Thursday, October 28, 2010

Movie Night

Last Friday night, Lindsey and I had just gotten home from seeing "The Town", and sat down with Maria for a post-movie recap.

MARIA: How was it?

ME: Really good.

LINDS: Good, and so weird -- We were walking home, talking about the movie, and these people joined our conversation out of nowhere!

MARIA: Really?

LINDS: One was an editor and one was a director, and they were like, really into movies. They said the movie was bad because it wasn't believable.
ME: Why can't people just enjoy a movie? Why do they have to worry about whether it's believable or not?

LINDS: Some people feel really passionate about those things, like you do with sports.

MARIA: Wait, so who was the editor?

ME: He worked at this place called Number 6.

MARIA: Did he wear glasses and name-drop celebrities?

LINDS: Yes! Jeremy Renner, Justin Long, and Blake Lively.

ME: All in the span of one block!

MARIA: That's James. Definitely James.

ME: How do you know all these people?

MARIA: When I go to editing houses I try to meet all the editors.

ME: When I go to editing houses I try to keep my head down and eat lunch.

LINDS: I can't believe you know him. Such a small world.

MARIA: I'm gonna text him.


LINDS: It was a good movie, though. I'm glad I went.


MARIA: Everyone's posting about the Rangers winning tonight.

ME: Wait, the Rangers won?

MARIA: Yeah. Exciting, right?

ME: The Yankees lost?

LINDS: Uh oh.


MARIA: What?

LINDS: We just lost him for the night.

Weekend Picks

Oregon (-7) @ USC (Sat, 8:00 ET). I'm sick and tired of betting against (and therefore rooting against) the Ducks. They're ridiculous.

Oklahoma (-23.5) vs. Colorado (Sat, 9:15 ET). Buffs are 0-5 ATS in their last five trips to Norman. I don't think it gets any better this week.

Broncos (+2) vs. 49ers (Sun, 1:00 ET, in London). If West Coast teams struggle in early games when traveling east, this could be the worst game of all time.

Dolphins (+1.5) @ Bengals (Sun, 1:00 ET). If we didn't get HOSED last weekend by the refs, we'd be 4-2 and everyone would be talking about how good we are.

Redskins (+3) @ Lions (Sun, 1:00 ET). My gut tells me the wrong team's favored here. I'll take the points.

Bucs (+3) @ Cardinals (Sun, 4:00 ET). Coach Raheem Morris thinks the Bucs are the best team in the NFC. They obviously aren't, but they are the best team in this game.

Last Week: 1-5 (so much for my hot start)
Season: 20-22-1 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Staring at the Standings

Exciting stuff.
Robby and his friend Tyler have been playing fantasy football together since the day they learned to use computers. One night -- around the time when they first started -- my mom and Tyler's mother Debbie were talking, and Debbie voiced concern over the inordinate and potentially worrisome amount of time her son was spending on his fantasy team.

"Don't worry," my mom assured her. "Robby spends his whole night researching too, and so does every other male in this country."
"But, he's not even researching", she countered. "He's just...staring at the standings."

The other day I caught my co-worker Marshall staring at his fantasy roster for 20 minutes straight. For the purposes of this blog, I timed it. And when I caught him, he wasn't even the least bit ashamed.

"Dude, look at my team! I'm 5-0, and I just got Miles Austin for basically nothing!"

As little as girlfriends may understand about fantasy, the idea of staring and staring at a static page has to be the most baffling. It accomplishes nothing, yet I'm willing to bet that any fantasy player reading this has done it, particularly when their team's doing well.

But why? It's difficult to draw a parallel, but the art world quickly comes to mind. When I think of museums, I think of people standing and staring at paintings silently for minutes at a time, and me being up ahead at the gift shop wondering what's taking so long. I don't get pleasure from looking at a painting, but others crave it. They're not staring, they're thinking. These artists have been dead for years, and it fascinates people to think about what they were trying to say.

Well when I stare at the fantasy standings, here's what they say to me:

-Good thing I started Joseph Addai instead of Danny Amendola
-I need to get my point total up or risk losing tiebreakers
-I like being in 2nd
-My screen could use a good dusting

As happy as I am about my 4-2 record, there's lots more work to do. Champions don't get complacent, and I know any time spent wistfully staring at standings would be better spent plotting my next move.

Oh yeah, or working.

Weekend Picks

UCLA (+26) @ Oregon (Thurs, 9:00 ET). Will the Ducks be the next AP #1 to take a tumble? Probably not, but holy crap: 26 is a HUGE number! UCLA is no Washington State. 

LSU (+6) @ Auburn (Sat, 3:30 ET). Les Miles is kind of an idiot, but his defenses tend to show up for big games. 

Oklahoma (-3) @ Missouri (Sat, 8:00 ET). Lindsey thinks all the OU love from the BCS is bad luck. Hopefully some more love from FVG won't make it worse.

Air Force (+19) @ TCU (Sat, 8:00 ET). Another big dog I like here. TCU's great, and will probably win, but Air Force is no joke -- they almost beat OU in Norman.

Panthers (+3) vs. 49ers (Sun, 1:00 ET). I know the Panthers are terrible, but does anyone seriously think the Niners are any better? As in good enough to be a road favorite?

Bucs (-3) vs. Rams (Sun, 1:00 ET). I swear this is NOT just because I'm starting Josh Freeman and Mike Williams in fantasy this week. Yikes.

Last Week: 2-4
Season: 19-17-1 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chad's Honeymoon Report, Part 1

The vast majority of this information comes courtesy of Morgan's new blog, Tully in Training: Chad and Morgan's Honeymoon Adventure ( Given her top-notch insight and analysis into FVG matters (from the female perspective), one can only hope she continues writing when they return home.

Current Location: Fiji
Is today the day waivers clear?
Number of Days without functional ESPN: 7

Number of Dollars (per day) spent for the privilege of surfing 30 (I'd probably pay triple that, for the record, if I were in his shoes. These hotels must know things like that.)

Number of Transactions Made by Chad's fantasy team:  3

Number of Those Transactions Made by Chad (and not his designated "proxy"): TBD


-Chad, approximately 48 minutes into the honeymoon, chatting with a Newark Airport ticket agent: 
CHAD: … yup, going on our honeymoon…. Fiji, New Zealand, Australia...
TICKET AGENT: That is so great! I went on my honeymoon to Tahiti at this exact time last year. You’re going to really enjoy it!
CHAD: Tahiti, huh? What was the TV situation there? Were you able to catch any of the games?
GATE AGENT: Dude, it’s your honeymoon! You won’t be thinking about football.
CHAD: (smiles and turns away).

-Chad, approximately 45 seconds into their 45 minute drive to the hotel:
CHAD: (to driver) So, what’s the NFL football situation in Fiji?
-Chad, at 7am Sunday morning, trying to log into Ramsey’s DirecTV account:
MORGAN: (After watching Chad enter and re-enter the same password five times) What seems to be the problem, Chad?
CHAD: I can’t log in to Ramsey’s DirecTV account and ESPN isn’t working.
MORGAN: Well, it says that there is another used logged in.
CHAD: Dammit!!!!! F*cking Ramsey, giving his password to everyone!
-30 Seconds Later...
CHAD: Hello, is this the front desk? ESPN isn’t working on my television. Is there anyone who can help?

Weekend Picks

Arkansas (+4) @ Auburn (Sat, 3:30 ET). People dismissed the Hogs after they blew that late lead to Alabama. They won't after this one.
Ohio State (-4) @ Wisconsin (Sat, 7:00 ET). I really wanted to take the Badgers here, but then the line came out way lower than expected. Maybe it's because OSU's 5-1 ATS and Wisconsin's 1-5.

Western Kentucky (-2) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Sat, 7:00 ET). Why include this game? Because the Hilltoppers are looking their first ever D-1 victory ever, and this could finally be the week they get it.

Hawaii (+7) vs. Nevada (Sat, 11:30 ET). And why include this game? Well, the late start helps. And I just like to think about being in Hawaii.

Rams (+9) vs. Chargers (Sun, 1:00 ET). Last week was all the proof I needed: The Chargers are not a good team on the road.

Broncos (+3) vs. Jets (Sun, 4:00 ET). As we saw in their opening game, the Jets are a team susceptible to Kool-Aid drinking, and I think they're a little overserved right now.

Last Week: 3-3
Season: 17-13-1 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Next Level

Every NFL scout at one point or another has asked it: He’s a great college player, but can he do it in the pros?” 

It’s true for players, and it’s true for boyfriends.

Any guy can date a girl from a big-time college football school and have little trouble getting her to watch football on Saturday. It’s what she knows. It’s what she’s learned to love.

But precisely because she ended up watching more football on Saturday than she could have ever imagined, the thought of watching football on Sundays too became more repulsive than her favorite Nordstrom’s catching on fire.

So the question to you, Mr. Hot-Shot Boyfriend, is: Can you take your game to the next level?

It's not easy, but here’s my three-step primer on how to do it.

Step 1: Keep your ears open.
Early on in our relationship, I was out to dinner with Lindsey, her sorority sister Emily, and Emily’s husband John: Three Oklahoma grads. At dinner, John told a funny (and inappropriate) story about OU tight end Jermaine Gresham. We all laughed hysterically, and a lightbulb went off in my head.

Step 2: Nurture Your Information
Gresham was an All-American, and a future NFL star. I knew one day he'd be playing on Sunday. So every time we watched him play with Lindsey and her friends, I’d retell the story, and we’d joke about Gresham and refer to him by his (inappropriate) nickname. I wanted Lindsey to know him, like him, and develop an interest in his career.

Step 3: Reap the benefits.
Now Gresham’s a Cincinnati Bengal, and when the Bengals play on Sundays, I’ll point out Gresham, and of course, call him by his nickname (OK, fine, it’s “The Black Mambo”, in reference to his privates). And lo and behold, Lindsey's at least a little interested, and watches a few plays with me.

I’ve also done this successfully for Tommie Harris (she took a class with him), Dusty Dvoracek (her sorority sister hooked up with him), and Sam Bradford (#1 draft pick, no back story necessary), among others.

Getting your college football girlfriend to care about pro football is hard work. It’s time and thought consuming. You might find yourself questioning whether it's worth it.

And that’s exactly when the scouts will be watching.

Weekend Picks

Nebraska (-11) @ Kansas St. (Thurs, 8:00 ET). I want to take the Thursday night home dog, but I think the Huskers are way too talented, and the crowd will be headed for the exits early.

South Carolina (+7) vs. Alabama (Sat, 3:30 ET). I've had this one picked out for a while. I think it's where Bama gets a scare and hopefully (and finally) falls.

Florida (-6.5) vs. LSU (Sat, 7:30 ET). Don't be confused by LSU's ranking -- this team is lucky and overrated. And I think the Gators come out hungry after getting smashed by Bama last week.

Bills (+1) vs. Jaguars (Sun, 1:00 ET). I know this sounds crazy, but I just have a feeling B-Lo sneaks into the win column here.

Texans (-3) vs. Giants (Sun, 1:00 ET). I think I've picked Houston every week now, and this line reminds me a lot of the Dallas game where they got blown out. Oh well!

Oakland (+7) vs. Chargers (Sun, 4:00 ET). The Chargers are great at home...and stink on the road. Take the points.

Last Week: 3-3
Season: 14-10-1