Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 3 Awards

I'm in a dark place right now. This stat explains everything: Since 2008, the St. Louis Rams are 2-1 versus the Redskins and 2-30 vs all other teams.

The ineptitude knows no bounds. When your punter gets hurt in warm-ups and your place kicker has to take over, you know things are looking grim. Even more so when your place kicker then has the following series of kicks: missed game winning field goal, kick-off out of bounds, and blocked punt. I haven't seen a group of professionals give a less inspired performance since Valentine's Day premiered.

I'm not ready to abandon ship on the Skins' season yet, but I am willing to strongly consider switching to baseball. HAH! Sorry, I just had to see what it looked like if I typed it out. Seriously, the season is still going on. What a nightmare. I'm supposed to be interested in a Red Sox v. Yankees rivalry when the Bo-Sox are already eliminated from the playoffs and the Yankees have clinched? You're telling me its fun to watch a bunch of over-payed athletes, officially playing for no reason other than contractual obligation, jog around some bases and adjust their jock straps?

Also, the Pirates have lost 101 games this season. I just wanted to remind you that this game is a moronic excuse for a well-managed sport and only serves the purpose of filling air time on SportsCenter until the NFL, NBA and NHL start.

On to the awards! (No, I'm totally not bitter about the Redskins losing. Go away.)

The Jamarcus Russell Award for Failure- I have to give this award to Bryan Gunst this week. Wheelman has been starting Brett Favre at quarterback the past two weeks while leaving Kyle Orton on his bench. At first glance you'd say, "Pretty smart decision. Brett Favre is, like, the best athlete in America, right?" Then you remember that he has no wide receivers to throw to, he plays on a run first team, his ankle is partially detached from his foot, he had no interest in playing this season until a group of guys came and forced him to come back, and that he's BRETT FAVRE! You didn't think he was going to throw 7 interceptions all season again did you? He's already got six in three games!

Meanwhile, Kyle Orton has been quietly having a tremendous fantasy season. His fantasy points through the first three weeks have been 17, 25, and 26. He's on a pass first team with a lot of budding targets. Eddie Royal has been his most consistent threat, but Jabaar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd have had career resurgences and made a big fantasy impact. Let's not forget rookie DeMaryius Thomas who is the size of small building at 6'3" 229lbs making his first career starts. Meanwhile, the running back situation is atrocious. The starting back Knowshon Moreno, is often hurt, plus his nickname is KnoMo. As in, "Please, no more! NO MORE!"

Granted, Wheels traded Favre and Reggie Wayne for Tom Brady and a useless Bear's reciever (Knox), but why give up Indy's #1 wide reciever for Tom Brady? Kyle Orton has just four fewer fantasy points on the season, and its not like they're going to decide to run the ball all of a sudden. Just some thoughts from a compulsive fantasy non-expert.

The Placing of the Cat into the Oven Award- Noord steals this award for his fantasy status reading, "Redskins blow the game and I'm getting tuned up this week...double fail." Sure this status was in regards to last week's game against the Texans, but its applicable this week as well. I just feel like I've seen this status posted multiple times in our fantasy leagues over the years, "Redskins blow just like my fantasy team."

I hate being a Redskins fan sometimes.

One More Wheel's Thought- The Brady trade was timed terribly as well. The trade didn't process until Sept 27th, or Monday afternoon. Why make a trade that doesn't impact the immediate week? Wheel's ended up losing to Ricky because Favre only scored 9 points, instead of Brady's 28. That would have secured the win for Wheels....then again, starting Orton would have as well.

The Michael Keaton Award for Desperate Measures- I'm throwing Bones a bone here with another award. I think he's got a consecutive hits streak of about 24 weeks with an award. Ricky has been desperately trying to make a trade this week (you know, because its been almost a week since his last one). This time its a package deal including Anquan Boldin and Brandon Jackson. Consequently, Anquan Boldin....gotta be one of the coolest names ever. Name your first son Anquan Boldin and tell me he isn't automatically the coolest kid in school.

Anyway, Boldin torched the Browns this week with 3 touchdowns and over 140 yards receiving. This led to Ricky's fire-sale of Boldin attempting to "sell-high". I think Boldin has a good season the rest of the way because he's the number one guy in Baltimore, but lets not was against the Browns. I also scored three touchdowns in a game once. Sure it was during recess at my elementary school, and I may have been 18 at the time, but I should have gotten a college scholarship based on that fact alone. Ricky is getting desperate and taking any measure to trade for a #1 RB.

I'm so freaking clever its annoying.

That said, I'm willing to take Boldin off your hands Ricky. And Pierre Thomas...for Ray Rice and DeMaryius Thomas. should do that.

Double-Triple Reverse Jinx Confusion- Before the start of the 1 o'clock games, I texted Jimmy (my opponent this week) and told him that Brown's running back Jerome Harrison was inactive and Peyton Hillis was getting the start. Jimmy has both players on his team, but they were benched. Sure, it was a poor attempt from me to try to convince Jimmy to start a Browns running back over Frank Gore, Matt Forte, or Santana Moss, and no it did not work. I couldn't be happier that it didn't. Hillis ended up rushing for over 140 yards, and Matt Forte finished the day with 42 total yards. In a game that was decided by 4 fantasy points, I'm pleased with my double-reverse jinx of the Brown's running back. With my firm belief that Hillis will be a stud while he's starting, you can expect him to get hurt next week.

The Miller Lite "Good Call" Award- I never thought Neil would get this award....but he does. He has been hurting for a tight end since he botched his draft, and this week he cleverly picked up Tony Moeaki, of the Kansas City Chiefs. He's been having a sneaky good fantasy season for a no-name tight end, having 8, 5 and 10 fantasy points in his first three weeks. He's a candidate for being the new Brent Celek.

The Brent Celek Award- Not really an award, just an excuse to gripe about Brent Celek and the Eagles. I was under the impression Kevin Kolb was starting this year in Philadelphia and that he and Brent Celek had established a great repertoire with each other. Last season in Kolb's two starts, Celek had over 100 yards in each game. Now Mike Vick comes along and screws this all up and now I have to start Aaron Hernandez because Vick doesn't like tight ends. Jerk.

Quick Hits-
- Austin's team can't decide if it wants to score a ton of points or just a few. Week one he posted 73 points, week two 121, and week three 76.  Make up your mind!
- It's a really tight league, as Neil pointed out in his status this week. Lots of close games. This week three games were decided by 5 points or less. I've now scraped together back to back wins by a combined total of  4.62 points. I'm a dropped pass away from being 0-3. Gulp.
- I will get decimated this week because I don't have a backup RB to start in place of Jamaal Charles and Mark Sanchez will be my starting QB. Happy victory Noord.
- The Redskins players were pulling Steven Jackson's legs apart on the play he got injured. That was despicable and incredibly dirty. I'm not proud of the Redskins players for that, we got our just due by having the backup RBs shred our defense.
- Ralph is in 6th place, officially registering his highest ranking in fantasy football ever. Congrats.
- The Game of the Week will be Wheels vs. Creasman. Both have teams full of talent who can explode for big points. I think this will be a close match up and one to keep an eye on.

I want to make a trade with someone because its fun. Hit me up.

Predictions- I score under 80 points this week, Ricky improves to 4-0, and Neil will lose to Tom because Adrian Peterson is on a bye. Also, the Redskins test my loyalty by playing really well all game then losing at the end, making me think, "Hey, we're really not THAT bad. Just need to put together a complete game and avoid that one big mistake."

Same thing I've been saying for the past decade....

You heard it here first, which means I was the first one to be wrong.

Monday, September 27, 2010

College Football Revisited, via Penn State

I'm nothing if I'm not fair. As I said in my very first post about the U.K. Office, I like to give things a fair shake before I trash them completely. So, I'm willing to say that college football is an incredible experience. Now, let's not get confused and think this post is a retraction on my previous stance about why college football is such a waste.

I still believe college football is as mis-managed and inappropriately exploited as a sport can be, but dang, it sure is fun to watch live.

Two weekends ago my wife, a group of our friends, and I traveled north to attend the Penn State v. Kent State game at State College. Let me tell you, D-1 college football games are other worldly. Where else do you get 100,000 people with flailing extremities who are singing songs, wearing paint in odd places and acting totally uninhibited? (Yes, I'm setting myself up....follow along).

Places that happens:
- A Jonas Brother's Concert
- A gay bar
- A regular bar
- A surprise party for Kanye West
- A press conference where Brett Favre announces his retirement because his legs were chewed off by a grizzly bear
- Lady Gaga's living room on a Tuesday afternoon
- My living room while watching a taped Hanson concert
- The bedroom of Dallas Cowboys fans as they stare into the eyes of their Tony Romo fathead
- A kindergarten class room and
- My college dorm room on any given Friday night. Only, it wasn't 100,000 people it was just 1 person. Whatever.

The point is, among other things, I saw a crowd of people do the wave in slow-motion (impossible to accurately describe, a million times cooler than it sounds), sing "Living on a Prayer" acapella for a full verse and chorus, and an epic walk of shame at 8:30am.

In order for you to enjoy the day as much as I did, here's a recap of my trip in Twitter form. We used this gimmick once before, so re-read this if you forget how it works. Again, this is just more reason to follow me on Twitter, @Quickdraw33

Hash-tagged #thoughtsfrompennstate, here's the day's adventures with my added input in italics. Pardon the misspellings and lack of capitalization, I'm trying to make things feel authentic.

-"Today is 'act like you really are a penn state fan so no beers are thrown at you' day #thoughtsfrompennstate"

- "for this being nittany lion country there arent as many quilts or knit sweaters as i imagined #thoughtsfrompennstate" I never said I was funny at 7am.

- "with 100,000 orange cones and 1,000 officers, navigating penn state on game day is a greek tragedy #thoughtsfrompennstate" One second we were on campus right next to the stadium, and two seconds later were cruising through the hills and our driver said, "That's the slaughter house down there." You just can't make this stuff up.

- "just saw the first walk of shame of the day! girl carrying heels, wearing a dress, tshirt over the dress on celly. #thoughtsfrompennstate" I could not have been laughing harder. It was text book college movie level stuff. Disheveled clothes, t-shirt trying to cover up the fact that she was wearing a "going-out" dress, on her cell phone calling her roommate to come pick her up at 8:30 in the morning. What a show.

- "nothing says im wasting my life like looking like the Situation and carrying a case of bud light lime #thoughtsfrompennstate" I hope I'm there the first time a midget punches him in the face. I feel like that's probably the route his life is headed, multiple punches to the head. I can only hope.

- "breakfast convo w @WesBunting covered fried candy bars, sausage, peeing the bed, brandon jackson, and shake weights #thoughtsfrompennstate"  My fantasy nerds will know who Brandon Jackson is.

- "look pal, i'm not buying OR selling tickets! leave me alone. #thoughtsfrompennstate" College football games are just one big hustle. I haven't felt like such a piece of meat since I played "Poultry" in my elementary school's production of "The Food Pyramid".

- "hasnt every school adopted the "We are (school name)" motto? i'm bored of it. find another way to amuse me. #thoughtsfrompennstate" We are Penn State. We are Marshall. We are Virginia Tech. We are not creative. How about, "We are...going to kick your butts at football today and your team looks like a women's fencing club."

- "omg...penn state student section just did a slo-mo wave. college football is incerdible. #thoughtsfrompennstate" It caused me to say "omg" in a tweet. No one act has made me gayer since Benji won season two of 'So You Think You Can Dance". 

- "i stood up to celebrate a psu interception and someone yelled down in front. not all penn state fans are cool. #thoughtsfrompennstate" This might be the one thing that keeps me from being a full time Penn State fan. Some of the fans kind of suck. Then again, a 40+ year old mom was singing "Living on a Prayer" full-out with me. I'm still split.

- "the water vendor has sold out of water 4 rows in front of us 5 times. im going to the concession stand. #thoughtsfrompennstate" Which prompted this tweet from my good friend Eric Creasman, "They sell water at sporting events?!?! #thoughtsfrommargaritaville" Love that guy.

- "kent state's mascot is the gold flashes...thats not a mascot, thats what happens when i show you my teeth!!! #thoughtsfrompennstate"

- "@WesBunting just described a player as body like tarzan, plays like jane. #thoughtsfrompennstate" I'm sure this is common scout jargon, but I thought the world needed to hear it. I have a body like Jane, and I play like Jane's little sister.

- "i learned penn state is the place to go to win a natl title in women's volleyball, fencing, and women's track #thoughtsfrompennstate" Among other sports no one watches. In other news, I won the national title for snide remarks. They gave me a banner, a sash, and three coupons for free Frosties from Wendy's.

- "1 reason i like college football, this stadium holds over 110,000. cowboys cant do that with their "standing room" #thoughtsfrompennstate" Did I mention I hate Dallas? Also, to explain breifly: Cowboys Stadium tries to boast the largest seating in the NFL at 110,000. In reality, however, the stadium holds 80,000 seats and offers "standing room" for fans. So you can pay full price for a ticket and go stand behind 30,000 of your closest friends. They suck.

- "the entire stadium just sang living on a prayer acapella. i now love college football. #thoughtsfrompennstate" Mark this as the official turning point.

- "every penn state game ive ever been to has been a shutout. i'm 1-0 #thoughtsfrompennstate" Fact.

- "me and my opponent drained 6 out of 8 bags in cornhole, we're beasts #thoughtsfrompennstate" Tailgating continues after the game. My career as a cornhole player begins today.

- "im pretty sure i saw people tailgating at a gas station...on the way 9pm #thoughtsfrompennstate" Did I mention we were an hour and a half away from campus? Gotta love college football.

And the final tweet of the weekend, after a full day at the game and driving three and a half hours back home immediately afterwards, I said this to Michele...

- "i'm tired...i just said "my mouth function has not worked" and corrected myself to say "my mouth has not worth" #thoughtsfrompennstate" And I was completely sober.

And that's why you should go to a Division 1 college football game.

Not that the game will matter, because a group of stubborn boneheads will just vote on who's good and who isn't good so they can determine a champion instead of implementing a fair system. But whatever, its only one of the most popular sports in America.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 2 Awards

It was a near perfect weekend for me in the football world. The Steelers won, which makes the wife happy, I won in both of my fantasy leagues, which makes me happy, and the Redskins gave up a 17 point lead to lose in overtime, which makes me wonder why I still watch football at all.

Let's not waste anymore time talking about something you could have read here, and get right to the Week 3 Awards!

As always, we start at the bottom, which inevitably means Team Ralph.

The Cat in the Oven Award- Formerly known as the Huggy Bear Award for Emo Statuses (which I'm hereby retiring until further notice) this new award will serve to ridicule the overreactions and delusions of the players in our fantasy league. Let's be honest, fantasy football wouldn't be fun if we didn't get overly involved in it and upset at the mere idea of our starting the wrong player in our flex position. Pierre Garcon v. Denver, Mike Wallace at Tampa Bay, or Nate Washington v. the Giants?? Who do I pick?? Someone help me!

No, seriously help me. I want to trade players.

Neil takes home the Cat in the Oven award for angrily and awkwardly, albeit correctly, using the word "garner" in his complaint filled status post. As in, "Two weeks in a row I have two players garner me less than two fantasy points". If you're going to use inappropriately complicated words, you might as well make the whole phrase overtly complicated. For example, "Balderdash! That I twice held lads upon mine roster who sequentially garnered unto I a depleted effort of acquisitional know-how. And oh, did he, but twice to me give a number less than three that I, regrettably, took not part so he and me could then become we."

I wasted a lot of time doing that.

Take the cat out of the oven, Neil.

The Cosmo Kramer Award for Hyperactivity- Each year I wait for the time that Ricky's hyperactive add/dropping or incessant trading will bite him in the butt. Usually he's making smart moves so it takes a while for something to go wrong. This week, however, he was a victim of bad timing. You see, Ricky and Tom agreed to a trade where Tom would give up Anquan Boldin and Reggie Bush for Carnell Williams, Darren McFadden and Wes Welker. The trade processed this morning at 7:40am, just a few hours after Reggie Bush fractured his fibula putting him out for at least six weeks.

Do you think Ricky ever would have traded Williams, McFadden and Welker for Boldin straight up? The hyperactive player movement caught up to him like a Kenyan

The Post motherlovers Hangover Award- Goes to Wheels this week, and I'll tell you why. At the end of the post last week I made four predictions, and I nailed two of them. I'm a believer in self-jinxing so I said I'd lose to Creasman and someone on my team would get hurt in an effort to avoid both of those things happening. I ended up winning and everyone on my team is healthy...for now.

The other prediction, that the Texans would the Redskins, was the same type of attempt only it didn't work. However, it did mean I guessed correctly.

Which brings us to the one prediction I made that wasn't a reverse jinx. I predicted that Wheels' team (who, in Week 1, posted 141 fantasy points) would not break the 90 point mark this week. He finished the week with 80 fantasy points. How did I know this would happen?

I'll tell you via an excerpt of an awards post I wrote last year for this same league. My team name was "motherlovers", which should clear up some confusion. I wrote:

" [Sam] is the latest victim of what I’m deeming the Post motherlovers Hangover. What is that, you ask? I’ll explain. I’ve calculated (remember, tons of free time at work) the number of points against me this season and averaged it out over 9 weeks. Teams, when playing me, average 92 points. The following week (the Post motherlovers Hangover) teams are averaging 72 points. That’s a 20 point difference!! To take it a step further, I’ve removed the perennially hopeless teams (kyle, blakely, ralph) and the results are staggering (to me at least). Without those 3 teams, opponents against me average 100 points, and in the week following…68! What is it about my team that causes you all to play so well? And do poorly the following week?"

Hopefully there's one glaring fact that stands out from that. My inability to capitalize people's names. And the fact that in the weeks after teams play me they tend to put up only a fraction of the points they did the week before when we matched up.

Playing me is like dating a Kardashian. Sure it'll make you look good for a little while, but afterwards you are crippled by the experience and no one will ever respect you again. Ever.

These awards are taking much too long, let's move into the Quick Hits section.

The Homerism Prevails Award- Sam gets this for sticking with his guns and starting Donovan McNabb over fantasy stud Matt Schaub. The two quarterbacks faced each other on Sunday and, being a Redskins fan, Sam couldn't start the QB playing against his home team. The fantasy gods smiled upon that decision and granted both field generals with superb fantasy games, and garnered Sam a victory.

The Jabba the Hut Award for Moving at a Standstill- I take pride in my ability to hawk the waiver wire and scoop up little known players on the verge of a breakout. Last year I acquired Miles Austin during his incredible game against Kansas City, a decision that led me to a 3rd place finish. This year, however, I'm moving slower than Kevin James towards a salad bar.

When Ryan Grant, starting RB for the Packers, got hurt, I thought to myself, "I should go pick up Brandon Jackson, his backup." Then I thought, "Meh, I don't really need him that badly." WHAT?!? When could I not use a top-20 running back on my team?? I'm such an idiot. Needless to say a few hours later when I checked back Ricky had already scooped him up. This also happened with Mike Vick, Jason Snelling, the San Francisco Defense and Jeff Reed. All guys I said, "I'll wait a few hours to pick them up" and then were gone.

The Scarecrow Award- Nothing brings me more joy than ridiculing Austin's decision on who to start and who to sit. He often makes the logical decision but has it come back to haunt him like Moaning Myrtle in the second floor bathroom. This week Austin benched Mike Sims-Walker, his 5th round pick, because he posted 0 catches last week. Clearly rattled, Perry stayed away from starting him this week and, of course, MSW has over 100 yards and a TD. Good things come to those... who aren't named Austin!

The Blown Gasket Award- The final award this week goes to Noord. Lets all take a moment to reflect on his laugh.

Noord, stop starting Brandon Jacobs. He lost the starting position, asked for a trade and threw his helmet into the stands. He's one Dennis Rodman haircut away from being Ron Artest. BACK AWAY SLOWLY!

Predictions for Next Week- Jimmy posts his highest point total of the year, one of the currently undefeated teams will lose, and both of the teams with 0 wins will remain that way.

You heard it here first. Which means I was the first person to get it wrong.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 1 Awards

The world is a confusing place sometimes. We wait all Summer to finally get to Fall so we can sit inside for 12 hours on a Sunday afternoon and watch NFL football. Hey, I don't make the rules. I just follow them obediently and without question.

To me, there really isn't much better than sitting on the couch, laptop in hand, watching the games and following my fantasy team. Well, it'd be more fun if my fantasy teams were winning. Which they weren't. Or if the Redskins played during the day. Which they didn't. Or if.... never mind, I"m griping.

I'm clearly bitter this morning, and I'm blaming it on losing my game this 70 points.

So we'll start where we always do, at the bottom of the league...this time, with me!

The Running Up a Down Escalator Award Best Use of a Wasted Effort- This award goes to my team. As I mentioned I lost by 70 points, but there is a lot more to it than that. I played the only team in the league to score over 100 points. And it wasn't just a few points over 100, it was 40 points over 100. I played the one idiot in the league during the miracle week he put up 140 points. I suppose some credit is given to Wheels for putting together a great team this week, but I don't want to give it to him.

The facts, however, look like this. It appears my players were well aware that Arian Foster would run for 231 yards, and 3 TDs and that Chris Johnson would run for 142 yards and 2 TDs, and that Miles Austin would catch 1 TD pass and 146 yards, and get the picture. My team decided to take the day off, accumulating only two touchdowns. For perspective, two of Wheel's players accounted for 5 TDs, and 9 of mine accounted for 2. It wasn't meant to be. I'm chalking this one up to my team resting for big games next week.

The BP-Executive Award for Mis-Management- This week Austin takes home the prize for leaving 53 points on his bench. Perry's starting two WRs (Marques Colston and Mike Sims-Walker) combined for 6 points, and Marques Colston had 6 of them. On his bench, however, was Hakeem Nicks (3 TDs, and 25 fantasy points), Legadu Naanee (17 fantasy points), and Jeremy Maclin (10 fantasy points). Per Per also had the extreme misfortune of having 13th round quarterback Carson Palmer score more points than first rounder Aaron Rodgers. If there is ever a day you are punching yourself in the throat repeatedly because you started all the wrong players in fantasy, it was Sunday. And it was Austin. Hey, at least you got an award for it.

Additional Gripe- After the 1 o'clock games ended, I had four players on my team who had accumulated a combined 23 points compared to Wheels who had four players with a combined score of 98 points. It was at this time I put the cat in the oven.

Side note: I meant literally put my cat in the oven, but doesn't that sound like a weird expression that could be used today? I'm going to use it to mean a gross mis-judgement or overreaction.

Old Spice Old Man Battle of the Week- As I mentioned in the previous awards post, Tom and Creasman faced off in an epic battle filled with more ear hair, wrinkles and forgotten turn signals than one can stand. Creasman, who is actually our most senior member not Tom as previously presumed, cruised to victory thanks to Peyton Manning and his 433 yards. That was not a typo, Peyton went crazy in a losing effort. Also not a typo? Tom starting Eli Manning at QB who managed 22 fantasy points despite throwing 3 interceptions. Sometimes fantasy football confuses me. This is one of those times.

The Huggy Bear Award for Emo Statuses- A unique trait many fantasy owners have is the inability to remain emotionally detached from their players. It's like Stockholm Syndrome, but for football...and not kidnapping. This rears its head when people reject trades because they over value what they already posses. Even if the trade is fair, they don't want to part with something they own. However, this also shows itself in the wasted effort of fantasy owners berating, or encouraging, their players on the fantasy page. I like to make fun of the people who do this. Notably, Jimmy and Bones.

Bones had Saint's running back Pierre Thomas in his starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Vikings. Thomas did not get any playing time in the first half, which led to an aggravated, bewildered and panicking Ricky texting, twittering, and status-updating everyone he knew to lament Pierre's lack of playing time. Well, Pierre finished the game with almost 90 total yards and touchdown, accumulating 15 fantasy points, a great effort for a RB. He really put the cat in the oven on that one.

Here are a few quick hit awards to speed us up:

"The Situation" Award for Being the Best of the Worst-  After the first week of football you're either 1-0 or 0-1. Sam however is the top ranked losing team, having scored more points than all the other teams who lost. Congrats Sam, you're the best of the worst.

Miller Lite "Good Call" of the Week- Bones for picking up Ryan Grant's backup Brandon Jackson. Grant did something bad to his ankle. Bad enough that the Green Bay front office is calling it...."significant". That is a red flag. Smart pick up by Ricky who now has 7 running backs. Classic Ricky.

The Jamarcus Russell Award for Failing- In a surprise move, I'm giving this to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Not only is he the starter for a team many think will make the Super Bowl, he is highly touted among house wives and people from California who casually watch football once or twice a year. Sanchez, in the season opener, threw for a mightily impressive 74 yards, 0 tds, with a passer rating of 56.4. You are a professional football player! On a good team! You might want to consider another knitting. Or, playing a starring role in Jimmy's dreams.

Predictions for next week: I will respect my elders and lose to Creasman, extending my losing streak to two. The Texans will beat the Redskins, Wheels will score less than 90 fantasy points, someone on my team will get injured.

You heard it here first. Which means I was the first person to be wrong.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 1: Redskins v. Cowboys

Hold on just one second. Hold on there. Hold it. Hold on. Hold this for me.

OK, we're ready. I had to get my fix of holding jokes before we started. In case you missed it (and you have no excuse, I stayed up until the clock expired and woke up at 5am this morning), the Skins beat the Cowboys in the final seconds 13-7 when a holding penalty on Alex Barron nullified a game winning touchdown pass to Roy E. Williams (where the 'E' stands for Egregious Excuse for a Wide Reciever).

Let's recap this game the only way a Redskins fan knows how, with blatant homerism and an unabashed pummeling of whatever is left of the Cowboys dignity. There will be high fives and repetitive jokes galore!

In celebration of the victory, let's have a 'holding' themed recap. Here we go!

Hold on to that Feeling- Redskins fans everywhere have forgotten what it feels like to hang on to a lead late in the game and not lose in the final seconds. In fact, last year we lost to Dallas on a touchdown pass in the final two minutes after leading the entire game. So enjoy this win Redskins fans. It is a huge victory for a very competitive division. Every win counts, no matter what Dallas fans are saying this morning.

By the way, this is what Dallas fans are saying this morning:
1) "We beat ourselves, too many stupid mistakes. Skins didn't win that game." - Not arguing with that, but we did force a fumble and score off it, and held the Boys to one score all game.
2) "It's just one game, we wanted to give you guys a win so you remember what it feels like. No biggie."- Let's see if you're still saying that at the end of the season when the division is neck and neck.
3) "It's Jason Garret's fault, he should have called for a kneel down at the end of the first half!" - Classic deflection. Let me guess, it was also JFK's fault for driving in a convertible?
4) "Dem Cowboys make so many scores dat Rudskins no have points to put on boards!! Go for downtouches Cah-bayysss! Make Bowl Super!" - *ahem* Sorry. I just hate the Cowboys.
5) "Mmm, warm apple pie would be so good right now."

Sorry, that last one was Wade Phillips.

Hold Your Horses- In one game, Mike Shanahan has won more divisional games than Jim Zorn did all last season. Not only was it against Dallas, but it was opening night in DC. This is a special win for Washington fans. However, lets take a second and remember the Redskins didn't dominate this game. They were just more consistent than Dallas was and made fewer mistakes. Let's not crown the Skins yet. They will not be winning (or playing in) the Super Bowl this year.

Hold on to DeAngelo Hall- I've lambasted many Redskins defensive players in my day, and I've never particularly liked DeAngelo Hall (mostly because he went to VA Tech). However, DeAngelo was clearly the player of the game this week. He showed a lot of maturity and growth this week, continually hawking the ball and forcing a big play turnover. What I've been impressed with most by him, however, is that he's a fighter and he's scrappy. He's not afraid to get in the face of the opposing team and stir things up. He brings a fire and a passion to the defense that only London Fletcher has shown in recent history. We need guys like him to make plays and put the pressure on.

That said, he still isn't a great tackler and will get beat from time to time. But his intangibles are so valuable to a defense that needs a spark.

Oh, and Tech lost to JMU this weekend. The football gods were smiling upon me.

Hold the line!- I was not throughly impressed with the offensive line this week, but I suppose it could have been a lot worse. I think rookie left tackle Trent Williams did a pretty good job against one the league's premiere pass rushers, DeMarcus Ware. They were gunning for McNabb, but he maintained his composure and was able to get rid of the ball quickly when pressured. Something Campbell never did well.

On the other side of the ball, I thought the defensive line was getting good pressure on Romo. He was forced into making short, quick passes most of the game. Brian Orakpo would have ended that game with about four sacks if Barron knew how to play right tackle without employing the "Strangle Hold" technique. I loved seeing Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett consistently going after the quarterback even on Dallas' final drive of the game.

Hold onto the Ball- Of course the big play of the game was Tashard Choice's fumble that was run back for a score by D. Hall to end the first half. To me, however, the bigger missed opportunity was Carlos Rogers dropping an interception on Dallas' final drive. That was a quintessential Carlos "Stonehands" Rogers play. The pick would have ended the game and saved me from wetting the bed. Let me tell you, its not fun changing the sheets at 11:45pm.

Hold it right there- I've been, um...well...harsh on LaRon Landry. Zorn played him at Free Safety last year, which worked about as well as trying to start a car with a hamburger bun and a bag of sawdust. Haslett, who is not a massive idiot or suffering from a head injury, moved Landry over to Strong Safety, and brought him in closer to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, clog up lanes and get to the quarterback. It was almost inspiring watching Landry's closing speed and strength. He was highly touted coming out of LSU as a play maker and a big hitter, but he left Skins fans scratching their heads as he consistently missed coverages and was beat on double moves last season. This year seems to be a new start for Landry. Here's hoping Haslett keeps him where he is so he can play in a position he excels at.

Hold your head up- It was not an impressive game from McNabb, the Redskins wide receivers, the Redskins running backs, or the Redskins play callers. Portis averaged 3.5 yards per carry, a sub-par number. McNabb only threw for 171 yards, with a completion percentage under 50%. Washington called consecutive fade routes to Anthony Armstrong on 2nd and 3rd down that both failed. Armstrong, by the way, is only 5'11", not a prime candidate for a fade route, but what do I know. Only Chris Cooley and Santana Moss could catch the balls from McNabb, accounting for 12 of his 15 completions.

The point being, there is still a lot of room for improvement from this Washington team. Yet, we were able to get the win by playing great defense, forcing turnovers and keeping our composure when things were tight.

I mean, we just beat the Dallas Cowboys without scoring an offensive touchdown. How often will that happen this season?

Hold the door- As in screen door. As in screen pass. As in, the Cowboys called approximately 37 screen passes to rookie wide out Dez Bryant last night. This is my frustration with Jerry Jones. He gets a new toy and wants to showcase it. So instead of letting his play callers do their job he forces us to watch Dez Bryant catch screen pass, after screen pass, after screen pass. All for 0 yards. I think Bryant can be a stud in the NFL. He has the look, the size, speed, skill, and the name of a prime time wide out in this league. I think his future is bright. But please stop throwing him screen passes just so he can catch the ball.

Hold Brian Orakpo by his neck- and lose the game. Dallas' offensive line struggles are worse than we may have feared at this point. Barron is clearly not a competent lineman, and shouldn't be starting for this team much longer. Doug Free did well at left tackle, but Romo was pressured often and Jason Garret's play calling was structured on three or five step drops and quick, short passes. It kept Romo clean (he was sacked only once), but it took away the deep threat. Dallas isn't a team that can win games with a bunch of short throws and abandoning the run, which they did this game. They'll need better play from the O-line if they want to live up to the Super Bowl hype surrounding them....again....for the 10th year in a row....even though they've won 1 playoff game this decade.....the same number as the Redskins....I hate the Cowboys.

Hold to the Redskins- Pardon me, I mean Hail to the Redskins.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Hate the Cowboys

It's Dallas week in Washington, which means Redskins fans are salivating at the opportunity to go after the Cowboys Sunday night in the nation's capital. Meanwhile, Cowboys fans look forward to a real challenge against a natural rival...their week 3 match up against the Houston Texans.

It's no surprise the Cowboys/Redskins rivalry has lost some steam in recent years. So what if the Cowboys have won 19 of the last 26 match ups? So what if the Redskins can't get out of the bottom of the division? So what if we need the quarterback of another division rival to actually have a shot at beating them?

I don't care. I have plenty of reasons to hate the Dallas Cowboys. More importantly, you have plenty of reasons to hate the Dallas Cowboys. And seeing as this blog is all about me, you get to look at it through the eyes of a Redskins fan.

First of all, where do they get off self proclaiming that they're America's team? I was taught Native Americans occupied this land first, a people the Redskins proudly represent (and simultaneously demean with their name). If any team represents this land, it's the one that resides in the capital and pays homage to the noble people who first inhabited the land. Not the lawless, gunslinging, philanderers who pillaged the land and taught us that tobacco is cool and isn't something that will slowly kill you.

Secondly, in a normal world, when I think of a greedy, immature, self-righteous owner I should think of Dan Snyder, the Redskins head honcho. Instead, my thoughts turn to Jerry Jones. Dallas provides the pinnacle of self-absorbed ownership willing to spend blindly solely to gain media attention, set records for attendance, and whore out the very good name of American Football. Jerry Jones represents everything wrong with our nation. Don't believe me? He got his money out of oil and gas. Probably the two things American's hate the most right now other than terrorism and toll roads (No, I'm not equating Jerry Jones to a terrorist. Not in writing at least).

Not only does he represent big business's dominance over the market, he reeks a noxious odor of entitlement and greed. This is a man who fired a fan-favorite coach Tom Landry unceremoniously after 29 years of service to the team, and then ran the next coach out of town after he won two Super Bowls! That coach, Jimmy Johnson, is considered to be one of the greatest, being one of two men to win a college football national championship and a Super Bowl.

Let's not forget Jerry Jones' penchant for ranting, raving and making incendiary comments about other figures in the league, including but not limited to Bill Parcells and Tim Tebow. The stench of this man! Quite the leader the Dallas Cowboys have. Do I even need more reasons to hate them? No. But I have them!

How about the Cowboys' ability to maintain center stage and be considered a perennial contender year after year when they've achieved so little and consistently disappointed so many? The Cowboys have made the playoffs four times this decade, played 5 games and won only one! That's a 20% win percentage in the playoffs. Yet every September I have to hear about how this team will be in the Super Bowl. Is that what Jerry Jones sold his soul for? Because its not working.

Heck, the Redskins boast a higher playoff win percentage this decade at 50%. Sure they've only been twice, but at least we're converting at a faster rate than the Dallas dream girls.

Look, if you want to sit around and discuss potential and "upside" go have dinner with Mel Kiper, Jr. and talk about made up statistics that don't matter. When you routinely get routed in the playoffs, lose because of general incompetence, or the inability to hold up under pressure you do not get the privileged to boast.

Yet Dallas fans are always the first to open their mouths. They drive me nuts! (Not any of the fans I'm personally friends with, of course, but the rest of them do).

Dallas fans you don't get any respect from me for being a Cowboys fan unless you or your family is from Texas. If you want to follow a cute quarterback, go root for the Patriots. If you want to cheer for a popular team, go jump on the Saints bandwagon. Take your half-hearted, transparent, uniformed rooting interests elsewhere. We don't have room for that in D.C. There's too much traffic already.

Here I am in Northern Virginia having to hear misinformed, ignorant and blind Cowboys sycophants boast about the accomplishments of this team and its domination over the Redskins. Do something in the league for once! Do something that matters! Then boast to me. Win an NFC Championship game. Win a Super Bowl. Something. Winning the NFC East is nice, but the playoffs matter more.

Cowboys have an 51% win percentage this decade, 82-78. What is there to brag about? Plus they're coached by the amorphous blob Wade Phillips. Have you ever watched a football game and visibly noticed the coach was daydreaming about pie? Only in Dallas.

Shoot, Jim Zorn looked clueless and overwhelmed all the time but at least he was trying.

Dallas fans everywhere are seething. Cocky and blind to the facts, they boast, "We've dominated the Redskins! What have you done this decade! Your team is a joke and you have no room to talk!"

Whoop-de-do. You were able to beat up on an incompetent franchise that has lacked stability and leadership for 15 years. That's like me boasting about going to the elementary school and whipping everyone's butt at a dodgeball. It doesn't compute. You have to compare yourself to your peers.

Is you're quarterback competent under pressure? Is he more than just a fantasy football machine? I don't see Drew Brees or Peyton Manning crumbling when the temperature gets turned up. Will you find a way to win no matter what? Is there a player on your team that you know will take over when the moment arises?

No. You don't have that. Tony Romo continues to be a great statistical quarterback and a poor leader. You're star wideouts have been divas that go unchecked for years until you get rid of them (see, Terrell Owens, Roy E. Williams, and likely Dez Bryant in 5 years). You can't get peak performance from a slew of stud running backs because your offensive line is crumbling and your play callers consistently want to bomb the ball down field. A defense that boasts some of the most dominant players in their position lacks organization and focus. Who do you turn to when the game is on the line? Romo and Miles Austin? Is that the latest excuse for dominate players? When have they shown clutch ability when it matters?

I look at the stud offensive units in the NFL, the Colts, Saints, Patriots, and I see leaders who dictate the flow of the game and make plays. I look at the stud defensive units of the NFL, the Jets, 49ers, Ravens, and I see fiery players who go after the ball and the quarterback like they're stuffed with money. Yet the Cowboys teams of late have lacked all these qualities, and are still placed in the upper echelons of the league. Why? Reputation? It's been a while since Aikman, Smith and Irvin were running things.

Here's the point:

The Cowboys are the Jennifer Aniston of the NFL. They bring a lot of potential, a lot of hype, and constantly remain famous. Yet everything they've produced in the last 10 years has been a wretched excuse for a professional product. They stay relevant because they were once paired with winners, and now they're defined by colossal breakups and mismanagement. Sure they may be attractive on paper, but in reality Aniston is a hot mess and the Cowboys collapse like a house of cards in a windstorm.

I hate that team. I hate the offense, Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Felix Jones. I hate the defense, Demarcus Ware, Keith Brooking, Terrence Newman. I hate the legends, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Tony Dorsett. I hate the idiots with stupid names, Marion Barber the Third, Roy E. Williams, Ed "Too Tall" Jones. I hate the management, Jerry Jones, and Wade Phillips. I hate Dallas.

And I carry a general disdain for Texas because of it.

Do I expect the Skins to win Sunday? Of course not. But, more importantly, do I expect Dallas to get to the Super Bowl?

OF COURSE I DO! This blog is going to be the worst reverse jinx in the history of the NFL. And thats why I hate Dallas.

Hail to the Redskins. Hail Victory.

Acknowledgements to Bill Simmons for inspiring some of the thoughts above.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fantasy Football Pre-Season Awards

Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived. The NFL season and the fantasy season are here, so what better way to kick things off than with a few pre-season awards to whet your appetite? If you're unfamiliar with the league take 2 minutes and read this recap of the guys playing.

As always I like to start the awards from the bottom of the league, which inevitably means Neil's team. And we're off!

BP Executive Mis-Management Award- This award goes to Ralph for his poor draft day strategy. After seeing all the top level tight ends drafted, Neil thought it would be safe to wait a few extra rounds before grabbing the next best available. He waited a round too long and when teams started drafting back up tight ends (thus eliminating all reasonably useful players at that position) Ralph was left with the bottom of the barrel players. Let's just say the hole in Neil's lineup is as big as the one between Mike Tyson's teeth...and ears.

Jamarcus Russell Award for Failure- We're bringing back this award from last year because nothing celebrates failure better than the human wasteland that is Jamarcus Russell. This week our most senior member, Tom, takes the award for being the only owner to miss the draft. Granted, his memory isn't what it used to be and I hear cataracts can be the pits. But heck, even Jimmy grossly violated man code by bringing his girlfriend to the draft. So you'd figure Tom could make it too (we call that a "zinger" in the industry).

The "You're Lambda Chi Alpha!" Award- Another call back from last year's awards, this award pays homage to Noord's "un-sober" phone call to me mistaking me for someone in a different fraternity. It was made all the better because he was dressed up like Dwight Schrute at the time. The award is given to someone who does something that causes you to say, "That boy a'int right." Anyway, it's only right to give the award to the man it was named after, so congrats Noord! Not only did Noord pick the migraine prone Percy Harvin in the 7th round, he also took the unsigned, suspended for 6 games, not-wanted-on-his-team-but-unable-to-be-traded Vincent Jackson in the 10th round. I mean, I guess I hope it works out for you but maybe not the greatest decision. And I think there are a few closets that would agree with your lack of decision making. See here, if you're confused.

Drew Brees/Tom Brady Haircut Award- For things ugly and outdated. Since none of us are actually ugly, we turn to our previous champion, Ricky. His title is now void in my mind, since the new season has begun. So lets take a few minutes to revisit his fantasy habits. Ricky loves changing his team. He adds players off waivers then drops them moments later, he'll hound the waiver wire searching for deep sleepers, and he's always looking to make a deal. In fact, the draft was Saturday and he's already made two trades. Gotta love having him in the league, if nothing else he keeps it interesting. We'll monitor his add/dropping behavior over the ensuing weeks and I'm sure I'll have some stats that will put you straight to sleep. Always something to look forward to!

Miller Lite "Great Call" of the Week- Austin took Ryan Matthews, the rookie running back out of USC playing for the Chargers, with his second pick. It's a great call because waiting until the secound round ensured he can use Matthews as a keeper for next year. Crafty move Austin, someone's trying to step their game up. Now trade me Aaron Rodgers or I'll murk you.

Bud Light "Here we Go" Award- To ensure equal sponsorship, and use of an equally great tagline, we'll throw this sponsored award into the fray and see how it does. Week 1 boasts a few interesting match ups. There's the battle of the Walker-Bound Nursing Home, Tom v. Creasman. The Civil War of Newport News, pits residents Ricky and Sam against each other, and my match up which will result in a loss to Wheels because Chris Johnson is going to rush for 300 yards against the Oakland Raiders. I'm going to call it the Oakland Massacre, not to be confused with the nickname their fans gave every Raiders game last season. Here we go!

I'm looking forward to the season officially starting tomorrow night when the Minnesota Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship game. The season has begun and there will be many more awards handed out as we go. Stay tuned.

My predictions: Saints win, Adrian Peterson has 2 rushing touchdowns, and Brett Favre's ankle officially detaches itself from his leg.

We can only hope.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

College Football, What a Waste

College football is such a waste. What an awful product. Has there been another sport with such a devoted following that the people in charge can just say, "We can do whatever we want to bastardize this sport, and people will watch it religiously without question. Instead of working to improve it, let's go play a round of Tostitos sponsored golf and then get a free Verizon Wireless massage."

Its embarrassing. And you eat it up year after year.

Before I fool you into agreeing with me, lets come to terms on one thing. Football is the George Clooney of sports. There is nothing that can be done to tarnish its legacy. Have you ever thought ill of Clooney for ripping through hot Italian models like they were a bag of chips? Has there ever been a man who carried a smug look on his face that reeks of, "I'm so much better than everyone here its not even funny. The straight guys would date me if I asked" better than he has? I can't stand Sean Penn for having beliefs and trying to share them with people, yet I'd allow Clooney to wipe his bum with my tie just so I could say he did.

The point is, football in America is untouchable. Baseball is ruined by steroids controversies instantly. Football? Eh. No biggie. We like our players overly aggressive and muscular.

What other sport can you shoot up a strip club, be accused of sexual assault, be found with drugs, shoot yourself in the leg, and fight and kill dogs and be accepted back into the league as soon as your suspension is over? That's right, the NBA. But you're missing the point.

NFL fans become outraged over rules each year and they cry out in complaint and, surprisingly, they're heard. The NFL works to become better. Consider a shortened pre-season? OK. Change the over time rules to allow both teams to have a chance? Sure.

But College football? There's a sport that says, "Forget the fans, more money please!" And the fans, like teenage girls after the Jonas brothers, fawn over their team, coaches, players and BCS system. Its pathetic.

I'm supposed to be excited over a college football season that features opening games like Florida v. Miami of Ohio (45-0)? Ohio St. v. Marshall (45-7)? Tennesee v. Tennessee-Martin, (50-0)? Nebraska v. Western Kentucky (49-10)? Or how about the epic battle between Oregon and New Mexico? That thriller ended 72-0.

I'm sorry, I just don't get excited to watch something my 4 old nephew can do in Madden. This is supposed to be the greatest sport out there? This has die-hard fans getting up at 6am to grill and drink beer for a game thats over in the first 15 minutes? I don't get it.

It's embarrassing. Want to hear some other exciting week 1 battles? Arkansas beat Tennessee Tech 44-3, Florida State beat Samford (Samford?!!) 59-6, Georgia beat LA Lafayette 55-7, and West Virginia beat Coastal Carolina 31-0.

Pardon me if I'm not jumping out of seat in anticipation of the massacre. You know who the Redskins play week 1? The Dallas Cowboys. That's a week 1 match up. Not only a division rival, but a hated rival. Last two years the Redskins opened up against the New York football Giants, another divisional rival. That's how you start a season.

And let's not forget the ridiculous qualifications it takes to get into the BCS title bowl. College football practically demands a perfect season, and sometimes even that's not enough. If you're in the wrong division or if the made-up qualifier "strength-of-schedule" isn't on your side, you end up on the outside looking in year after year (see, Boise State who have lost 1 game in the last 3 years). Yet they get no consideration because they can't play the top ranked teams.

Want to know why? It's not for lack of trying. Boise has been trying to schedule games against ranked teams for years. But the top ranked teams don't want to schedule games against them, get this, for fear of losing and being knocked out of national title contention!!! So Boise will continue to rack up perfect seasons against sub-par teams in their division and never get the recognition they deserve. Vicious cycle anyone?

If in any given week a single game can knock you out of title contention you're not watching a sport. You're watching a Mortal Kombat death match. No sport should demand perfection. Let alone from 20 year old kids!

Coaches are fired, players are benched, programs are ruined by one loss. What kind of environment is that for a competitive sport? All because of one loss? Who runs this fascist regime?

I fully expect the Redskins to lose week 1 at Dallas, but you know what? I'm not counting them out of the playoffs because of that one loss (I'm counting them out because of the other 8 losses they will endure. But that's beside the point).

And we haven't even begun the discussion on the BCS bowl system! The one thing college football fans do complain about. Sure, you'll rant and rave about the broken bowl system and demand a playoff set up...for a few weeks during December and January. Then you'll talk yourself into the bowl system, telling yourself it works and that computers and coaches votes should definitely play a part in determining the champion of a sport. Because, you know, all the pro sports do that....

It's no surprise BCS bowl complaints are heard most readily during bowl season. The rest of the year college football sycophants mindlessly follow the broken system they've been convinced to love.

The sport is such a waste. Hear me now, because I'm doing my best to avoid being ignorant.

Where else do you get every player on either side of the ball leaving everything they've got on the field week in and week out? Where else do you not worry about contract negotiations and players holding out? What other sport do you get to watch and think, "I can see how bad this guys wants it"? Where else can you see the hopes and dreams of players come to reality, or fade away before their eyes?

That's right. College basketball. A system that works. But also NCAA football.

College football, a sport run by big name corporations with an advertising interest, has become hollowed out and turned into a mockery. You get a few great games each year (like Boise St. v. Virginia Tech), and a bunch of cup-cake, falafel games that only serve the purpose of achieving a perfect season (see, reigning national champion Alabama v. San Jose State, 48-3).

They've taken the sport with the greatest potential, the most to gain, and one of the best on-field products and watered it down. There is so much to gain, so much to be done and no one will do it because people watch the system in place.

College football has got to change. At some point, George Clooney is just going to become a creepy old man who could never settle down.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Fantasy League

As I've mentioned a few times before in this space (so start paying attention!), I will be writing about my fantasy league and posting weekly awards. This is something I started last year and am planning to continue as I didn't receive nearly as much negative feedback as I anticipated.

However, its difficult to be invested in something you don't know much about. I'm sure there's a financial planning joke I could make here but my finance professor's name was Art Gudikunst and I can't be expected to pay attention to a man with a name like that.

In order to get you properly invested, I've created a rundown of all the members in the league. It comes complete with nicknames, running jokes, interesting facts and hopefully a few embarrassing stories. If this goes as planned, I should be about as popular as Mike Vick at a PETA meeting.

It's a Yahoo! league (I'm reaching for a sponsorship) consisting of me and 9 of my Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers from college. The league name is The Ducal Crown for two reasons, 1) fraternity symbolism and 2) because it gives us a reason to create an obnoxiously large crown for the winner of the league.

The Ducal Crown

Name: Eric Creasman
Team Name: GoldenSkulls
Nicknames: Creasman, Creasy, The Most Interesting Man in the World
Running Jokes: Creasman is know to be a "big baller" and is a founding member of the "Excessive Spenders" club in college. He also considers himself to be the most famous person he's ever met....and he's met a lot of famous people.
Important Skills: Going 10 rounds with Jose Cuervo, then not moving from a lawn chair the rest of the night. We haven't confirmed he's still living yet.
Etc: Its estimated that 80% of the league forgot his first name is Eric. He's one of those one name figures like Rhianna. Yea....he's just like Rhianna.

Name: Tom Livengood
Team Name: Sluts R Us
Nicknames: Uncle Cracka, Grandpa, Creepy Old Guy, Subtitles
Running Jokes: It is a commonly held belief that Tom graduated at the age of 34 with a Bachelor's Degree in Finishing on Time. He's like Van Wilder, only less handsome and without a hilarious Pakistani sidekick. Tom requires subtitles as he mumbles worse than a nervous 3rd grader at his first day of school.
Important Skills: Unnatural ability to quote all lines from Family Guy seasons 1-5.
Etc: Once open mouthed kissed a horse...probably. I'd believe it.

Name: Rick May
Team Name: Corn on the Schaub
Nicknames: Ricky, Bones, Mr. Katie Nelson
Running Jokes: Has just enough muscle on his body to keep his skin connected to his bones. Offers sound financial advice. Would run away with baseball and marry it in Vegas if possible.
Important Skills: Reigning champion of the league which, by default, makes him a huge jerk. Lethal with a football. Has been known to knock intramural flag football players out by drilling them in the temple with the ball. Cannot be out thrown.
Etc: Once blew away after a large gust of wind came through his window. We found him three states over stuck in a tree. Called the fire department to get him down. Cute lil guy.

Name: Jimmy Hostetler
Team Name: B-Button Spin Move
Nicknames: Jimmy Dean, The Paris Hilton of Sausage,
Running Jokes: Known to tear important knee ligaments by drop kicking locked doors.
Important Skills: Will beat you at any chosen video game. Can get you a discount on custom made t-shirts from CustomInk (pulling for another sponsorship). Displays incredible ability in choosing a little brother in the fraternity (see: me). Vehemently believes that he can out-throw Bones with a
soggy football using
his left hand.
Etc: A key member of the Excessive Spender's club. Paid for all my essentials in college. The big three, video games, fast food, and beer (but not until I was 21...cause I'm a good boy).

Name: Sam Persons
Team Name:
Touchdown Jesus
Nicknames: Sam Wise, Rohan, Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong,
Running Jokes: He's diabetic and wears glasses. This stuff writes itself.
Important Skills: Watching all the nerdy shows I watch, and rooting for the Redskins. Did I mention I love this guy? Plays a mean guitar. Has a penchant for showing up in multiple pictures with everyone in this league.
Etc: Odd resemblance to Ferris Bueller, both in appearance and the way he spends his days off.

Name: Matt Noordhoff
Team Name:
O Rak Rak Rakpo
Nicknames: Noord, Gasket, The Big Bear, PAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Running Jokes: Laugh sounds like a gasket being blown of a 4.2 liter Hemi running the quarter mile under 10 seconds. I don't know what any of that means but I'm positive its accurate. Prefers to date younger women.
Often confuses Sigma Phi Epsilon with Lamda Chi Alpha.
Important Skills: Bears an excellent resemblance to Dwight Schrute, as seen in the picture at the bottom of the previous post. Has odd sleeping habits. I know from rooming with him for a year. Occasionally sits bolt up-right, stares at you eyes open, then falls right back to sleep with no recollection of the event the following morning.
Etc: H
e is known to pee naked in the closets of his girlfriends. I'll let you decide if this is true or not.

Name: Austin Perry
Team Name:
Pledge Prez Perry
Nicknames: Per Per, Per Squared, Per^2, Percarrottwo, Perdophile
Running Jokes: Spent the early part of his college career writing raps for various occasions. Has been in and held leadership positions in every student organization on campus. Particularly, Women in Leadership and the acappella group "Here Comes Treble".
Important Skills: Inability to remember the owners of fantasy teams. For some reason can't put together that it was Tom who named his team "Sluts R Us". Loves Harry Potter as much as I do. Gifted left-fielder.
Etc: Two years ago Austin's ex-girlfriend won the fantasy league and she didn't draft or update her team the entire year. We have since disallowed females from competition.

Name: Bryan Gunst
Team Name:
Nicknames: Wheels, B-gunst, Melissa's little brother, Neil's Boyfriend
Running Jokes: His sister got to wear our fraternity letters before he did. Enjoys saying things like, "Bro" and "Dude". Still believes long boarding is cool.
Important Skills: An experienced get-away driver. His sleepy eyes never let you know if he is awake, falling asleep, or just woke up from a nap.
Etc: An exquisite date planner.

Name: Neil Morrisette
Team Name: Team Ralph
Nicknames: Ralph, Wheel's Boyfriend
Running Jokes: Very large teeth. Middle name is Ralph. Drafted Clinton Portis and Terrell Owens with his first two picks last year. Finished last.
Important Skills: Not being good at fantasy football. Working on a llama farm. Scaring off girls. Coming up with original names for fantasy teams.
If things don't go well, there is a 15% he grows up to be Tom Livengood.

Name: AJ McGraw
Team Name: deSPEcable me
Nicknames: Quickdraw, Apple Jacks, Appletini
Running Jokes: Michele and I are Jim and Pam from The Office and it makes every body else want to puke. I'm incredibly gifted in many ways. Most people I meet want to be me. My first alcoholic beverage was an appletini, and I'm dang proud of it.
Important Skills: Giving high fives. Writing asinine blogs. Being snarky. Overreacting. Drinking girly drinks because they make me feel fancy.
Etc: Once spent an entire intramural flag football game running around yelling at the top of his lungs, like a crazed howler monkey, in an attempt to spur his team to victory. It resulted in an a considerable amount of awkward looks and a lot of de-friendings on Facebook.

There you have it. The majority of this is true, and the rest is extremely true. I hope you haven't lost all respect for me and my buddies; we're about as functional as first release iPhones.

Stay tuned for more updates, we have our fantasy draft this weekend which should provide plenty of material, perchance even a photo journal. So check back here next week...or else Sam will appear in a photo beside you.