Skip to main content

It's time for an extreme makeover, Pulp Fiction style

Everyone here has seen Pulp Fiction at least a dozen times, right? So then you no doubt remember Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe, Harvey Keitel's tuxedo-wearing, problem-solving coffee connoisseur who hung out at swanky parties in hotel suites while the sun was still coming up. Forget Ty Pennington -- the wolf was the original host of a more extreme version of "Extreme Makeover."

Well, good news: The Wolf is back, and I am he. Presumptuous, you say? Feh! Spare me the indignation. If there can be five Batmans, seven James Bonds and countless three-year-olds who call Antonio Cromartie "Dad," the world can handle two Wolves. Besides, there are too many problems in the world for just one fixer. While Harvey Keitel focuses on bone chunks in the backseats of cars, I'll get to work on... the NFL.

That's right, I said it. The NFL is in need of some fixing. Yeah, it's spectacular as-is, but that doesn't mean The Wolf can't make it even better. Why not worry about more pressing problems like Afghanistan, Lindsay Lohan or NBC's primetime lineup? Hey, I'm just following the lead of the Commish, who -- based on his support of an 18-game schedule and mid-season trips to London for two teams -- obviously sees room for improvement.

» So let's start with instant replay. Why are the refs still going under the hood to look at replays on 12-inch tube TVs when the average fan is at home watching the same evidence on a 50-inch HD plasma? The hood's always looked silly, but here in 2010, it's downright prehistoric. Not since the late George Michael was pushing oversized VCR "play" buttons to show highlight clips on "The Sports Machine" have middle-aged men looked so out of touch with modern technology. It's time to adopt the NHL's approach (I know, the NFL cribbing off of hockey is the equivalent of Daniel Day-Lewis getting acting tips from Ashton Kutcher, but so be it). When a play is reviewed in the NHL, the on-location ref gets the correct call from officials stationed in the league's nerve center in Toronto. Not only does it remove the chance of being prejudiced by the home crowd or a persuasive coach, it also takes far less time than it does for the ref with the arthritic hip to run off to the sideline to make a determination by himself.

» Next up, uniforms: Whether it's those glorious gold pants on the D.C. Skins, the 1960 edition green getups of the Eagles in Week 1, or the Bears' orange-numbered jerseys on Monday night, throwbacks make it abundantly clear that our fashion forefathers knew how to put together a handsome football uniform. In almost every case, teams should stop trying to fix what ain't broke and just throw back to a more dapper time on a permanent basis.

» While I'm on uniforms and the like, I've complained for years about the Dolphins' logo, but to no avail. That's the way it goes in this line of work. I can't make people take my advice. At some point, it's up to them to take action. Remember, Keitel wasn't the one cleaning up that bloody mess; he just gave Vincent Vega and Jules the orders and left them to do the rest. With that in mind, I'm hereby ordering J-Lo, Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, and whatever other celebrities are calling the shots down in Miami to do something about that Dolphins' logo. Here's my gripe: the dolphin on their helmet isn't wearing a Dolphins' helmet. Look, I realize there aren't many football-playing dolphins in the world, but it's just too weird that this dolphin apparently plays for Miami of Ohio. So please, Miami, put a Dolphins' helmet on that dolphin. Pretty please. With sugar on top.

» Tone-deaf Cowboys fans might not like this one, but Keith Brooking really needs to stop with his pre-game motivational speeches. Some guys are great at it. Joey Porter, Drew Brees, Ray Lewis… but not you, Keith Brooking. I'm sorry, Keith, but you come off like the over-caffeinated version of the Alec Baldwin character in a junior-high production of "Glengarry Glen Ross." Maybe you'd do well to keep the words of the original Wolf in mind: "Just because you are a character doesn't mean you have character." Matter of fact, you just seem kinda goofy.

» Lemme circle back to the aforementioned 18-game schedule for a sec. It's a bad idea. Players will get hurt, players' careers will be shorter, and the owners will get richer. Not that the last part is bad, per se, but the hollow excuse about wanting to expand the schedule because it'll bring more entertainment to fans is hooey and applesauce, especially at a time when improving player safety is supposedly a priority for the league. No wonder the players are insulted. By the way, instead of eliminating two preseason games, how 'bout playing just one? Better yet, maybe we don't need them at all. College football seems to get by just fine without them. I understand that coaches want to see their rookies and free agents in game action, but NFL coaches are supposed to be the best in the world at their profession, right? Shouldn't they be able to gauge these players in practice when they face off against their team's number one units?

I can go on and on, but since you clicked the fantasy tab to get here, you'd probably like some fixes for your fantasy team. Remember, though, The Wolf is who you call when all other avenues have been exhausted. These may not be the perfect solutions to your fantasy disasters, but after the mess you've made, you're really not in a position to argue.

Running back

» Not many people predicted Cleveland's Jerome Harrison would take a backseat to (Walter) Peyton Hillis this season. At this point, though, if you took Harrison to serve as one of your top two runners, your future prospects are about as bright as the guy's riding in the backseat with Vincent and Jules. Hillis should already be long gone in your league (and if he's not, please let me join your league next season), so your best bet at this point is probably a trade. Here's an idea if you're already feeling desperate: grab someone like Kyle Orton (still out there in about 40 percent of the leagues) or Chad Henne or, better yet, both and play the matchups. In the meantime, you can swap your star QB on whom you spent a top pick for Maurice Jones-Drew, whose owner is probably desperate to dump him for anything right now. A month from now, the Jags will still be one of the worst teams in the league, but MJD's struggles will be a distant memory.

Defense/special teams

» Last Sunday, 100 percent of the 69 percent of fantasy owners who own the San Francisco 49ers defense/special teams were disappointed for the third consecutive week. Coach Singletary's fellas once again failed to live up to all the preseason hype, but -- if you were watching that game -- the solution was right there in front of your eyes in the form of the Kansas City Chiefs. It might be hard to believe (at least for you -- I picked KC to win the AFC West before the season), but that "D" has playmakers at all three levels, and Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas give you a great chance at some special teams touchdowns every week. Best part is, they're only owned in 13 percent of, so you should have as easy a time picking them up as Matt Cassel had throwing three TDs on the Niners D.

Wide receiver

» There's no shortage of big-name receivers shaping up to be big-time busts this season. T.O., Southern Steve Smith (of the Panthers, for you newbies), even Larry Fitzgerald to some degree. Keep your chin up, though, because there are some nice options still out there. After last Sunday, you know Lance Moore is a good add, at the very least until Reggie Bush comes back. Problem is, everyone else in your league knows about Moore, too. If you can't get him, go after the Raiders' Louis Murphy. I'm not sure why NFL fans haven't collectively recognized it yet, but when Bruce Gradkowski is under center for Oakland, Murphy puts up numbers. And guess who's under center for Oakland again this Sunday, against an overrated Texans' D, no less?


» Alright, I saved what I consider my most radical fantasy tip for last. It's only for those of you whose quarterback situation is truly dire. Did you bank on Kevin Kolb to be your starter through the season? Did you expect Brett Favre to replicate his numbers from last season? Heaven forbid, but did you really buy the foolishness about Jason Campbell becoming a legit starting QB in Oakland? Well, here's the solution: Mark Sanchez. Less than two weeks ago, I was as down on him as could be. I felt like Mark Sanchez was doing for NFL quarterbacks what Ryan Leaf did for NFL quarterbacks. I thought he was an irretrievable mess. But, like the late actor Jerry Orbach says at the end of Dirty Dancing, "When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong." Sanchez has put up big numbers in each of the last two weeks, first against the Pats in a game the Jets needed to win, and then against a really good Dolphins D in Miami. Yeah, he deserved to get picked off a couple times on Sunday night, but nobody's perfect. The most compelling reason to think Sanchez will continue to ascend the QB rankings, though, is the pending return of Santonio Holmes. Between Holmes and Braylon Edwards, Sanchez is not only guaranteed some wild off-nights, but some big stats on Sundays. Throw in Dustin Keller -- who's emerged as a top-five tight end himself -- as yet another target, and even the Wolf could quarterback that offense to victory.

So there you have 'em, The Wolf's opening volley of fixes for the NFL. Now, it's up to the Commish, the teams and you, the fantasy owner, to make them a reality. I'll be back from time to time to offer more help, but in the meantime, I've got a party to get back to. Goodnight, Raquel. 

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.