Monday, August 30, 2010

Fantasy Football Diaries - Version 2.1

Okay, here goes.

Rocking the Plaxico Burress jersey this year. Wasn't ready to bring that upon my team last season, but after a year I think it's safe to bring it back out. It symbolizes the punishment I didn't deserve when the curse was brought down upon my team three years ago when I took Bironas in the sixth. Let's hope this decision doesn't shoot me in the leg.

I thought about taking a running total of the number of times someone made a joke about me taking kickers in the sixth round, but I thought my computer might explode from overuse.

That's weird the drafts about to start and Smooth hasn't cursed anyone out ye.....

Smooth: Scott are you f***ing kidding me bro?! Get your legs off my f***ing box you ass****!

Ah, it feels like draft season again.
(Side note: One day I'd like to know why ass is street legal but ass**** makes it a curse word).

So people are a little disappointed in K Dub and PL. After all, K Dub was too hungover to be in attendance, and PL feared that spending two hours away from his girlfriend might be unhealthy for their relationship and that it was worth spending $20 to let the computer pick him the worst team ever.

Everyone agreed it was weak of Phil not to come.

Toph: My girlfriend was here this weekend and I made her leave.
Me: My girlfriend wanted to come today and I said no.
Scott (on the newly added microphone): I'm supposed to be at work right now........I didn't go.

MC grabs the mic: With the sixth pick in the draft, Bob Talbot selects...Rob Bironas.

Everyone laughs.

Guys I quit! I swear.

Okay, so as MC mentioned, this year I've got the sixth pick. A pick I claimed last year was one of the best. With the hour delay before the draft, I had a lot of time to think about what players would likely fall to me at #6. Okay so CJ, AP, MJD and Ray Rice are gone. Scott could either go Turner, Gore or Rodgers. That leaves me with a great opportunity to take Rodgers if he's still available or Andre Johnson if Rodgers goes at number 5. With Rodgers I would remain consistent in drafting the best fantasy QB each year, like I have in all previous years. See: Culpepper, McNabb, Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers. So I really hope it's Rodgers. QBs are the staple to my team.

If you remember, however, QBs are the staple to our league.
1) Chris Johnson
2) Adrian Peterson
3) Drew Brees
4) Peyton Manning
5) Aaron Rodgers
6) What the f just happened?
I'm not prepared for this at all. Yes, QBs go faster than the M&Ms in Rex Ryan's coaching office, but it's the 6th overall pick and any QB I thought about taking other than Matt Schaub is off the board. I'm not taking Matt Schaub sixth. How can I pass up on MJD or Ray Rice? Better yet, how do I even decide between the two? This wasn't supposed to happen.

Ray Rice. Two picks later, I already hate my team.

Round 2 - Phil autopicks Matt Schaub. Thanks again for coming Phil. Now I have to decide between Phillip Rivers and Tony Romo. I'm a Giants fan. I refuse to root for these guys. I guess I have to root for the biggest d-bag in football this season. Welcome to the team Phillip.

I really hate my team. It's bad when you hate your team before you get to the s*** players.

Moving on...

With the 4th pick in the 3rd round, Smooth Jota selects Dallas Clark?????????? Dallas f'n Clark. A tight end. In the third round?!

Wait a minute. Could this be! Could this be worse than taking Bironas in the sixth?! Am I officially off the hook?

The other guys: Nope, Bironas is still the worst. But this is damn near close.

ZR: J that's the stupidest pick I've ever seen.
Smooth: "[ZR you're going to be] last in the league I guarantee it and I'm gonna win".
ZR: [Something along the lines of no f'n chance, you just took Dallas Clark in the third round. You're an idiot].
Smooth: [Well ZR], "I'm doing what I don't usually do because what I've done the last five years doesn't work".

In a weird way that makes a lot of sense. By uttering that sentence Smooth, myself and I think most everyone else can actually respect your pick of Dallas Clark right there.

Toph: "I can respect that reasoning J. I'm the second worst every year and I'm still doing what I usually do".

This is why I still don't believe Toph will turn things around this year.

I really think there should be a 10 minute break or something after that Dallas Clark pick. I think we all need some time to let that one settle in. I guess I'm the only one not prepared for this matter though. The rest of the league was desensitized to these sort of things a few years ago, when I took kickers before running backs.

Okay, so with Dallas Clark off the board, I needed to take a wide receiver. Roddy White, you look like the best on the board.

Hating my team more now...

Round 4. Flashback to an hour before the draft:
Toph: I can't wait to see who picks Ryan Mathews prematurely, boasting about how awesome he's gonna be when they won't even know what college he played for.
Me (glancing at a picture of Mathews in the magazine Toph was holding and recognizing he's rocking a Fresno State jersey): Haha, yeah man I know you mean.

With the fifth pick in the fourth round, I take Mathews. Did you see how awesome he was in college?!? Me neither. But seriously, he's gonna be awesome. I mean come on, Yahoo! ranked him #8 in their preseason rankings. We know how accurate they are.

Round 5.

Scott: "I know my next pick and I hope nobody takes him". Thanks Scott.

So here's my thought process. Brett Favre is coming back. At the time, we didn't know this. But, I mean come on, we all knew this. So I want Sidney Rice. I look to see who might possibly take him before me, and I see Scott's the pick ahead of me this round. At this point, Scott has already drafted what seems to be his team from last year. So, by the looks of it, Rice is already gone. Pick #45: Sidney Rice. Damnit Scott! I really felt like I needed that one. Vernon Davis it is. He killed me last year. Might as well bring the dark side over to the light? side??

Quick Anecdote: Sidney Rice is out for half the season.

That's why you don't prepare for the draft! Sure, you feel disappointed when you don't get the pick you want, but it only makes you feel that much better when you realize you dodged a bullet later on. I'm sorry Scott.

In Round 6 I took Wes Welker. You never really wanna take a guy who's knee pretty much exploded the year before, especially when his doctor messed up the surgery the first go around. But hey, Wes gets 115 catches a year in his sleep. A rehabing Wes should be good for 80-95 right? Yeah, I'll keeping telling myself that.

Another highlight of Round 6. MC took Brandon Jacobs. Toph and I agreed MC would probably take Brandon Jacobs before the draft started. MC, he's a 260 lb. RB that can't convert on 3rd and 1 anymore, and loves trying to run to the outside. We'll see how that one plays out for you.

Round 7 I take the Vikings defense, followed by Braylon Edwards in Round 8.

Hating my team more and more...
(Do we see a trend here?)

After a quick bathroom break I come back down to hear Smooth saying, "Ya, I got a feeling about him" - referring to CJ Spiller.

Me: "What round is it guys? Still Round 8? And Smooth took CJ Spiller? Ooooookay."

Seriously guys? How am I still mocked for Bironas with these ridiculous picks occurring all the time? Was it really that bad?

While we're on the subject of Smooth, I forgot to mention. Smooth's computer monitor was so big you could literally see his pick queue from anywhere in the room. Not that seeing CJ Spiller wouldn't be available would have saved me any trouble with my next pick, but it would've been entertaining to watch. I wish I watched Smooth queue his players the whole time. That could've made for a great article.

To get an idea of how bad my draft was going I took Clinton Portis, Terrell Owens and Chad Henne with my next three picks. I could justify my reasoning, but I'm not gonna.

Hating my team more now.

Probably not as much as Phil though. Someone points out that for some reason, ESPN has just been autopicking Phil running backs the whole time. In rounds 9-14, ESPN autopicked four running backs for Phil. The guy had seven running backs when it was all said and done. Nothing like five of the six bench spots being phil-ed (ya see what I did there?) by running backs for good measure. You never know how many could go down to injuries or unruly fans. At least Phil has one backup wide receiver. That could be very useful when the bye weeks roll around.

In Round 12, I take Garrett Hartley as my kicker. I waited til Round 12 guys, alright? I really wanted Hartley. He's off drugs (I think) and he was so clutch in the playoffs (NFC Championship game-winning kick included). It would have been a risk to leave him out there. I'm getting better at this guys.

Smooth takes Ladainian Tomlinson. No surprise for the Jets fan. This spawns an argument in which ZR makes fun of Smooth, Smooth retaliates, which causes ZR to lay down the hammer:
"Congratulations on gonna be last place again J!" Ooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh! The war room uproars at the sweet burn. Then laughs at ZR for his lame comment. In ZR's defense. He had a lot on his mind. Examining an excel spreadsheet with players divided into five tiers with an alternate sixth can be quite strenuous on the brain. Come on guys, give him a break!

G Com had the best response to ZR's comment: "Ya, behind the guy that has seven running backs".

To close out the draft I took Bernard Berrian (we're gonna try this one more time as my sleeper WR), Arian Foster (Texan running backs were bad to me last year, but again, I'm all about second chances this year), and Golden Tate (I really don't have a clue why).

Yeah, I hate my team.

After the draft, MC suggested when I upload the teams to Yahoo!, I should just give him Tony Romo instead of Eli (since Eli's bye week is the same as his starter's). Don't see this as a sign of doubt for MC though. Because as he proclaimed at the end of the draft, "I'm currently tied for first, so snack on these nuts!"

We spent 10-15 minutes afterwards reviewing the draft at our leisure.

G Com referring to Smooth's team: "I could not be less intimidated by anyone on this team". We all laughed and agreed. Well Smooth, I respect the thought process behind your new draft strategy, but let's think the new one through a little more next time.

So to summarize the longest article in the history of articles not written by Bill Simmons. We draft quarterbacks, PL drafts running backs, we don't trade, Smooth drafted Dallas Clark in the third round, Scott doesn't like cabs anymore, K Dub forgot he won last year, PL loves running backs, I hate my team, and PL loves running backs.

But none of this really matters, because there's just going to be a lockout anyway.

Until next year...

Images taken from Google Images

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fantasy Football Diaries - Version 2.0

As summer rapidly comes to a close, and we all start to think about our upcoming return to school in the next few weeks. Oh s***, I just graduated. Well, this sucks. I haven't even started my article and I've already depressed 85% of my readers. Myself included. But I guess that speaks volumes for the importance of this article. That's right, just when things are reaching their bleakest point. When we all realize that we either don't have jobs or that we have a job that will enslave us for the next 65 years of our lives, one saving grace presents itself. The one thing guys have to live for in the late August to early February grind in their lives. That's right folks. It's draft season again!

Now that I have a true job, Loverboy's hit single "Working for the Weekend" suddenly makes sense to me. Their attire in this music video never will. But the lyrics? Yeah, they make sense.

If Loverboy wrote that song today, I think they'd be even more passionate about working for the weekends, because the weekend feels that much more valuable with fantasy football. Let's face it. Does any guy in a fantasy football league care about anything else from August to February? I knew a kid that once offered Donovan McNabb, Terry Porter and his cousin's virginity for Ladainian Tomlinson in his prime. That last sentence was a complete lie, but if you've ever played fantasy football before, you believed it for a second, right???

So let me re-introduce you to the greatest fantasy football league I've ever come to know.

Trung Candidate's Weekend BBQ still features 10 fantasy managers that make up the stereotypical, yet ideal fantasy league. Last year's article inspired the managers to go that extra mile to create a new reputation for their squad and management capabilities. So first, let's examine the things that changed and the things that stayed the same about last year's crew.

The Chronic Saint (Pat) -
After much deliberation we decided to give I'm Vinne Massuci (Vinnie Massuci) the cut. It wasn't because we didn't respect his management or his unique style. It all came down to the fact that we didn't respect his management or his unique style. No but in all reality, he lives in Colorado. The distance was too much. They say long distance relationships can work, but not this one. The postage fees for the trophy and the newly added monetary prize were too much to keep the former Rookie of the Year in the league. So we welcome Pat. There's not much we know about Pat's fantasy football skills. From the draft, I picked up a few things. For one, Pat's in another league that's entry fee is worth half of our total prize pool. I wonder if he'll care more about that league or this one. I know what you're thinking. That one. But you obviously don't understand the magnitude of the pride we play for. I just can't measure the pride. Sure, last year's winner had to ask, in all seriousness, who won last year, but that doesn't do our pride justice. Our pride seeps through our computer screens. But ya, back to Pat. The other thing I picked up from the draft was that Pat must really like the Packers. He drafted Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Green Bay's defense within the course of 5 picks. He was also really pissed he didn't snag Aaron Rodgers and rumor has it, at multiple times, he attempted to draft Ahman Green, Mike McCarthy, Mike Holmgren, Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman. I think taking Brett Favre in the 14th was a ploy to remember the good ole' days when Favre wore the green and gold.

K Dub became the 4th member of the crew to win a title, etching his name into the record books alongside the likes of Talbot (hold your applause), MC and ZR. Like I said before, it took him less than six months to forget he won the title, but trust me, the kid is passionate about the league. It's easy to forget things your passionate about. K Dub is one of those guys that obviously wasn't satisfied with my comments in last year's article: K Dubs crew is good for a solid 5th-7th finish every year. He always finishes around .500 (sometimes just above, sometimes just below), and he always sneaks into the playoffs. A team that deserves respect. He went out and made a name for himself with a championship in response to my comments. This year he's at a disadvantage, seeing as no team has ever repeated as champion in our league. I'd say that drops his Vegas odds down at 40-1 to capture the title again this year. Let's see if he proves me wrong and starts a dynasty.

Grenade Free America (PL)
PL, most notably known for his often offensive team names looks like a new man this year. Some would say four years at college changed him. He realized it's time to lock away his controversial, at times racy team names and move on. Others would say he's just a big fan of the Jersey Shore. Yet his true friends know he's a changed man for one reason and one reason only: he recently wifed up with a new girlfriend. Translation: we don't see Phil anymore. That goes for during the draft as well. He's still in the 6-month-we can't stay a moment apart phase of his relationship. Which is all good and fun. Us seasoned relationship-ers have all been there. There's nothing bad about it. But it sure can piss the friends off. And Phil, we were pissed you didn't come to the draft. Until we saw the team ESPN autopicked for you. We'll get to that later. I think next year Phil will be at the draft.

GoldenTatesMapleBars (Toph)
Last year I talked about how Toph knew just as much about football as any other guy, and that he should seemingly be a contender to win every year. But he never is. I thought last year was gonna be his year. After a horrible start, he sneaked into the playoffs, only to immediately be ousted. Sixth place. This may have been an improvement for Toph, but it certainly wasn't the kind of improvement Toph had in mind. This year, regardless of how good Toph's team looks on paper, I'm just gonna go ahead and assume his title drought will continue. It's the safe bet.

CarolinaSexPanthers (G Com)
Another year, another title-less season for G Com. Yet I still fear him more than any other player in the league. Maybe it's the fantasy football magazines he brings to the draft. Maybe it's his ability to consistently draft teams that put up numbers (there wasn't a team within 100 points of him last season). Maybe it's the confidence he exudes on draft day and throughout the season. Maybe it's the fact he didn't have functional shoulders a few years ago, and could still out-bench me by a sizable amount. Regardless, I fear the CarolinaSexPanthers much like the rest of the NBA fears the deer.

Multiple Scoregasms (Scott)
We could go on and on about Scott's fantasy tendencies. But I think it would be more beneficial to discuss a recent Friday night he had in New York City.

Okay, so here's the setting. Picture the scummiest hotel you've ever seen in your life. Now think scummier. Think, hotel room people are likely to bring prostitutes or commit homicides. Alright now cut that room in half by rolling in a metal cot fit for one, that we made sleep two. Now imagine a bathroom that looks five-star in comparison to the room - complete with one bath towel (in a room we booked for three people), a floor mat that would double as a bath towel, two hand towels that would double as bath towels, two bars of soap (don't bother asking for the shampoo cause we don't got it), a nice TV with what appears to be a dildo resting on top, and you've got our hotel room. Throw in nine guys and a few bottles of alcohol and you've got a pregame for the ages. None of this was relevant, but people needed to know where we stayed that night.

So we ICEd Nunes because we always ICE Nunes and we enjoy watching it take him 20 minutes to chug a Smirnoff, which always inevitably leads to him throwing up afterwards. That empty Smirnoff Ice bottle became Scott's obligatory "Solo cup" for the night. On countless occasions I watched him fill the bottle halfway with vodka, and top it off with a little cranberry juice. The drink looked pretty lethal to me. But I hardly thought anything of it because I was too busy pounding Natty's with my bros. (That's bro talk for casually drinking Natural Light with my friends).

Flash forward to the cab ride to Turtle Bay. As Toph, MC, Rone and I are repeatedly saying "Might I make suggestion for you? I would party at Turtle Bay" in the voice of Mr. Duncan in Home Alone 2, Scott is riding up front with our cab driver. I hear Scott mumble, "I don't know where the f*** we are". Then the cab pulls over, Scott hands the cab driver some money, probably $100 for the $7 fare the way Scott was spending money that night. As everyone exits the vehicle this exchange ensues:

Me: Hey wait a minute is this Turtle Bay?
(No Response)
Me: Did you drop us off at Turtle Bay?
Cab Driver: (shoulder shrug)
Me: Scott did you tell the cab to drop us off here?
Scott: Yeah.
Me: Why?
Scott: Cause I don't know where the f*** we are.
Me: But the f***in' cab driver knows where we are. He was taking us to where we need to go!
Scott: Alright, well get another cab.

To save ourselves the embarrassment of departing a cab only to immediately call for another cab five seconds later on the same street corner, we walked the rest of the way. We reached Turtle Bay, where we were forced to wait in a ten minute line - pretty standard for a club in NYC. Scott refused to wait. He went to an ATM, swiped every card in his wallet - I'm talking ID, golf card, library card, hotel room keys, Don Mattingly Topps '95 baseball card - pretty much every card that wasn't his debit card, until a stranger eventually let him in. He came back to the line with $40, and demanded we each give him $20 to pay off the bouncer so we could bypass the line of six people in front of us. When we declined, insisting that giving the bouncer $120 to skip this line was stupid he said, "F*** you guys" and went and offered the bouncer $40, who for some reason turned him down. He came back and tried to give us back his $40, because he had already forgotten it was his money. So Scott was f'd up.

F'd up enough to leave the club on his own and hop on a train. A train he took to the last stop. All the way in Babylon, Long Island. For those of you that don't know Scott. He lives in NJ. Scott can now tell you that a cab ride from Babylon, Long Island to his hometown in NJ is $165. Lesson to be learned: Don't black out on your way to NY Penn Station. Especially when it also doubles as the Long Island Rail Road.

So yeah, I generally don't fear Scott's fantasy teams.

NJ Jimmy's (Smooth Jota)
Last year I was kind of hard on Smooth, dubbing him the worst manager in the league. I predicted an 0-13 season for the guy. I know, I know it was harsh. But he did celebrate drafting Jamal Lewis and Michael Vick consecutively on a turn. He set himself up for that. Smooth had the last laugh, finishing 5-8 last season. This year, I respect Smooth's strategy. I'll save that for later though.

Vick's Pit Bulls (ZR, Zermanatrix, Zerm Germ, Ruby Tuesday's, the self-proclaimed "Movie Maven, you get the idea)
He's the Miami Heat of our league. The team everybody loves to hate. Last year ZR brought a print-out of the Yahoo! Sports player list with hand-written notes on it. This year, ZR caught up to the technological age and made an Excel spreadsheet. It had tiers and everything. I believe there were five tiers in all with an alternate sixth. He highlighted sleepers, must-haves, risks, and so forth. It looks like he put a lot of time into his pre-draft preparation. Me on the other hand? I chose to do 1 1/2 mock drafts. But I'm taking down Zerm Germ anyway. ZR is highly critical of other people's picks, he loves offering analyses of his reasoning behind picks, and we love listening to him put down the likes of Scott and Smooth Jota. Don't mess with the bull though, cause he'll bring the horns.

AllDayZ ft. Kid Cutler (MC)
I'm starting to get the feeling MC cares more about coming up with creative fantasy nicknames than the game of fantasy football itself. Come to think about it, I think he enjoys drafting more than he enjoys playing out the season and seeing just how effective his drafting skills were. But even with all those mocks, Mike still can't pick an exciting team. This year, Mike's looking to change his bad rep for picking boring teams with the addition of Dwayne Bowe, Ryan Grant, Jay Cutler, Zach Miller, Eli Manning, Julian Edelman, Mohammed Massaquoi and Brandon Jacobs. Good luck with that MC.

Cry Me a Rivers (Me)
It's okay, you can make fun of my team name all you want, because I think it's lame too. I like to think it translates to the fact that I hate my quarterback, Phillip Rivers, the league's number one d-bag, so much that it makes me want to cry and the season hasn't even started. So what's new with me? Well, I'm officially two years sober from drafting kickers in the first six rounds. One day I will justify taking Bironas. One day! Anyways, I drafted a team of guys I love to hate. But they're good players. This way, when they put up big numbers this season, I won't hate them as much. Although don't get me wrong. I will still hate Phillip Rivers. It's been way too long since my last title. I'm ready for my third.

And so it begins...

No wait, Pat didn't sign up in time, so we had to delay the draft an hour and a half, make the picks on, and I transferred them over back to Yahoo. The hour and a half you just wasted reading my novel of an introduction was a metaphor to the time we spent sitting around, half-heartedly mock drafting, as we listened to Smooth Jota on the ones and twos prior to our delayed draft start.