Honestly, I'm sure you're not a big fan of his work.
You either think he was too liberal or not liberal enough.
There are good and terrible arguments on both sides.
Whatever . . .
In thinking about immigration I started to roll around in my head all the stuff, for and against, and I started to get really antsy, cause if there is one thing I can't wrap my head around is why there is any type of opposition to immigration reform at all.
Aside from the xenophobes (of which there is no logical debate anyway) isn't it pretty much safe to say that The United States of America . . . is immigration.
It's our DNA.
Not just 'IN' our DNA.
But the whole shebang.
Point to any world statistic and the USA isn't in the top ten anywhere ('cept military spending and incarceration) but it is the only country in the world where you can become a naturalized citizen after passing a civics test.
No other place does that.
Okay, so maybe you wanna protect our borders.
But from what invasion?
There is more military might in Texas than in any other country in the Western Hemisphere.
Protect our jobs?
Go ahead and have a gander at this report on the economic impact of immigration:
Why . . . yes . . . that was directly from the George W. Bush White House.
And yes . . . it did say that immigration has a positive effect on the economy, on job creation, and higher wages for everyone.
The really astounding part to me is that immigrants overwhelming lean to the conservative side of social politics.
In short . . . They're Republicans.
Don't you think there is a reason why President Obama has the highest deportation rate of any sitting president?
He's been literally deporting hundreds of thousands of potential Republicans out of the country.
Smart dude that one.
And lastly . . . be honest . . . when was the last time you met an immigrant that wasn't a hardworking perfect embodiment of the American Dream?
Think about it.
I've got time.
Nope, the only reason, the only real reason a person is against immigration, is because they've forgotten who they are.
You, yes you, are the child, grandchild, or great grand child of an immigrant.
You are less than four genealogical steps from the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free.
For today's Throw Back Thursday I thought it might be fun to do a little remembering myself:
In this picture, the two youngish looking people are William and his sister Francis.
Behind them, George and Matilda Macrae.
George and Matilda were Scottish born, and worked together as servants in London in the 1880s and 90's (Think Downton Abbey) before immigrating to upstate New York at the turn of the century. That was a time with a far greater influx of immigrants than we have now, with the backlash being far more violent and the living conditions far more desperate.
If they had any advantage over our current group of immigrants, it's that their English was probably impeccable.
Not so much can be said of the Germans, Italians, Swedish, Norwegian, Austrians and Portuguese, but everyone has their own cross to bear.
William fought in World War One (purple heart and everything) and went on to become a successful business man. Francis married a man from Cuba but was ousted during the Castro revolution and lived out the rest of her life hopping between Florida and California.
No matter how much red, white, and blue you bleed, this is the story of your family too.
So my son came up to me this morning pacing back and forth and trying to explain to me what our schedule was going to be for the day.
First, he was going to finish his math homework, then take a break, then he was going to do his reading, then we were going to the skate park, then he is going to research for his biography homework (Tony Hawk) while I made dinner. Then he was going to take another break, eat, and then finish his Friday homework.
"Great" I told him as is finished my coffee. "Except it's raining outside and the skatepark is going to be closed."
Then he proceded to give me the same list again with another break inserted where the trip to the skate park used to be.
I applaud his organization, but I gotta admit, a proactive nine year old makes me nervous. I'm not sure I want to be raising a Stephen Covey disciple just yet. Really, if there is any type of productive behavior I want him to exhibit, it's getting all of the food into his mouth instead of on the floor.
The kid can solve a Rubik's Cube in under a minute but can't find his face with a fork.
But we did learn a little lesson today which is that it's time to start planning for the weather.
Now, I'll admit, there probably will be just enough rain to water my lawn, but if you happen to be a Bill's fan in upstate New York then it's time to consider getting that flame thrower out of the garage.
70 inches of snow dropped on Buffalo the last few days and that is going to have some serious impact. With a change in the weather, comes a change in the game. Lots of slip-sliding on the field, lots of passes dropped, lots of ankles twisted, the Northern Teams hang tight, the southern teams go all WTF, and the jury is out on Peyton Manning, who, traditionally, doesn't fare-thee-so-well when the mercury drops, and no one is gonna know who to blame with Sanders/Thomas/Ball out for a bit.
Food for thought anyway. There's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.
THE BIG NEWS:
"All Day" is All Done, All year. Awe gee. Bummer.
In the fun news Gordon's coming back to the field just in time to see Cleveland into a play-off bid. Everyone who was holding him all season now gets to stare at the screen in trepidation.
I would've been that guy, but I traded him away last week (and am mighty satisfied either way)
Also Ben Tate has been waived. Kinda sad really. Maybe the Raiders will put in a bid. They apparently have a fondness for RB's with injury issues.
And Blount gets dropped for throwing a temper tantrum and also for being a bad influence on Leveon Bell. If Cleveland picks him up . . . that is going to be one Hot-Boxed locker room.
INJURIES AND BAD DECISIONS:
Denver . . . all of it.
Allen Robinson, Brandon Cooks, RGIII's entire team (according to RGIII), and RGIII's footwork (according to RGIII's coach). Ahmad Brook's feelings are hurt (but not injured). Bradshaw broke a leg which sucks because he's been awesome and now we get to see the 3rd Act of Trent Richardson.
Giovanni Bernard might be back and we get see if he can . . . I'm really really sorry for this . . . get over the Hill.
And Jennings is workhorse worthy again, just in time for the Ultimate Collapse of Eli.
Who is the back-up QB for the Giants? Cause he's really gotta start warming up.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Alrighty, last week I called out the Green Bay/ Philly game for some serious offense (53-20), damn, so much offense. Aaron Rodgers was straight up laughing at the Eagle Dee. He is one cold ass honkey.
And for the Defense juggernaut I called out Detroit/Arizona (6-14). Holly crap Stafford was awful. He's got Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate to throw to and can't connect . . . like at all. The nice bit is that Joique is finally getting yards after contact. He's gonna be the one to watch when the snow hits Motor City.
This week in the Defensive Division Matchup, Arizona and Seattle go toe to toe in what is likely to be the lowest scoring game ever.
And on the Offensive flip side, Detroit is gonna have to get their aerial attack back if they wanna make the New England game fun to watch. I think they're gonna play super angry and Brady won't just laugh in the face of Det's Dee, he will send their mothers YouTube clips of every completion he makes during the game, in real time.
I do not think, however, we're gonna see much of Gray. Not that he's not worth a flier on your Fantasy Team, but only Brady and Gronk are allowed to have back to back near legendary games. Everyone else has to take turns. (I may actually gamble on LaFell, haven't decided yet.)
which brings us to . . . .
ForFuns League (6-5) 5th place, 2nd in points.
ForReals League (6-5) 3rd place, 2nd in points.
These next two weeks (in both Leagues) is gonna be all about the wins. There is not a whole lotta diversity in either group, in fact, in the ForReals League there are five teams that are 6-5.
Now last week in ForReals, I finally got to take down the undefeated, top of the list, highest average score in league history, team. They finally had THAT GAME, the one where eveything goes wrong, and I had THAT GAME, the one where everything goes right. It wasn't even close.
Now the one mar in my stat sheet was from the guy I made such a big deal about in last week's column, Golden Tate. (Remember . . . I said "Go With Your Guy" and he was "My Guy") I said he was gonna get 12 looks and 10 catches, a number which turned out to be 4 and 2 respectively. Not my shiniest moment.
But . . . my trade went through and I loaded up Maclin and Blue and well . . . that was nice. I traded away Gordon for Maclin and was told implicitly that I should watch out because Sanchez wasn't looking in his direction. Thank goodness for garbage time. No bullets were bitten.
Now in my ForFuns League, it was a brutal neck and neck. I should have blown off the doors but my Sanu/Lafell WR combo didn't combine and Bradshaw went down and Kaep didn't connect and by Monday Night I was two points down with my kicker (Suisham) going against his WR (Martavious Bryant) and i just assumed I was doomed.
Good thing he didn't have Antonio Brown.
I won by 4 points.
So last week, if you remember, I wanted to initially trade Sproles (a possible McCoy handcuff) to the guy who had McCoy, for Alfred Blue (a probable Foster handcuff). It seemed fair and realistic, but it opened the flood gates for an hour long bartering session (via Text) which resulted in a six man trade.
Kaepernick, Gordon, and Gore for Maclin, Blue, and Lavonte David.
Now this was an augmented trade because earlier I traded away McCoy for Gore and Kuechly.
Doing the math for the first week, I ended up giving away 15 points.
The second week, I ended up ahead by 20, giving me a net increase of 5.
Not exactly a ball buster.
This week however, with Foster out, a garbage time Maclin, and the best LB play I've had all year, I go up 49 points, giving me a net gain (so far) of 54 points.
None of that has made a difference in the head to head game, and depending upon how McCoy and Gordon finish out the season, it might end up being a net wash, but the trading has done exactly what it is supposed to do which is shore up my weaknesses.
The deadline has passed, so it's too late for you now, but don't be so shy next year.
CRAZY/STUPID PREDITIONS LAST WEEK:
Oakland beats San Diego (no, but the final score was 6-13, it's gonna happen)
Aldon Smith Sacks Eli 3 times. (The sacks went to Lynch and McDonald, but Aldon scared Eli into throwing five . . . FIVE . . . interceptions and squeezing out a little more pee than was warrented) Don't let Eli drink too much Gatorade before taking on Dallas this week, just a thought.
Sanchez hits Maclin for 100yrds (93)
Detroit beats Arizona (Shucks Nah. But a 6-14 loss was shameful)
I win both Fantasy Games (Yes . . . yes I did)
CRAZY/STUPID PREDICITONS THIS WEEK:
Oakland beats Kansas City or if not, Knile Davis has 113 yrds.
McCoy goes for 174yds and a TD. He is so due . . . so due.
Gordon goes for exactly 98yrds giving my brother heart palpatations.
Eli gets pulled from the game. He is so due . . . so due.
Tate goes to Indy (Cause the Colts love Brown sloppy seconds), Blount goes to Denver (Because that's where the weed is) and Rice and Peterson open up a FroYo Franchise as part of their rebranding. Who doesn't love FroYo?
And with that . . . the rain is picking up . . . so be careful out there . . . people forget how to drive when the roads get all wet . . . unless you're driving with Eli cause he's very unlikely to hit anything.
So I found myself just a little horrified when I looked at the calendar and realized that there is only five weeks left until Christmas.
Kind of sneaks up on you don't it?
And if you hadn't thought about that yet and are sitting the breakroom of your office slightly horrified after reading that first sentence . . . then . . . well . . . I'm sorry.
I am not a kind man.
Anyway, I was going to write something about footwear today, but I can't pass up the chance to dig into the holiday season and see if I can help the world circumnavigate the chaos with a few helpful tips and tricks I've learned after decades of Bah Humbug-ness.
See . . . I don't care much for holidays.
Actually that's not true at all. I love holidays. Any excuse to eat good food with people I adore is cause for celebration in and of itself.
I'm just not big on all the nonsense.
Case in point: My wife noticed that after fifteen years of being together we had not once dressed up a couple for Halloween.
I have never played the Tweedle Dum to her Tweedle Dee, nor Gomez to her Morticia, nor Mick Fleetwood to her Stevie Nicks.
This was really sad for her.
For some reason.
Dressing up for Halloween is one of those things that some people just absolutely love, so I'm not gonna poo-poo the whole concept, it's just not my thing. I mean, I have five pairs of jeans and eight plain white T-Shirts. I am perfectly comfortable being super boring.
Now if you had told me that I was going to suffer through a Halloween without a bowl-full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I might shed tears. I may be super boring, but I'm not joyless.
However, my lack of enthusiasm for decoration is near legendary.
Use to drive my staff absolutely batshit crazy. They would come to me with grand ideas of lights and bows and tinsel and stockings and hats and I'd be like fine/whatever/but you do it/and you clean it up. I find ten times more joy taking down decorations than putting them up. Everytime the xmas tree gets thrown out into the back yard, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, like Hitler has just shot himself in a bunker and we can bring our troops home.
And, it seems to me, that the people who make such a surprising big deal about the holidays, are the ones who don't enjoy any of it. They're running around shopping malls looking for cards no one will read and super markets for food no one likes and wine no one drinks.
Nope . . . wait . . . strike that last one.
But, you know, those who struggle to make everything perfect end up stressing everyone else out the whole holiday season with nothing but clutter and lower credit scores to show for it.
So . . . in order to head things off at the pass . . . here are a few techniques you might want to incoporate into your routine this year to make the next five weeks just easier for everyone.
Step One: Ask yourself "What is important?" and answer that question with "Family, Friends, Food."
In that order.
PIck a time (or times) to gather the first two and make the last one available.
Step Two: Presents.
Something nice to drink works for every occasion.
Except children and girlfriend/wives.
Then it's toys and jewlery.
And since this is the internet age, you don't even have to brave ToysRUs, gift cards will do just nicely.
Gift cards will NOT do for girlfriends/wives
Jewlery . . . just jewlery.
You might say to yourself that "Gee, my wife already has enough jewlery."
And you need to shut your stupid face.
That's like saying you've had enough hot-wings or enough sexual encounters with a consenting adult.
Anyway, this brings the total amount of places to go to exactly two and a half (depending if you want to get jewlery online, which I highly suggest.) And reduces your shopping time from five weeks to about 45 minutes.
Step Three: Indulge
I have this gruesome confession. For all my tough talk about drinking manly drinks, I have to admit, I have this really really gross craving for eggnog lattes.
Not the super-big gulp version, but 10 ounces of creamy steamed eggnog poured over two shots of espresso. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
And yes, I know what it does to both the machinery and my colon, but I just dig 'em.
So if it's peppermint, or pumkin spice, or white chocolate with sugar free caramel, or cookies or cakes, potato salad or gespacho, just go ahead and tell the naysayers to shut their pie holes til January 5th.
January 5th is an arbitrary date.
Pick any day you want.
Step Four: Tradition
There is comfort in tradition and ceremony. (Or lack thereof) For instance, I like a quiet Thanksgiving and as long as I get a Turkey leg, I'm clam happy. Then we get the biggest christmas tree we've ever had and decorate it with the Jackson Five Christmas in the background. Then there is the xmas eve feast followed by two days of recovery and that's it.
Which leads me to my final thought . . .
Step Four: Don't complicate your life or the lives of those around you.
If you don't want to go anywhere. Don't. If you don't like some of the people at a particular party, don't talk to them and leave early. Go to where the best people are and the best food is.
If you find yourself hurried, stop.
You've only got five weeks of holiday season, starting, like now, and trust me, you will make the most of it by making the least of it.
So my nine year old started reading one of those YA Dystopian series, the kind where a pretty girl learns she has strengths she never knew she had in a post apacolyptic future.
No . . . not that one.
But, you know, similar.
Anyway, he got through the first book all right. Buoyed by the popular movie that was made about it. But he sort of stalled about a third of the way into the second book.
Of which there are three.
Now there is a good chance that he will continue reading them again as soon as we finish building a cardboard replica of the Sonoma Mission sometime in early December.
Now it might be that I have this odd dad-like hang-up, but being a reader, I can't help but read the stuff he's reading. It's kind of my way of participating in his life without actually you know, participating in his life.
But there's a problem.
I've got about ninety pages left of the final volume and well . . . I just don't care any more.
It's just not very good.
And there's no foreseable "epic conclusion" (jacket's words, not mine) that could possibly leave me satisfied, unless of course all of the characters are killed by aliens in the next chapter and the last sixty pages are just pictures of kittens.
But the thing is . . . I have to finish it.
You get that far in a trilogy it's a moral imparitive that you find out how it ends. Imagine if you're at the dullest cocktail party ever and it's all anyone is talking about. You've invested the time and energy and to throw it all away in the final gasp is just incomprehensible.
But I don't want to finish it.
I'm going to.
But I don't want to.
Which made me think of all the things in the world that you just have to finish no matter what the cost.
Things like . . .
One: You have to finish your drink.
If you leave one gulp of wine at a fancy restaurant, you just paid $12 for less than a cup of wine. You can't leave a full can of beer laying around, it's cruel. And if your father-in-law pours you a shot of grappa, bottoms up.
Exceptions are badly made lattes, and the glass of coke that your waiter kept refilling every 7.5 minutes.
Two: You have to finish the game
I don't care how much you hate baseball. I don't care how tired you are, and I don't care how late it is, you have to finish the game. Even if you have already lost, you have to finish the game.
Exceptions are Monopoly, which has no end, and Soccer, which has no earthly reason for being.
Three: You have to finish A Song of Fire and Ice.
This one's for you George R. R. Martin.
Four: You have to finish your meat.
You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.
Exceptions are you're a vegetarian, and not an orphan. Double exception if you're Pink Floyd.
Five: You have to finish that one thing you've always dreamed of finishing.
Could be a novel, could be a classic car, could be a painting, could be a college degree, could be that last five pounds, could be that last bite of cheese-cake.
Don't go to that great cocktail party in the sky with nothing to talk about.
Even if it's lame.
Which means I've got some reading to do.
Head east on Mainstreet
Take a left on Leftist Way
Take a right on Righmost Circle
Green house with the red truck
Do you remember writing directions?
On little scraps of notepaper, napkins, on the backs of business cards that you had in your wallet but can't remember why?
How about maps?
Howe Ave is located on E7, and you would fold out the whole thing til it was the width of the entire car, zeroing in on a little piece of the grid until you found the street you were looking for and then working backwards until you traced a line with your finger.
Go half a generation back and there was a time when maps were free at any gas station brochure rack.
That was back when the person who called "Shot-Gun!" had real responsibilities. Navigation and Stereo DJ.
I was thinking about this cause I had to give my mother directions to my son's school so she could pick him up this week. I could have just given her the address. I mean, she's an adult with access to an iPad, an iPhone, and she knows how to operate a vehicle.
Hell, I probably didn't need to give her an address, I could have just told her the name of the school.
And she wouldn't have even needed to look at a map.
She could have just gotten in her car, held down a single button on her phone and said something like "Siri . . . Directions to [School Name]" and she'd be off. Siri could handle both her playlist and turn by turn directions.
Siri is a better shotgun than my children are.
But here's the thing: There are many ways in and out of my child's school, yet, the most obvious, the most direct, the one Siri would have navigated, also happens to be the most frustratingly ridiculous mess I have ever seen on a daily basis.
You can only get to it and out of it from a single direction. The roads are narrow, which doesn't stop anyone from parking in the red zones anyway. You've got a lot of big cars being driven by people who don't know how to drive big cars and about 500 children rushing out in a mass exodus.
And that's before you even get out, which requires an unprotected left hand turn directly into a stop light that refuses to let more than 2.5 pass without going red.
However, if you were to say, go one street further down, you would find ample parking in a cheery shaded neighborhood that is less than a sixty second walk to the front of the school. Upon exiting, you get to skip the unprotected left hand turn entirely and into a right hand turn lane that lets you merge right onto the main road. No stoplight, pass go, collect $200.
Why isn't my way more popular?
People are kinda stupid.
Not all people. But lots.
And some people don't like to get out of their cars if they don't absolutely have to.
Guys don't like to get out of their cars because there's a ball game on. Doesn't matter who what when or where, there's a ball game going on at all times.
Girls don't like getting out of their cars because they don't look their best. Hair and make-up is an important part of their identity even when they are happily married and going to the one place where they're least likley to be considered sex objects.
Actually . . . who am I kidding . . . there is no such place.
But setting that aside for another blog and contiuing with the original stream of conscience, when it comes to picking up my son from his school, there is a better way.
And that way requires directions.
Not complicated directions.
But not the kind of directions that any GPS is capable of determining.
We're talking directions from an experienced human.
And I was thinking about this for today's Throw Back Thursday, because giving directions and following directions is eventually going to become a lost art. My sons will probably never have to stop and think about the best way of getting from one place to the next because their minds will already be made for them.
They also won't find themselves at 2am at a gas station in a shady part of Oakland, trying to figure out where the hell they are and waking up a homeless guy and trading a couple of cigarettes for directions on how to get back on the highway.
Not that I want them in dangerous situations, but I do want them to grow old with at least a few good stories.
I remember taking my big guy to visit Stanford and on the way home I exited the campus on a different side than which I came in and had no idea how to get back to the highway. He was sitting in the back I put him in charge of reading the map on my phone and giving me directions. He kept telling me that i needed to get to a certain street, and I kept asking him how to get to that street and he simply didn't know what I meant.
He did not get accepted into Stanford.
My point is back when we had to give and take directions, we had a clear understanding of our starting point and what steps to take to get to our destination. Sure we made a few wrong turns along the way, we got into the wrong lane, or we had to pull off the highway cause Jenny had to pee again, but we learned how to handle being lost.
Our children may never be lost, but they have no idea of where they are or where they are going.
Two of my best 'guy' pals are gonna be first time fathers very very soon.
A little less than ten years ago I was going through exactly what they are going through now, which is a laundry list of symptoms, ailments, and enough WebMD to ensure a diagnosis that everyone around me was suffering from lupus.
Now, the second my wife told me that she was pregnant, two things happened simultaniously. One, I quit smoking, and two I had to read everything there possibly was to read on the subject of pregnancy, child rearing and life in general.
I'm still working on the volumes for the second two, but the first one "pregnancy" really only required several encyclopedias of medical terms, and some basic common sense.
After two months and somewhere around $42,000 spent on medical journals I realized there was only one diagnosis and one method of treatment for every thing that ailed my beautiful bride.
The Diagnosis: You're pregnant.
The Treatment: Get some rest.
Every little worry that she had about everything, whether it be something she was feeling or something that her friend told her about, coincidentally was fixed by two statements:
Get some rest.
I only made one adjustment during that entire nine months which was the night my son was born and the conversation went like this:
I'm feeling sick.
No . . . I'm feeling really sick. I think it's contractions.
Get some rest.
No . . . I think it's time.
No . . . I think it was the chicken bacon burgers for dinner. You're pregnant . . . get some rest.
What if it's time?
Get some rest. If the contractions are less than twenty minutes apart . . . wake me up.
And with that . . . my son was born 5 hours later and I was lucky enough to get at least another hour of sleep before that happened.
The reason this little story belongs in a football blog and not the family section of The Huffington Post is that there is a parallel, albeit a wonky one, is that with all the information out there, with all the possibilities that can come with bodies bashing into each other, the Broncos are gonna beat the Raiders, Chip Kelly is gonna make any QB look good, Jordy Nelson is gonna give you 152 yrds and two TDs when you really need it, the Niners are always gonna have to run the ball, and you're still pregnant . . . so get some rest.
And then . . . once in a while, the Jets are gonna beat the Steelers when Big Ben is coming off of twelve touchdowns in two games.
Because, you know . . . life.
THE BIG NEWS:
Thie big news is that the Niners finally listened to reason and ran the ball again. Although Gore only went for a single TD and 82 yards, it kept the pash rush off of Kaep long enough to make a lucky 51 yrd pass to Crabtree in order to set up single field goal to win over the Saints in over time. Good game. Good game.
Also, though he didn't look that great in the first half, Mark Sanchez owes Chip Kelley a cheese steak dinner and possibly his first born.
INJURIES AND BAD DECISIONS:
So Carson Palmer is out for the season which throws the NFC West back into chaos with an undominate Seattle, and couldbe cinderalla Niner hopeful, and Drew Stanton trying to make Michael Floyd relevant. Allen Robinson is out, which throws up all kinds of dice throwing Hurns owers into fits, and the devistation of Patrick Willis out, making the Niners D sort of a crap shoot.
Megatron comes back, but still leaves room for Golden Tate to go for over a hundred yards and Stafford owners rejoice.
Romo decided to just go with it and risk paralization for some play-off berth. Gotta admit, that is not the way I would go.
Peterson might be back. Hope he don't. Not because I don't have any stock in him, but because any spanking that involves bruised genitals should automatically ban you for life from pop culture relevance.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Okay, so last week I said if you were a lover of offense the Bears/Packers game was going to be a barn stormer. And I was sorta right. Especially if you were Jordy Nelson and Brandon Marshall. Not so much if you were anyone else. The game was over after the first half.
Same with my defense call of Eagles/Panthers. The Eagles Dee was on fire, and a pick six/go ahead and punt to Sproles nightmare. Though, lets be frank, Carolina held Philly to exactly 37yrds rushing.
37 yards rushing the entire game. Good day to own Matthews and the TE not named Ertz.
Now in keeping with the Offense/Defense Theme which worked nicely, here's my picks for the fun games this week (which I will not be watching because I'm playing a show a Sera Fina Winery on Sunday the 16th. 1-4:30)
For offense lovers: Philly vs Green Bay. No Huddle with the best RB in the league vs No Huddle with the best QB in the league. Lots of O.
For the Defense Lovers: Detroit vs Arizona. Can Drew get a ball in the air? Can Stafford find Megatron through a hornets nest? Which best record goes down?
You can't blame the Raiders for getting crushed by Denver after an embarrasing loss from the Patriots the week before. Manning played like he had something to prove, but it was kinda like me farting on my nine year old son for whining about his homework. I mean, I outway him by 140 pounds and its just not fair that my diet requires me to eat so many beans.
But the Niners.
Hell yeah the Niners.
Beating the Saints in overtime and ending their 11 home game winning streak. I mean, they did exactly, not even sort of, but exactly what I had predicted for success. Run, run, pass. Run run pass. Get down the goddam field.
Now you might be quick to point out that the game winnning drive included an impossible 51 yard pass to Crabtree to set up a field goal . . . but shut the hell up. That's what they've paid Kaep and Crabtree to do.
Now Mr. Crabs is all cranky cause he is just the third WR on Kaep's check downs, but the only answer to that is "Get some seperation Mother Fucker"
I'm voting Gore/Boldin in 2016. Who's with me?
ForFuns League (5-5) 6th place, 2nd top score.
ForReals League (5-5) 5th place, 2nd top score.
Notice how I've added the result of the full season score?
I've done that because I'm just a little irritated that my record isn't as high as it should be.
Now last week, in my ForReals league, I got obliterated by the guy who, no shit, had Rodgers, Cobb, and Lacy all on Bye. I should have crushed him. He loaded up Asiada for christsake. But despite the preliminary projections, he overcame a fifty point deficit and I . . . well . . . my team . . . just didn't have it going on.
Then this week, in my ForReals League, I've got my old man beat in preliminary projections by thirty points. And my team Killed it. Killed it.
But my dad killed it somthing special.
By sunday afternoon, I needed Jordy Nelson to go for 150 yards and two touch downs.
Which . . . actually happened.
So it was down to my Luke Kuechly needing to beat out his kicker for seven points.
He was up seven. Then up five. Then up four. Then up three. Then Kuechly missed a sack on Sanchez, which is like theoretically impossible (Sanchez once ran into his own front line) and one point after kick, I end up losing the game 234 to 240.
The third and fourth highest scores in the league and I lose to the guy that loaded up two, I shit you not, two Cleveland running backs.
And two Wide Receivers named Bryant.
Apparently it wasn't the chicken bacon bugers. He was due.
And just to add . . . in my ForFuns League . . . which I won . . . but only because I went with Sanchez instead of Kaepernick with Bradshaw and Lafell on Bye, Giovanni and Jennings hurt, a terrible outing by Forte, and Donnell dropping two catches in the end zone. An ugly win is still a win.
anyway . . .
Back to the What to Expect When Expecting, I'm now at the point in the season where no one is on Bye, everyone is healthy, so there are a lot of question marks about who to load up where.
And there are just so many variables to consider, like, match-ups, weather, home fields, potential RBBC's, do you chase last week's stats hoping for a repeat performance (Sproles), do you cross your fingers that last week was just a low scoring anomaly (looking at you Maclin)? And then, lets say you've got a pretty good stable of studs and you have to determine your flex position and you've got five great options.
Problem: My Team is pregnant.
And I need to get some rest . . . or at least make it easier on myself.
And how do we do that?
Simple: We go with our guys. The ones we've scouted. The ones we've seen play. The ones who have scored the most. Don't be fooled by potential or terrified by matchup.
For instance: I'm looking at a single Flex position that can be filled by Golden Tate, Lafell, Sproles (note that return yards are counted in my league), Sims, or Joique. Three of whom I scouted and drafted before all this nonsense began.
Start with the easy choices
Sims is easy to bench, cause he's all potential, and if he does breakout this week it's gonna make week 12 much tougher, but we're not there yet.
Sproles is gonna have to sit tight too cause he is all game flow dependent.
Joique has been dissappointing, but still put up good flex stats each week. However, Stafford would throw the ball all day if he could, which is great for Tate (little rhyme there)
So I'm left looking at Tate or Lafell.
I could get all crazy looking at matchups, Lafell could get 15 looks or he could get 5 (Cause . . . you know . . . Patriots) Tate is gonna get 10, but he will not be finding the end-zone with a healthy Megatron looming. Gonna be shoot-out between Luck and Brady, +1 for Lafell, and Arizona Dee is going to play super hard to keep Stanton in the drivers seat . . . it's all too much!
or is it?
Tate's been my guy all season.
See how easy that was?
What is not easy is trading. Shoring up your weaknesses and trying not to throw out the baby with the bath-water while trying to avoid being the guy with a dirty baby.
That was a lot of metaphors right there.
Read it again.
Anyway, I've been trying to make trades left and right, but in the grand spirit of one-night-stands, no one is returning my calls.
It's just fear.
So I thought it might be fun to follow the few trades I have made . . .
This is a new addition because I think we in fantasyland don't partake in enough trades and I think that needs to be rethought. Trading is exciting because you get to evaluate what you need with all that you've got and make some real decisions.
Three weeks ago I traded away my Number One draft pick (McCoy) for the number one LB (Kuechly) and a top twenty RB (Gore).
Most people would think that that was super stupid. But I needed some real defense and I was willing to sacrifice a (so far) unproductive RB.
So hear me out . . .
Now in Week 9, the trade handed me a net loss of 15 points, which sounds scary (OMG we're all gonna die!) But in the head to head, I ended up losing by a whopping 44 points. The 15, although nice, cost me nothing.
Then, Week 10, the trade gave me a positive 20 points, much better, but still didn't make the difference in that I lost by 6.
However, CrazyStupid Trade has so far netted me 5 points positive.
Not too shabby, and now my defense is starting to rumble : )
So this week, I've made a super big trade which started with my trying to trade Sproles (a McCoy back-up) for Blue (a Foster handcuff).
The Counter: How about Kaepernick for Blue? (I'm holding Kaep and agonizing each week over him vs Cutler)
No deal. But I like where this is going.
The Counter: Kaep and Sproles for any LB and Blue?
The Counter: Kaep and Gordon for Laurinitas and Blue?
No Deal (I've been saving Gordon for the playoffs for eight weeks)
The Counter: How about Kaep and (Tate or Lafell) for Laurinitus and Blue?
The Counter: How about Kaep and Gordon and Gore for Maclin, Blue and any LB?
Shit. That means giving up a top 10 QB, a could be monster WR, and a top 20 RB for a top 5 WR a handcuff for Foster and Lavonte David (second in tackles to Kuechly).
Roll the dice, boy, roll the dice.
So over the last six weeks (I'm gonna continue through the playoffs, even if I'm out) I'm gonna track trades and see how they work out.
The idea is that they do. And, hopefully, it gives you, my fantasy bretheren a little courage to do the same. If not this year than the next.
Trades are so much fun.
Freakin do it.
CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS LAST WEEK:
Detroit beats Miami, CJ goes for 150 (Yes, but CJ 113, leaving 102 for Tate. Nice guy)
Gore goes for 120 (81, but a TD and secures the love of a grateful nation)
Sanchez 300 yrds and 4TDs (332 and 2TD's. Damn Sanchez, you dirty)
Oakland beats Denver (Nope)
Cutler is sacked by Matthews 4 times (Only once. The other three sacks belong to Burnett, Barrington, and Peppers)
CRAZYSTUPID PREDICTIONS THIS WEEK:
Oakland beats San Diego (cause fuck yeah!)
Aldon Smith sacks Eli 3 times (cause fuck yeah!)
Dirty Sanchez connects with Maclin for 100yrds (cause trades . . . fuck yeah)
Detroit introduces Arizona to it's daddy (cause I really want the Niners in the SuperBowl)
I win both Week 11 Fantasy games (because, seriously, BeersAtTen needs a loss, doesn't deserve it, they've played a masterful game this year and I love them dearly, but they need at least one loss and I need to do it)
Also, don't forget that I'll be playing live at the Sera Fina Winery this Sunday from 1-4.
So if music be the food of love . . . and Cam Newton is hurt and his coach needs to take him out of the game when they are losing that badly . . .
So today is Veterans Day.
As if you didn't know that already what with all the football players wearing small bits of camolfauge material.
That and the kids are not in school.
Dead giveaway when the kids are not in school.
I still tried to trick my son in to thinking it was Wednesday, but he's smarter than I am and refused to get in the car.
Anyway, my favorite Holidays happened to be the very ones where you don't have to actually go anywhere, do anything, and there are no presents involved and it's patriotic to cook red meat over coals.
Father's Day, the 4th, Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, Boxing Day, Flag Day, Irish History Month. These holiday's require no pomp nor circumstance and you're in no danger of hurting anyone's feelings by not participating.
You can only irritate people by poo-pooing them.
Don't do that.
Just shut up.
Anyway . . . since there is no true custom needing to be observed for Veterans' Day (aside from the usually parade and possibly a speech by the president)yeahyeah I thought I would share my casual customs for you to incorporate into your own shallow observances.
First: Sleep in.
Veterans never get to sleep in. Loud people with short cropped hair are always yelling or some guy with a horn is blowing before the sun comes up. So hit the snooze and don't roll out til like nine.
Second: Drink your coffee black.
Remember, there are no athiests or pumpkin spice in the trenches. Drink it out of a tin cup if possible.
Third: Do something manly.
Cooking meat is manly. Lifting heavy objects so that your wife can vaccuum under them is manly. I have a small patch of grass that needs mowing. Mowing things is manly.
Fourth: Band of Brothers needs to be playing in at least two rooms in your house all day long. If you do not have a copy on DVD, you can stream it from HBO GO, and if you don't have HBO GO then it's time to purchase the show on iTunes. Purchasing Band of Brothers on iTunes can also be considered manly.
Five: Your wife is going to want to waste her day doing chores.
Six: You wife is also gonna want to waste your day doing chores.
Seven: She's going to make you breakfast and coffee and talk sweet.
Don't be fooled.
Eight: Veterans' Day Sales
This is the final week that every store needs to make space for all the Christmas Junk that is just about to pour into their back rooms. Insane prices on things nobody wants.
I'm not telling you this because I think you care in any particular way, but as a last ditch resort of something to mention when your wife says something like "We should really reorganize our room."
The conversation should go something like this:
What if we moved the couch to that side of the room?
I guess so . . . but wait . . . Oh my GOD!
Michael's is having a 75% off all picture frames!
Where are my keys!?
What about the couch?
WHERE ARE MY FUCKING KEYS!?
Nine: Take her out for a late lunch.
She's been working hard and the mall was insane.
Ten: Nap Time.
Between 30 and 45 minutes is ideal and patriotic.
Eleven: Barbecue Time
Chicken legs are ideal because utensiles should be shunned. The trick to good chicken legs is lower temperature for longer and away from direct heat. If you're a manly man and using charcoal, pile the charcoal in the middle and lay the legs in a circle around the outside. Rotate them every twenty minutes (or in between beers) and for the last five put them directly over the coals to crisp up the skin. Same rules apply for gas, just in a more cost effective, ecofriendly, vaginal sort of way.
Lastly, here are some suggestions for ideal films to celebrate the Post War lifestyle:
Dances With Wolves
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Star Wars (A New Hope)
The First Harry Patter
I don't know why Footloose, it just seemed like the list was missing some John Lithgow.
Rule Number One for all lists: Include John Lithgow.