Rick’s Pigskin Piñata: Taking a Swing at the Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

The world’s oldest plumber turned 92 this week, and like Keith Richards or Betty White, you have to applaud the gusto toward such perseverance and consistency in this day’s job market—but, Canada’s finest, Lorne Figley, the aforementioned Warren Buffet of the Thinking Man’s Throne, the Pied Piper Cleaner , wasn’t the the top human this week  in the Internet Universe. Neither was Andy Reid’s long-lost cousin Ken Bone (or #KenBone).

No, the award goes to a football player named Macnamara (say that in a Keith Jackson voice).

The crowning moment happened during a high school football game, in Buckingham, Pennsylvania—an area in Eastern Pennsylvania where you stop and ask, “Where in the hell are we?”

The scene was simple, yet serene: Two teams, some referees, a few soccer/field hockey lines on the turf that can confuse the novice football viewer, underclassmen who look like the uniform is wearing them, and ,of course, fans for both teams—North Penn, and Central Bucks East. (Not the West, mind you. The East!)

North Penn, from what I could gather, is a tough squad this year, with many believing they could also beat the Cleveland Browns (I made that up, but hey…maybe it’s worth an online poll, too).

Anyhow. At one point, as explained on page one of the Idiot’s Guide to Football, there was a kickoff. North Penn’s kicker booted the ball down the right sideline, where it was received by a Central Bucks’ player—who shall remain nameless because it’s high school and Al Michaels was busy.

The receiver went super-sneaky, though, taking a few lateral steps before handing the ball off to another Bucks’ player—same nameless reasoning as the former. And this guy could fly. He scampered down the sideline, blowing by oncoming traffic like he was a Ferrari to their Vespa…a Boeing 747 barreling toward a flock of preoccupied pigeons…Then, it happened: a solid, possible touchdown-saving hit—by the kicker.

Yes, man, the kicker! I’m talkin’ hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners material that posters are made of. The knock…that happened to be hard.  The Boom! The Pow! And other Batman-esque words as well…

That kicker’s last name? Yep: Macnamara.

That kicker’s first name? Kelly.

The record? Scratches.

Salute, and applaud.

So, there’s probably 750000000000 words that can be written about the amazing spectacle of a girl tackling a boy in a boy’s sport. I get that, and so does the internet, but this moment was more than just blog-worthy ignorance.

What made the hit so incredible, to me anyway, was that no one outside of that field, perhaps the county, knew that was a young lady—the people watching it on the internet needed preface, no question. And that’s pretty damn cool. The football helmet, on a man or woman, a boy or a girl, conceals just the same. It’s the irony hidden in plain sight, the face for fame tucked behind a mask and the true meaning of a team sport.

And the aftermath of such a hit?

It wasn’t bone-jarring, there weren’t any mouthpieces flying into the stratosphere—there wasn’t any Lucas moment with Corey Haim getting squished like a marshmallow that was left in your back pocket—it was simply, wonderfully, a football player making a football move.

And I haven’t even got to the guy who was carrying the ball yet…

Hooray sports!

With that, let’s look at the Week 6 Power Rankings! What do we know? Nothing, really—stay the hell away from BW3s, I guess:

Other than that, there is currently one team left that has a chance to go undefeated and 31 that do not—and that’s about it.

Stick please…

Let’s rank!

32. Cleveland Browns: 0-5 (last week: 32)

The Browns became popular this week because some folks in Ohio were polled and the collective came to the assumption that The Ohio State Buckeyes could beat Cleveland. In reality, this would not be the case…but the Browns are going through quarterbacks like shit through a goose, and that’s concerning, and possibly too graphic.

31. San Francisco 49ers: 1-4 (last week: 31)

When the chip on a team’s shoulder is actually a guy named Chip…who also happens to be the head coach…well, that’s just coincidental. Coincidentally, this team isn’t that good, Chip.

30. Miami Dolphins: 1-4 (last week: 30)

As far as Dolphin entertainment goes…Flipper is still the longest-running success. (#RIP.)

29. Chicago Bears: 1-4 (last week: 28)

Last week, the Bears swayed from what I thought was a solid season plan—only playing the Detroit Lions—and now, at 1-4, with rain in the forecast on Sunday, the fans are left to wonder if bringing hot dog buns to the tailgate is even worth it.

28. New York Jets: 1-4 (last week: 23)

These aren’t Bennie’s Jets.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars: 1-3 (last week: 24)

Going to Chicago at the beginning of October versus the end of October is the difference between frost-bitten limbs and a newfound admiration for Lake Michigan—so that’s sort of a participation trophy for the Yaguars. That’s the good news.

The bad news: The team dropped three spots without even playing in Week 5.

26. San Diego Chargers: 1-4 (last week: 22)

Last week’s two-minute-to-win-it-field-goal debauchery left Chargers fans feeling like the captain of the S.S. 2016 Season hit an iceberg, then turned the ship around and rammed the other side, too.

But Phillip Rivers is a genius beyond his years and the space that surrounds all of us. He will right this sinking ship and dance the Dance of Kings, the jig of fantasy owners with a wining record. Etcetera.

25. Indianapolis Colts: 2-3 (last week: 26)

Yes, beating the Bears was definitely a Velveeta Win for the Colts, but it’s a win nonetheless. This team is still boring, though, and I would imagine that only a Peyton Manning Bobblehead Night will lessen the monotony—until the NBA begins.

24. Tennessee Titans: 2-3 (last week: 27)

Worried about your team, Titans fans? Don’t. In the coming weeks, the team plays: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville.

Yeah, go ahead…no one is looking. Shake it, shake it for your health, for your country, for Earl down the street, with the peanuts…and yes, a possible 5-3 team at the halfway mark.


22. Carolina Panthers: 1-4 (last week: 19)

I turned off the Panthers’ game against the Buccaneers and watched reruns of Alf instead.

Yes, dammit: Alf.

What in the hell is going on in North Carolina?

(What the hell is going on in that show?)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-3 (last week: 25)

Where do I even begin with these Buccaneers? They beat the Panthers—something that is now a Normal and not so much a Snowsuit at the Beach kind of thing—but there are still oddities with this team.

They are like a snowsuit at the beach…in Alaska… in December. It’s like, “Why in the hell are you at the beach in Alaska in December in the first place?”

21. New Orleans Saints: 1-3 (last week: 21)

Well, if the Saints can’t find a way to beat the struggling Panthers this week—in New Orleans—you might as well take all the beads and melt them into a giant frowny face, because no one flashes a tit to a last-place team in the NFC South.

That’s a rule.


20. Detroit Lions: 2-3 (last week: 29)

All of a sudden, Detroit is cool again.

Last week? They’re Pippa Middleton.

This week? They’re Pippa Middleton’s sister.

19. Arizona Cardinals: 2-3 (last week: 18)

Interest level in this team has gone from Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire, to everything Cuba Gooding Jr. did after Jerry Maguire.

Show me the…

(Falls asleep.)


18. Cincinnati Bengals: 2-3 (last week: 16)

If the Bengals lose to the Patriots this Sunday it will be two losses in a row at the hands of QBs who were not expected to start at the beginning of the season.

Sometimes, I think it’s better to just go with the misspelled-yet-creative version:

17. Houston Texans: 3-2 (last week: 12)

Ironically, smoosh the Texans’ colors together and you have a shade of bruised.

16. New York Giants: 2-3 (last week: 15)

I skipped watching the Giants’ game last week against Green Bay, choosing instead to glue nickles to the side of rusty building that houses used vacuum parts with Eli.

Call back next week, please.

15. Kansas City Chiefs: 2-2 (last week: 17)

Years ago, scouts had issues with Alex Smith because he has small hands. Carney hands, good for snagging loose change from the pocket’s of unexpected townsfolk, and nothing else.

Now? Well, now the Chiefs compensate by using a smaller football:

14. Los Angeles Rams: 3-2 (last week: 11)

Look, Jeff, it’s Hollywood—faking stuff is called: Going to work out here. But you can’t be fucking up your faking on the reg’ like you did on Sunday. When you’re on television out here, sir, we don’t like to be reminded it’s fake. Muffing a punt is no different than taking producer credit when you were actually an extra…assuming you get caught, of course.

13. Baltimore Ravens: 3-2 (last week: 14)

After losing two games in a row—one of those to Washington!—and firing their offensive coordinator, the new question for the Ravens is this: Does Marty Mornhinweg have an Eveninweg…too?

12. Washington Redskins: 3-2 (last week: 20)

Sort of the Micheal Myers of the NFL, the Redskins were thought to be dead about three weeks ago, yet here they are, still ticking and wreaking havoc on your neighbors (the Ravens fans).

If I were Jamie Lee Curtis, I’d watch my ass.

11. Buffalo Bills: 3-2 (last week: 13)

Southern California was swarming with Bills fans last week—and somewhere, maybe Venice, maybe Santa Monica, maybe right on Rodeo Drive, I bet one of the #BillsMafia members went “Tom Brady” and tanned in the nude. And, in November, when there is six feet of snow outside of their house, their happiest moment will be when they take a picture wearing nothing but a scarf: NO tan-lines, gents’!!

(Drinks beer.)

(Falls into snow.)

(Becomes internet famous.)

10. Seattle Seahawks: 3-1 (last week: 10)

All 12 men took a break last week, which is good for recuperation, while, most likely, the rest of the fan base spent their time cheering for their new favorite baseball team (checks the paper)… the Chicago Cubs!!!

9. Green Bay Packers: 3-1 (last week: 7)

Chevy Chase famously said that a doughnut with no holes is a Danish. The same principals can be applied to a football team with a low completion percentage.

What I’m saying is, yes, the Packers, right now, are a doughnut.

8. Oakland Raiders: 4-1 (last week: 8)

About the only thing the Chargers didn’t do last week to help the Raiders win was let them call their plays. For that, and many other inconsistencies, this is the first team this week with a case of the Knee Tingles.

The Raiders are still 4-1, though, and some of that football was played on a baseball field, so I sheepishly ask the fan base to not track me down and turn my car, or any of my appendages, into some facet of the collective, bat-shit-crazy, Sunday attire.




7. Dallas Cowboys: 4-1 (last week: 9)

If you’re keeping score, Dallas fans, this season marks the 15th anniversary since team owner Jerry Jones DID NOT get plastic surgery.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-1 (last week: 4)

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” doesn’t really apply to the Eagles…unless you consider the fact the loss to the Detroit Lions made the fan base feel like shit, while the crew from Michigan felt like they just found out Oprah was their sister.

It’s only one loss, mind you, so no need to go crazy. But still—Detroit?

5. Denver Broncos: 4-1 (last week: 1)

Just when I order a dresser’s worth of Broncos socks and ties, the goddamn team goes and gets beat.

The good news: My nephews are stocked with Broncos socks and ties until they’re at least 46 and 40, respectively. (Oddly enough, the combined age equals the Bronco’s total rushing yards this season.)

4. Atlanta Falcons: 4-1 (last week: 6)

Even one million dollars doesn’t look like much when your eyes are closed.


This Falcons team is doing a solid job of opening people’s eyes.

3. New England Patriots: 4-1 (last week: 2)

Having Tom Brady back und-ah cent-ah for da Patriots is piss-ah, and it was smaht to staht him ovah dah, ya’ know, utter fuckin’ guy. And Roger Goodell, that fake-ah, clown-ass, ya’ know…in chah-ge guy, should be thankful for such a play-ah. Right, fellas?

Brady should be cel-ah-brated to the likes of Carnival!

Speaking of which…

2. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-1 (last week: 4)

Yes, I’m biased toward adorable pictures of young Yinzers learning the trade. How’s come? Well,this little guy will tell Yinz how’s come…


Photo courtesy of M. Rini

1. Minnesota Vikings: 5-0 (last week: 3)

How incredible has the Vikings’ 5-0 start been? The team is playing without their starting QB and running back—the heart of the offense.

Their replacement QB  looks like the guy you always point to and say, “He did it!”


Yet, here they are: Five. And. Zero.

And that’s football. Right, Kelly Macnamara?

Salute, and applaud.

Until next week, enjoy the games.

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