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The Ravens’ incompetence with onside kicks is getting to historic levels of bad

Gramatica Errors Week 9: The Hunt for Red Oc-toe-ber

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Gramatica Errors, SB Nation’s weekly kicking and punting column. As always, we will do our best to avoid any and all foot puns. Now let’s kick things off ...

Quoth the Ravens: We are not any good at onside kicks and haven’t been for a disconcertingly long amount of time

The Sole Patrol sighed again this week when the Baltimore Ravens failed to convert a late onside kick in the team’s loss to the Titans. The Ravens weren’t able to recover because Justin Tucker, who is usually very good at his job, kicked the ball six yards and the thing just stopped. You need a ball to go 10 yards to recover it. Six is not ten.

This marks the 23rd straight time the Ravens have attempted to recover an onside kick and failed. It is now a 16-year streak.

You’d think that considering this streak could apply for a driver’s license if it became sentient and took human form, it might be time to work on onside kicks. But John Harbaugh didn’t get to where he is by craving to the demands of the Laces Brigade, let me tell you. He’s a man who stands by principle!

And that principle is apparently refusing to practice this shit and to continue to lose games because of it for over a decade. That takes commitment. That’s the NFL way, right there.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Gray Lady comes after my beat

The New York Times published a feature this week about the brilliance of Rams punter Johnny Hekker, highlighting how good he’s become and how valuable he is to Los Angeles. It was well written and well reported and fuck every single thing about it.

Hey, The New York Times: Do you see me out here writing trend pieces on artisanal pickles in Brooklyn or tepid centrist opinion essays about god knows what? No. You don’t. So how about you step off and leave the toe stories to the toe boys, alright?

Good heavens. I’m out here on this beat every week. I don’t just fly in, slather on some foot cream, and wax poetic about Johnny Hekker every once in a while. I’m out here in the trenches. Getting trench foot. Because of the whole kicking thing.

Dan Bailey dressed as a football player for Halloween

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey is injured, but he dressed up in his pads for the open part of practice this week, and just sort of sat around dressed up as a football player.

This might be the most adorable thing I’ve ever read in my life. I’m sure Bailey was forced to do it because ol’ Jerry Jones wanted to trick that datgum opposition by having his kicker dressed up as if he was healthy, but it’s funnier to imagine that Bailey just wanted to get dressed up in his pads and sit around for a while. Look at me. I’m a REAL kicker man.

For Giorgio’s eyes only

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t give details about the ongoing recovery of kicker Sebastian Janikowski this week, but noted that the strong kicking of Giorgio Tavecchio would mean the Raiders would be fine. “Giorgio has been great and ‘Seabass’ is mending,” he said Monday.

It’s looking increasingly likely that the Raiders will allow Janikowski to finish out his contract on the IR and move forward with Tavecchio as their full-time kicker.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

If that is the case, that’s fine, because it won’t interrupt Tavecchio’s supposed other life, where he allegedly is the debonair leader of an accomplished heist team. Again, just because Giorgio Tavecchio is a handsome Italian man and his name is Georgio Tavecchio does NOT mean he is an international jewel thief.

Now, if you aren’t Giorgio Tavecchio, please turn away. The article is over. There is nothing else for you to see here. This next part is for Giorgio Tavecchio alone. Thank you.

Ah, Giorgio. It appears the falcon has caught his prey once again. You’d think that night in Tarragona would have settled Mercedes down once and for all, but she’s never been one to turn down a score, has she?

Down to business: The diamonds. They’re located in a hollowed out footstool in the powder room of the ambassador’s mistress. Show her that tarot card we picked up in Perugia; she’s always been a sucker for the Tarocco Piemontese. If she gives you any trouble, remind her you’re a close friend of the ambassador’s wife — all those regattas won’t be for nothing, eh?

As for Mercedes, tell her she can find asylum in Tristan de Cunha, but make it clear: This is only if the Admiral is out of town on business. If he’s in port, well, she’d be better off in Istanbul, wouldn’t she?

And Giorgio? Give her a kiss for me, would you, old friend? Tell her I’m sorry it would never work out between us; I can share a bed with her, but I’ll never have room for her dagger.

Also congratulations on your continued success with the Raiders.