Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Act Together

“Liiiiiifffffffeeeeeeeee.”

My wife says this all the time. Usually it is said with the culmination of a lot positive things all happening at the same time. I use it now, as more of a lets-slow-down-I-am-tired kind of way.

Two columns in two months. Woof. If the consistency with which I have been writing lately were female and dating, then this column would be dating Buzz McCallister. And it is not like there have not been topics to talk about either. We have had topics like lockouts, rape scandals, hiring’s and firings, holiday nightmare stories, NCAA football standings, Cowboys games and all things NFL, Super Bowl commercials that feature people in my family, lifted lockouts, hilarious YouTube videos of a song made soley out of Mike Tyson quotes, Theo Epstein taking the reins of the Chicago Cubs, renting a Chevy Impala and somehow ending up with a Corvette, fantasy standings etc,. I could go on.

If I were crafty I would have intentionally created the writing absence but dropped Twitter bombs here and there, hired sexy PR majors to create tantalizing and cryptic press releases to keep my many readers chomping at the bit. Instead, I have alienated all my subscribers because I am lazy bandicoot. Even my mom has ceased reading this column.

I have gone so long without putting out a column I do not even know what to write about. Looking back at what should have been my regular writing schedule, I should have had a lamenting Red Sox column, a fantasy sports gloating column, a 3000-word article on a video game nobody cares about, and at least four columns about the Cowboys. One about being 2-and-3 with me asking, “What the hell is happening? We are going to finish last in the division and we’re one of the most talented teams in the NFL”. In the second I would have clamored about laying off of Romo because he has collapsed lung and is a champion/please let us win some games. The third would showcase me swinging in to full on positive “We got this” mode by me writing as if I had never written the previous two articles, and the fourth should have been put out on Monday night with me gloating about how we are going to win our division. Instead of getting those columns, you got the last paragraph.

I am sure I could have squeaked out a column on the NBA Lockout. You know, the one I never cared about. The lockout happened and we officially missed games. But not once did I feel like I had been bent over a wooden barrel that was the depravation of NBA action. Nor did I feel like a kid who climbed out of one of those circular shirt racks at JCPennys, only to instantly panic about the certainty of his mother intentionally leaving him at the mall so she could move to another county. That feeling of “I am forever lost”, in relation to NBA, never manifested me. I cannot honestly say that I even wanted it to. Forgive me if I offend anyone, but I wish we had missed the whole damn season. I really do, because I was never an advocate of the players should-get-what-they-want party or the owners-should-get-what-they-want group. I wanted both to lose so I could win.

There are three main groups that lose once a season is lost, but there are still ways fans can win. The list of losers are the players, the owners, and the fans—and in that order. Financially speaking, anywhere from 40-50 players would have made it through a missed season with no problems. These are the superstars of the league who signed $90 million dollar shoe deals when they turned eighteen years old (read: LeBron). The rest would have quickly begun to bleed out and turn desperate. Some actually did. Kenyon Martin is stuck playing in China until March because he did not read the fine print of the contract he signed. He has to play the whole season, at a wholesale price, while everybody else starts playing on Christmas. The owners would have taken a hit too, but as business men with other investments (I am guessing) would have made it through drought too. At the very least, they would have outlasted the majority of the non-superstar players and would have started to feel the strains of no NBA income at the same time the superstars did.

The operative phrase to notice the previous paragraph: would have.

Would have, ladies and gentlemen. That is a hypothetical because they never, actually, did. Thee would have never manifested. As fans we… wait for it… would have lost out entertainment, but that is it. If anything, while all of these players and owners went without money, we would have been M-A-K-I-N-G money. Who do you think provides the income for these millionaires anyways? We would not have—

(Scoring update: “would not have” does not garner italicization or bold font but does receive partial credit for those keeping score at home. The person who correctly tallies all of the “would haves” in this column and submits a 1-page, double spaced essay on why they actually read anything on this website, will be declared the winner and will win a year’s supply of Diet Coke… for the remainder of this year…)

—spent money on tickets, merchandise, parking, gas driving to-and-fro, food, you name it. That is money for our pockets and we still get our sports fix through the NFL and NCAA Football and Basketball.

If there would have (the phrase is now haunting this column the same way self-respect haunts the Kardashians) been a season long lockout, then perhaps owners and players would never again have these inner-dialogues that lead to NBA lockouts:

NBA OWNER: “Hmm… that Joe Johnson is a pu-ri-tee good basketball player. He is good, might be great, and certainly will never be elite. But I need to make sure he stays on my team. I should probably rape myself in keeping him here. I am going to pay him $120 million dollars over the next six years.”

JOE JOHNSON: “Hmm… I must be a pretty good basketball player. I am not the best by any means, and there are probably 20 guys in the league that are more talented than me. I just got paid $120 million dollars. This is what guys, with talents such as my own, should be making. I know this because somebody just gave me $120 million dollars”

PLAYER X: “Hmm… I am mediocre basketball player who had one semi-shiny season. I’m also old. I think that means I am good. Joe Johnson is making $120 million dollars. I think I should be making at least half of that because I am half as good as he his… almost. I should be making $11 million dollars a year. Oh wait, that IS what I am making per year right now. My name is Hedo Turkoglu.”

This had to stop, and in ways I think the lockout curtailed stuff like from happening in future, but I stand believing that an entire missed season would have been even more effective. It does not really matter. It looks like there is going to be a 50-50 split with an adjusting formula depending on if the projected revenues exceed or fall short. Happy Holidays, get ready for professional basketball games on Christmas Day. I am very much over the NBA season and it has not even started yet.

This is OK because right now I am in full fledge Fantasy Football ball mode. Both of my teams are 7-and-5, and are in 2nd and 4th place respectively. In the one league, which I have been in for almost a decade, things have been so strange this season. With my team comfortably resting at two games above .500, I have somehow had more points scored against me than points my team has scored for themselves. I feel like last year’s Seattle Seahawks winning NFC West with a 7-and-9 record. If you break it down the point spread, it shows I have won each of my seven games by an average of 0.11 points. It is beyond me. At this point, I am grateful my team is sitting in 4th with one game remaining in the fantasy regular season.

In the league I created myself, there has been a ton of headway made this year. People are trading left and right, throwing in cash considerations and what not, people are participating in the league polls, giving their input on the direction of the league and owners are coming in to their own. The league is blossoming and I am a beaming proud parent. They grow up so fast, and right under your nose. I think I will get their baby booties bronzed.

Things have been crazy in this league too. Last season, Rob finished in dead last and prior to this year’s draft, he paid $50 dollars plus—per player—to resign Peyton Manning and Andre Johnson. A week after the draft, we found out that Peyton Manning was done for the season with a neck injury. Rob was all but, officially screwed. At least he has Andre Johnson, or least that was the case until Andre Johnson hurt his hammy Week 3. Johnson just barely made it back to his first game since the injury this last week. Needless to say things did not look good for Rob.

His team jumped out to 1-and-5 start, which given the injuries sounds about right, but somehow through trades and player pickups, Rob has rattled off six wins in a row and is guaranteed to play in Championship Bracket. He could even win his division outright and be the #2 seed in the playoffs. You cannot make this stuff up.

I promise a Fantasy Football playoff preview by the end of the first week of December. If I do not come through, then I will refund your subscription fees for access to this website.