Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This shall do for MLB news

-I believe that's a "venti".-

Current Standing: 1-2, 8th overall

Will the Sox make the wild card? Will Lester and Becket return and kick ass? Was it Tito Francona at the Green Monster with the Pesky Pole (pause)? From all residing Sox fans, the word on the street is "meh." Until the playoffs hit, baseball is in a bit a lull. But that's when the Travel Channel comes in. Yeah, seriously.

Ooh, our first SSFA! TV recommendation! I've been a fan of Man v Food for a while, and today ESPN is talking to the host/face-stuffer Adam Richman about tonight's episode in which he tours a bunch of ballparks to cram his hole with millions of dollars of heat lamped-warmed food (seriously, ballpark food is expensive). The show is a hoot and it's the only program you could show to a bunch of Somalian refugees and give them a stomach ache.

Adam is a cool guy. Watching this dude do what he does, you realize he's putting his life on the line to entertain you. Five pound burritos. Giant pancakes. Chicken wings that have to be made with a gas mask. A gas mask! This guy will eat them all. I sat down in watched this guy eat something like 180 oysters. For someone who must spend half his life clutching the porcelain chair and praying for sweet death, he's always happy to shuck another one down.

So tune in tonight, 10pm EST on the Travel channel. And bring Tums.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well, is he or isn't he?!

-This is not the Patriot you're looking for...-

Current Standing: 1-2, 8th overall

Quick shout out to the NE Patriots this afternoon. Hey, Pats! How are you? Grab a beer, hang out. You wanna throw in for a pizza? Whaddaya mean you just ate? You knew you were coming over! Well, what am I gonna eat? Ah, screw it. You see, my years of wrought animosity towards you has been softened by your average performance this year. I even, God help me, have stopped myself from coming to your defense in a New England sports media storm that thinks a 2-1 record is reason hole up in some kind of sports fan bomb shelter. Take it easy people. It's Week 3.

Still, that doesn't mean it's not business as usual in Belichickville. I've already pointed out Bill's cloak-and-dagger policy concerning his DL, and just this last Sunday cornerback Wilhite mysteriously rode the pine. Apparently there was some kind of intruder disturbance at Wilhite's home Sunday morning. That's scary, I ain't messin' with that. But watching everyone in the Belichick regime trying to get their story straight is fun. Let's watch!

First of all, Wilhite was spotted warming up with other members of the team Sunday. So, whatever happened Sunday morning... Wilhite suited up and showed up. Cut to after the game: in his press conference, Belichick stated that Wilhite "was injured" Sunday morning. When? At home? After he suited up to play? When grilled, Wilhite's agent also stated: "The injury is nothing serious... It's a police matter. The kid is fine." I don't think statements that include "injury" and "police matter" theoretically should end with a smile, a thumbs up, and a "s'all good!" But that's just me.

It sounds like a private matter and that's perfectly legitimate and fine. I even give props to Wilhite for showing up. God knows if I was attacked by a team of elite ninjas in my home while I'm making coffee one morning (which I'm assuming is what happened), I ain't going to work. Just, why all the smoke and mirrors? Will a public statement of support and need for privacy really give opponents a look inside the this impenetrable 2009 fortress of... field goals? By confusing the press, you just attract more attention. Perhaps the Pats D should adopt this organization's policy with the press. No one would talk to each other, but at least every opposing team would be shut out.

Something Else to Make Fun Of

- "Don't look at them, no matter what happens!" -

Current Standing: 2-1, 6th Overall

So Pilk wants to know who else he can make fun of. Let me begin by pointing out that "Pepper-Laced Poultry Abominations" is a good fantasy football team name or blog handle, for those in the market for either. Right up there with "Love of the Helmet", as Cris Collinsworth so eloquently put it in the Sunday night game this week.

Speaking of poultry abominations (bonus points for the segue!), may I continue by suggesting the Seattle Seahawks. For their game against the Bears, Seattle (heretofore the "Poultry Abominations") went out of their way to make themselves the most difficult team to watch in the entire NFL. As in, it is physically painful to watch people wear these uniforms. Like Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-face-melting painful.

What started as a cutesy April Fools' joke by everyone's favorite uniform critic culminated in an actual on-field debacle that made Disco Demolition Night look like a crowning achievement in promotional events.

There's not really a whole lot more to say: the uniforms are clearly ugly and that's that. I'll only add that I'm glad the Seahawks Poultry Abominations lost in gut-wrenching fashion (no pun intended), because otherwise they might be misconstrued as "lucky". And then we'd have to see them again.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Week 3 Recap: Oh, the Humanity!

-Oh, there he is! Down in front, four-eyes!-

Oh, Week 3. We hardly knew thee. You came into our lives, lured us to your Motel 6 room, whispered sweet nothings of victory into our ear, and we believed you. But when it was all over, we awoke in an ice filled bathtub minus a kidney and plus an insurmountable point deficit. Why, Week 3? Why!? Both Cole and RWPilk were squashed under the heel of fantasy destiny this week. Perhaps our young, mutilated protagonists have a clue as to why, but don't hold your breath. And don't forget to vote for your most disappointing player in our poll, immediately to your right!

Current Standing: 2-0, 2nd Overall

Some weeks you eat the b'ar, as they say, and some weeks, the b'ar starts Matt Schaub who winds up with 28 points, giving Maurice Jones-Drew a run for your money for the "person who screwed you over the most this week" award.

Actually, there are several nominees for this prestigious award. Also in the running:

- CBS Sports. Hey, you know those little red crosses that usually mean "injured"? You should put one next to people when there's a good chance they won't play Sunday. Like Dwayne Bowe. Could've used some sort of hint he'd be inactive this week when I set my roster Sunday morning.

- Matt Forte. Most of this is my fault for assuming competence from someone associated with Tulane football, so rather than beat you unmercifully with a $5 footlong, I'll just pass on Joseph Addai's phone number. Maybe you guys can form a support group for "Bryan's disappointing first round picks" or something.

- On a related note, how about every pundit who told me, "This is the week Matt Forte breaks out!!!11one". I grant that he doubled his best week of the season, but 10 points is not what I expect from a top-three pick. If this happens again, your own genitalia will be force-fed to you through a tube.

You know it's a bad week when the Saints' DST is your top-scorer. Don't expect THAT to happen to often.

But these things happen, and there's nothing you can do but get rip-roaring drunk with your roommates, harvest their organs in a Motel 6 bathtub, and start making waiver-wire pickups and trades with a vengeance.

Current Standing: 1-1, 5th Overall

I didn't catch a lot of football Sunday and thank God. A heart attack at the age of 24 is something I want to avoid. Allow me to illustrate with some simple numbers:

Larry Johnson RB: 1
Chris Cooley TE: 3
Drew Brees QB: 4

Holy balls, gentlemen. What is this, golf? The gold (foiled chocolate) medal goes T.O.; 0 pts. 0 rushing yards, 0 receiving. There's nothing like firing up the old computer one Sunday and seeing one of your star players performing as well as Stephen Hawking would. Was he even there? Cripes. And Brees, backbone of my score every week, folded like a... like... a giant, origami... man. I'm running out of puns here people, I'm upset!

By late Monday, I'll already have a losing record and all is not well with the world. I expect a lot of suspicious squinting at my roster this week, as some changes have to be made and some Week 4 match ups need to be considered. I know, I know, there's still a lot of football left, and I'm certainly not the only one hurting. But this isn't a support group, dammit. I wanna win.


Now Who Will I Make Fun Of?

-Take a knee, you selfish bastard!-

Current Standing: 1-1, 5th overall

That heavenly choir in the distance? It's coming from Detroit.

The big news in Week 3 is that the Detroit Lions, the butt of every horrible sports team joke for the last... forever, ended a 19 game losing streak against the Washington Redskins. This one hurts people, the Lions were my go to yardstick for every measure of ineptitude. "What are you, the Detroit Lions of omelet making?" I would scream at Cole, chewing his cheesy and pepper-laced poultry abortion at 3am. Surprisingly, he hasn't again attempted to prove me wrong. Coward!

But good for them. The Lions. I mean, they'll still probably suck. But "get that monkey off your back" and feel like a real football team, for Pete sake. What can I say? I'm a softie for underdogs.

One thing is for sure, you do not want to be a Washington Redskin right now. Whoo boy. Head coach Jim Zorn is probably breaking out the bullwhips for practice this week (pause), and it's already being rumored he'll be grilled for some of his game time decisions, maybe in defense of keeping his job. Not good. But who am I to talk? After Week 3 officially ends, I'll have the same record as the Detroit Lions.

And now I'm off to find some liquor.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 3 Preview: Chicken Soup for Your Score

-Everyone still mad at me? Hahaha-- whaaa-choo!-

The leaves are changing. The breeze is cooling. And Week 3 is upon us. As Cole and RWPilk take in the aromas of pumpkin ale, dying leaves, and sweet, sweet victory (maybe...), both have already had to face tough roster decisions due to injuries; star players biting the dust and riding the pine. How will Week 3 go? We cut to Tweedle Dee and Dum now for their highly informed, panic-driven guesses. And make sure to check out our new poll, immediately to your right!

Current Standing: 2-0, 2nd Overall
I realized awhile ago that I was in a lose-lose situation with this league. Win, and it's because I'm supposed to beat Rob. But if I don't, do you think he's going to shut up about it? I know a guy who still brags about the fact he beat me in a geography bee in 7th grade.

And fantasy sports is a whole lot of luck, a theory I will present through a play in one act.

[Enter COLE stage right. He looks frazzled and is carrying a laptop.]
COLE: All right! McNabb ran for a touchdown!
[Refreshes his browser.]
COLE: Broken ribs?! That can't be good.
[Refreshes his browser again.]
COLE: Frank Gore -- 200 yards?!
[Refreshes his browser again.]
COLE: Oh good. Well thank you Chris Johnson.
[COLE exits stage left, mumbling to himself something about Donald Brown.]

But beyond that, let's talk injury reports. When I heard Marion Barber got hurt -- "could miss one to two weeks," they told me -- I remembered Felix Jones was on my bench and my pupils turned into dollar signs. Literally. I had to get new contact lenses and everything. By Wednesday, MBIII was playing according to ESPN and not playing according to CBS and I don't know what the hell to do with this guy. To say nothing of the "McRibb" debacle, which is slightly more satisfying than an actual McRib sandwich.

I don't know how confident I am this week; that stupid "Guru" is giving my opponent a four point advantage, which doesn't really mean a whole lot. As far as interesting matchups ... Dolphins-Chargers looks pretty cool. Maybe Colts-Cardinals will be good if Arizona's offense decides to show up. We now turn you over to Rob, who's still lovin' those bad boy receivers, right...?

Current Standing: 1-1, 5th Overall

Alright, I'm still 1st in my division but there's no two ways around it, I'm coming off a loss. I know, I know. There's a lot of football left. But I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Looking at my roster, I see two glaring problems: Westbrook and Marshall. Westbrook is always hurt, thus say the football-familiar when looking at my team. Alright, fine. I might have to sit him, based on what I'm guessing will have to be Sunday morning reports. Marshall is also not looking as good. He's not even playing full games and is struggled with "a cold" this week, and dodged burning questions from unreasonable reporters, such as: "What in the **** is going on?!" Even though Denver is facing Oakland this week, Marshall has a poor history against the Raiders. It might be time to bench him until the Broncos organization decide to use this pro bowler. Dammit. All other fantasy Marshall owners, let's bring it in for a hug.

As for watching any actual match ups, I don't even know. I'm out of the loop this week. Did Barack win the election? Is Favre retired? Carlsberg is one hell of a drug.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bond Villain Buys Nets

-The name's Blog. James Blog.-

Current Standing: 1-1, 5th overall

Oh, faithful SSFA! readers, brace yourselves for world domination.

The big NBA news this week is that Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov (yeah, I need a Ricola after saying that name) has taken a break from strapping James Bond to a circular saw to buy the greatest force the modern age has ever known: The New Jersey Nets.

You hear that? That's the sound of M and Bond shaking in their boots, just before Bond gets a tetanus shot so he can travel to New Jersey. The Nets? Seriously? Why would the most evil man in the world buy a team that landed 28 games behind the league leader Celtics last year (thanks to Cole for the stat)? Oh, we're not in the Cold War anymore? Well. Still.

After reading ESPN's article, I can't help but fantasize about this guy's evil world-conquering plans. Right in the text it says he was held for 4 days in France for a prostitution investigation and is seen in all the "glitzy" hot spots in Europe. How is this not out of an Ian Fleming novel? How does this guy not have a satellite laser pointed at Fort Knox or something?

My literary geekdom aside, there are mixed feelings over Russia's newest acquisition in the NBA community. On one hand, he's helping build a new stadium in Brooklyn. On the other, he's an overseas playboy who admitted on his blog he wants to buy the Nets to gain access to American basketball training to steal for Russian leagues. Sounds like a trustworthy guy. If I was Nets fan, my confidence would be shaken. Not stirred.

One Is a Genius...

-Boom! Tough-actin' video games.-

Current Standing: 2-0, 2nd Overall

We're all very proud of Jerry Jones, I'm sure, for successfully constructing a stadium so comically oversized that hyperbolic announcers feel warranted in comparing it to the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. And don't get me wrong: if you can bilk the state into fronting half a billion dollars of the cost, all the more power to you. I hate that system, but "it is what it is". Fine.

But honestly, that's not what I came here today to talk to you about. I want to talk presidents.

You see, the opening of Cowboys Stadium attracted all kinds of celebrities, none more intriguing than Jessica Simpson former announcer John Madden and former Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush. You read that right: the 'Boys-Giants battle was attended by a brainless blowhard almost universally disliked by the time he left ... and George W. Bush. (Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.)

What NBC didn't tell you was that the president's box was wired for sound for security reasons. Lucky for you, we at SSFA! have obtained a transcript of those tapes. Here are some highlights:

John Madden: Hey, Mr. President, it's goot to meet you, glad you're here. Hey, I gotta ask: why did you claim executive privilege to withhold evidence of CIA waterboarding and fabrication of the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in the Iraq?
George W. Bush: [flustereed] Wait, what?
JM: [laughing] Naw, just kidding -- you should've seen your face! Grab a beer, man.
GWB: Thanks -- oh, man! Romo threw a pick six already? More like Tony Homo, am I right?

JM: All right, I gotta ask: how can you stand baseball? I get so bored I just wanna run on the field and [unintelligible] and BOOM!
GWB: Hey man, I hear ya. But you don't really think I watched it just because I had a team, do you?
JM: Well, I just...
GWB: Would I have traded away Sammy Sosa otherwise?

GWB: Oh, hey, so Dick's been a little down lately. I figured I'd take him hunting to cheer him up -- you know, give him a little surprise. Where's your favorite place to hunt turducken?

GWB: How was the flight down here?
JM: Oh, ha ha, I hate flying. Always did. That's why I take the ol' trusty Madden Cruiser. Gets a sweet seven miles to the gallon!
GWB: Y'know, I got a friend, Kim somethin', hates flying. If I give you his number, you think you could hook him up?

GWB: So who's the smart money on this year?
JM: Well, I like Brett Favre. He's such a great athlete, he knows to play the game, and he's such a fighter, so you gotta love the Packers.
GWB: ...he's not on the Packers any more.
JM: Well whoever. I like whatever team has Brett Favre. What a class act.
GWB: God damn, you're dumb.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too Many Beaks

-You whippersnappers, with your dreadlocks! And your McIntosh computers!-

Current Standing: 1-1, 5th overall

Hell and damnation! Two weeks in and I already popped my "loss" cherry. Peyton Manning, a curse on your never-branching family tree. And Brandon Marshall, how does riding the pine in Week 3 sound!? Yeah, you think about that! Until then, wear this abnormally long funnel on your head until I find a dunce cap.

Alright. Back to mid-week randomness. As you might have read, I've checked out a few athlete Twitter accounts. Twitter's a great idea for sports, right? A first hand account inside the game! Awesome. Awesome? Eh. I gotta tell you people, it's losing a bit of its luster.

Late Monday, PFT reported more NFL Twitter action, this time documenting a rift in the sacred bond between QB and receiver. Gasp! All might not be well in Arizona, people. Word around the knitters' circle is WR Larry Fitzgerald ain't all too pleased with the amount of ball action he's getting from Kurt Warner (pause). This comes on behalf of tweets from Larry's younger brother Marcus.

Apparently, Marcus received texts from big bro Larry during the game Sunday about not being thrown the ball enough, that WR long-ball has been cut down for shorter passes to RBs. Oh, boy. And the phrase "80-year old" was used to describe Warner.

C'mon, brothers Fitzy. First of all, Arizona won that game and old man Warner broke a record for completion percentage. Second of all, "80-year old"? Kurt Warner is a very spry 68-year old man and starts each day a with a glass of warm milk, a boiled egg, a crisp issue of Reader's Digest, and tops it off with a Werther's Original. Sigh. What am I doing? Writing about the Cardinals? Is it next Sunday? Is Westbrook probable yet?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 2 Recap: Points = Critical

-No! "End zone" is a major detail!-

And there goes Week 2! As Cole and RWPilk wave goodbye and tally more scores, the battle for fantasy sports theory rumbles on! It's still early, but already ugly. Let's go to our two gladiators now and assess the irreversible emotional damage. Also check out our brand spankin' new poll, immediately to your right!

Current Standing: 1-0, 6th Overall

I don't know what I did to Frank Gore, but I would like to apologize to him here and now. I've always believed in your abilities, Mr. Gore, sir. I for one never thought that Glen "Cuppa" Coffee was the answer to the 49ers' offensive woes (true answer: a quarterback); it's not like I didn't draft you on purpose. So why did you have to have your career week when you were starting for both of my opponents? 200+ yards and two scores? Great. At least YOU still like me, Chris Johnson. I owe you one.

What else have we learned here in week two? In order to maximize Rob's ire, I will present this as a bulleted list (he HATES those):
  • The Jets' defense is very, very good.
  • The Patriots' offensive line is very, very bad.
  • Joseph Addai : 2008 :: Matt Forte : 2009 (but I really hope not)
  • The Saints' defense can actually get you fantasy points with a good matchup, even though they can't actually stop people from scoring.
  • The Seahawks remain terrible at all things football-related.
  • Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb -- well, they are who we thought they were: namely, injury prone. Oh well. Newly-acquired backup Trent Edwards has games against the aforementioned Saints and Dolphins the next two week, and I'm praying that's a good thing. And that McNabb will be back after the Eagles' bye in week four. I don't want to have to pick up Matthew Stafford or something.

Current Standing: 1-0, Tied for 2nd Overall

A memo to everyone on my team not named "Brees": The end zone is that way.

God smite you all, you bunch of bums! Looking down my roster I see a bunch of very capable players who failed to put up double digits in Week 2. Cooley. Marshall. Oh, and thank you Westbrook for proving everyone right for one more year and having the physical resilience of a dandelion. Make a wish! Mine is that you somehow reach "probable" by Thursday. The only reason my team was able to tip-toe into the vicinity of decent is because Brees pitched a few doozies. My only hope for a victory tonight rests with Colts WR Reggie Wayne. Oh, and who's my opposing QB? Isn't there some commercial you could be shooting somewhere else, Peyton?

The only bright spot is that I wasn't the only one who had trouble finding the end zone this week. First TD-less game since 2006, Bill. Perhaps your new defensive "swiss cheese" and "old driftwood" formations still need a little work.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 2 Preview: Hold the Mayo!

-No! Don't leave me!-

The war over fantasy sports theory rages on as Cole and RWPilk dive head-first and nose-plugged into the icy waters of Week 2. Let's go to them now and see who can talk the most trash about this week's match-ups! ... And don't forget to check out our teams and cast a vote in our DRAFT POLL, immediately to your right!

Current Standing: 1-0, Tied for 2nd Overall

Another weekend already upon us? Times flies when you're kicking ass. Nah, it's too early to tell, but it's hard not to feel a little comfortable considering my team's performance last week. Drew Brees won't be playing the Lions again, and will score less than 48 points, I guess. I played with Peyton Manning's notorious "cooled off" year last season though. As long as Brees is in the black by halftime, it's a luxury for me. So, I'm marching into battle with the same roster as last week. Just based on numbers, I considered subbing RB Johnson for RB Ahmed Bradshaw, but Johnson is facing the Raiders D this week. Ka-Ching!

As for actual viewership, not sure what game I might catch. I'll look forward to Colts vs Dolphins Monday night, there are two quarterbacks I like rooting for (Go, Pennington!). I'm wondering about the grass roots movement that's being spearheaded by coach Rex Ryan in New York for the Pats game. Dialing for Disses. I like it. I ain't convinced though, say what you want about the Bills last week, the Jets ALWAYS seem to blow close games with the Pats on stupid mistakes (in recent years anyway). Still, it's hard not to put your confidence in a guy named Rex.

Current Standing: 1-0, 6th Overall

Rob tells me I write better when I'm angry, so OH MAN YOU GUYS AM I FRIGGIN' PISSED. I'm so angry I could bite the head off a marmoset, as soon as I figure out what the hell one is.

Ah, screw it. I can't keep this up. Look, am I happy only beat Rob's mom by five points in Week 1? No. Am I happy I'm playing the guy with the highest point total from last week? No. Am I happy Donovan McNabb is going to miss the opportunity to put up huge points against a porous Saints defense? No. Come back soon, Donnie Mac. I have faith in you. Not sure why, exactly, but hey, there you go.

What's that? Oh. Right. Football. Fine.

While my fantasy team is underperforming, at least I have some better games this week. The Patriots haven't lost in the Meadowlands since 2000, but that defense looked impressive against a stacked (no, really) Houston offense. Belichick is renowned for making rookie quarterbacks cry, but now he'll be without middle linebacker Jerod Mayo for two months. Tough matchup.

And Rob's probably boasting about the huge game he stumbled across last week. Whatever. How do you think he knew Larry Johnson was playing the Raiders this week? Come on. Dude doesn't know the Oakland Raiders from Oakland Beach. Hell, dude can't even find the real Chad Ochocinco on Twitter (hint: the one with all the followers). Enjoy it while it lasts, my inebriated friend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Vick Saga: Beating a Dead...

- Sigh. On the plus side, Vick is correctly depicted as being left-handed. -

Current Standing: 1-0, 6th Overall

It's not enough I have to deal with the cracked ribs of Donovan McNabb, missing a chance to put up pinball-like numbers against a woeful Saints defense. Oh no. Not enough that the Eagles have to screw over fantasy owners yet again, adding the McNabb injury to the DeSean Jackson brain fart from last season and the Brian Westbrook "kneel-at-the-one"* from the year before.

Really, the gooey hot fudge on the trainwreck sundae that the Eagles' season could become for fantasy owners is Michael Vick. Actual Eagle fans are having problems enjoying the year too, what with the angry mobs congregating in and around the Linc and interfering with the usual angry mobs that just want to throw batteries at David Akers in peace. And now everyone's favorite tubby empty-headed crank, Andy Reid Phil McGraw, Ph.D., is getting in on the act, discussing Vick at length on his show yesterday.

Were Dr. Phil involved in a game of football, he would be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct; namely, "piling on" Vick (pause). Since Vick understandably refused to discuss his mental state with a man of McGraw's professional caliber, any wild diagnoses McGraw cared to make were based on his panel of tangentially-related experts and a 20-second vanilla phone call with Eagles' head coach Andy Reid, who swore Vick was sincere about making a change. And starting with the man in the mirror.

But that wasn't enough for Dr. Phil's legion of brainless retirees fans, as evidenced by his show's message board. "When the Steelers come to Dallas, I will be standing there protesting with a big old sign on my pettite little body even if it cost me my own arrest," wrote one poster. "It will be worth it."

(Nobody tell Cyndy that Vick plays for the Eagles, all right? Cool.)

Okay, okay, I'll stop picking on grandmothers and get to the point. Look, Rob and I have both weighed in on this already, and I'm sick of talking about Vick, so I'm only going to say this one more time. Michael Vick has paid his debt to society. He has. He served 20 months in a "pound-me-in-the-ass federal prison" and has years of parole ahead of him. He owes creditors some comical amount of money, in the tens of millions of dollars. Eight figures. He won't going to make that back playing football; he won't make that back playing football and working three jobs in the offseason. Does anyone honestly think Vick's life is going to be sunshine and roses from here out, that he's home free now? No way. His life has, for all intents and purposes, been ruined.

And what did he do exactly? Yes, animal cruelty for pleasure and profit, I know. And don't get me wrong: it was deplorable. I love dogs. I've owned a couple. If you crunch the numbers, the average dog will come out with a huge VORP (value over replacement pet). But Donte Stallworth just ended the life of another human being and got less than one month in prison for that. Ray Lewis was charged with murder before every key witness changed their testimony, and was named Super Bowl MVP twelve months later. Even Marvin Harrison, perpetually glorified as the anti-T.O., is in a boatload of legal trouble for allegedly shooting at other human beings. I'm just curious why two years out of football isn't enough for Vick when there are plenty of athletes across the board guilty of worse crimes and still playing.

"But Vick's back in the NFL!" you say. "No other convicted felon has this easy a time finding employment after their release." That's a fair point and, honestly, far more interesting than the puppy-killing ones. My argument is this: Michael Vick possesses a very specific skill set and is exceptional at what he does. He is one of the best people in the world at throwing a prolate spheroid long distances. Therefore, teams interested in winning football games will pick up any good football players they have the opportunity to add, personal issues be damned.

Or how about this point: Vick's real crime -- the one he did 19 months for -- was related to gambling. Now that he has the means (connections from his dogfighting days), the opportunity (a job with a professional football team), and the motive (the aforementioned bankruptcy), that gremlin of point-shaving has to have been planted by now. I don't believe he'd be stupid enough to try it, and I'm not even sure I believe he'll be in games enough to affect the outcome (in football, you usually need more than one party involved). Still, the mere thought of this type of scandal has to keep Roger Goodell up nights.

But you have to think Vick's getting a little wiser in his old age than all that anyway. After all, he avoided Dr. Phil like the plague.
* - Honestly, I can't fault him for this; it was in fact the correct thing to do. But man, does that kill you as an owner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Step Right Up and Beat the Mets

- Nice season, pretty boy. -

Current Standing: 1-0, 6th Overall

So you're a lifelong Devil Rays fan. And you had high hopes coming into 2009 of your beloved team making it back to the Fall Classic. Or you're a die-hard Ranger fan. And you had no hopes to start, but the team played great all season only to idle just on the wrong side of the playoff picture.

Just remember to be grateful you're not a Mets fan.

Joe DiMaggio once famously said, "I'd like to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee," a quote plastered in meter-high letters on the facade of the old Yankee Stadium. And you, dear reader, should be thanking your respective higher powers for not condemning you to New York's second string.

At this point, to avoid dragging up these painful memories in Mets fans, I'll elaborate on this point after the jump. Any Mets fan who follows is clearly masochistic. Okay? Okay.

Now then. Other people have done a more thorough job than I ever could of compiling the laundry list of the Mets' injuries this year, so I won't bother trying to do that. I'll just link to this one, from the Wall Street Journal. But if you don't have time for all that, know that every member of the Mets' projected starting nine -- from Carlos Delgado to Carlos Beltran -- has spent time on the disabled list. Shortstop Jose Reyes has been inactive since Memorial Day. Contrast that with good luck charm and occasional ace Johan Santana, whose underwhelming second season in Queens only ended August 25.

You want more evidence the team is snakebit? Just look at the results on the field. It's not enough that the team is 20 games back on the Phillies and eliminated from wild card contention before the NFL season got underway. You could, after all, dismiss that as injury-based. But what about that game-ending triple play from a few weeks ago?

Not your thing? You'd prefer purer baserunning blunders? Cool.

No? How about fielding to make Manny Ramirez blush? There's plenty to choose from.

Or maybe you want one big "Stomach-Punch" loss against the crosstown rivals, in the most heartbreaking fashion possible. Once again, the Mets gladly oblige.

I know what you need. You need a symbol: a big, unwieldy, $700-million debacle of a stadium. A stadium whose construction bonds are in the crapper. A stadium whose naming rights were sold to a company something like 15 minutes before the company started begging for government intervention. A stadium that is already falling apart, leading fans to complain, "Yankee fans must've built this place." A stadium that was opened with all manner of wacky shenanigans: cats running on the field, pitchers falling down mid-delivery, a leadoff home run by the other team, and an aggravating -- you can't even call it "heartbreaking", really, it doesn't qualify -- loss to the equally terrible Padres. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Debits Shitty Citi Fi ... no, you know what? Let's just call it the New Shea Stadium.

With all that, it's no wonder owner Fred Wilpon is rumored to be trying to sell the team. Well, that and the Bernie Madoff losses he endured.

Well, it's almost over now. Take solace in football season, Mets fans. At least you don't have to hear about B**** F**** all the damn time now.

The Greatest Ever. Cheer Up.

-Yeah. It's safe to shut your mouth now.-

Current Standing: 1-0, tied for 2nd overall

What up, peeps? All seems right in the world now that football is back in swing and fall is in the air. Cole and I are still working on a work flow that will include a Monday post (or two) to rock your sad little worlds. In the meantime, check out our teams and vote in that poll over there by the right. Yeah. Right there.

This story broke over the weekend, but people are still yappin' about it. A few years ago, my basketball-loving buddy told me that Michael Jordan wasn't exactly the epic, martian-smoking hero most remember so fondly from Space Jam and that actually, he's kinda a douche to fellow players and a competitive maniac with friends and family (including his kids). I kind of forgot about it, but MJ was inducted into the Hall of Fame last week, and something was a little familiar about it.

What most expected to be a tearful, triumphant cap to an incredible (albeit, sometimes bizarre) career, turned into a big, bitter "I told you so!" to everyone who's ever done his Airness any wrong since high school. Literally. In his acceptance speech, Jordan called out everyone from the high school coach who infamously cut him (“I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”) to Bryon Russell of Utah who called out Jordan during his White Sox stint (“From this day forward, if I ever see him in shorts, I’m coming at him.”).

Alright, granted: It's Michael freakin' Jordan and poking a little fun at some past haters ain't no crime. But isn't the Hall of Fame enough to relax a little? You're literally standing at the front of a massive room full of industry peers all agreeing that you're the best ever. You gotta settle the score with everyone who ever forgot to hold the door for you? Jordan was even thorough enough to take a jab at his kids. "I wouldn't want to be you tonight." You heard him, kids. You might as well move permanently into your parents' basement right now. Your old man is the best ever. The best! How you gonna come at that?

Always a good sport, Bryon Russell challenged Jordan to a one-on-one match after the speech, offering to play for one of Jordan's private jets. Cool! Maybe you and MJ can all fly it back to 1996 where both of you can find people who care.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 1 Recap: And Off We Go!

-Step 1: Hold on to the ball. Step 2: Don't ruin everything.-

And what a week it was, folks. Cracked ribs! Throwback jerseys! Comically desperate, final-second laterals! The Lions! Oh, the memories. The SSFA! duel of fantasy sports theory is finally on as Cole and RWPilk make their first etchings into their records. Let's inflate their sense of purpose and go to them now for some thoughts on Week 1! ... And don't forget to check out our teams and cast a vote in our DRAFT POLL, immediately to your right!

Current Standing: 1-0, 6th Overall

Look up "disappointment" in the dictionary. Go ahead, I'll wait.


Back yet? Did you happen to see my fantasy roster listed as an example? No? Because you didn't really look, I'm sure, but trust me, it's in there.

How disappointed can I be after week one? Oh, plenty. My powerhouse running back tandem of Matt Forte and Chris Johnson, known the fantasy world over as top-ten talent, posted a combined 10 points. Greg Olsen, a top-five TE in some publications, earned me as many points as Alex Smith, who came as close to seeing the field as I did. Kris Brown -- I mean, I don't know what the hell I was thinking there, but Houston getting just seven points? Come on. And the Dolphins' DST (admittedly a reach on the best of days) was bad enough that I'm seriously looking at acquiring the Saints' defense. I will now wash my eyes out with hydrochloric acid.

Oh, and I almost forgot about McNabb. Hey, terrific. Thanks for the 21 points and the memories; at least you're already light years ahead of the QB I drafted last year: Matt Hasselback. Friggin' awesome.

Just once I'd like to have a good draft chased by some solid weeks and not have to go scrambling to the waiver wire every damn Tuesday morning. You know the scenes in Edward Scissorhands where Johnny Depp's cutting things? Just a whirlwind of activity and a blur of leaves/hair/fur/ice? That's what my fantasy roster's going to look like over the coming weeks.

I love this game.

Current Standing: 1-0, Tied for 2nd Overall

Ahhh. Let's start off with some prerequisite smack talking: Even though he was able to squeak by with a win, Mr. "No one knows how to draft but me" Cole landed the third lowest score in the league in Week 1. Hear that squeaking noise? That's one point for my fantasy sports theory going up on the dry erase board. Count it. But don't feel bad, once Cole gets a win he'll shoot it right back at me. How long does it take for cracked ribs to heal?

What is there to say about my team's performance? You sports people were right about Drew Brees: he scored just less than 50 pts this week. Still, all the saintly pictures of him floating around are a little much aren't they? C'mon. He played the Lions. Unless the rest of the Saints' schedule is filled with Girl Scout Troops and collections of small mice, I think we can calm down a little. Still, I'm excited about him.

I was hoping for a better performance from the Green Bay defense, given all the hype, but they put up decent numbers nonetheless. Westbrook was great, but as predicted by CBS analytics, RB Larry Johnson was shut down and T.O. gained a measly 4 pts despite his endorsement from VH1. Still it's hard to get mad at T.O. when it was Leodis McKelvin who fumbled for Buffalo and let the Pats win. C'mon! You let them off the hook! They were who you thought they were! Despite those cream colored helmets.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 1: Coming Attractions!

-No! You'll suck more!-

Finally. The 2009 NFL season is here. And no two guys are probably more excited than Cole and RWPilk. They watched the Titans and Steelers duke it out with bated breath (and a Jay Leno ad overdose) Thursday, a now, in turn, cast their astigmatism stricken/ blurry eyes to Week 1! Who do they like?! What do they hate?! What could they take or leave?! Let's go to them now... And don't forget about our DRAFT POLL, ready immediately to your right!

Fantasy-wise, I'm ready for this season (and the requisite trash-talking) to start in earnest, but for this week at least I'm in a strange position. In one league, I have Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Felix Jones, and in the other, I'm going up against ... Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Felix Jones. C'est la vie, I guess.

Good game last night though: no one is happier than Hines Ward that the Pittsburgh Steelers recovered from that fumble and defeated the Tennessee Titans. He should also be happy that the NFL has those crappy overtime rules. Call it silly, but I like the "Texas-style" college overtime system: each offense gets the ball on the opponents' 25 yard line (say the 50 in the NFL, so you can't just kick field goals every time), and repeat until there's a difference in scores. I love this idea, partly because it's mine but mostly because, hey, who doesn't like offense?

Meanwhile, I'd love to see the Falcons-Dolphins game this week. These are two teams that comically exceeded expectations last year thanks in part to a soft schedule; with a tougher schedule and a year to prepare, which team will regress? (Personally, I'd guess the Dolphins: I have more faith in Matty Ice than the continued success of Chad Pennington and the Wildcat wrinkle.) But, since the landlord says no DirecTV, I don't have the NFL Sunday Ticket package, and I'm stuck with Jets/Texans, Redskins/Giants, and ... Vikings/Browns?! Oh for -- man, those are all gonna suck. You know what I'm looking forward to? The game breaks. Well, at least Chicago-Green Bay will be fun to watch: I'm very curious to see Jay Cutler's Bears debut.


Well, hello there National Football League. How are you? I've seen you around. You're like that guy you always see at parties or get-togethers, but never really talked to. But now I have to. Now I have to awkwardly walk up to you, give you that odd nod of acknowledgment and somehow start a conversation with you. Maybe we're enjoying the same kind of beer. Maybe I overheard you make an Always Sunny reference. Or you've double parked my car and I really wanna get the hell out of here. Whatever the case, let's do this.

Part of me wants to say I want to watch the Saints face the Lions, mostly because I want to see Brees dominate. But, I would be lying. I have to admit, I'm really interested to see how my old favorites are going to do: the Pats. I'm just too curious to see how Brady will shape up, coming off a year of no playing, and how the defense will fare given some recent overhauling. There's a lot of pressure on them. At least for this first game, I won't root for their opposition (this Monday: the Bills, go T.O.!), but I won't be surprised to see them at least stagger a little.

Nah, who am I kidding? Please win, Buffalo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The League About Nothing

-Fictional reenactment-

Perhaps you'd like to know a little about our league.

First of all, it's a "Seinfeld League", meaning it's required that every owner knight their team with a reference from the TV show. Given Cole and RWPilk's encyclopedic, I-Can-Quote-George-In-Any-Situation knowledge of the show, this isn't hard. Cole has the Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine and RWPilk has the Sweet Fancy Moses'. Huzzah.

What else? Twelve players, three divisions of four (the Apartment, Coffee Shop, and Airport). Through random ordering, RWPilk and Cole are not in the same division, but will go head-to-head once (anyone say liveblog?).

Each team gets nine starters: a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker, a defense, and a flex player who can be either a back, a receiver, or a tight end. Teams get six bench players; there's no injured reserve. Scoring is pretty standard -- 1 point for every 10 rushing yards, 1 for every 10 receiving yards, 1 for every 25 passing yards, no points for receptions. Defense gets yardage and points allowed bonuses, along with points for turnovers and sacks.

Team standings is by wins/loses first (duh) and then points. All-in-all, a pretty typical for fantasy football goings-on.

For our team rosters, click here.


Twittergate '09

-Don't worry little guy, we're in this together.-


09/17/09, Sweet Sweet Journalistic Inaccuracy Action!: Ah, so it appears that after a quick search of Ochocinco Twitter accounts, and not yielding a "verified account" page, I picked the wrong one. There is now (or could have always been) a verified #85 Twitter page, and it wasn't the one I cited, which explains the mix up. So, while amusing, the below article is bologna. Not saying I was wrong or anything, or lazy, or rushed. No. Didn't happen. but, you know. Bologna.

I don't like sports too much, but since acquiring SSFA! I've had to read a lot of about them. Boring. I have, however, become a fan of certain athletes' Twitter accounts. Cut to Chad Ochocinco, the Bengals WR with the name goofier than most Bond villains. He's a infamous tweeter apparently, and left many followers wondering what would happen now that the NFL is cracking down on players using social media. You know, because if a player out there wants to know "who's playin dat madden?", well that's gonna ruffle a few feathers.

Anyway, Ochocinco was bold enough at a press conference to apologize to the NFL in advance, claiming that he WOULD be tweeting before, during, and after games. Say whaaa?! Apparently, Ochocinco had read the NFL social media policy and "found loopholes." Whoa, take it NFL! Loopholes. Eat it. Can we get John Grisham in here to document this unfolding "lone man against the system" drama? Settle down, spaz, it gets weirder.

The usually reliable PFT over at MSNBC reported today that Ochocinco had broken his tweeting silence with the message "Storm coming!" Yeah, alright whatever. But when I checked Ochocinco's Twitter page, that tweet was nowhere to be found, but this was:

"im not going to quit tweetin,but i wont tweet during games ight peeps,the leagues getting on me"

No! Don't give up, Chad! This high drama of intrigue and suspense has barely even started! You still have to break into the NFL super computer mainframe hub, all Tom Cruise/Mission Impossible 1, ropes and pulley-like and tweet from there! That'll show'em! You can't give in! Not yet!

Sigh. Anyway, NFL season commences tonight. My sanity may audibly sigh in relief.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

En Passant ... Out.

-Perhaps I should castle. Castle? New Castle? Beer? Mmmmm...-

Yeah, it's a chess move pun. Deal with it.

Since we're about to dive deep into full-on football mode in the next few months (with a garnish of Red Sox fist-shaking), I figured it might be fun to write about another sport, as we do here and there at SSFA!. Dunno if we can really consider this a sport or not, but it was covered by ESPN a few days ago.

Chess usually doesn't come to mind when you think about opportunities to play your rockstar card, but tell that to French Chess Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev. Ol' Vlad-face showed up to a big match in India so drunk he fell asleep after only 11 moves (11 moves and he hadn't won? What kind of grandmaster is this?) So sloshed was the Frenchman that the officials couldn't wake him and defaulted the win to India's player Praveen Kumar.

My favorite detail of the story is that the actual technicality that Tkachiev was nailed with was not completing his move in the allotted hour and a half. Jesus. Does that mean they had to try and wake him for 90 minutes before they could officially call it? Did Kumar and the audience have to just sit there all that time while this guy drooled all over his rooks?

I certainly hope so. It amuses me. Is it Thursday yet?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When Is a Bell Not a Bell?

- The clapper's the easy part. The victories are gonna be tough. -

It's been that kind of 24 hours.

I walk in the door after 8 hours of travel on Labor Day and find out we don't have any hot water in the house, and haven't for a few days now. Terrific. I call maintenance right away and they don't send anyone until this morning -- half an hour before my alarm is supposed to go off.

"Try the hot water in about half an hour," he says. Great.

So while I'm waiting to take a shower I check to see exactly how badly Tulane lost Friday. It turns out they lost by 24, making me look brilliant (or, more to the point, mercifully not making me look like a blithering idiot). That's embarrassing enough, but then I saw the highlight video.

So the Superdome was mostly empty. Not much I can do about that. But I can (I think) help with that victory bell thing. I knew where that clapper was when I was at Tulane, and I know I can find it now. Stay tuned for some investigative reporting, SSFA! style.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Pats "Retirement"

-Come with me if you want to win-


More breaking news from the New England Patriots defense: Richard Seymour is packing his bags and heading to Oakland. Poor bastard. Head coach and humanitarian Bill Belichick has ended the career of yet another key defensive player by shipping him to the Raiders for some draft pick in 2011. 2011? Jesus, Bill. Thinking ahead is one thing, it's another to think you're going to draft a hovering, cyborg car beef up your blitzes.

It was just last week that everyone was up in arms about the Bruschi "retirement". Citing how Belichick was all weepy during the final press conference, how Bruschi may have been "thinking" of quitting anyway, that the Pats organization was one big Hallmark card, shying away from any theories that Tedy was actually strong-armed into packing up his blue and red undies. The breaking news Sunday points to a different trend. Belichick is almost certainly spearheading an overhaul of a New England defense that has been struggling the last few years. SI's Fantasy Football Special ranked them 12th (well before the Bruschi/Seymour loses), citing the fact that Belichick will employ some kind of "defensive wizardry," but noncomittedly admitted any small shove from a respectable team sends the whole system sprawling on its back like a small turtle you've flipped over and considered for an ashtray. It looks like the changes will be big, and drafting a whole NE defense scrambling to find their rhythm with a new system seems silly and counter productive.

Some of you sports blog surfers have speculated that Belichick is changing the defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3. If you're wondering what that sound is, it's the noise of crickets.... I have no idea what 3-4 or 4-3 means. Whatever. No one can blame any of the NE staff looking to make some improvements to their D-Fence, but for anyone still trying to argue that Belichick is harboring the rest of the region's sentimental inclinations to franchise players, the proof is in the pudding.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Green Wave, We Hardly Knew Ye

- Chasing the Tigers in an empty stadium. What else is new? -

The Tulane Green Wave 2009 football campaign ends tonight around 11:00 pm Eastern, as the Green Wave finish their opening game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. An already sparse audience, dwarfed by the massive Louisiana Superdome, and a national television audience provided by ESPN will be on hand to witness the season's conclusion.

It's not just that Tulane is a two-touchdown underdog at home, though that does help. Anyone familiar with Tulane's performance over the past six years or so knows the truth: this is a doomed squad. Look at last year's eight-game losing streak. Look at the myriad of special teams miscues -- blocked punts, missed field goals, touchdowns allowed on kick returns -- that dogged the team all season. Look at the collection of NFL-grade talent that has donned the olive and blue (JP Losman, Mewelde Moore, and Matt Forte as the most prominent examples) since the Green Wave's last bowl game in 2002.

You'd be hard pressed to find the best symbol for Tulane's nearly decade-long stretch of futility. Is it Lester Ricard, the LSU transfer so excited to play against his old squad in Tiger Stadium, who fumbled the first snap from scrimmage when the "rivalry" was renewed in 2007? Is it the 2006 home opener, the first Tulane game in city limits since Hurricane Katrina, where Tulane fell flat early en route to a 33-28 loss to SMU? Maybe it's the 2003 homecoming game against Houston, organized by MTV and featuring OutKast, played in a depressing drizzle at a half-filled Tad Gormley Stadium (capacity: 30,000). Even OutKast was disappointing, as only one of the two members showed up and he played "Hey Ya" twice so the cameras could get a good take.

But maybe the best symbol is former head coach Chris Scelfo. As Cajun as a crawfish pie, Scelfo enjoyed limited success in assistant coaching stops at Georgia and Marshall before his hiring. Named the head coach at the end of Tulane's only undefeated season, Scelfo's record barely scratched the surface of the miserable luck he endured. I'd like to think it was his lovable aw-shucks demeanor and perennial quotability that allowed him to keep his job until the end of the 2006 season; in reality, it may well have been departmental fatalism. Either way, how can you hate a guy that toured the South with a vagabond collection of college football players in 2005, continuing to play and "carry the torch" for a drowned school, record be damned? Or who punted on third down in a game because he couldn't stand watching the offense go backwards any more? Or who said about his offense, "We pissed down our leg for 60 minutes"?

Fairly or not for some who endured what he did, Scelfo was let go after the 2006 season. Even in his final press conference as Tulane head coach, Scelfo kept his sense of humor: asked what was next, he replied, "I'm gonna go home, take a nap, pick the kids up from school..."

But back to the present day. Maybe Tulane will hold their own against Tulsa tonight, and it is physically possible that they could win. But with nowhere near the resources of the LSUs and USCs and Michigans of the world, what's a small-budget program to do to escape from this death spiral of losses and apathy?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Post-Draft Hangover

-What do you mean I'm in the wrong building!?-

And so the mighty draft came to pass... and it was good? We won't really know until we start putting some numbers on the board, but as the disciples of sports fandom and people who watch Lost know, it's fun to speculate! Will Brandon Marshall get his ducks in a row in time for RWPilk to benefit? What will Cole do if Michael Vick gobbles up some of McNabb's QB pie? Are there polar bears involved? We go live to the draft machines themselves for some answers... And be sure to visit our poll on our right hand side bar and let us know what you think.

Draft Pick Position: 3rd
First Round Pick: Matt Forte (RB)

I think a lot of people feel like they improved their drafts over last week's, which is good, but clearly everyone can't have improved. Either way, no one is more excited than I am that we got to redo that draft from last week, because this might be the best draft I've ever had.

Look at it! Look at that sweet, sweet RB action. One of the top four players overall in Forte, another first-round talent in Chris Johnson (and his handcuff/touchdown vulture, LenDale White), Ray Rice in the seventh round, Felix Jones in the eighth, Reggie Bush in the ninth?! Come on. And then there's my receivers: Calvin Johnson is a top five receiver and I snagged him in the third round. Dwayne Bowe is a top 10 receiver in some publications and I got him in the fourth. What's that? Cassel's hurt and Bowe's production might suffer? Oh, well then let me throw in mid-round talent Jerricho Cotchery, whom I got in the 11th round, or 14th-round "flyer" Nate Washington. And my tight end? Greg Olson, who lasted until the 10th round, the 11th TE picked in the league. Everyone I read has him as a top-five talent at the position.

And yeah, McNabb is an injury risk, but so is everyone in fantasy football. And for once, McNabb has the weapons to be truly dangerous (assuming he stays upright). With young guns like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin, Andy Reid finally has more options than "Brian Westbrook and pray".

Usually, in a 12-team draft, you'd expect to get around eight or nine of the top 100 players. I picked up 11 according to CBS Sportsline, and three of their top 15.

Draft Pick Position: 4th
First Round Pick: Drew Brees (QB)

The draft is finished and I'm glad. I was beginning to forget why we started this site to begin with. As you all know, we had a bit of misfire last week with out draft when the draft got voided. I was pleased with that draft. I'm as pleased with this one. I had my eye on Housh and Favre (for a back-up QB this time, he's a nice middle finger to all the football fans in my league) but didn't get them. Still, Brees was high on the list of must haves according to our draft listings, so I snatched him up. I also got T.O. and Brandon Marshall, two bad boy rebels with a problem with authority, but possessing raw talent. So, I rolled the dice. I hope they get their stuff together for some hard-playing, and drive me into some victories wearing their leather jackets on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

What do I think of the competition? Well, to prove myself right, I ONLY have to beat Cole. And what do I see? A list of nobodies. How many of your players have reality shows, Colebag? How many are suspended? How many defenses of yours have soft schedules? How many? That's right. Bagel. Cole's first pick is some guy named Forte. I went to elementary school with a guy named Forte. He was twice our size and we threw erasers at him. I'm about as intimidated. Bring it.