Friday, September 28, 2012

Going to My First Game

Predator Press


The guy replacing me for my shift was late, so I skipped going home from Foot Locker and went directly to the stadium. Still, I was greeted brusquely by NFL staff upon arrival.

"Kickoff is in an hour!"

"Indeed," I replied excitedly as they herded me into a room full of other Foot Locker employees.  "No wonder my co-worker was so late," I observed to them. "Are we having some kind of convention?"

We had some kind of meeting that didn't seem to have anything to do with shoes at all, and soon I was ushered out onto the field. The field! Admittedly this is perhaps the most brilliant advertising promotion Foot Locker has ever done ... but what about the legal liability, like if I get crushed by a player or something?  As the stadium filled, my dread only grew worse. I was going to be surrounded by, like, hundreds of fans, all ready and willing to throw a foam finger and poke my eye out.  It seemed a rather cavalier regard for my career goals too ... what hope for Foot Locker management would I have if I contracted athlete's foot or turf toe?

If I get carted off of the field on a stretcher, Corporate was getting a sternly-worded email in the morning.  (It would actually be second order of business: I forgot to drop Golden Tate from my fantasy football team yesterday, and Rob Bironas is on a roll.)

When one wears a Foot Locker uniform in public, work expectations are extremely high as well.  At one point I took a break and got a plate of nachos. And as I pointed out to a hippopotamus toed woman her Crocs were bad for her posture, people bearing foam fingers at the kiosk yelled at me the whole time -I was eventually forced to flee in serpentine fashion back to the field.  Electrolyte deficient as a consequence, I really appreciated the free Gatorade I found there -my NFL sanctioned souvenir official Seahawks pennant set me back almost fifty bucks, and I was now totally broke.  But this prick with a number twelve on his shirt kept cutting in line.  That guy was a total asshole.

"See we sell shoes, right? But can you imagine wearing lockers on your feet?" I explain conversationally into his sternum. "They really should call the company Foot Shoe. Don't you think?"

It's awkward enough, but he just stares at me, right? It's at that moment I realize why: I have nacho cheese on my uniform!  Needless to say, the Foot Locker Home Office would be very displeased what with the game being on high definition television and all.

It took me twenty minutes in the bathroom mirror to get that stuff out.  It was very tenacious.  When I was done, I decided I needed more electrolytes and returned to the field for more Gatorade.  (I also forgot my Seahawks pennant on the cooler, and hoped that shifty number twelve guy didn't steal it while I was gone.)

How they recognized me under my foam finger-proof welding mask I couldn't tell you, but the crowd cheered as I emerged.

-And when I raised my arms in appreciation for their warm adoration, they went crazy.

Nothing compares to a live NFL experience.

Hockey is so cool.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The People's Week 3 - Oh, come on!

by The People's Champion Renal Failure

Why can't we have a running back that makes it through an entire game?

Our 84-68 loss to the NoNames can be traced to a few major factors.  One being CJ Spiller injuring himself in the 1st quarter of his game (after getting 11 points).  The second being AJ Green for the NoNames throwing a 32-point bear into orbit that not even the Hubble telescope saw coming. 

The CJ Spiller injury screwed us in more ways than one because we were shopping Spiller during this week's games.  Then came news of his injury and other teams couldn't click the Decline Trade button fast enough.

This is how most teams react to our trade offers...

None of our WR's performed well this week (Dwayne Bowe got as many points as our kicker Shaun Suisham - 7)  Jason Witten has up and vanished for reasons we can't figure out. Rookie RB Trent Richardson scrapped for his 10 points and the Green Bay Defense that had been racking up big points went quiet in that abortion of a Monday Night game. 

But the people can take solace in the fact we started RGIII and he outperformed Tom Brady (28 to 25), thus advancing our signature trade bait plan.  We've got the solution to your QB problems right here.  Someone's going to bite sooner or later.

Renal Failure is always three steps ahead of games that people aren't even playing...

So Week 4 brings us to a matchup with another 1-2 team, What the Canuck?, who we think for the first time ever does not have Peyton Manning as his quarterback and only has one representative from the Buffalo Bills on his roster (the Buffalo defense).  Canuck is weak at running back but his wide receiver corps could pose some issues (especially with Andre Johnson vs. the Titans).  Matt Stafford might not be ready to go so Canuck would have to turn to Philip Rivers who has just been 'eh' this season.

Renal Failure will have to see which Bills RB is ready for Sunday, Spiller or Jackson (hopefully it's not both who are in or out).  Trent Richardson will be hard pressed for yardage against the Ravens,, but DeSean Jackson usually has success against the Giants and Dwayne Bowe could always rack up some points in garbage time vs. the Chargers. Or we could go with Greg Jennings vs. the Saints. This game might come down to whether RGIII can throw a bear into space vs. the Buccaneers.  Otherwise, there's a chance we could get beat in a small-scoring affair (though Yahoo! projections doesn't see it that way).

Other teams in the HBFFL don't want Renal Failure getting back to .500, because they know Renal Failure catches fire in the second half of the season.  Bury us now or we'll rocket up the standings and get hot for the playoffs.

Renal Failure is the 2011 and 2009 HBFFL runner-up, and the 2010 HBFFL champion. Renal Failure is also the the 2010 FTWL champion and is currently 2-1 in that league after beating LOBO's pwn.exe team. Renal Failure is also 2-1 in another league and 2-0 in a league that doesn't count Week One.

Purple Drank Serving Notice

So, I've given you all a few weeks to talk your talk, puff your chests, and pretend you are contenders.

Now I'm back to reclaim my place as contender and biggest crap-talker.

I'm not the defending champion Lobo, who is being outscored overall but somehow sits at 2-1.

I'm not the 3-0 Unfinished Person, who finds out the HBFFL results via his cutting edge communication technology.

I'm not one of those Canadian guys fighting over twittens to keep my hands warm enough to make a lineup change.

I'm the Purple Drank bitches.

(In case you have forgotten.)

All that said the economy has been a bear this year and Purple Drank had to make some cuts in the budget for secret weapons. Life was much easier back in 2009 when I could blow a billion on Superman and the Death Star/Darth Vader combo. (I did get a nice deal on that combo so there's that.)

Today not so much, so I was forced to curtail secret weapon usage until Week Four. And the timing could not be better since I face "Mister I Get My Game Updates From Smoke Signals" Unfinished Person and his previously mentioned 3-0 squad.

I'm busting out one of my top secret weapons, and one that won't break the bank...cause he's unemployed and looking for work....

Yup, Taylor from Terra Nova. He pwned a dinosaur like 20 times his size with that knife and torch. He's like a BC Chuck Norris and I've brought him back from the past to annihilate UP's team.

What does that mean for Unfinished Person?

Bad news!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Go Green

No, not that Green. I've about given up on them. MVP Quarterback and all that hype. I'm talkin' about my man A.J.

This one's for you dufus.

The Cincinnati WR racked up 32 fantasy points for me last week a little more than the 10 he was projected to obtain.

Oh and I was playing the very modest and quiet spoken Renal Failure in Week 3. Who won? The nonames 84-68. Stick that up your skinny ass People's Champion and blow it! But I should thank you too. After playing you I'm finally on the positive side of the ledger with a win and a record of 1-2-0. Same as you dude. There are four of us carrying this record after week 3. I like to think we're all tied for 6th spot. Like to. But after points for/against are factored in looks like I'm in 9th spot.

By the way, kudos to Unfinished Person who after three weeks has a perfect record in 1st spot. Well, done. Now start losing, will ya!

Speaking of losing my beloved Packers have the same record as I do. 1-2-0 after their controversial loss to the Seahawks. And Monday night Evelyn, my dear MVP Quarterback and his 12 measly fantasy points, the victim of 8 sacks in the first half, spent more time on his back than those watchya call 'em? Ladies of the evening is it?

At least I didn't have to pay Rodgers. Although, I guess I am paying for it. (See what I did there.)

Oh well, onward and upward. Upward especially eh Evelyn?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Morning QB: A fighting chance at Flex

Welcome to Tuesday Morning Quarterback, where I take a look back at what I (and sometimes others) would have (could have/should have) done differently with my (their) fantasy football teams for that previous week's games.

This week I only have one quibble with one team manager in our league and that is Bryan of Bald Spots, whom I have picked on previously, but can't help myself when the dude continues to make dumbass moves...or, as in the case this week, doesn't make any moves. In the process, he left 122 fantasy points on the bench.

I could pick on him for not moving either Andrew Luck or Eli Manning into the QB position over Alex Smith this week, with both Luck and Manning outscoring Smith, Luck especially with 20 more fantasy points even in a loss. That certainly contributed to his 116-90 loss to LOBO's Predator Press (who amazingly left 113 points on the bench, but still won, in no small part aided by Bryan's dumbass moves...or, as in the case this week, lack of moves, dumbass).

However, I want to single him out particularly for his lack of movement at the flex position from Week 2 to Week 3, and thus not giving himself a fighting chance. In Week 2, he chose Randy Moss and left Moss in there with Michael Turner AND DeAngelo Williams on the bench. Yes, it was Torrey Smith, at wide receiver, who unexpectedly exploded and would have been the ideal flex play for Bryan this week, but I think I would have gone with the proven experience of either of the two running backs.

Either one of those moves, in most weeks, would have given Bryan a fighting chance, and that's really what it comes down to: picking the players, especially at the flex position, who give you a fighting chance. What doesn't help is not even looking at your lineup before the next week, which is what I imagine happened with Bryan and what sometimes happens to all of us. But all it takes is two minutes, folks.

You'll see something like this:

Then it's easy-peasy to insert either Turner or Williams into the lineup and give yourself yes, that fighting chance you so richly deserve.

Image courtesy of Atom Smasher

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The People's Weeks 1 and 2 of HBFFL Season 2K12

by 2011 runner-up Renal Failure

You think you can have fantasy football without Renal Failure? You think this is a game? Educate yourself, sucka!

So Week 1 didn't go the way your People's Champion Renal Failure expected, losing to the newest addition to the HBFFL RaiderDad and his Delusions of Adequacy in a 102-56 drubbing. Things went horribly wrong for Renal Failure when our stud RB Fred Jackson went down at the beginning of his game with a knee injury (and looks to be out for at least a month).  The misery was compounded by everyone else on the Renal starting roster having sub-pars weeks.  Or, as Yahoo!'s new and convenient recap report told  us:
  • Renal Failure was led by Tom Brady with 19 points and the Green Bay Packers Defense who scored 10.
  • Of the 8 starters on Renal Failure, 6 underperformed versus their projections.
  • Renal Failure would have lost to every other team in the league this week.
  • The WRs from Renal Failure scored the fewest points of any team in the league this week, with only 8 points.
So... not a good way to start the 2012 season, but the great teams adjust and Week 2 brought about a complete turnaround for your People's Champ at the expense of Troi and his Future Ex-Cons with a 137-59 bloodbath.  This week's matchup was pretty much done by the start of the 4pm games.

RB's with big days = Renal Failure recipe for success for the past 5 seasons. That's how we cook by the book, honkey!

Your People's Champ wears the genius hat for taking Fred Jackson's backup CJ Spiller in the draft as a precaution against exactly what happened in Week One, paying off huge with Spiller's bear-launching 33-point day vs. the Chiefs. And while we chose wrong in benching rookie Trent Richardson (30-points after only getting 3pts last week), BenJarvis Green-Ellis (who had 15pts in Week 1) snared a respectable 10 points in a tough game vs. Cleveland, showing that Renal Failure is running their signature 3-headed RB hydra once again.

Also, our WR's finally woke up with Dwayne Bowe dropping 27 points and DeSean Jackson replacing an injured Greg Jennings for 16 points.  And Green Bay's D continued to support us with a 15-point performance (playing into our uncommon strengths of getting big points from our Defense and Kickers).

Tom Brady had a rough time vs. the Cardinals 22pts), but that doesn't bring us any trepidation because we've got RGIII ready to go for future weeks on our deep Renal bench.  Brady/RGIII at QB, Spiller/Richardson/Green-Ellis at RB, DeSean Jackson/Greg Jennings/Dwayne Bowe at WR, Jason Witten and Owen Daniels at TE... what team in the HBFFL is deeper than Renal Failure?  Who, we ask, who? No, seriously, tell us because we don't feel like looking it up.

Throwing bears into space is so 2010... this year we're punching bears in the face!

Week 3 brings in the 0-2 NoNames from the Great White North, fresh off a beating at the hands of Unfinished Person that could have been surefire win had NoNameDufus started Victor Cruz (30pts) and Reggie Bush (38pts).  Remember what Chris C. says - Always start your studs and don't trust Romanians (one of those isn't true). 

Renal Failure and NoNames have a history - short as it may be - as RF kept NoNameDufus from last year's playoffs in the last week of the regular season, ruining a strong debut season by the Nonames.  And last season Renal Failure won 124.00 - 64.00 in their only game vs. each other, so revenge is in bloom for our Canadian colleague.

Also of historical note: of the four previous HBFFL champions, only last year's Predator Press won scoring less than 1400 points in the regular season (Renal Failure had 1400 on the dot in championship season 2010). And in that 2011 season four other teams scored 1400+ in the regular season, but only one failed to make the playoffs were the NoNames. So if you average 100 points a game in the regular season, you have a 75% chance of making the playoffs and winning it all.

Yahoo! projections as of whenever the hell I last looked at it have this as a pretty even match-up, but now that Renal Failure has their RB situation in hand the Nonames might have to wait until Week 4 for their first win of the season because Renal Failure looks to be just as dangerous as in years past.

Renal Failure is the People's Champion, 2010 HBFFL champion, and 2009 and 2011 HBFFL runner-up. Renal Failure is playing in four fantasy football leagues again because he's too polite to refuse the invites. Renal Failure also won all his Week 2 games by scoring the highest amount of points in all four leagues. That might be a fantasy football first.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crabtree and Evelyn

So there I am settling in to last Thursday night's Green Bay vs Chicago match up sharing mind-numbing comments on Facebook chat with Unfinished Person (his, not mine). I have the advantage over UP. I have satellite TV so I actually get to see NFL games live. UP has to prime his herd of hamsters to get that little wheel going so he can actually see replays on his computer. Thank God for replays, because we both almost missed this:

Uh-huh. Did you see that? You should have. It ran twice.

Green Bay lined up for a 3 pointer but punter Tim Masthay passed to tight end Tom Crabtree for a 27-yard touchdown.

"Tom who?" Unfinished and I asked each other. I checked Wikipedia. Crabtree used to play for the Packers practice squad. Practice squad for frak sake, before he made the line up as third string TE.

Wikipedia also highlights that he is:

Married June 28, 2009 to Chelsea Crabtree. Has a son Bryce Thomas Crabtree born October 14, 2010 and is expecting his second child, a baby girl. Tom Crabtree also has two dogs: Molly a Boston Terrier and Charlie a Pug.

No wonder they gave him the ball. No one on the other team knows who the hell he is!

And where was NFL MVP QB Aaron Rodgers in all this? Well, my Nancy quarterback - or should I say Evelyn - was over on the sidelines resting up after his all out effort to earn 12 fantasy points. Hell, my back up QB Ben Roethlisberger earned 21 points this week.

That wasn't all. I chose Chicago RB Michael Bush who earned 5 points to play this week. On my bench sat Miami RB Reggie Bush who would have given me 38 points. Yeah, I guess a Bush on the bench is worth almost 9 on the field.

To say nothing of how many Evelyns. Way to play Fantasy Football Evelyn.

Aaron "Evelyn the Bench Warmer" Rodgers

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Morning QB: Canadians, question mark


Yes, Canadians, best known for hockey and curling...

 ...they really shouldn't play football.

To wit (or not too witty really when you think about it), this past weekend the two Canadians in our league, Canucklehead and nonamedufus, left a total of 236 points on their benches. Canucklehead left 133 points as he lost 105-71 to Joe; nonames, 103, 83-56 to me.

In Canucklehead's defense, even though he gave up the (much) larger portion of points I would have chosen most of the players he did too: Stafford over Rivers, Andre Johnson over Miles Austin and the Giants D over the Bills D. I would have played Ahmad Bradshaw in the flex spot over Tampa Bay's Mike Williams too. Even not choosing McGahee over Forte or Bradshaw wouldn't have been a bad choice under normal circumstances. How was he to know that Forte and Bradshaw would be injured? So I can't really fault him for much of anything other than his being Canadian, which is bad enough.

But not to be a sore winner or anything, I can fault nonames. In particular, I have to single out his choice of Reggie Bush over Michael Bush. Admittedly, I picked up Michael in the other league in which I play, but to pick him against Reggie? Nyuh. Reggie had 26 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns for a total of 38 fantasy points in our league, while Michael had 14 rushes for 54 yards for a mere 5 points.

No shit, Sherlock.

Now so that you don't think I'm being too cruel to nonames, in his defense, selecting Aaron Rodgers (14 fantasy points) over Big Ben (21) most weeks is a no-brainer.

However, picking James Jones (0 fantasy points) over Victor Cruz (30) is...well...a brainer...right upside the head. Jones is as of yet an unproven quantity; Cruz, already a proven ass-kicker.

Sheesus, Canadians.

Keep your sticks on the ice already.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Sum of Its Parts

Predator Press


Every year, right around the draft, I offer the same pointers that explicitly contrast everyone else offering fantasy football tips. They are rejected as laughable and that's okay -but it bears mention I've made the Finals over several consecutive years.

It's free advice, and worth every penny.

I keep two tight ends, two kickers, and two defenses on my roster as deep into the season as I can. Further, I aggressively upgrade them as able. My theory is that these three positions, optimized and combined, are the equivalent of one superstar. In a mediocre matchup, these positions can haul in 20 points. How did Arian Foster fare this week?

Now that said, this is likely the last year this advice will be useful; next year we are likely adding an additional flex position. Having joined a random league this year (to explore and compare features*), I've accidentally observed this mitigates my strategy entirely; the team size limitations and volatility of running back and wide receiver performance override "nursing" positions. It's an entirely different experience. In contrast to our current format, it will seem like you are playing virtually your entire roster every week.

I think I was "condition-specifically" right, and weirdly everyone else was right too.

* While has some nifty bells and whistles, I'm not seeing any perks that warrant migrating leagues except that the overall experience seems somehow more "official." I suppose if Chris had interest, I would migrate both leagues ... but I don't see an upside worth the hassle at this time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Morning QB: Four numbnuts, three QBs, two kickers, one GRONK!

Welcome to Tuesday Morning Quarterback, where I take a look back at what I (and sometimes others) would have (could have/should have) done differently with my (their) fantasy football teams for that previous week's games.

Since this week I was almost fucking perfect in my selections this week and having scored the highest number of points this week among all the teams with 131 points, I'm going to look back at what the other managers could have done differently with their teams.

I only have one bone to pick with one manager for this week's games and that's with my opponent Troi who chose to use for his defense for his Future Ex-Cons the Detroit Lions instead of the New York Jets. The Jets D destroyed with 20 points; the Lions D piddled out a mere THREE points.

Speaking of THREE, I'm going to look back specifically at the draft, where I have to give a special shout out to Bryan who picked up THREE quarterbacks for his Bald Spots team. As if that isn't bad enough, his selections were, maybe with the exception of the first one, atrocious.

He started out all right with Eli Manning in the second round as the eight pick, but then holy shit did he go down hill as he then selected Andrew Luck in the eighth round as the eighth pick and finally Alex Smith in the 16th round with the eighth pick. The sad thing is he still has ALL THREE on his roster when I looked tonight. I hope he plans on ditching one or two of them soon and if he wants to ditch Manning to see what kind of luck (pun intended) he'll have with the other two, I'll be glad to pick up Manning.

The rest of the managers, to be honest, didn't fare too badly with their choice in QBs, but I have to give another shout out to four other managers who picked not just one kicker but TWO kickers (hey, at least, they didn't pick THREE). The four numbnuts are the two Canadians, nonamedufus and Canucklehead, and LOBO and RaiderDad. Canucklehead takes the cake by picking two kickers as his last two picks with John Kasay and Adam Vinatieiri. Not to be outdone, nonamedufus chose both Janikowski and Gould. LOBO selected Akers and Bironas; finally RaiderDad, with Mason Crosby and Matt Bryant.

Why I call the four numbnuts "numbnuts" is because kickers are a dime a dozen. You don't get that many points from them. You can find one on the waiver wire for the bye week or switch out whenever you need to do so -- same with tight ends, for the most part, except for a few like Rob Gronkowski (whom, oh, yeah, I have too -- read this and weep, mofos!).

Yes, I left Chris, RF and Joe alone this time, but don't worry they will fuck up at some point over the next 15 remaining weeks. Guaranteed and when they do, I'll be there to Tuesday Morning QB the whole fiasco...and ahem, speaking of numbnuts (and not to leave myself out this week), what kind of manager picks another TE after already having Gronk on his squad? Um, yeah, that would be this guy (pointing at myself). At least, it was the last pick of the draft and wasn't Tim Tebow.

Excuses, Excuses

"Sorry, noname, but I tried really, really hard."

What's this? The guy with an award for the best 2012 draft in the Humor Bloggers Fantasy Footbal League LOSES in Week 1?

What's this? The guy with Green Bay's Aaron Rogers, the top ranked QB in the NFL (open for discussion), and who may have lost his game Sunday but nevertheless gave me 30 fantasy points LOSES in Week 1?

Well, um, yeah. Those questions were kind of rhetorical, eh?

I maintain it's Unfinished Person's fault. You see, Yahoo Sports got rid of their chat feature. So five of us followed UP around half the day Sunday from one chat room to another, downloading AIM-AOL chat (which didn't work), group chatting on Facebook, then at half time downloading and chatting on Yahoo Messenger. This whole incident of trying to find each other in various chat rooms was almost as entertaining as watching the football games. Well, it would have been if I'd been watching football games instead of chasing everyone all over the interwebs.

Sound lame? Okay well here are a few other excuses.

To my fellow Week 1 losers feel free to use one of them...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Expectations for HBFFL 2012

Here we are, 2012. The fifth season of the HBFFL. Apparently the proper gift for a five year anniversary is wood. Really? Lame. Gift cards to Applebee's would seem more in order. Anyways...

So what can we expect from some of the owners of the league in 2012?

~Renal Failure will regal us with many 1v1 fighting videogame finishing move videos.

~Unfinished Person will use technology from a by-gone era to "watch" football games.

~What the Canuck will be using his Twittens to make lineup changes on his cell phone because in Canada it gets really cold by week two of the NFL season.

~NoNames also lives in Canada, but will have his access to Twittens restricted after beating up on What The Canuck in Week Six.

~Predator Press will set his lineup, re-set, re-set again, and then re-set again his lineup based on fantasy projections, as they change day by day.

~Bourbon Blasters will go rogue, return to cross dressing, and let his wife take over the team.

So there you have it.