I've already noted that it's Update Season.
The time of year that fall is supposed to rear it's beautiful head, but it doesn't cause I live in the land of perpetual Hot August Nights.
The time of year that people feel the need to start decorating.
The time of year when all of your electronic gadgets get shiny new operating systems.
Now, also, as I mentioned before, I like to stave off updating for a least a month or so so I can wait till all the bugs are worked out.
That is what I like to do.
But unfortunately, once in a while, the shiny new system is designed in such a way as to thwart my attempts at gathering moss and insist I roll with the rest of the stones.
In this particular case, my iPad wasn't syncing with my iMac, so if I tried to make edits on an essay in one room, those edits would not carry over to the other room.
But a simple fix.
I just needed to update my junk.
However, I noticed a real suburban problem when I did this.
While everything was updating . . . all of my peripherals were locked up.
Which means I had to do something other than be connected to a computer screen.
That was a little terrifying.
But only at first. While the Pinwheel of Death kept spinning, and the translucent Apple mocked me, and the line "This May Take a Few Minutes . . . " scrolled helplessly on my monitor, I discovered that there was an entire world of adventure that I had only dreamed about.
So, if you ever find yourself, alone at home, with all of your peripherals unable to connect you to the brighter world, here are a few things you can do to keep from going all Gollum in the Misty Mountains.
First: Go Pee.
You have no idea how long this is going to take or where you might find yourself when it all stops; could be the next room, could be on a bus with the ghost of Kerouc. You have no idea.
So it is of the utmost importance that you make yourself comfortable and say goodbye to what is left of that delicious Chocolate Stout you had last night while watching the Broncos whomp on the Chargers.
Second: Open the refrigerator door and stare inside for a while.
Yes . . . I know you're not hungry . . . I mean you just had breakfast like twenty minutes ago . . . but staring at the interior of the fridge is like an emotional reset button for the soul. Deep philosophical questions can arise like "When was the last time I ate yogurt?" and "What sort of man am I that requires so many different bottles of barbecue sauce?"
On this particular Vision Quest, I discovered that there will come a time, very soon no doubt, that I'm going to have to purchase another onion, and that if I want to make this day a complete success, I should really consider replacing the lightbulb that has been burnt out for two months now.
I may not have found 'Meaning' . . . but I did find 'Purpose'
Thirdly: Make some tea.
I just happen to have some delightful Jade Oolong that I'd been saving for the coming of the chill, and seeing the frost on my windows this morning, I knew it was time.
Tea is a marvelous beverage in a briny soothing sorta way. It also takes very particular steps in order to get it just right, and in some case may take up so much of your attention you forget what you were waiting on in the first place and just stare into your boiling water kettle.
Go ahead. Watch that pot.
See if it boils.
Fourth: Wash the seven items of dish-wear that are in the sink
It's bad water wasting etiquette to rinse off such a little load of dishes. Much better to wait until the china is piled high and rock the whole thing after dinner.
But desperate times lead to desperate measures, and you've already gone pee.
In my particular case the load consisted of three forks, two coffee mugs, one apple juice cup, and a spatula I used to flip the frittata.
The water didn't even get hot by the time I was finished.
And lastly, it's important to note that once the update has gone through, you're going to be spending hours resetting settings, updating passwords, picking music artists and book titles, and have to understand that the rest of your day is just gonna be shot while you reorganize your apps.
So lastly . . . consider going outside for like a minute or two.
Breathe the crisp air. Check on your garden. Estimate how many weekends you can get away with before you have to mow the lawn.
You could even check the mail.
You could even check for coupons.
Point is, is if you can't connect to the world, then go out and be a part of it.
So I look down at the scale Tuesday morning.
Wait . . . what?
Wait . . . that's like 5 pounds heavier than I was on Friday morning.
So I had to think back.
How did that happen?
Oh . . . yeah . . . now I remember. There was that whole food walk on Saturday Night where we ate our fill at five different restaurants over the course of three hours. Then there was the doughnuts Sunday morning, followed by bannana bread, a turkey sandwich, chips and salsa, and glorious glorious beer. Then a reasonable Monday breakfast, followed by a sensible Monday Lunch, followed by two trays of Nachos and more glorious beer.
So if you were to ask me what happened to my diet . . . I guess I could tell you.
Yet, if you were to ask me what the hell happened in Football this week . . . well . . . I'm sorry officer . . . but I have no idea how fast I was going.
It was like hours upon hours of non-stop upsets. (The least of which being my fantasy defense, which we'll get to in a bit). The Jags upset the Browns, the Steelers upset the Texans, the Broncos dropped the hammer on the 49ers, and the Rams edged passed the Seahawks in the most stunning display of "I don't care how good you are, we're not playing to lose"
Hell . . . even the Raiders went down.
Oh . . . no . . . wait . . . that was expected. Though it was nice that the city of Oakland was classy enough not to throw anything more dangerous than ice and coins at the Cardinal's sidelines.
Keepin it real, Oaktown, keepin it real.
Having a tough day also were the Bengals (Shoulda got Sanu rolling much earlier), Kirk Cousins (shoulda spent some time remembering which color jerseys your team was wearing), Jay Cutler (Jesus Jay, don't drink so much on Saturday night), and everyone who benched Eli this week. God it hurts everytime his name is brought up.
I'd note that Fitzpatrick had a tough showing too, but that's his own fault for throwing the ball.
Why are you doing that, Mr Snuffalupagus, why?
I mean the best part about the Texans Offense is that they can literally begin each play by yelling to the other team "Hey . . . we're gonna hand the ball to Arian Foster and he's going to run to the weak side and cut just before he reaches Timmons."
They could do that every single play and still get four yards.
Or . . . they could try to mix it up with a little 'play-action' when they're in their own end-zone and hand the Steelers back to back touch downs in the last 37 seconds of the 2nd quarter.
You know, like the pros do it.
Speaking of Pros
IN THE BIG NEWS:
Of course the big news is all about Peyton breaking the all time TD record. Woo hoo or whatever.
I mean, yeah, it's a total big deal.
But . . . you know . . . big deal.
I must say, though, that I'm getting a little tired of the 'old man' talk. The dude is 38.
I'm 38 and I haven't even gotten started with my life yet. Can you imagine being 38 and realizing that everything you will ever do of note is now passed you? Half of your life you get to spend as a 'has-been' or a 'once-was' or the silent partner in three Papa John's franchises.
At least Nationwide is on his side.
After my first novel is published I do have plans for a micro-brewery, or a sandwich shop, or a burrito shop, or a hotdog stand, or a mix of any of those. My mamma didn't raise no dummy.
Anyway, congrats and all, but I think the bigger news is how Russell Wilson just became the first QB in history to throw for 300 yards and run for and additional 100.
That makes him this week the number one QB and a top 5 RB.
And yet still lost the game.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Now last week I pretty much jinxed my self by parading around like I knew what I was talking about and insisting that the 49er/Broncos game what gonna be hot-shit.
It was more like thin drool or watery vomit.
I mean, yeah, records were broken, but the Niners just folded. It was like they were coming off a short week and playing on the road against a SuperBowl contender and decided to use the same plan as they used against the Rams.
Was it realistic to apply the same tricks against Peyton Manning as you did against Austin Davis?
That question might equally apply to the Seahawks with different results.
Anyway, this week my go to story is gonna be the NFC match-up of Phillie and Arizona.
Two teams. Identical 5-1 records.
Philly needs the win to challenge the Cowboys
Arizona needs to lose to give the Niners a better shot.
Coming off the Bye, with the O-Line back in town, will Philly get Shady into space? How's Sprole's MCL? Can the defense get to Palmer? Can Palmer get to Fitzgerald? Can anyone get to Fitzgerald? Who would win in a REAL cage fight . . . a Cardinal or an Eagle?
Maybe that last one is too obvious.
INJURIES AND BAD DECISIONS:
Well the Buffalo Bills got the lions share of injuries this week with both Jackson and Spiller going down. Spiller breaking his collar bone and most likely out for the season. There's a real good chance that he won't be returning to the Bills next year since his contract is up. If he gets picked up by anyone but the Raiders, he's gonna be one to watch for next year. Also down went Pierre Thomas and it seems like a ton of nameless Offensive Linemen.
No one was caught saying or doing anything really stupid, in fact, some suspensions might even be reduced due to good behavior.
That's nice to hear.
I must admit, I'm really enjoying Derek Carr. I mean, yeah, he's really more a game manager at this point, but he's not taking a lot of sacks (hint hint Fitzpatrick) and he's only filling the stat sheat during garbage time, but moving forward (and assuming the Raiders don't go into next season with the oldest team in the league again), if he gets some fresh legs to hand the ball off to, he's really the guy that's gonna push Oakland into their next rebuild. Hopefully I'm still around in 2016 to see it.
Now . . . about them Niners . . . hmmm.
Here's the thing; I don't know if it's just my inexperience, but its seems to me like they're trying to play a game of chess during a UFC cage match.
Watch what happens: The offense goes into the huddle. Then to the line of scrimmage. Then Kaepernick changes the play based on the defensive looks he's getting. Then they get smoonched or they get super lucky. When they get lucky, they win games. When they get smoonched, well, then they look like the Giants . . . all hurt and confused.
Opposing defenses aren't stupid. They can smell indecision the way I can smell bacon.
If they're gonna make it to the playoffs, they have to start dominating the pace. Throw in a few 'No Huddle' series to get the defensive lines on the back of their heels and trust in Kaep to break out when a play breaks down.
And would somebody check the gloves of Vernon Davis. I'm pretty sure he's got bricks in there.
But, well, if I knew what I was takling about, then maybe I should manage my own team.
Speaking of managing my own team . . .
ForFuns League (4-3) 4th place
ForReals League (4-3) 4th place
It's getting exciting up in here and the big dogs are starting to bite.
By now everyone should have a good idea of what their team looks like and are in the process of managing injuries, managing Bye-Weeks, and trying to find some low rank sucker who's willing to trade you a double digit Linebacker for Michael Crabtree.
(I know that's not gonna happen, but a girl's gotta dream)
Last week my ForFuns Team held it together, but just barely (thanks to Forte and Bradshaw), but there were a lot nonsense low scores (Giovanni Bernard, Sanu, and what the eff happened to Brian Cushing?)
In my ForReals Team, a team that did pretty damn good overall, but I still needed 55 points from Foster in order to take the game. (35, not complaining), that was all about Luck.
As in, playing against him, Sammy Watkins, Bradshaw, and freakin Curtis Lofton.
Any Given Sunday.
Now usually I'm in the bottom spot right about now and trying to figure out how I can eek out just one more win. But this time, I'm actually trying to keep my eye on the prize and shoot for the play-offs.
If the early days were about drafting well, and the middle days are all about ninja-ing the waiver wire, then the next three games have to be all about trading and finding that extra 10-15 points.
But trading is really hard. And it's hard not because the mechanics are difficult, it's hard because you're playing with the kind of people that remember statistics for decades.
You make one bad trade, and it will be brought up every year during the draft, Thanksgiving, xmas and your birthday, until you're dead.
Now, I like making trades. It's much better than the drop and pray waivers. Value for value. And Yahoo gives you a medal.
But who to trade and for what?
First, know what you need. (ie: I haven't been quiet about needing line-backers. Anyone who reads these posts or takes a second to look at my team, knows I need Line-backers)
Know what you got. Maybe it's an extra WR, or QB, or TE. Someone you might have been holding onto for a Bye Week (Like I've been holding Kaepernick and Cutler and every week just agonizing over who to use.) I could just pick one and ride that pony and save myself the grief, but because the waiver wire is so filled with upside QB's, I couldn't get much more than a middle of the road kicker for either one of them.
Know who needs what you got . . . and has got what you needs. There are eleven other competitors, surely there is someone who is struggling to find a TE and has been hording RBs.
Know the point differential between what you're getting and what you're giving and what's on the waiver wire.
Like a solid LB means an extra 5-10 points per week that can't be found on the wire. No one is going to want Michael Crabtree for that because there's WR value all over the place (And if Crab doesn't start gaining some seperation, he's gonna be droppable soon) However, TE's are at a premium and a reliable one is 5-10 points above the average.
RB's are a little more tricky cause they go down so freakin fast and without warning and there is a reason that one guy has been hording them all season long. He's not going to trade with you. Not for all the Antonio Browns in the world.
He secretly hates every position but RB and goes several games with empty slots because he's unwilling to drop Jonathon Stewart.
And what's the best way to trade? (assuming you skip RB guy)
Well, the best way to trade is simply to put it out there. Only three things can happen:
One . . . the other team laughs or ignores you. (That feels weird, you don't wanna feel like you're being a jerk, or stupid) Like early on in the year I offered to trade Kaepernick for Gronk (who was a major injury question mark and was seriously unlikely to put up stats with Brady throwing the way he was). My TE went down and the other team had Brady and not a single back-up QB. Kaep would give the other team 10-20 points better in the weeks ahead, and Gronk would give me an extra 5-10 in a thin market. Obviously, I was betting on the future, but I forgot that anyone who owns both Gronk and Brady isn't likely to give up either of them until mid-november. The trade was ignored. And five weeks later, it's obvious that the trade was skewed in my favor. But who cares now? They're 1-6 and haven't even gotten to the Patriot's Bye week yet.
Now looking back, had they countered, with let's say Cutler for Gronk, they'd be up 50 points, and I'd only be up by 12 points (having gone with Donnel) and down 20 points with an every week load of Kaep.
Which leads to the second possiblity . . . the counter offer. You throw up a trade and the other team doesn't like it, but they're willing to bargain. This makes trading really fun. A back and forth dialogue until both party feels like they got something good.
And you still get the medal. :)
The last possibility is that the trade goes through, no questions asked. Awesome. Don't look back.
The point I'm making is that trading is a part of the game that should be handled with lots more fun. Try it. It's not crazy or stupid and like the trade I made with my brother last year (I gave him Gordon for Demarco) It sky rocketed him to victory and I got a win out of it (I still ended up in the basement, but a win is a win is a win)
Speaking of crazy/stupid . . .
CRAZY/STUPID PREDICTIONS LAST WEEK:
Dallas hands the Giants another big Donut (Nope. But a win is a win is a win)
Vick runs for 82 yards (Nope. But when this does happen, and it will, remember that you saw it here first)
Big Ben is sacked 7 times. (Only 3, but there were six shoulda been sacked moments . . . cause . . . you know Big Ben)
Carson Palmer throws for 350yrds. (Nope. Only 250. But what can you expect from a guy when he's getting pelted with ice and nickels?)
Seattle goes to their 2nd string by the 3rd quarter (Hell nope. But they do get to go into week 8 with a very clean clock.)
CRAZY/STUPID PREDICTIONS FOR WEEK 8:
Cutler sobers up enough to throw three TD's: One to Bennet, One to Forte, and One to Revis.
Daniel Thomas gets a rushing TD and Miller owners seek medical attention.
Harvin goes for 100 yrds, but picks a fight with Vick and loses.
Carolina beats Seattle and Lynch makes the switch to Reeses Pieces.
During the DET/ATL game, commentators spend at least fifteen minutes weighing the pros and cons of a NFL team in London. "Shut Up!" Phil Simms says something like "In order for a team to move to London they'd have to learn how to drive on the left side of the road . . . "
That's all I gots for this week;
Remember, trading is fun, winning is funner, beer and nachos funnest.
(PS: As of this morning I'm back down to 180. The colon is a wonderful thing.)
In every day there is a certain amount of deadspace.
The gap between tasks.
The moment when you're trying to remember exactly how much coffee you've already had and you hold up your hand and decide if you system can take another two cups.
The answer to that is "No . . . no you cannot have another two cups of coffee."
Unless there is still some left in the pot.
Then, of course it's a moral imperitive that you don't waste.
But after you've poured that last little bit into your cup, sat down, sipped it, realized it was cold, got up again, microwaved it for thirty seconds, and sat back down, then what?
Then you kind of have to decide if your ready for the next challenge, or if you're gonna need some extra time to putter about until you make that commitment.
Being a housedad/writer/otherstufftoo, one might naturally think that my proclivity for puttering about the house - not getting anything done - would be at like maximum capacity by now. But anyone who knows me - knows me better than that.
It doesn't mean that I don't putter about.
It just means that I putter about differently.
In fact - once my brain began dissecting what is means to putter - I realized that I don't putter as much as I used to when I was being paid an hourly rate to do so.
See, puttering isn't the antithesis of productivity. Puttering can be extremly productive. I get all kinds of things done when I'm puttering.
Puttering, as I would like to define it, is the simple act of doing something else.
Like, I need to write three pieces today as well as send out ten emails, as well as get instructions from my son's teacher regarding tomorrow's field trip. Somewhere in there I have to also make/eat lunch, make/eat dinner, sweep the front walkway and return an old modem to Comcast.
Which is exactly how I found myself doing some light dusting at 9:15 this morning.
See, I was doing something (ie Being Productive), but I wasn't doing any of the things I need to be doing today. Nope, I was doing something else.
I was puttering.
I am a puttering genius, and for this week's How To Tuesday, I'd like to share with you some basic tenents regarding puttering that will not make you a successful person, but will at least buy you one more day.
First and Foremost: If you're not ready to do the thing - whatever that thing may be - then make a list of all the other things you could do too.
Take a good long look at the list and then decide that you really need to do some light pick-up around the house.
My wife can tell how good a writing day I had by how much stuff is piled on the kitchen island and how many dishes are in the sink.
Mountain of Dishes and Frozen Pizza for Dinner = Good Writing Day
Clean island = Bad Writing Day
Mopped Floors and Folded Laundry = Suicide Prevention Hotline
Light pick-up solves two problems: It gives you time to think, and it's a symbolic gesture of freeing your space of clutter. It also moves your body about a bit and gets the blood flowing again.
Next: Maybe it's time for a long trip to the toilet.
The only reason I still have magazine subscriptions is because without articles on reality TV shows and album reviews and interviews with "It" people, one might find themselves getting off the can too quickly and not really experiencing all kinds of uninterupted time.
Some might say that I should really maximize that time by skipping the magazines and upgrading to bringing my smart phone with me, but, I don't know, isn't that just a little gross? And knowing my particulary skillset, I'm super likely to drop my phone in the bowl.
And what if my wife calls and asks what I'm doing?
But anyway, grab a magazine and just sort of space out for a bit. No one is likely to bother you for a while (unless you have the water running or you've flushed more than three times).
Now that you've cleaned the coffee table of Guitar Center Brochures and can walk about again with an empty colon, but aren't quite ready for your big day, take a look back at that list and start considering the mid-range tasks.
Taking our the trash.
Clipping your toe-nails.
Replacing the light bulb in the refrigerator.
Anything that throws a shroud over what we might refer to as "Avoidance"
So once you've done a few of those things, it's time to consider the "Time Suckers"
A "Time Sucker" is a thing that you do that does sorta kinda maybe need to be done, but will easily remove an hour from your busy day, and will not cost you much brain currency. Catching up on TV Shows, scrolling through Reddit, leveling up on your latest RPG, anything having to do with sports/literature and motorcycle maintenance. Email, fantasy football, Craigslist. Whatever.
These things aren't in the category of productive, but they will suck a lot of time out of your day and will suddenly force you to get a move on when you notice the time.
Like right now, I'm looking up at the clock on the stove and seeing as how it's almost 10:00, I think I really need to shower.
Cause if I don't shower in the next hour, I'm unlikely to do it today.
Still not as gross as taking your smart phone into the bathroom.
I will forever want at least three seperate actions between touching my iPhone and touching my butthole.
Be that as it may, once you've wasted some time, you are perilously close to forming some bad puttering habits.
Those habits include Snacking, PreLunch Napping, watching anything on the History Channel, and picking at your face in you wife's makeup mirror.
Find yourself doing any of those things and you are starting to seriously fail for the day and need to light a fire under your butt.
Considering brewing another pot of coffee.
Or tea. Tea is good.
If you find that you're just not inspired to really do anything maybe you might as well start doing that thing that you were supposed to be doing all along. It won't make you a better or happier person, but it will get you through til tomorrow.
And isn't that what life is all about?
So . . . who are you writing this for?
. . . the blog?
Oh . . . I thought you might be writing for like a magazine or something.
Nope . . . I try not to write reviews. I . . . well . . . I don't have very good taste.
It's not that you don't have good taste. It's that . . . well . . . you don't have open taste. I mean, you're like not into hip hop or rap or country or . . . you know . . . stuff that people listen to.
Which is totally true.
I'm not into things that people are into.
For the most part.
I'm not elitist. I'm not set in my ways. I'll listen to a pop radio station much longer than my wife will, but I won't watch 3% of the television she watches. It's almost like you get my attention for three and a half minutes, so don't blow it.
I love a good catchy pop tune far better than the greatest symphonies ever written. Trashy novels (I've read the Twilight Series twice) I claim to know a lot about a lot of things, but I'm just not the person you would turn to to give a good review of something.
Like if you were to ask me who is the better songwriter, Miles Davis or Taylor Swift, I'd say 11 times out of 10, Taylor Swift. Just cause when was the last time you found yourself humming tracks from "Bitch's Brew" while you where doing the dishes?
In that sense, my wife is exactly right. I don't have an open sense of what is good and what is not. I have a very deliberate sense of what I like and what I think is worth my time. And it doesn't always translate.
See, I was thinking about this while skimming through the Top Charts this week. Movies, Albums, Songs, Television, Books, Video Games, and believe it or not, Graphic Novels.
As a person who writes about pop-culture nonsense, I feel it is rather my duty to check in with the Charts and make sure I'm not lost somewhere back in 1997. And I feel pretty good about the results, in that I recognized most of the names (Top Songs and Top Graphic Novels where the only two categories where I must have missed a lot of memos).
Gone Girl is the Top Movie.
My wife wants to see it, but I'm kinda negative about it. Not that it won't be great, it's just that I read the book, love it, highly recommend it, but don't want to share time with those people ever again.
The only movie on the chart that I'd seen was Guardians of The Galaxy (in at #9). But I had seen one, so I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Demille.
I knew five of the Top Albums (but don't own any of them) and there were more familiar names there than anywhere else; Kenny Chesney, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga.
What was interesting is that there was only one Top Ten Album Artist (#10-Meghan Trainor) that was featured on the Top Ten Songs (#1- All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor)
That's something I hadn't thought about. That the album buying demographic is different than the song buying demographic. It's almost become a different market.
I'll have to give that some thought.
(For the record, "All About That Bass" is a modern expose on celebrating the full-figured body-style using the musically inspired concepts of Bass and Treble as metaphorical counterparts to age old debate between heavy versus skinny girls . . .
. . . but it's not very good.)
If you're interested in purchasing songs about full figured women, might I suggest looking up Queen, (Fat Bottom Girls) Spinal Tap (Big Bottom), NOFX (Hot Dog Down A Hallway), and of course, Sir Mixalot (Big Butts).
The Top Ten Songs, well, they weren't all that interesting. I only recognized three names in the entire list and two of them were Nicki Minaj. Also, aside from some vocals, there wasn't a single acoustically recorded instrument on any of the songs.
Don't think I'm a purist. I'm certainly not one of those, but I think it's safe to agree with an old partner of my dads who said thirty years ago: The day we learn to sample the human voice is the day keyboard players will rule the world.
I actually did see two of the Top Broadcast TV Shows, but they were Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.
18 Million people tuned in for the premier of The Big Bang Theory.
I was not one of them.
Of the Top Ten video games, I have played earlier versions of six out of the ten. Not too shabby. I haven't played any of the new incarnations because video games are expensive when they're new,
Although, FIFA '15 is ranked #1.
A soccer video game.
I will freely admit that I was a golf junkie (Tiger Woods on the Wii) for several years, but soccer?
Like do you gather all your firends together online and do nothing for two and a half hours?
"Hey bro . . . kick the ball to me . . . then I'll kick it back to you . . . niiiiiiiiice."
I have read two of the authors on the Top Hardcover Fiction list.
Ken Follet, who is good if you like thick month long historical novels with lots of sex and brutal death but without all that character development you might get from Game of Thrones.
and Haruki Murakami, who is just fantastic, every read, as long as you're willing to follow the white rabbit down the hole, and you don't ask too many questions.
I can't really say about the rest.
And I can say nothing about the Top Indie Graphic Novels.
Graphic Novels fall under the catergory of "Things I'm Aware of . . . but . . . well . . . Have Yet to be Moved By."
Other things in that category include Modern Art, Fashion, Leather Interiors, Bollywood, Boys who sing in falsetto (though Glen Hansard got really really close), more than three minutes of Jazz, more than three minutes of Blues, Reality Television (all of it), Anime, EDM, everything on the Disney Channel, and Nicki Menaj.
That's not a conclusive list. Nor is it exclusive. Nor is it finite.
I don't want to go crankily into that goodnight. I'd like to know what is popular and alive in the moment.
You know, maybe this time I didn't find anything that really spoke to me, or anything that I thought was worth sharing, but the Top Charts aren't an essay on pop culture. They're just little snap shots, and in this case, a little snapshot of the last week of September 2014.
I wonder what it will be like when I get to the point where I'm no longer interested in what's going on in the pop culture around me. When I listen to the same five albums and have nothing but a "Meh" response to just about everything else.
It's gonna happen sometime. Someday I'm just gonna drop out of the zeitgeist. Someday I'm not gonna be worth your three and a half minutes, and that will be a sad day.
Unless I retire rich.
I may need to write a song about fat girls for that to happen. Not sure I'm ready to do that.
Driving my son to school today, there was a story on the radio about a couple leading the police on a high speed car chase, and it turning out to be a woman in labor and not a bank robber.
Note: The baby is fine, the parents were not arrested, and the morning news has something other than mayhem to report.
But as I listened to the story my thought was, "Wow, that was really stupid, and really dangerous."
The stupid part is that if they had just pulled over, rolled down the window and yelled "My wife is in labor!" There's a 99% chance they could've gotten a police escort to the hospital and legally blown through some red lights, cause . . . I'll tell you a little secret . . . aside from what you've heard everyhwere else . . . for the most part . . . the police are chomping at the bit to do something cool like that. They spend all day with the dregs of humanity (which in my neighborhood is soccer moms and teenagers) and to have the chance to hero it up a bit is that kind of thing they dream about.
The dangerous part is this: Do you know what a police car does during a highspeed chase? It's actually pretty simple. They tail you, up until there is about a hundred feet of empty space in front of you (no pedestrians, few parked cars) and then they accelerate and lightly tap the rear corner of your bumper.
What this does is throw your vehicle into a complete spin out and you crash. And because they usually tap the driverside corner, you end up crashing passenger side first.
Can you imagine the phone call "Hi, mom, you were supposed to be a grandma this morning, but . . . "
A racecar driver can recover from it. But you're no racecar driver. Trust me. I've seen you on the road.
Then it occured to me that there's a good chance that you didn't watch the same Discovery Channel documentary I did years and years ago and you really have no idea how a high speed pursuit is handled.
Maybe you thought that the police just follow you until you run out of gas.
Maybe you thought that you get surrounded by four patrol officers and they all just slow down at the same pace.
Maybe you didn't even consider it until your wife was in labor and screaming at you to drive faster and you were just simply confused as to which higher authority you should be paying attention to at that particular moment.
Good thing you have me.
Which leads my thoughts this morning to dangerous things. Not just anything dangerous. Cause anything can be dangerous, but The Most Dangerous things.
Top Most Dangerous Thing: The Skateboard.
Now I don't have to tell a single mother this. They already know. But boys, well, boys are stupid and anything on wheels (even if its just a piece of plywood) is awesome. I also don't have to tell my buddy Jeremy this, seeing as how he's paid for the Hawaiian vacations of several Orthodontic Surgeons.
But skateboards are cool. And they're alluring. And they look like they're so much fun. And it looks so easy. Just get on and go baby, go.
But here's the thing: A bicycle is designed to get you places. A car is designed to get you places and to pick up girls. A parachute is designed to keep you from hitting the ground at terminal velocity.
Not a skateboard. A skateboard is specifically designed to move away from your center of gravity and force you to hit the ground. It's deepest hope is that you are moving a a good clip before it throws you off. It's chief allies are gravity and sidewalks with deep grooves.
It's a good thing that skateboards don't have to be registered with insurance companies because the premiums would be too high.
Now my first bit of advice is to never get on one ever. Just don't.
My second bit of advice is not to get on one ever. Just don't.
But because your son will someday reach the age of nine, and is going to want one, the only thing you can do is to instill a healthy paranoia when it comes to wearing helmuts, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
His friends might tease him.
Only sissies wear helmuts.
To which you need to teach him to respond:
Maybe . . . but only fuck-wits don't.
(The F-Bomb is important here. A kid who can dole out that kind of verbal abuse doesn't need sticks and stones.)
Example: I'm at the skatepark with my son and he is covered head-to-toe in protective gear. The first thing he says to me as he looks at all the other kids is "Dad . . . none of the other kids are even wearing helmuts." to which I resond "Because their mothers are ugly and their daddies don't love them . . . and they're stupid peepee heads."
Number Two Most Dangerous Thing: Chicken.
Now . . . I love me some chicken. The Actual White Meat meets all of my food-stuff criteria. It's lean, it's healthy, it's available everywhere, you can do all kinds of unseemly things to it, and it's cheap.
But it's playing with fire.
See, due to the nature of how chicken is processed, there's a 99.9% chance that every bit of chicken you've ever seen, touched, or heard of, has a small amount of killer bacteria in it, that at the very least could make you regret ever being born.
And don't get all huffy about that process. Yes it's terrible, but after hearing you talk about your day job, I'd rather be a chicken.
Now that small amount of bacteria is just fine. There are more dangerous things on your tongue, but, if given just a little bit of space to grow, chicken bacteria multiplies exponentially and becomes a personalized threat in very little time.
It does die when you cook it. So cook it well. But that's not all.
Nope. There is such a thing as cross-contamination. That means anything that touches raw chicken becomes effected as well. Hands, knives, cutting boards. And then anything that touches those things gets infected too.
So if you are going to cook chicken, here are a few simple rules to avoid premature death.
One, do all your cutting of other things ahead of time. Clean all the areas that the chicken is going to be in and or around before openeing the package. Do what you must in order to get the chicken cooking. Then immediately dissinfect every surface, utensil, and body part with anti-bacterial soap and a few spritzes of clorox bleach. Wash all the dishes.
If chicken needs to be defrosted, do it in the microwave for quick results, or a closed tupperwear container in the fridge if you can wait a day. Bad idea to just set it out on the counter (Though I have been super guilty of that one) the reason is that once the temperature of the chicken hops above 40 degrees fahrenheit, the bacteria starts to grow. Two hours later and you might as well try to clean the barrel of a loaded shot gun.
Cook it until it bleeds clear liquid when you poke it with a fork and then cook it for another twenty minutes, just cause.
Most Dangerous Thing Part Three: ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
I don't remember not having connectivity. I do remember dial-up, so I am old in some respects, but I don't remember what I used to do with my time before I had access to virtually all of the world's information.
So a life without the internet seems as impossible to me now as a car without cup holders.
And my ISP knows it.
In fact . . . they know eveything about me now.
If they wanted to, they could figure out the time and length at which I get up to go shower ever day, simply by looking at the fifteen to twenty minute gaps in my connectivity between 9:00am and Noon.
I hope the rest of you are like me in that if you haven't showered by noon, you're not gonna for the day.
Your ISP would know the answer to that question.
Anyway, information is one thing. Let's just say that they have all of it. But they can also control how you get to the web, and what you see when you're finally there. And if there is something that they don't like, they have the legal power to slow it down or shut it off.
Example: My ISP is being sued right now for slowing the rate at which Netflix can be streamed. Seriously. They actually made it so that Netflix streamed slower than their own competeing On-Demand content.
And they do that for two reasons: One they can, and two you ain't got no choice.
The ISP I pay for right now is 50 (somethingsomethings per second). The next fastest thing I could run to would be a similar price for 8 (somethingsomethings per second).
That's really not enough to upload football stats in real time. And on any given Sunday, I've got five to eight different perferals all begging for access to my wifi, depending on when the neighbor is home.
(Just so you know, I can see everyone who is accessing my Guest Network, and I'm not gonna be all high and mighty about him using my wifi from time to time considering that I'm stealing HBOGo from my mother.)
So that's why ISPs make my list. They have all the power and you have very little choice.
Which is dangerous.
The Fourth Most Dangerous Thing: Steam Wands
You may not actually know what that is, but every coffee maker in the land is nodding their heads right now. See . . . the steam wand is a small metal tube connected (through a valve) to a high pressure water tank. The barista places the milk for your latte directly below the nozzle of the steam wand, opens the valve and heats up your milk.
It sounds innocuous, but the metal tube is movable and constantly in the wrong place and is at a sitting temperature of 212 degrees.
One distracted move by the barista and they will end up with a nasty two inch burn on the inside of their forearms. We call this The Leche Tattoo.
(Actually . . . I just made that up. We would just look at the mark and ask "Steam Wand burn." and the barista would nod yes. But The Leche Tattoo has a certain ring to it, so feel free to adopt it)
Every barista has had one. I've had like ten to twenty.
And think about it, you might not think it's dangerous, but when I say every barista has had one, it's like saying every carpenter is missing a finger. I've made more trips to the emergency room for burned baristas then I have for my skateboard riding son (so far, cross fingers, god bless)
And for all you Low Fat Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte sipping soccer moms, I just wanna say this:
There is a good chance that your coffee beverage contains a trace amount of burnt human flesh.
My advice is to drink real coffee, and drink it black.
The Last Most Dangerous Thing on My List: Advice.
I will admit that my blogs have been sort of in the anti-Dear Abby vein. I offer a lot of perspective, I offer a lot of thoughts, I offer a lot of advice.
I would read your letters if anyone sent me any.
And I'm always willing to take your calls.
Unless I'm napping.
Or doing anything else.
But, I'm guilty when it comes to offering advice, and lots of it. And the reason advice is dangerous is because there are only four possible out comes:
First, my advice was good and you took it and everyone is happy.
Second, my advice was good and you didn't take it and now have erased me from the contacts on your phone because the last thing you need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."
Third, my advice was bad and you took it and now you think I owe you something, which I don't because you're an adult and you make your own decisions.
Fourth, my advice was bad and you didn't take it and now I have to erase you from the contacts on my phone because the last thing I need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."
This means advice, even in it's purest form, can only have a postive outcome 25% of the time.
Shutting the hell up has a positive outcome 100% of the time, provided that you continue to shut up when all you want to say is "I could've told you that."
Now teaching, is a whole different thing. Like . . . I can teach you how to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I'm never going to suggest you drink it.
Advice destroys relationships.
That's all there is to it.
So take my advice . . .
. . . and don't take my advice.
Except when it comes to skateboards, chicken, ISPs, and highspeed chases. Cause those things are stupid and dangerous.
Define a generation.
Any generation you want.
And let's just assume that you grew up in the American Education system and have no knowledge of events prior to 1938.
See if we're gonna go back to my grandparents time, the defining moments are easy: Depression, WW2 (the war to end all war), big metal cars, and tracked housing.
Pop over to the baby-boom and you get to take a trip through the freakshow of the summer of love to the three ring circus of Reaganomics to what will eventually be universal health care.
(Do you really think that's not gonna happen? Lets face it, old people like free shit, and old people vote. Oh . . . and they also smoke a lot of marijuana, so when Taco Bell starts a delivery service, be smart and buy a lot of PepsiCo shares.)
Skipping the X-ers for a moment, we go right into the Y-bothers and into the Social-Media-ites. Who knows what kind of amazing future lays ahead assuming we somehow avoid Planet Killer Comets and the Zombie Apocalypse.
But that takes us back to the Me-Generation.
The Generation X-ers.
We get Big Bird. We get Yo' MTV Raps. We get grunge and dot-com bubbles and crushing consumer debt and passenger-side airbags. We get super wide-screen TV's (although, you might wanna re-read Fahrenheit 451, cause that shit was called 60 years ago) Apple is now our Big Brother and none of us will ever know what it's like to stay at one job because of how good the pension is.
So anyway, I have this white dreser cabinet in my garage where I keep all of my extra electronic stuff (user manuals, batteries, DVDR's, 180 feet of coaxile cable accumulated from ten different apartments, RCA cables, canned air), and I was rummaging through it all looking for that little pokey thing that comes with your iPhone to pop the SIM card out.
I try to be meticulous with those things, making sure to put them in a place I'd remember to look if ever I needed one, but I must have been in a hurry back in 2009 and now it's no where to be found.
What I did find, however, was a thick stack of blank TDK (so real) cassette tapes, still in their original packaging, just sitting their reminding me that they were once the most relevant technology in existence.
See, if you really want to point to a single thing . . . a single thing that defines the Generation X that will never again be seen . . . it's the Mix Tape.
Sure some of you snot nosed youg-uns can point out that it's easy to create a play list now. Drag, drop, stream.
But you don't do that do you?
You could. It's easy.
But you don't.
It's because you're weak and lazy and with so much generalized nonsense, you feel no particular need to craft a moment.
See, that was the key. A mix tape is a single moment. Where you were, where you were going, who you wanted to impress, how you wanted to quantify all those feelings you had when nothing could say it better than Kate Bush followed by ZZ Top.
How to tell a girl that you dream about her day and night without actually having to say anything or really even make eye contact.
How to tell a boy that maybe if he's maybe not too busy that you will probably be home on wednesday night and if he felt like it, he could give you a call around 5:36pm and if not then maybe you might wanna say hi to him in the hallway between 2nd and 3rd period if he was standing by his locker like he normally is, except on fridays when he has an open period likes to sneak cigarettes out in the parking lot.
That last one is a damn good mix tape.
There was the early morning mix tape. The lunch on the quad mix tape. The riding your bike home when the weather starts to turn, mix tape.
There was the happy. The sad. And . . . of course . . . the Road Trip.
In highschool, being the consumate designated driver (I had a van), we went on a lot of road trips.
I made a mix tape for single one.
My buddies made ones too.
The man in shot-gun got to call out the order of which they were played. If a single song was a swing and a miss, that tape got tossed to the back of the pile.
No greater moment in a Mix-Tape-Master's life than when when the first chords ring through and heads bob and someone says "Yeaaaah."
Hendrix was always a winner (All Along the Watchtower or VooDoo-Chile). Followed closely by Dire Straights (Money For Nuthin). If you were cheeky, and I always was, you could try your hand at some Toni Basil, They Might Be Giants, The Knack (Yes . . . My Sherona . . . what else did they play?).
Bohemian Rhapsody was forbidden. Not because we were too cool, only because it was impossible not to do the entire scene from Wayne's World and that is the closest I ever came to killing us all.
It was also forbidden to play any song from a band whose concert we were heading to.
Faux Pas, my friend, Faux Pas.
It was weather dependent, so as the clouds rolled into town, you would get a flood of CCR (Have You Ever Seen the Rain?) Tori Amos (Winter), Rain (Beatles or Concrete Blonde), Hazy Shade of Winter (Always Bangles, never Simon and Garfunkel). Mine always ended with "Here Comes the Sun" (My teenage sense of irony was forever predictable)
Sean had a love of death metal. Justin had a love for the Grateful Dead. I was always, always a Beatlemaniac.
We didn't share our souls to the world for enternity. We shared them with our friends for one night and one night only, on the way to The City, or The Lake, or the Edge of Town where the cops don't come and one hit won't kill you.
When iTunes came out and CD's became copyable, I spent my last dime on a CD burner and every dime after that on blank discs and every forgotten album I could find in Rasputin Records.
It was the golden age of the mix tape.
But somewhere along the line, I got old, or I ran out of time, or I ran out of friends, or I discovered that my iPod could carry my entire library around, and the point of crafting a singular event drifted away.
The last mix tape I ever made was for my step-son a few years back. I remember he was sad for some reason (either he got a rejection letter from a college or like a B+ on an exam, something like that)
I burned the disc and slipped it under his doorway.
It was the only way I could think of to tell him that I loved him and that I understood . . .
. . . and that I was young once too.
So I get a text from my dad who has accidently traded away Eli Manning.
He didn't realize that his cash cow Tony Romo was playing the Seahawks this week and freaked because there wasn't a single waiver wire QB to replace him with.
Here was my response:
Tue, Oct 7th, 7:40pm
I promise you. Eli Manning is going to do nothing but break your heart. He's like a cute little redheaded girl.
Dad had to roll with Romo.
Final score: Romo 36, Eli (drum roll please) 6.
I'm not saying that my spidey sense was perfect. I did mention that Austin Davis was gonna throw a lot. (He did throw a lot, just didn't get any one to catch what he was putting out there . . . Final points 13), but I will say this, I've been nothing but ridiculously negative when it comes to Peyton's baby brother with these posts. Kinda mean really.
But for good cause.
I have rolled with Eli (a two time Super Bowl Champion) several times over my three and one third years of playing fantasy football. And there has not been one single time he has come through for me. Not once. Not ever. I made fun of him for his ability to grasp his new offense (as if he had anything else in his life that was going on) and I didn't even back track when it started picking up.
See, I just get the heebie jeebies when it comes to certain players and Eli is the top of my list. First, I get a little butt-hurt when any player derails my fantasy team (Gates, Steven Jackson, Everyone I picked last year) and I honestly don't care how good they're looking now, I hate them and I don't want to watch them play.
But it's more with Eli.
Cause I've watched him play.
And when things are all perfect. Like a strong defense and a womb-like-offensive pocket, and super open receivers, and/or a game against Jacksonville, he's such a good football player. His pedigree and statistical performance is top notch.
But if shit ain't perfect. If the pocket folds. If there's not six yards between his favorite WR and the covering CB, he looks like he just doesn't understand why Jesus isn't providing.
And when he gets behind, he . . . well . . . he's no Andrew Luck . . . he just panics in the same way my wife panics when the phone rings after 11:00pm. It's like he has no idea what's going on and he certainly doesn't have a plan to fix it.
The man's got no strategy.
Which will play later into this blog.
The other thing I want to point out about the Giants/Eagles . . . is that I really need every analyst to shut the hell up about downgrading Shady McCoy.
Seriously . . . shut your whore mouth.
THE BIG NEWS:
Brady's back. Shady's back (though on Bye) Gronk is back, and Foster is kinda flipping you off for drafting him so late. Buffalo sucks (Who knew?) The Raiders suck, but maybe, just maybe not as bad as you thought. There are members of the Carolina Panthers that didn't even know it was possible to tie in the NFL, which . . . I get . . . because they are now teaching Common Core Math in schools and it's really effing up the next generation, and of course . . .
The Cowboys beat The Seahawks . . .
. . . in Seattle.
Moment of silence.
My good friend asked me if there were any teams I hate.
No . . . easy question.
Hate the Giants (see above paragraph)
And that's kind of a fallacy of Fantasy Football. I totally love Beast Mode, I love Percy Harvin, I love controlled excellence of Russel Wilson. I love good defense (that's a hold over from my brother's high-school football days)
I also love Seattle.
Second best city in the world. (Manhattan is number one)
But I hate the twelfth man.
I hate loud and I hate what it does to opposing teams.
I hate sitting in a stadium filled with screaming fans. Shut the hell up and let me enjoy my gourmet polish sausage and thimble full of micro-brew. Seriously, stop ruining the game.
So to see the underdog Cowboys come in and clean up shop. Yeah, sorry Dad, that was cool.
(Dad's hates, start and end with the Cowboys. How he ended up with Romo and Dez is a mystery to me)
Or as my best buddy Steve (a diehard Cowboys fan) says "My favorite team, is my fantasy team."
He too hates the Giants, yet was still pissed that I grabbed Donnel under his nose the week J. Thomas was on a Bye.
So it was nice to see Dallas show up and not care that the place was full of screaming nutjobs even though I had no stock in any of that.
WHAT TO WATCH:
OMG! Did I or did I not tell you that last week's Thursday night game was gonna be the one to watch? Man . . . I totally nailed that call. I should do this for a living.
At first . . . of course . . . it looked like the Colts were just going to go on the murder path, ala every other Thursday night game that has happened this year, but JJ Watt and the offensive coordinator that said "Give Foster the Ball for fuck's sake" had other plans.
Down to the wire. Down to the damn wire and the only thing that handed Texas the loss was the worst 2:00 miniute drill in the history of 2:00 minute drills.
Okay, just like I told the Niners - that they need to start going run, run, throw - here's my advice for a Texan's two minute drill:
Don't let Fitzgerald throw.
That's all kinds of dumb.
Run to the outside.
Run to the outside.
Run to the inside.
Call time out. (you have two of them)
Run to the outside.
Run to the outside.
Run to the inside.
Call time out. (okay now they're done)
Run to the outside.
Run to the outside.
Hand the ball to JJ Watt or Arian Foster, don't care.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Okay, now for this week . . .
Sunday Night, 49ers versus the Denver Broncos (Yes, Steve, you are invited for beer and nachos)
A defense the looks impenetrable (okay . . . after the first quarter) versus the greatest offense that has ever been seen. Kaepernick versus Peyton. Gore versus Hillman. Boldin versus an entire defense on 3rd and long. Julius Thomas versus the Ghost of Patrick Willis. Thats gonna be a game that's gonna be four quarters filled with surprises.
Don't miss it.
INJURIES AND BAD DECISIONS:
This week makes me sad. Moreno, done for the season. Cruz, the most painful done for the season. Although Dad can breath freely without that question mark. Stevan Ridley, gone. A lot of offensive and defensive line out (Though I will mention that I was eye balling Trevethan and feel vindicted for my patience). Megatron is gonna be out for a while, Sproles may or not make the week after the Bye. AJ Green might turf toe it for a bit. But again . . . Palmer is back . . . so that's nice.
Let's also put a shout out to QB ankle twister, Vontaize Burfect. You may feel that unnecesary roughness is part of the game, and I'm real sorry Cam was beating you so bad you felt like you had to something to show the fans you weren't afraid of him, what with him being all Cam-like, but I hope the tape gets reviewed and you get banned.
And . . . in my favorite note I will ever write . . . it turns out that Joseph Randle has more in common with Winona Ryder than we actually thought.
If you don't get that reference then God have mercy on your soul.
The Raiders buried the ball and put up a fight.
Put up a fight, god damn it!
And in surprising turn of events, the Niners, well, I know they were playing the Rams on Monday Night Football and had that whole extra day of preperation, but I did not see that coming. They got tossed around a bit in the first quarter. They got several official calls that were in their favor. Kaepernick made some of the most ridiculous throws in all of that which relies on physics, but I gotta say, I was expecting them to continue rolling with the run, run, throw strategy and they totally didn't and it totally worked.
I love 'em, but I don't have them pegged. Which I guess is how you're supposed to do real football. Keep 'em guessing.
It's only kinda irritaing in the fake game.
ForFuns Team (3-3) 4th place
ForReals Team (4-2) 2nd place
Now I promised a full length breakdown of draft strategies this week. And I will not dissapoint. Unless you're my mother, in which case I will always dissapoint.
But I want to take a victory lap this week, because not only did I win both games and beat both projections, but in both leagues I scored the "Highest Margin Win Trophy"
In 52 fantasy football head-to-head games, I have only done that once (thanks to Aaron Rodgers) and this week I did it twice (Thanks to Arian Foster, Jordy Nelson, McCoy, Forte, Bernard, Cutler, Kaepernick, and not rolling with Trevathan)
The Detroit Defense was quite a boost too.
(Note that when I mention streaming defenses again)
So let's dive into a little bit of history:
See . . . in my life time . . . I've only watched maybe thirty entire football games.
The yearly Super Bowls (Which have alway been more like Thanksgiving to me; Food, beer and catching up with the family) The few high school football games my brother played in (only a few because I was an actor at the time and a Friday night off didn't happen very much) and that one time I went to a Raiders game.
Up until the summer of 2011 I didn't know nuthin about anything NFL.
And then one day . . . I remember because it was my birthday (July 24th in case you forgot and have some old scotch laying around) and my brother, my father and I were eating hambugers at The Squeeze (I remember cause it took forever to get our food) My brother mentioned that he needed bodies for his Fantasy Football league and I volunteered based on his insistence that it wasn't that hard and would be fun.
And boy was it.
I now count alcohol, cigarettes, and fantasy football the greatest addictions known to man.
But I've sucked at it and this year I wanted to at least suck for good reason.
I wanted to know everything about everything and now my brain is so bursting with NFL knowledge that I have to write about it on a weekly basis.
So there's the history. Feel better? Good.
So now we come to strategy.
Oh . . . strategy.
Now, I have mentioned before that your fantasy year has a lot to do with your draft. My buddy Steve says that your year is based on your first three picks. That's a lot of pressure. Lot of guys out there can make or break a season.
I also wrote that there are a lot of strategies going into your draft that will determine how the rest of your season goes.
I wrote that the first year I played (2011) it was all about going RB, RB, RB.
I came in dead last.
The next year (2012), if you were paying attention to the analysts, it was all (QB, RB, RB)
I came in third to dead last.
The next year (2013), if your were paying attention to the analysts, it was all HYPE machine.
I came in super/ultra/can'tbelieveit/whydon'tyoushootyourselfintheface? dead last.
(Spiller, Miller, David Wilson, Tavon Austin, for the first four picks, if you want to know)
This year, well this year was all about, and I can't believe I am saying this, but this year, the analyst strategy going into the draft was: Don't go RB . . . RBs go down . . . why not go WR, WR, ?
But to tell you the truth, I got a bit tired of the analyst strategy this year.
I thought, as most of you can probably figure out, why not just go with the best guy available in the round?
You just have to have an idea of who that is.
We call that homework.
Know what you're doing. Know who you want. Know who you don't want. Cross fingers.
Now draft postion has a whole lot to do with your decisions, like you're not gonna grab Peyton while Shady, Charles, Peterson, and Forte are still on the board, but do you go Peyton or Megatron? That's where preference starts to roll in.
I . . . and I can talk about this now . . . since I won't be drafting again till next year . . . I wanted to start with HOMEWORK, next a calculus strategy (If QB then RB or WR, if RB then QB or WR, if RB, RB, WR, then TE or QB or FLEX), and then chase down my dreamboats (based on home work I had a major erection for Forte, Foster, Gronk, Antonio Brown, Crabtree, Sproles, Harvin, Golden Tate, Pitta, Kaepernick, Cutler, Devonte Freeman, Michael Floyd, Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and god help me, Lamar Miller)
Most of those guys I got. Some I didn't. Whatever.
The guys that gave me some serious whiskey dick: Eli (of course), Calvin Johnson (just felt he was gonna get eaten up), in the first rounds Monte Ball gave me the shivers (he lost out to Knowshon "NO SHOW" Moreno last year, how good could he really be?") in the second rounds Marshall is gonna fight with Jefferies is gonna fight with Forte for catches (but at least Forte's gonna get carries) AJ is based on an up and down Dalton, Morris can't catch (PPR leagues), Martin didn't look so good pre-injury, and Corderell Patterson? Really? I mean . . . you guys know that it takes more than three end of season stats to make a player, and I don't care how good a receiver he might become, you kinda need a serious QB to get him the ball. Right? Like . . . am I stupid?
And, it's only because I've been burned by the rookie hype (See Ingram 2011, Tavon 2013) I raised my nose at Sankey, Cook, and Quick.
Might have missed the ball on the middle one there.
The point is, is that I did my homework, ignored the hype, went with the guys I liked, and tossed in a few dreamboats just in case.
However; Now is the time to reap that which we've sown. To take a look at all the choices that have been made by the top 5 competitors of both of my leagues and see what strategy has worked.
1. Sheldons: RB, RB, QB, WR (Shady, Stacy, A-Rod, Roddy)
2. Swag: RB, WR, WR, RB (Ball, Dez, V-Jax, Martin)
3. Killer: QB, RB, RB, WR, (Peyton, Morris, R. Bush, Cruz)
4. WaitDad: RB, RB, LB*, RB (Forte, Gio, Lavonte*, Jennings)
5. Ruble: RB, QB, WR, WR (Peterson, Brees, Cobb, Fitzgerald)
Now, not for crazy bragging rights, but I will point out * that my third pick went to LB Lavonte David only because I was filling my queue with defensive players and my wifi went out just before my third pick and ended up autodrafting him instead of Antonio Brown who was my real pick. That one hiccup is why I'm not #1 in this league. (Though I've still outscored the top guys by 100 points, so I'm feeling like my chances are good.)
But, note this, only two of the top five went RB, RB (Myself included.) And none of them went WR, WR.
Two guys in this league that went WR, WR.
They are #9 and #12 respectively.
But, it's important to note, that none of these lineups are destined winners. In fact . . . aside from Peyton Manning, not a single pick out of all of these have been barnstormers week-to-week.
But what about your ForReals league?
Surely thats were the real competitors are . . . right?
Let's break down the drafts of the Top 5:
1. Beers: QB, RB, TE, RB (Peyton, Murray, J.Thomas, Sankey)
2. WaitDad: RB, WR, RB, WR (Shady, Nelson, Foster, Crabtree)
3. Suck it: RB, QB, WR, WR (Forte, Brees, Antonio, Corderell)
4. Woof: RB, RB, QB, WR (Charles, Stacy, Ryan, Welker)
5. Crash: RB, RB, WR, RB (Peterson, Gerhart, Roddy, Gore)
Same essential breakdown, except in this version the 2-5 guys had the 1-4 picks, and the team on top picked 10th. But now we see the HOMEWORK at play. Only two teams went RB, RB, and no one went RB, RB, RB.
In fact not a single team tried that.
But here's the funny:
The two teams that went WR, WR?
I shit you not: 9th and 12th.
In a bad way.
Now the number one team (Beers) played the pure "get the best guy in the round" game and the results show (if you ignore Sankey in the fourth round) but the rest of their picks were pretty solid and they played the waiver wire were it wasn't.
I got lucky, and it shows (Shady had some bad games, Foster was out, Nelson had a bad game "okay, one catch for 66yrds and a TD isn't exactly a bad game, but still . . . and Crabtree hasn't been a real factor) However, I got some help from my later round picks and I've played the waiver wire.
Suck It has a good team, although Corderelle, cause what I said earlier.
Woof rolled with good later round picks.
And the anamoly goes right to my brother "Crash" who got creamed with a devistating line of bad luck, but he rallied hard with a monster defense (Defense Wins Chamionships) and probably the quickest waiver wire grabs possible.
But thats the thing. Not only is this a PPR league but ther are 4 defensive postions to fill. If you know your football, and you know your league, not only are you gonna make better draft decisions, but your gonna make better decisions along the way.
Crash went from last place to 3rd to 5th in three weeks. Because he had an amazing LB group and he was unapologetically unafraid to drop those guys who weren't performing and go with the next big things.
See, after we draft, we have a tendency to form some emotional bonds with "Our Guys"
But that's just as much a fallacy as going with any particular strategy, or hype.
The way to win, as far as I can tell you, is to do your homework first. Adopt no strategy but the best guy in the round. Play the waiver wire with every breaking bit of news that you can get your hands on. And most importantly, don't form an emtional attactchment to your players . . .
. . . those guys you targeted all summer and are so glad to have loaded up.
Case in point: If Crash had traded me Kuechley for Kaepernick, well . . . he'd be in second now.
I'd be third.
But Crash went with Eli this week.
And Kaep sat on my bench.
naw . . . I'm just being a dick now . . . don't forget, defenses win championships (especially in this league)
But the break down is true and goes like this:
Know your guys. Know your League. Draft the best in the round (regardless of team affiliates) Avoid the guys that give your the heebie jeebies. Ignore the Hype at all costs unless you have real time information (Not CBS Sports or Hard Knocks on HBO), play the waiver wire hard, get lucky.
Which takes us to predictions:
CRAZY/STUPID PREDICTIONS LAST WEEK:
Oakland Buries the ball and Rivers throws 300yrds (Check and Mate)
Michael Vick rushes for 82 yrds (Nope. Rex Ryan needs to make it to the end of October before he can roll over his 401K)
Cutler and Ryan combine for 650 yrds (Hell yeah . . . 652 yards exactly)
Sproles goes off (Off the field, get well soon)
Austin Davis makes Kenny Britt relevant (Nope. And did you see how old he looked?)
CRAZY/STUPID PREDICTIONS THIS WEEK:
Dallas hands the Giants their second straight Doughnut.
Vick runs for 82 yrds (It's gonna happen, I just don't know when)
Big Ben gets sacked 7 times (8 if Clowney plays)
Carson Palmer throws for 350 and the entire city of Oakland apologizes for blaming him.
Seattle puts out their second string team in the middle of the 3rd Quarter against St. Luis.
That's it for this week.
Special Note: If you see Vontaize Burfect working at a FootLocker at the SuperMall in Peoria, don't let him touch your feet.