Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's Your Fantasy?

The line between fantasy and reality can often be a blurry one. And with fantasy football drafts quickly approaching, I figure now is the perfect time to come through with not just a few fantasy tips, but a few stories that beg the question as to whether those in the world of sports and entertainment are even aware that the blurry line even exists...

It' a week of quick hitters, fantasy style. But if you think I'm going to be telling you who to actually draft for your fantasy team, then you, my friend, are currently on the wrong side of that blurry line...


Starting with the most literal fantasy of the bunch, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind when drafting your fantasy football team:

1) Know your scoring system: If you're in a league where passing touchdowns are only worth 4 points (still not sure why that's become the standard, but whatever) you should NEVER be drafting a QB with a top 7 pick. You want to take Brady, Brees or Rodgers at pick 8? That works. But with so many quality signal callers regularly going between rounds 5-10, you're much better off taking a top tier runner or pass catcher with those 1st round picks than you are taking a QB and having to settle for lesser skill position options down the road...

2) When in doubt, take the guy on the better offense: This saves you from looking back on a lost season and saying, "Why did I draft 2 guys from Tampa Bay?!" Just because somebody is tabbed a "starter" or a "#1" doesn't mean that they can do for your team what a "#2" can do for you on a team that's going to have a much more explosive offense. Perfect example would be the Jets Santonio Holmes vs the Broncos Eric Decker. Holmes is a #1, and Decker is at best a #2, but I like the chances of Decker providing much more value with Peyton Manning getting him the ball than I do Holmes in combination with Mark Sanchez. Even if that example doesn't do it for ya, I think you see where I'm going...

3) Never pass on someone you want: I've been telling people this for years, and though the concept is simple, it's apparently one of those things that's much easier said than done. If you pass on someone, then you're probably not going to get them. Plain and simple. So if you want them, draft them. No matter what the Yahoo or ESPN rankings may make of your decision. Now, obviously that doesn't mean take the 100th ranked player in the 1st round, but don't be afraid to jump 2-3 rounds ahead of projection if it means getting a guy you really want on your team. Besides, when do those boiler plate rankings ever pan out? In my experience, very rarely...unless your name is Josh Astin. So yeah, unless your name is Josh Astin, trust your gut and get your guys. At the very least it will help you be at peace with the decisions you made, and learn important lessons on who to draft in the future...

Other than that, the most important things are making sure you have a clever team name (I'm going with a 'Football with Bags Munman' theme this year), and being a contributor on your team's message board. Good leagues can elegantly combine humor with skill and camaraderie, but everyone has to do their part. Do yours, and your league will be for the better. Or don't, and I'm sure you'll still regularly get your league winnings around the start of March Madness. Yeah, that's how that usually works. Participation, kids. It's the key to your fantasy happiness...

More news from fantasy land has the Red Sox "moles" trying to convince the masses that backup catcher, Kelly Shoppach, was the main catalyst behind the secret meeting with ownership where the players asked for the ouster of Bobby Valentine. Right. The backup catcher, who by all accounts wasn't even at the freaking meeting, was the driving force behind the disharmony in the clubhouse? Right, and if you believe that, I hear Melky Cabrera has a hot tip on a website where you can score some great vitamins...

Yeah, I'm sorry. But the Sox trying to finger Shoppach merely because he'd been dealt away to the Mets makes Melky look like Mark Zuckerberg for coming up with that website idea. OK, that was clever either way you slice it, but my point still stands. It's another embarrassing move by those at the top of this organization, and further proof that their out of touch with the fan base. They thought this would fly? They thought that telling the fans that Kelly Shoppach was the problem, and that since he was out of town now everything was OK, would smooth things over? WOW. That's just embarrassing. Like, I'm embarrassed as a fan that they think so little of me. Granted, I don't think too much of them, right now. But still. The fact that they thought this type of move would do well to help the atmosphere around this team is just flat out scary...

Sticking with baseball, I'd be remiss if I didn't take this gratuitous shot at ESPN. Last night, while watching a few minutes of their World Series of Poker coverage with my dinner, the following story scrolled across the bottom line:

Umpire Jim Joyce uses CPR to help save the life of a Diamondbacks' employee in the tunnel before game. Joyce was the umpire whose controversial call in 2010 kept Armando Gallaraga from throwing a perfect game.

Hahaha. IT was something straight out of Troy McClure handbook. Never mind that he just saved someone's life, they had to toss in "you may remember him from such blown perfect game's as, Armando Gallaraga's in 2010". Hahaha geez, ESPN. Stay classy, I guess...

Another citizen of fantasy land is Joe Posnanski, whose awkward Joe Paterno book hit shelves earlier this week. I say awkward, because the bulk of the book wasn't written and researched under the dark shadow cast by Jerry Sandusky. It was a book meant to be about Paterno the man, not Paterno the man that's being ridden out of his sport due to lack of control and various moral indiscretions...

That being the case, it was particularly odd to flip towards the back of the book and find this passage (via Deadspin):

He asked me: "So what do you think of all this?"
I told him that it was crazy, but that was not what he was asking.
"What do you think of all this?" he asked me again.
I had not intended to include this in the book. It was a personal moment between writer and subject. But as the story has played out, I decided it was important. I told him that I thought he should have done more when he was told Jerry Sandusky was showering with a boy. I had heard what he had said about not understanding the severity, not knowing much about child molestation, not having Sandusky as an employee. But, I said, "You are Joe Paterno. Right or wrong, people expect more from you."
He nodded. He did not try to defend or deflect. He said simply, "I wish I had done more,"again, and then descended into another coughing fit.

Right, Posnanski. Whatever you say. You want us to believe that he sat down, said that to you, yet it only ends up as a footnote, on page 361 of your book? Talk about burying the lead. What you did makes it blatantly clear that you're trying to hide that passage rather than exploit it. Why? Well, the most reasonable explanation I can come up with is that it's probably not true. That conversation probably never happened. I mean, why else would he hide it like that? That's writing 101, right there. Posnanski put it in there to make it look like he was the one that was finally able to "reach" the old coach, when all it's really doing is robbing what he actually did write of all credibility. It's just sad, is what it is. Which is why it probably fits in all too well with the misplacement of trust that sent that athletic program crumbling to the ground...

That's it for me, folks. I had a segment brewed up that compared Michael Strahan being named as Kelly Ripa's co-host to some sort of low level porn shoot from central casting, but I figured I'd let good taste prevail and keep that on the back burner. Besides, it probably would have ended sounding much more racist than I would have intended. But come back next week. Maybe I'll let poor judgment get the better of me and delve into that tale, and at the very least I'll have more football love for ya, with the season looming just a few weeks down the road...

So enjoy the rest of your week, friends. Good luck with your fantasy drafts, and I'll catch you on the flipman...

Teddy Williams...



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