We had Intellivision in my house when I was growing up. For those of you under 30, Intellivision was the gold standard of videogame systems back in the early '80s, light years ahead of the Atari 2600, "Pong" and "Space Invaders."
My favorite games to plug into the wood-paneled monstrosity were "Football," "Skiing" and "Pitfall," but I had to play a lot of "Bowling" because it was one of the few that both my sisters and I could all play at once. I remember how angry they'd get when I'd hit the reset button if I didn't bowl a strike in the first frame. So what? I liked getting off on the right foot. Call me a spoiled sport, but be careful: you'll be implicitly condemning every golfer who's ever taken a mulligan on the first hole.
The reset button can be a great thing, a necessary safety net that we all rely on at one time or another. It's why we have presidential elections, divorces, network midseason replacement series, plastic surgery and paint.
If basketball didn't have a reset button, we'd still be watching grown men run around in colorful hot pants. If Hollywood didn't have a reset button, we'd have been stuck with Michael Keaton's two Batman movies for eternity. If modern medicine didn't have a reset button, David Arquette would still have two brothers instead of just one.
We're just two weeks into the NFL season, and some coaches are already hitting the reset button, too. John Fox did so when he announced that Matt Moore's out and Jimmy Clausen's in. Same goes for Chan Gailey. He told Trent Edwards to find the bench 'cause it's time for the Ryan Fitzpatrick Era to begin in Buffalo! (Sorry, I thought adding an exclamation point might make it seem exciting. No dice.)
Andy Reid smartly hit reset by backing out of going back to Kevin Kolb when his concussed QB's brain boo-boo was all healed up. As a sidenote, why is there so much handwringing over this decision when Vick, a guy who's won some big-time games in his career, is playing the way he is? I imagine Reid's internal debate went something like this: "On one hand, I promised Kevin Kolb he'd get his job back. On the other hand, it's Kevin Kolb." Maybe Kolb will end up in the Hall of Fame, but as of today, he's won two more NFL games than I have.
Braylon Edwards would certainly like to hit the reset button right now. He's gotta be disgusted with the man in the mirror. I'm speaking, of course, about going out in public with that beard. And also about that DWI.
The point is this: Sometimes it's okay to hit the reset button. Sometimes. It's not always the right move. There are words for people who do nothing but hit reset. You've heard 'em all before: trigger-happy, knee jerk, Dan Snyder. Sometimes, patience isn't just a virtue, it's the smart thing to do.
What if the Dodgers had traded Sandy Koufax in 1959? What if NBC cancelled "Seinfeld" after the first season? What if Luke assumed Darth Vader was a lost cause after the elder Skywalker chopped his son's hand off?
Deciding when to hit the reset button and when to just keep on playing the game is a great skill to learn in life. Or at least in fantasy football.
Owners everywhere are trying to make that call right now. Maybe you're one of them. Lucky for you, I'm a generous soul who's happy to offer some advice on a few of the tougher cases. (NOTE: If any of the couple dozen people in my fantasy leagues are reading this, you are hereby prohibited from reading this as it may reveal my intentions with this week's waiver wire.)
Hit the reset button
»Brad Childress may not admit it, but I'm sure he'd love to hit the reset button on all that begging it took to get Brett Favre to come back. Those flights Childress took to and from the Mississippi Delta may have helped him rack up frequent-flyer miles, but they also seem to have cost him his credibility with the rest of his players. I bet Tarvaris Jackson would have the Vikings at 1-1 right now. Of course, Childress won't turn to Jackson anytime soon, but if Favre is the starting QB on your fantasy team, I suggest you turn to Plan B, ASA and P.
»John Harbaugh probably wouldn't mind hitting the reset button on the wide receiver exchange his team pulled off right before the start of the season. As you'll recall, Mark Clayton was shown the door after the team brought in T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Since then, Clayton has found the end zone twice, while the Ravens have found out why the Seahawks didn't feel compelled to keep Housh. If you need the roster space, you should follow Pete Carroll's lead.
» Along with his QB switch, Chan(ge) Gailey also announced that he's gonna be relying a lot less in the coming weeks on preseason wunderkind C.J. Spiller. Do what your old pal Dave did and dump the rookie in favor of Fred Jackson.
» Another young runner who a lot of people drafted in the top few rounds is Shonn Greene. Unfortunately, Rex Ryan couldn't give a gd snack where you took Greene. I'm not advocating you outright dump Greene, but definitely put him on your bench and root for L.T.'s inevitable breakdown to start *before the postseason this time around.
» When it comes to tight ends, let George Clooney inspire you (no, I'm not advocating you stare at Clooney's caboose… but then again, he is the Sexiest Man Alive for a reason). Anyhoo, Clooney is the world champ of dating a foxy woman for a while, then trading up to an even foxier, younger woman. Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez may not be completely finished, but they're definitely pretty close to becoming the fantasy equivalent of cougars. If you wanna be a fantasy stud, pick up young fantasy foxes like Aaron Hernandez or Dustin Keller instead.
Keep on playing
»Todd Haley is the early front-runner for my just-now-invented "Fantasy Enemy Award." Why, oh, why, is Thomas Jones getting twice as many carries as Jamaal Charles? And more to the point, why didn't Haley at least tell us that's what he was going to do before we used a first- or second-round pick on Charles? Maybe I'm a sap, but I believe guilt will eventually overwhelm Haley, causing him to right this fantasy wrong by giving the ball more to Charles, who I still like as a No.2 runner. You may be wondering why I say stick with Charles but not Greene. Simple: because Charles is always a threat to break a long TD with at least one of his eight or so weekly touches.
» Back in August, I was a part of the Joe Flacco Hype Machine (worst band name ever, by the way). And in spite of my earlier comments about Housh, I still think Flacco will wind up being a top 10 fantasy QB this season. Don't replace him now, 'cause Joe Cool is going to heat up well before it gets cool outside. It says here he gets right against the Brownies on Sunday.
» I've talked to some people who are nervous about Larry Fitzgerald's numbers so far this season. My advice: settle down. He may not be the No. 1 overall WR this season, but he'll still finish in the top half-dozen. Remember that just two seasons ago, Derek Anderson made Braylon Edwards look like... Larry Fitzgerald.
I hope those tips prove helpful, but if not, I'll be back to try again next week. As I've already said, I'm no stranger to the reset button.
By the way, anybody know where I can get a used Intellivision?