Where to begin? It’s been so long since I’ve had moment to sit down and write about sports. 100% of my fan base—all two of you—is livid. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent plenty of time watching, talking, and obsessing about sports since the start of September. There was even a two hour humbling sports moment last Saturday when a group of us went and kicked field goals after convincing ourselves how easy it should be. There was not even a shadow of a doubt in my mind that I could nail 35-yarders all day. After missing seven straight from 20 yards out and limping around today, I’ll be sure to put a button on it next time a kickers misses. In regards to new columns and in all seriousness, I could have popped something out, but let’s face it: I’m lazy.
I can’t wait until I get paid to be lazy. A guy can dream right? I know I do every day. For the last one and half weeks my daily day dream has been the same. I win the Power Ball lotto. In dream the prize is $660 million dollars and after taxes I get to walk away with an easy $250 mill. I take the lump sum obviously (has anyone ever opted out of the lump sum?). I dream of the obvious things like paying debts, taking care of my family and getting new cars. In the dream I was pretty practical with my car choices. I’d like a new Ford F350 diesel, I’d throw on all the aftermarket stuff I’ve dreamt about for years on my motorcycle, and I’d restore my grandma’s old 1968 Ford Galaxie, Chip Foose style. By my math, the damage done would be about $110,000 for all three. Not bad. No Ferraris or Bugattis. I asked The Boss, not Springsteen but the real boss, what she kind of car she wanted, and she wanted an Audi A4. Not a Rover or a Denali, but an A4. She liked that it was Quattro but most of all she liked the taillights. I tried to talk her in to something else with a bit more swag but she wasn’t having any. In the day dream I pretend she asks for an Audi RS6 Wagon.
Back in reality, I have other problems, real life problems, besides picking out new cars. At the start of the month, I looked at the Red Sox schedule and with their record, I deducted they could only lose a total of 7-8 games in order to make the playoffs. They’ve lost 10 already and for two straight nights they have lost to the Orioles if that says anything. With the way the Rays and Yankees are playing, it will be impossible for us to get in the wild card. But then again, the Red Sox accomplished the impossible in the 2004 season… (there I go dreaming again).
Luckily for me College Football and the NFL are in full swing and that takes away the sting of an injury filled Red Sox season going in the crapper. However, the crappy Red Sox season sting is replaced by a different kind of sting. Where to begin? I’ll go with college. Before the season even started I thought it was possible for the Cougars to go 7-5, if not worse. This was acceptable, whereas last year had the Cougars lost a game I would have been depressed and grouchy about it for the entire week. Now I look at this year and if they lost to Washington in the home opener, with Nevada’s D looming this week, E and I talked about it being feasible to have jumped out 0-4 (shuddering). We’ll be luckily if BYU gets to 2-2.
Everybody spends all their time complaining about the quarterback position and as a result I spend all my time complaining about the complaining. I don’t give two dumps about the quarterback job right now. Jake Heaps is going to be the main guy over the next 3-4 years (and officially the rest of season since Riley Nelson sustained a season-ending shoulder injury); there are much bigger problems, such as the team’s defense, needing addressed right now. I knew we’d have to work pretty hard to put up points but I at least thought they play some kind of defense to make up for it. Any defense really. I do not care if Heaps is going to break out and put up 300+ and two or three scores every game. I want to stop the others team from picking up six yards every time they rush the ball. I want our linebackers to wrap up and I want our secondary to not take the worst angles possible and consequently give up 83-yard rushing touchdowns. I don’t want to become Hawaii and give up 45 points every game and only win because we can score 50 plus. And I want my $660 million dollar Power Ball! I’m a dreamer baby!
To the NFL. The Cowboys are 0-2 and I’m not at point where I can rationally communicate how I feel about it. Needless to say I’m not happy. We’ll talk about ‘The Boys’ when they get a win under their belts. They’ll get their own column, don’t you worry. Relating to the NFL however is my coveted: Fantasy Football (FF).
Since the 2002 season I have been doing a keeper league with friends of mine from the state of Washington. At my own admittance, I was not the best at contributing when it came to posting and trash talk, but I held my own from time to time and made a consorted effort. In my defense, I always signed up for the league when I got the text or e-mail giving the go-ahead right away. Heck, there were times I even was on our league commissioner to get the league up and going when summer began to show signs of fall. This season I wanted a FF league I could do with people living close to me because I wanted to have live draft, watch games with the people in the league, and be able to talk trades face to face. Guided by God, like Leif Erickson and Christopher Columbus, I discovered something called an auction draft. For those of you still doing your FF leagues by taking turns picking your players (aka leaving your entire FF season to total and complete luck) you do not know what you are missing. I cannot believe I have been playing FF for eight years the way I have, for as long as I have. The last time I felt this jipped was this last July and ate my first kiwi.
Seriously. Kiwi. Who knew?
Now that I knew I was going to start my own keeper league auction draft—and with a little guidance from Bill Simmons—I set out to find seven others “to join me on this sacred quest”. All I know is I put W-O-R-K in for the league. I made it as close to actually owning and NFL team as possible, ironed out fun wrinkles to make the league unique. You name it; I did it and I took it to the next level. Little known fact about being a league commissioner: it is as fun as getting kicked in the nuts. I had no idea so many of my friends do not watch football. Every time somebody told me they didn’t watch the NFL, it was as if they were telling me they were gay. It was always followed by that awkward moment where you’re standing there, trying to recall in your mind any moments of the tell-tale gay signs, only to recognize the uncomfortable silence, so you say something like, “That’s, cool.. maann?” It took until the night before the Saints vs. Vikings game that every team spot was filled. To take a positive from the delay in getting the league together, having your draft the night before the regular season starts is awesome. You don’t end up drafting guys that get hurt in pre-season but most of all you don’t have to wait for 2-3 weeks to drag by before you see how well your draft really went. You get the night to digest it and then wammo: the season begins.
I must say, I love the fall. Baseball playoffs begin, College Football begins, the NFL begins. Plus, the perfect kind of cool weather settles in for about a month and a half making it the best time of year for motorcycle riders. The leaves change and there are thousands of canyons vying to be claimed the most beautiful. Throw the iPod on and let the judging begin. The only crappy part about it is for those still in school. That begins too. You can’t know the sweet without the bitter I suppose. With that I’ll leave you with a small recap of the FF draft and the first two weeks.
THE BIG BOARD
I took a big ass whiteboard from work (because we’re men and don’t do our league via web or do auto picks) and made our big board. I thought I’d crack it out in 30-45 minutes. Three hours later I still wasn’t done. I’ll never return it.
High note: We now have a high quality board we’ll use over the next couple of years
Low note: It took 3 hours to make
Ryan was in Arizona on business and couldn’t be at the draft, so we set up a computer to have him Skype in.
High note: Ryan was not afraid to throw dollars down on players. I was the first to nominate and went with the Jets D. Ryan paid $6 bucks for them. For a defense. A defense that he has not started once all season.
Low note: Skype wasn’t working very well so we had to switch to putting him on speaker over the phone.
WEEK ONE WAKEUP
Rob’s bench of five players scored 132 points (Arian Foster, Jahvid Best, Hakeem Nicks, Carson Palmer and Vince Young). The ten players he started only got him 96 points.
High note: Reaming Rob that Arian Foster got 46 fantasy points for his bench.
Low note: Rob has Arian Foster.
WEEK ONE WAKEUP #2
E drafted Beanie Wells and forgot to sub him out for his game. Had he played any other RB he would have won his game. He did the same thing again this last week. E is 0-2.
High note: E drafted Tom Brady and the very next morning Brady was in a bad car accident (unhurt). It still didn’t stop me from texting him and telling him “Tom Brady was in car accident this morning. Sorry buddy.”
Low note: E has Tom Brady.
BEST/WORST PICKUPS AND TRADES
When I was picking the league settings, it was my understanding that every single week; each team would be given $100 to bid on players in a silent auction. As it turns out that $100 dollars if for the ENTIRE SEASON. Let’s just say someone whose name rhymes with Bob, sob, Cobb, and knob picked up Jabar Gaffney off of waivers—for $40 dollars. I mean, even if the $100 did reset every week, $40 bucks for Jabar Gaffney? Really? I had to call ESPN and ask them what to do. Homeboy said I would have to reset the draft, solve world hunger and a million other things. The very next day, after I did everything, I noticed a new feature in the League Manager tools that allows you simply adjust every team’s budget. Like I said: it is as fun as getting kicked in the peanuts. To make up for it Kevin Kolb got a concussion, Michael Vick did 2006 Michael Vick things, I picked him up for $3 and yesterday Andy Reid announced Vick would be the starter for the rest of the year. Booyah. Did you know that Vick is fast like a NASCAR?
High note: Michael Vick $3
Low note: Jabar Gaffney $40
Lastly, I’m trying to orchestrate a mega three-team deal. Tell me what you think.
Rob would send Maurice Jones-Drew to Jeff for Reggie Wayne.
I would send DeAngelo Williams and Michael Crabtree to Jeff for Ochocinco and Wes Welker.
I would then swap you Ochocinco and Wes Welker for Andre Johnson and Jahvid Best.
Looking at each trade individually, it doesn't seem like some are balanced, but keep in mind that it is part of a three team trade and everybody is getting what they want. Rob gets 3 solid WRs which he is in dire need of, Jeff gets his much needed RBs, and I get major upgrade at my 3rd WR with Andre Johnson because this deal cannot happen with me. Below is the breakdown on every player since the 2006 season and their season averages. To start let's look at what you'll be getting.
1302 Yards Receiving
8 Receiving TDs
130+48= 178 fantasy points per season (PPS)
1099 Yards Receiving
7 Receiving TDs
109+42= 151 fantasy PPS
1093 Yards Receiving
4 Receiving TDs
109+24= 133 fantasy PPS
Bringing us to a grand total average of 462 Fantasy points per season. Lets look at what Jeff will be getting.
981 Yards Rushing
12 Rushing TDs
445 Yards Receiving
1 Receiving TD
98+72+44+6= 220 fantasy PPS
962 Yards Rushing
7 Rushing TDs
215 Yards Receiving
1 Receiving TD
96+42+21+6= 165 fantasy PPS
625 Yards Receiving
2 Receiving TDs
(missed spring training, pre-season and first 5 games of regular season due to contract hold out)
65+12= 72 fantasy PPS
That is a 457 total points per season. If you adjust Crabtree's numbers from 11 to 16 games the grand total jumps to 470. In essence Rob’s team jumps up from 390 points(Johnson and Jones-Drew) + a potentially good player(Best) to 462 points (Wayne, Ocho, Welker). Jeff goes from 462 to 470 + a potentially good player (Crabtree). I get upgraded with Johnson and potentially good player in Best. Everybody wins.
“You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not…”