45 days. Forty-five days. Only a mere forty-five days. Not even a complete tri-mester for a knocked up broad. Barely enough time to grow a decent beard. Certainly not enough time for a Notre Dame linebacker to fall in love with a phantom phone voice. But forty-five evolutions of mother Earth was more than enough time for a second Cowboy to be arrested on DUI charges. With the dirt still fresh on the grave of Jerry Brown, Jay Ratliff thought It would be a good idea to get sloshed and take a spin in his truck. He ended up crashing into a bigger truck. Then the cops arrive. He refuses a breathalyzer test and is hauled to the pokey. Czar Jerry must be so proud.
Let me be as delicate as possible…HOW IN THE F@&$ CAN SOMEONE BE THAT STUPID? Against a backdrop of death and sorrow, armed with first-hand information, you make that choice. This will bear the disconsolate impact of a torpedo for the Cowboys. Jay Ratliff proves himself to be about as sharp as mashed potatoes.
What will Czar Jerry do? This should be as simple as old style arithmetic. He must be cut. Today. No waiting. TODAY! The Czar vowed of uncomfortable times at The Ranch. So far he’s delivered with tough coaching moves. But no player shifts. This is the perfect time. Off with Ratliff’s head today. Sever it cleanly and show the assembled players that brainless, doltish and dopey behavior won’t be tolerated.
My newest, favorite parlor game is WWED. What would Eddie do? And by Eddie I’m talking about Eddie Gossage of Texas Motor Speedway. He is the best general manager/president/decision maker in this town. How would he have handled this? Jay Ratliff would have been cut before he posted bail. No one understands perception (and most of all negative perception) better than Eddie. Jay Ratliff would be unemployment bound if Eddie was at the helm. Harsh? Maybe. Right move? Absolutely!
Forty-five days!! I keep returning to that fact. The Cowboys couldn’t even flip the calendar twice between DUI’s. Oh the frazzled pathos Czar Jerry must be feeling. Camped out in the not-so-glamorous outpost of Mobile, Alabama, his mission this week is to find players to help his team escape mediocrity. He will time, measure, analyze, assess and inquire on what combatants can help his team. But there is no standard test for blight stupidity.
Ratliff was already in danger of not making the squad next year. Injuries and salary were paramount for his roster inclusion. And this has nothing to do with the blow-up temper tantrum he threw toward the Czar. Jerry doesn’t sweat that stuff. He understands that type of passion is what propelled a seventh round pick into an all-pro. Ratliff proved to be pathologically reckless at times. Sometimes more energetic than wise. But Czar can always manage to navigate those hot currents of emotion. But not now. Not with the NFL world in full view of this calamity. There is no veil to gauze this situation. No arrogant zeal. No way. No how. An amputation from the neck up is needed.
When asked about Ratliff at Senior Bowl practice, and without the knowledge of his arrest, the Czar said this of his nose guard: “As far as I’m concerned, he is outstanding, he has given everything he’s ever had to the Dallas Cowboys.” That quote slightly implies past tense. And this was BEFORE he knew of the DUI. A disquieting essay on its own merit.
Forty-five days. Two horrible choices. A death. Countless lives changed forever. The team once defined by their bad boy image couldn’t even make it two months. Forty-five freaking days.
Why do ignorant actions seem so smart when you’re doing them?
Forty-five days. Not even a minuscule blip on the flow of time passage. But between drunk driving escapades, it’s even closer than that.
Forty-five days. Melancholic. Morose. Mournful. Miserable.
It’s your move Czar. You want things uncomfortable, here’s your shot.
Forty-three days bookended by two days of life-changing decisions.
Sad. Very sad.