT from hungry youngsters who have something to prove and still have an abundance of competitive fire in their overzealous young frames, something that ScoutMaster Billick has proven to be adept at stoking.

There's no campfires big enough to light under the chargrilled asses of wealthy journeymen like Oben that are going to cause a stir. They're just looking for a paycheck at this point. The pain of losing rolls off these types like water off the proverbial duck's tufted tush. They're numb to it. Once the contract is secured, they save their competitive juices for the back nine.

The Obens of the league are stopgaps and should be paid as such. Most realize this, but some of these hobos still try to get over on desperate individuals (which as we know, the NFL is never in short supply of) and when they do more often than not the poor get poorer.

Remain calm, RavensOrg. June 1st is just around the corner and odds are still decent that a few players with more upside than Oben will kick loose from other teams juggling their respective caps and may be had at a far more palatable price than what Oben's agent is currently trying to gouge you for.

Oh, and while I've got you suckered into taking my sage advice on such topics-

PLEASE throw a buttload of cash at Sam Adams and get him back in purple if at all possible? I'm tired of begging like a slavering dog for his return being a regular feature of these articles. I am the manliest of men, and begging is not manly.

Also, during contract renegotiations with Ray, delicately explain to him that part of the reason he is considered the best defender in the game is in some small part due to having teammates like Adams who lighten his load and free him up to play at maximum effectiveness.

But I caution you- when providing Ray with examples of great players who get neutralized on crappy teams under no circumstances do you mention the name Takeo Spikes. Got that?

Trust me on that one, guys.


Quick follow-up to my Spiderman bashing of a couple weeks ago for the 2 people that haven't already seen the movie:

Saw the flick. Pretty good. Wrong about Toby McGuire. Did a good job. Same with Dafoe, although the Goblin mask idea sucked. Script could have been a little better in places (above capitalized was actual dialogue taken from the movie...clunk)

Special FX could have been A LOT better on the digitalized Spidey, but let's cut them some slack- people are a lot harder to digitalize believably than dinosaurs or other creatures we don't have a real-world reference to draw from. Kirsten Dunst's huge head and weird teeth (look at 'em up close, which you'll be forced to do a lot in this movie) frighten me. Her pouty breasts in the rain scene strangely comforted me however, so it all balanced out nicely. Good job for a comic-book movie (better than the always-disturbing Batman guano by a wide margin) Go and enjoy.


Or, go ahead and be a weak-willed lemming and give George Lucas a few more billions to play with as a nice reward for being completely out of touch with 2002 moviegoers. See if I care.

Comments? Questions? Complaints? Cosmic Insights? Slanderous Lies? Pitiable Mewlings? Send 'em to R! He will address them in this very space and make you scaryass famous just like him! Oh, the wenches you'll probe!

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(R.Maniac, a man, a legend, a way of life (sorta) can be found slapping down Clown and Squeeler fans on the AFC North Rantatorium at http://citadel.ezboard.com/fnflfrm2 )

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