Posted on: March 2, 2010 6:18 am
There I was, it was a perfect early morning. Everyone in the house was asleep and when I woke up, even the cats were somewhere dozing peacefully and for awhile, all was right with world. Coffee was brewing and the scent filled the house, with a wonderful smell. As I sat at the computer, an infomercial droned in the background, more for noise then anything else. With no interruptions, no cats climbing across the keyboard or jumping up and trying to grab my arm, I set about my morning routine on the computer. There was no indication that things were about to go horribly awry.
The source was innocent enough, a site that I had requested to receive periodic updates through email. As I read through it, I felt my eye twitch and my hand begin to shake. I let go of the mouse as if it sent some electric charge through the wireless object into my hand, and without realizing it, I let out a loud no, more of a sorrowful moan then a coherent word. And, as surreal as a Salvador Dali painting time stood still as I read over and over again…”sign up now for Food Network’s Fantasy Iron Chef Challenge”…
Waking up in a cold sweat, with my heart thumping hard in my chest, as one of my cats was walking all over me (I’m guessing I cried out in my sleep), I realized it was only a dream. A nightmare that was born from some dark recess in my subconscious. A psychologist somewhere may attribute it to post traumatic stress disorder, me, I’ll blame it on the baked beans that I had for dinner. And as I became fully awake, I sat for a moment pondering, which was more bizarre, this dream of the opportunity to choose Bobby Flay to lead my fantasy team, or the one where I was Mrs. Potato Head, recreating that commercial where she looses her lips (that one was brought on by a meat lovers pizza).
Okay, honestly, how can fantasy sports not invade my subconscious? Go to any sports site at anytime and you’ll see something about a fantasy draft or line ups, whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, etc. Rumor had it, there was even a competition for a fantasy curling team during the Olympics. And for professional football, with nothing else to really discuss except free agency, the draft and which quarterback was better (Manning or Brady), in a way, it’s logical for some to start looking at next seasons fantasy football draft, after all, there’s not much else to do until mini-camps begin and seriously, unless you’re a Saints fan, how often can you sit and watch SB XLIV highlights anyway.
Yet, somehow, I still scratch my head at the idea of fantasy football. It could be that, after actually having tried it for a season, I was a complete failure (trust me, the Rams did better then I did, despite having Drew Brees as my quarterback). Maybe because it’s completely stats driven, from the draft through the season and in a sense fails to take into account the intangibles. I mean, who’d have thought that there would be a game where Brees would rely on a running game and not put up stellar numbers for that week? And really, wasn’t Steve Slaton suppose to be one of last years fantasy stud at running back, yet it was Matt Schaub who surprised everyone in the position of quarterback.
I guess that’s where my issue comes in. Is it black and white, in regards to the stats alone when drafting? Certainly the analysis based off of the previous years performance is hit or miss. Example would be the 2008 fantasy football draft. Given stats alone, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was considered a hot pickup for his 32 touchdowns with 11 interceptions by the end of the 2007 season. Yet, even a homer like myself wouldn’t have drafted him as my quarterback in 08 given the defenses the Steelers offense was going to face. However, given his 08 statistics, he turned out to be (for most) a surprise by the end of the 09 season, having passed for over 4000 yds. (Yeah, I’m still kicking myself for actually trading him as my backup in exchange for a wide receiver). So going ito 2010, it may seem that the Steelers franchise quarterback would be a hot pick, however, gut instincts tell me that Ben’s numbers will go down as we see the Steelers go back to a more balanced offense. Not saying that he’ll be a fantasy bust, after all, Miss Cleo says that the Steelers offense will fire fast and hard until the 3d quarter and then go back to ball control to grind out the clock. Okay, I actually didn’t consult Miss Cleo on this, but from what Steelers President, Art Rooney III said at the end of the season about making the running game important again kind of leads me to believe this.
If it were all black and white, then of course I’d look at picking up Big Ben as my quarterback for next season. Then again, black and white would tell me not to take Roethlisberger as my fantasy team quarterback. Let’s face it, the scenario with Roethlisberger has too many shades of gray, I mean, an offense where the QB threw for 4000 yards with 2 1000 yards receivers and add a 1000 yard running back to boot by the end of the season. And yes, if you’re wondering, I traded away Rashard Mendenhall early last season too.
It’s no secret this coming seasons hot commodity is Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson, yet given Vince Youngs improvement last season, it’s very possible that we can see CJ have a season like the Vikings Adrian Peterson did last year. Not saying that Peterson had a bad year, after all he did run for over 1300 yards, but with the Vikings having a quarterback that was actually able to get the ball to his wide receivers, AP’s numbers did drop from the year before (In 2008, Peterson ran for over 1700 yards). I know, 400 yards less then the year before doesn’t seem like much but it does mean a lot in FFB. I’d be more apt to pickup whoever the Jets were starting, or go with Cardinals Beanie Wells because I see Mark Sanchez improving and Matt Leinart being better then what is being projected. Of course, I do that and my luck, the quarterback becomes a fantasy stud and my running back, a fantasy dud.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t some sure things in fantasy football. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and, yes, even the Cowboys Tony Romo have consistently been sure things. However, the one thing I’ve learned is, that like regular football, in fantasy football one player doesn’t make a team (otherwise I’d have won the trophy last season with Brees as my quarterback). And that for me, somehow trying to incorporate the intangibles into a game based on stats wasn’t the wisest move. Yet, as much as I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the whole concept and have publicly sworn off of FFB (I just can’t bear to see my team die the slow death that it did last season), I understand the addiction.
Yes, I understand the addiction well. Because that nightmare I had mentioned earlier was more of a response to a small itch that surfaced at the talk of keeper leagues. Somewhere, in the deep, dark corners of my mind a little voice is going..come on Denise, give it one more try…you know you want to see if you can do better then last season…you know you had some fun with it…prove to them you’re not a loser. Logic would tell me that another season of fantasy football for me would be like betting on the 2008 Steelers to beat the spread. I’ll just remember that I’m old school. That football is as much about the intangibles, as it is about the stats. And to that little voice that is attempting to seduce me to give it one more try, to you I’ll say….get thee behind me satan…or quote Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, with “out, out, damn spot”. And if that fails…well….I’ll just commit myself to a 12 step program for fantasy football addicts anonymous and focus on the cookies.
I do leave this with one word of advice…if someone tells you, you can win with Drew Brees alone on your team, don’t believe them, I proved that theory wrong.
Posted on: July 29, 2009 2:10 pm
Have I ever mentioned that I have an addictive personality? No, I don’t mean that if you get to know me that somehow I’ll grow on you, not addictive that way. What I mean is that I’m really lucky that I’ve never tried cocaine. See, if I find myself committing to something I tend to jump in with both feet and give it my all and just, somehow, can’t seem to get enough, unless, of course it was tending my daughters tameguchi pets or furbies.
Okay, you may be asking why I’m rambling like this. Well, if you’ve ever “read me”, you know that I have a tendency to ramble. If this is your first time, welcome to the other side of my “looking glass”. No, actually I mention this because, well, I’ve decided to jump, not feet first, but head first into yes…*gasp*…fantasy football. Yep, Mom’s Cookie Crunchers will make it’s regular season debut, and yes, I can feel the addiction starting.
So ten days away from draft day, I’ve already been trying to line up my roster. I’ve been reviewing the expert rankings and other information put out by the Fantasy Football guru’s here at CBS Sports and other sites and jotting down gut feelings. Now, I’ll admit, my draft choices probably will not be finalized until the day before the draft. I’ve already changed my mind on the QB I’m drafting five times now, and that’s since 9 a.m. this morning (I’m really leery of picking up Tom Brady and would prefer to know what brand of hair products he uses before I commit)..
Now common sense would tell me NOT to do this. I’ve always used the excuse of how I have a tendency to kill off my daughters computer generated pets not too long after they hatch to keep from getting involved in a team. And, yes, I should know better, since my small dabbling in the playoff fantasy football here on CBS Sports, left me with only two players come time for the division playoffs last season. So basically, yes, I even killed off my first fantasy football team. And, of course, silly me, event though I’m pretty good at giving others pretty good advise, I rarely pay attention to my instincts (okay, that’s not always true, but in this instance…).
Unfortunately it’s too late, I’ve committed so I tend to see it through. I want to do this right too. I’ve studied up on what’s involved, know it’s about points generated mostly off of stats. Understand a little bit about the draft and making week to week decisions, but I do have some burning questions….
On draft day, do I pull out the chips and dip or will wine and cheese suffice?
No one is expecting camera’s in my war room are they?
Do I go with a logo, or should I be like the Cleveland Browns and stay logoless…after all, how terrifying is a chocolate chip cookie with a bite out of it as a logo?
Should I look into getting a custom jersey made with the name of my team on the front and if I do, what colors should I go with? Brown is just not that appealing, nor do I look good in it. And if I get a jersey, do I swap jersey’s through out the day, switching from one jersey to the Steelers jersey and back again, or do I just wear it under or over my Steelers jersey?
I’m assuming that the system will automatically track points, but should I get a notebook to track them too, just in case, or should I just use excel? And if I use excel, should I create an access database so I can run reports off the spreadsheet? But if I go with paper, I could create some really cool graphics to put on my notebook.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling these are questions and decision that I will have to make on my own. When I ask my husband and daughter, they just shake their heads and mutter something about mom having lost it again and remind me of the years worth of soap we still have from my soap making venture, and comment how lucky we are to be able to light up the whole city of Columbia with all the candles that I’ve made (or they’ll just look at the 5 cd’s I have that are filled with signature graphics used for other sites, or the 3 other cd’s that hold html, xml and css files for graphics for my various websites that I maintain).
Oh well, I have ten days to make those decisions, at the very least. In the meantime, wish me luck. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to tend my virtual farm that I created on Facebook, I spent too much time planting all the flowers there to let them die due to lack of virtual watering.
Posted on: April 2, 2008 6:55 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2008 6:55 pm
They thought they caught me in their little traps. They laid the bread crumbs ooooh so nicely, and I started to follow. When I started to back away, started to get skittish, they used sparkly objects to divert, capture and hold my attention. They were masters at weaving a spell, of tempting me, seducing me and they almost got me there. Got me to where I would be helpless, needy, dependent on them. That was until I read this. Wow, talk about being in shell shock.
For a long time I have fought even my own curiosity of fantasy football and resisted the urge for it. I've already said that I've been known to kill Tamaguchi pets, let fully trained Furbies digress back to the start and have thrown many dead chia pets away. If it doesn't breath, eat, and sleep, chances are, if it needs some kind of care, I'll destroy it. My daughter entrusted me with her little egg pets, which I would take to work with me each day, by lunch, they were dead and she'd have to start all over. When she finally got her furbies trained to speak where you understand them, she asked me to take care of them while she went on vacation to PA for a month. I was a big disappointment to her when she returned and had to retrain her furbies all over again.
It's easy, they told me, don't worry, you can't do anything that will hurt your team. Okay, three different men tried to get me into three different FF leagues for the next season. They almost had me. They knew what would entice me. Yeah, they almost were able to find a sucker. Fortunately, I decided that I would start reading up, look at what the "experts" wrote up, read the blogs on FF. It was Dave Richards blog today that had me running, screaming for the hills.
I didn't know you needed to have a PhD in physics. I tried to comprehend, really I did. Okay, so I caught some of what he was trying to project for Laurence Maroney but now he's talking variances. Oh my god, I'm not John Nash, I'll never get this. Heck, I struggled through the variance and methods, means and modes portion in stats 101.
So I was saved in the nick of time, before I dove in with both feet, before they tried to push Brian St. Pierre on me as my starting Quarterback (yeah, I know he was cut as the 3d string QB from the Steelers). Before they tried to get me to draft Terrelle Pryor. This is one fool they didn't catch in their sinister web of treachery and deceit.
I admit it, I know my limitations, I know what I can't do, it's not something I'm going to be good at. It's just too much for my mind to comprehend doing every week, taking the stats, multiplying them by x to the 5th power and then dividing them by pi to determine whether or not I should start Jerome Bettis that week or not.
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I think I'll give it about 5 years for me to fully comprehend it before dabbling in fantasy football. Thanks Dave for opening my eyes.