So, I cheated

March 13, 2008 at 3:54 am | Posted in basketball, clif, football (american) | 2 Comments

NOTE: This was actually a response to brian’s post “the tallest filmmaker ever.”  It was longer than I intended, so I turned it into a post.  This way I’ll feel a little less guilty for never contributing.

Maybe this year I’ll actually write a post about the NFL draft instead of just talking about it.

Since I don’t pay nearly as much attention to the NBA and it’s draft as I do the NFL and it’s, I was wondering how much the March Madness tournament affects players’ draft stock.  If a top prospect sucks it up in the tourney, could that drop him down in the draft?  I hope not.

With football, it seems like analysts and scouts are too willing to throw a good college career out the window if the player has a poor bowl game/senior bowl/combine.  Every year there are ‘workout warriors’ who measure off the charts at the combine and they fly to the top of the rankings, their mediocre college career goes ignored and then they bust.  Usually.

On the other hand (and again, since I don’t pay that much attention to basketball, I might be making this up), it seems like basketball players can sometimes skate by on hype and be drafted high.  Kids coming out of high school – the Mayos, Odens and El BJs – who are sufficiently hyped seem like they can make a top pick based on reputation as long as they don’t completely implode during their lone college season (for those that are now forced to do a year; for the rest, I guess if they don’t go to jail or crash their Hummers or whatever). 

It seems backwards.  At least if my assumption that March Madness doesn’t make to much difference in an athletes draft stock is right.  If there’s a sport where one player can take over a game in a high-pressure environment and lead his team to a W, it’s basketball.  I’d think a lot can be learned about a top player based on his performance in the post-season.  Where as in football, all a good bowl game performance shows is that a player will give full effort in a stupid, pointless game.  While it’s nice to know you’re getting 100% all the time, I don’t think players should be penalized for not caring about bowl games.   Nobody else does.

Either way, talent should largely be judged by the body of work throughout their career in both sports.  But, what do you think?  How much impact does the tournament have?

(By the way, I realize the B-ball names I mentioned are terrible examples, as James lived up to the hype, Mayo probably won’t go top 5 and Oden…well, we’ll see.) 

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That’s what I get

October 11, 2007 at 10:55 pm | Posted in clif, football (american), Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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Through some sort of mind control – or, more sinsterly, the allure of fantasy points – I let slip my life-long disdain for the Dallas Cowboys this season. I’ve hated the Cowboys for as long as I can remember, and I had hated Tony Romo (thanks to the help of a faux Drew Bledsoe and his delightful blog) since he took the helm as their starting quarterback.

But when Mr. Underwood fell to me in the ninth round of the draft, it made perfect business sense to pick him, despite the protests of my heart. “I can have him on my team and still hate him,” I told myself, “No problem.”

But the folks at Cosmo were right: success is sexy.

That magnificent bastard started racking up points and my heart melted. I found myself swooning at his ample stats and saliviting at the sight of his oh-so-easy weekly matchups. I even found pleasure in seeing the Cowboys win; something I’d never done before. So, when I found myself down by 40-some points this week I couldn’t help but smile, for I still had my gallant gun-slinger and his trusty receiver on my bench. Forty points? A trifle.

I won’t recap last night’s game, but I will tell you this: with every Romo turnover, he removed a piece from the base of the Jenga tower of trust that we, together, had built. All that’s left now is dissappointed rubble further weighing down the loathing I had felt for so long.

So, I’d just like to say, thank you for the valuable lesson, Cowboys and R(H)omo, and go screw yourselves.

Fight the power

May 2, 2007 at 1:21 pm | Posted in basketball, clif | Leave a comment

I just finished watching game 5 of the Warriors-Mavericks series.  Perhaps you saw it.  If you did, you probably noticed Stephen Jackson of Golden State getting ejected with nine seconds left for committing the cardinal sin of basketball:  he clapped.  Yup, he clapped his hands together while his team was behind.  I did not know this, but apparently you’re not allowed to do that.  Ejection.  What makes his offense more distasteful is that — and I’m just going off post-game reports here — someone on his team had previously been ejected from a game in this series for the very same thing.  For shame, Stephen, you should have known better.

 In case you’re an idiot, I’m being sarcastic.  The truth is, I think the NBA has gotten itself into one hell of a pickle.  At the beginning of the year, the league announced (or, at least, mumbled something to the affect) that it was going to encourage refs to call more technical fouls.  This, along with other rules like the  possibly-racist dress code, is part of an attempt to clean up the league’s perceived ‘thug image.’  They wanted to cut down on racey behavior by unsavoury characters, such as Allen Iverson and Rasheed “the Deed” Wallace so that their viewing audience would get the idea that…NBA players are polite folk…that you’d want your daughter to…well, I’m not sure what they were going for. 

I’m sure of what they got, though.  They got a bunch of power-hungry asswipes who “T” up or eject anybody that does anything, real or perceived, that they don’t approve of.  They got refs who allow personal vendettas and agendas get in the way of the flow and legitimacy of the game.  They’ve replaced thugs with bullies.  I present exhibit A: Joey Crawford.  He’s been suspended for calling a technical on and trying to fight Tim Duncan.  But, his big mistake was taking on one of the league’s golden boys.  Do you think he’d be sitting at home during the playoffs if you substituted Duncan for Iverson?  I doubt it. 

 I wasn’t really all that bothered by this trend, though, until I saw the post-game interview with Warriors’ coach, Don Nelson.  He made a point of saying that Jackson “would be fined a large amount by the team” for his behavior on the court.  That’s crap.  The league has fined coaches and players so often for criticizing the refs that they are afraid to do so anymore, even when the refs need to be called out.  And it’s only going to get worse as long as the NBA continues to afford ultimate power to the refs without any accountability.  The only one that stood up for Jackson tonight was Charles Barkley on TNT’s post-game report.  He’s cool.  I’d ask him out if he weren’t already dating Dwyane Wade.

This article is brought to you by vitaminwater, unofficial sponsor of the NFL

April 24, 2007 at 2:43 am | Posted in clif, football (american) | 2 Comments

070130_urlacher_vlrg_8a_widec.jpgI’ve been thinking about that fine unloaded on Brian Urlacher recently and the uproar that has accompanied it.  Sports writers and fans are bent out of shape that the league would come down so hard ($100,000 fine ) on one of the leagues ‘good guys’ for something as silly as drinking a non-league-sponsoring sports beverage and wearing a hat with that company’s logo on it.  Urlacher’s got a pretty clean record and this fine dwarfs most fines levied for much more offensive offenses.  Brian (Wood, not Urlacher) was telling me about a piece he saw (on ESPN maybe) about how the cumulative fines of illegal-hitting, locker-room-brawling, steroid-slamming NFL bad guy, Bill Romanowski, didn’t come close to $100k. 

But I’m not crying for the Bears LB and I’ll tell you why.  After a pre-season game, the league fined rookie Reggie Bush $10,000 dollars (which is the regular season fine; $100,000 is the Super Bowl amount) for wearing Adidas shoes, instead of Reeboks.  When asked to comment about the fine, Bush replied “Adidas took care of it.”  I haven’t talked to Brian (Urlacher, not Wood) about his fine, but if I did, I imagine his reply would be something along the lines of “sucks to be vitaminwater.” 

Urlacher is not an idiot.  I guarantee he knew that his promoting a product not endorsed by the NFL would result in a fine.  And I’m sure vitaminwater (or Adidas or any other brand hitching their wagon to NFL stars without league consent) knew the same and agreed to cover the cost.  And, the league knows players and brands know, and that the corporations will pay the fee, which is why they make it so costly.  Gatorade pays through the nose to be seen on all sidelines and in the hands of players, and the NFL will be damned if some other sports-type drink is going to sneak in there without paying for it.  It’s not a punishment to the player for breaking the rules, but an advertising charge to the corporation.

It’s a brilliant move by vitaminwater.  They pay $100,000 fine to the league and whatever they gave to Urlacher to wear/drink their stuff and they get millions of dollars worth of advertising when their name is splashed all over sporting news.  I guess they must have hired a new marketing department after firing the geniuses that named the product. 

On a side note, one article related this incident to one in 1985 (the last time the Bears went to the Superbowl) where Jim McMahon was fined $5,000, by then-commissioner Pete Rozelle, for wearing a headband that read “adidas,” which was not a league sponsor.  The following week, during the conference championship, McMahon donned a new headband that said “rozelle.”  That guy is so awesome.

My Super Sunday

February 6, 2007 at 3:44 am | Posted in clif, football (american), misc | 2 Comments

So, I spent Super Bowl Sunday in a bar which is something I swore I’d never do again. The last time I did was Super Bowl XXXVIII (that’s 38, I think) when the Patriots beat the Panthers. It was a party put on by some friends in a dive bar. There were so many people that it was impossible to see the game, and most of those people were chain-smoking. It got so bad that I had to go outside at halftime for some fresh air and a cigarette. That’s bad. Consequently, I missed the infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ and vowed never to spend the Super Bowl in a bar again. So, when my brother asked if I wanted to go to Port ‘o Call (a place I’ve sworn off) with him and his friends, I had no problem telling him to cram it. But, then he made his friends change venues to suit my distastes and I had to comply.

Lumpy’s (where we ended up) isn’t a bad place to watch sports. If you get there early enough you can get a table in the basement with your own plasma big screen and access to pool and foosball tables. Those come in handy when you’re trying to kill the two hours before kickoff. Have you ever tuned in to the game that early? They start so early that they have to fill up space with the most pointless shit. There was a half hour story about how Hines Ward winning MVP in last year’s game was the best thing to ever happen to Korea. I’m not kidding. They did, however, show the best thing I’ve ever seen in a pre-game show: young Peyton tango dancing!

Man, l’il Peyton has some moves. I wish I could bring myself to cheer for him. He seems pretty cool.

The bar hired these pretty girls to dress up in Colts and Bears jersey–tailored to show max skin–and go around handing out plastic, beaded necklaces and beer cozies. That’s not so weird, right? But these girls only had enough crap to give to make a couple laps around the bar. I guess they were paid for the full four hours, so they spent the rest of the game going from table to table, trying to make conversation about the game. It was weird and uncomfortable to everyone that wasn’t drunk and/or a pervert. Here’s the transcript of a conversation I had with one in a Colts jersey (made entirely without eye contact):

Her: Hey. Who ya cheering for?

Me: Bears.

Her: Oh, c’mon! Go Colts!

Me: …

Her: What’d you think of the opening kickoff?

Me: That guy’s pretty fast.

Her: Yeah.

Then, after several seconds of awkward silence, she backed away from the table and left to be manhandled by the frat boys at the adjacent table. I don’t really understand why someone would volunteer for that job. I can’t imagine they were being paid much over minimum wage to walk around a stinky bar in skimpy outfits to have lewd comments hurled at them (i.e., “Let’s play football; I’ll be Manning and you be Saturday [the Colts’ center]. Heh, heh.”). And, to my knowledge, they weren’t being tipped for their sparkling conversation.

The waitresses, on the other hand, I totally get. They were cleaning up. We had a party of about twelve and were going through beer and food like it was…the Super Bowl, or something. Our waitress was particularly savvy. She found out who was cheering for whom and whenever either team had a good play, she’d saunter up behind the fans and say, “Great play! How ’bout some shots?” It worked every time. By my estimation, that little trick increased our bill by $200.

In anticipation of a dull game, some of the guys I was with decided to spice it up by taking pre-game bets on everything from the coin toss to the final score. The bet that everyone was most excited about was with which song Prince would open the halftime show. I didn’t get in on this bet because all the songs I knew–Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Kiss–were taken and the only other song I could think of was Sexy M.F., which I was pretty certain he wouldn’t play. He ended up opening with Let’s Go Crazy which nobody guessed (duh!). We decided to push the bet until he played a song on our list. The next two were covers (Proud Mary and All Along the Watchtower) and who could’ve guessed that? So the winning song was the last: Purple Rain. And the winner of the bet was Stephanie, our waitress.

The Saints bring hope to millions plus one

January 20, 2007 at 1:08 am | Posted in clif, football (american) | 4 Comments

I don’t really care about the millions though.

Well, let me clarify.  I care about their plight; what all those people went through, losing their homes, starving and dying and how the government didn’t do anything before, during or after the hurricane to help them.  What I don’t care about is how the Saints (in their sporting capacity) have helped raise their spirits.  Let’s face it, this is a story manufactured and disseminated by the media.  While I’m sure the people of New Orleans are excited about the success of their local football team, I’d be surprised if the fervor there is measurably greater than it is in Chicago, Indianapolis or Massachusetts.  And if the latter three are less ecstatic, it’s due to the been-there-done-that factor, not the just-been-through-a-natural-disaster factor.

 But the Saints have brought some real hope to one I care about.  Me. 

I grew up with an older brother that was like most older brothers, I suppose.  He’s smarter, funnier, better looking, better in social situations, better at pretty much everything than I am.  Plus, he’d pick on me sometimes and I was younger and weaker so all I could do was get in the classic younger brother defense, getting on the sofa and sticking my arms and legs in the air to ward him off.  You know, the defense that never actually works.  I once threw a role of wallpaper at him, but he ducked and the roll went through the wall which I got grounded for.  What a jerk, right?  By the time I out-grew him, he had stopped teasing me and we were pretty close friends.

So what do the Saints have to do with all this?  You see, I never got a chance to pay my brother back for all the humiliation he heaped on me in our youth.  But, I’m a Saints fan and he’s a Patriots fan so his comeuppance is ever so close.   If the two teams can win on Sunday and the Saints can best the Pats in the Super Bowl, years of injustices will be undone.  I’ll finally be able to rub it in his face that I’m better than him at something: I’ll be better at being a fan of the reigning Super Bowl Champs.   It’s not much, but it’s a start.  Plus, if I keep my face rubbing internal, I can be better at pretending to be a good sport.  It’s a two-for-one bargain.

I think there’s a pretty good chance of this happening, too.  The Bears have been prone to self-destruction this year and the Saints have been playing well enough to take advantage of that.  In the other game, as I said in my last post, as long as Bill Belichick continues wearing cutoff hoodies, I’ll keep picking  the Patriots to win.  This week in Indianapolis’ dome, he’ll cut the sleeves off even higher and cruise to an easy victory. 

What timing!  My brother just sent this:

Peyton Manning, after living a full life, died.  When he got to heaven God was showing him around.

They came to a modest little house with a faded Colts flag in the window.  “This is your house for eternity Peyton” said God.  “This is very special, not everyone gets a house up here.”

Peyton felt special indeed, until he noticed another house just around the corner.  It was a three story mansion with a silver and blue sidewalk, a fifty foot tall flagpole with an enormous Patriot’s flag, and in every window a New England Patriots towel.

Peyton looked at God and said “God, I’m not trying to be ungrateful but I have a question.  I was an all pro QB, I hold many NFL records, I even went to the Hall of Fame.” 

God said “So what’s your question Peyton?”

“Well, Why does Tom Brady get a better house than me?”

God chuckled and said, “Peyton, that’s not Brady’s house, it’s Mine!”

Next week, after the Saints and Patriots win, I’m going to send this joke right back to him, replacing Manning with Brady and turning God into a Saints fan.  That’ll show him.

Predictions are all the rage

January 14, 2007 at 6:31 am | Posted in clif, football (american), misc | 3 Comments

So, I’ve yet to give the new and im(un)proved blog a shot because new things intimidate me and I haven’t had anything beyond a half-baked, uninteresting comment to make. Luckily, as I sit here watching football, I see that the Woods are making predictions on this weekend’s playoff games and, wouldn’t you know it, I’ve got some prognostications of my own. Here they are (along with some things I saw while watching and writing):

1. Colts @ Ravens – I’m not cheating. Even though I’m watching the game right now. Because, you see, I’m picking the Ravens to win and they are currently down by 3. Even though they’re down, I’m picking Baltimore because, according to talk radio, everyone cares that the Colts up and left Baltimore in the middle of the night. I don’t care personally and noone I know cares, but apparently we’re the only ones.

Oooh! Prince (the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince) will be performing at halftime at the Super Bowl! I wonder if they’ll ever book someone in the prime of their career for that gig.

2. Eagles@ Saints – I’m a Saints fan and have been most my life. As such, I have no reason to believe the Saints will win this game. I’m picking them anyway because I don’t want to hear a million stories about how the Eagles overcame all the trouble T.O. caused and that Owens is still causing trouble for his new team while Philly will go on to win the Super Bowl and cure cancer probably.

The Colts just completed a really awful looking flea flicker. My first prediction may be in trouble.

3. Seahawks @ Bears – Rex Grossman’s errant arm vs. a secondary so beat up they are starting a cornerback that was jobless a couple weeks ago. That’d be a pretty sweet phone call to get. I’d prefer to be Koy Detmer. The Eagles signed him just before the playoffs started to be the holder for field goals. I wouldn’t mind being paid thousands of dollars to do that. Even with what happened to Romo. Bears by a bunch.

Without a Trace, a CBS crime tv show (aren’t the all), is about a competitive eating champion gone missing. Abby on NCIS (a different CBS crime tv show) isn’t pregnant and that guy from Summer School thinks that’s too much information. If it weren’t for sports (and the office and On Demand Campus Ladies) I’d quit watching TV. I swear.

4. Patriots @ Chargers – As long as Belichick keeps wearing the hoodie with the cutoff sleeves, I’m going to keep picking the Patriots to win. I like Ladanian Tomlinson, but I’m waiting for someone to give him a better nickname before I pick him to get to the Super Bowl.

It’s halftime and the Colts are up 9-3. I hate Shannon Sharpe as a commentator. I can’t understand a word he says. Another commercial touting Prince as the halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl. He’s in a conference room with ad execs who are talking about the performance. They talk of smoke and lights, of lowering Prince from the rafters while releasing 9,999 doves (I think, I’m only half paying attention). One of the corporate tools (as the commercial makes it clear he is) asks Prince if he would mind wearing a spacesuit. Prince does not look pleased. Prince prefers to keep it real. It’s funny; the ad suggests that Prince and CBS are above making a silly spectacle out of the halftime show. I’m guessing they do so anyway, and without anything as cool as a spacesuit.

Here are some extra things:

– My roommate used to work at Bischoff’s carwash. Never go there, by the way. They’ll steal your stuff. It happened to me. Anyway, while he worked there, everyone’s favortie Jazzman, Greg Ostertag, came in with his monstrous truck. He drives a Ford F650 like this one. It was so big that it couldn’t fit into the wash bay and had to be washed by hand. In the back seat, Ostertag had a hunting bow. One of the Bischoff employees (of questionable character, no doubt) was asking him about it and Greg replied: (Note: don’t read on if you have delicate sensibilities) “I love hunting more than pussy.” What a guy.

– After watching the Jazz game with a glass of scotch, I had a night of restless sleep in which I dreamt I, with frustratingly little success, tried to teach Andrei Kirilenko how to crochet.

– That last bit was actually my sister’s, but I find stories like that are better told in first person.

Yankee Love

September 27, 2006 at 6:15 pm | Posted in baseball, clif | 1 Comment


There are a lot of problems I have with baseball (and when I say baseball here, I am referring to Major League Baseball, not necessarily the game itself), and I’m not just talking about the steroid issue; we all know that baseball isn’t the only sport that has that problem. (This guy knows what I’m talking about.) The game doesn’t translate well to television, they play so many games that each individual contest is pointless, and the World Series always airs on Fox in lieu of the Simpsons (which was a more serious issue when the Simpsons were worth watching).

No, the problem I have with baseball is that I can’t turn on sports radio or television, pick up a sports paper, or go to a sports website (excepting this one) without hearing how damned awesome the Yankees are. Of course they’re awesome, they have the most money so they can buy the best(looking) players.

Major League Baseball doesn’t employ a salary cap or revenue sharing so teams and owners can spend whatever they can afford on their players. The Yankees can spend nearly $75 million more than the second least frugal team and 13 times what the thriftiest team spends. Their payroll is more than the bottom five teams combined, and they have five players that make more individually than the entire roster of the Marlins collectively.

They’re basically an All-Star team and as such should never lose and should never be praised for winning. Yet, somehow, people think it’s a major accomplishment that they win a whopping 60% of their games while teams in similar circumstances (take USA basketball) get criticized for not completely dominating their competition. It’s total crap.

I haven’t heard a reasonable justification for the competition-killing lack of a salary cap, though, in all fareness, I usually change the station/turn the page/stick my fingers in my ears and scream whenever baseball comes up. However, every time I’ve heard an argument defending baseball against its many faults, it’s usually a tradition-based defense. I’m all for tradition in sports when it comes to things such as team names and uniforms. But I draw the line when traditions interfere with game structure (are penalty goal kicks in soccer traditional? they suck), season outcome (as is the case with baseball), or are just stupid.

Unfortunately, the powers that be will never agree to revenue sharing or a salary cap. In the interest of competitive fairness (yeah, right), maybe MLB should install some kind of handicapping system. Maybe the rich teams could begin the season several games behind the rest of the teams based on their payroll. Or, for instance, the Yankees could spot the Royals so many runs whenever they play. Make those pretty boys earn their money.

The art of sports writery

September 9, 2006 at 10:30 am | Posted in clif, fespn | 9 Comments

I don’t know how many of you regularly read sports articles on online sports sites such as foxsports or espn (I’m assuming most of you), but for those of you that don’t, let me tell you a bit about the writers. They’re almost all completely awful. They load their articles with inside jokes and pop culture references about the shitty reality tv shows they watch. They love similes like my sister loves Hanson. Did that last sentence seem irrelevent, retarded and a little embarassing? Good. Then you’re starting to understand the sort of tripe you have to bear with when reading an online article about the upcoming football game, the basketball draft or the U.S. Open.

I think there is some sort of simile-per-paragraph quota that sports writers have to reach in order receive their paychecks. And their comparisons usually contain pop culture references that have no bearing on the subject on which they are writing, shed no light the point they are trying to make, and make you worry a bit about what the writers do with their personal time. They might go something like this: “Saying Eli Manning is as good a quarterback as his brother is like saying pre-nose job Ashley Simpson is as attractive as Jessica.” Alright, that wasn’t a good example, but I don’t pay much attention to pop culture (especially to the bits that would make me, a grown man, seem creepy) and I’m not drunk/high right now. It’s only 10:00 am.

Anyway, I just read the best (worst) example of the kind of article I just described. It was this one which, eventually, is a bunch of predictions for the week 1 NFL games. I’ll give you a minute to read it. Done? Okay. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? I can’t believe Foxsports actually posted this thing. What’s the deal with the Betty Ford joke (please, God, let it be a joke) that takes up half the article? Anyway, if you got through that part and still had the stomache to continue, this guy (Andy Nesbitt), spits out example after example of the requisite jokes and similes most sports articles contain. He really is a pro. In his short blurbs on each game, he manages to hit on the Big Three of the sports simile trifecta: the Irrelevent (see Cleveland vs. New Orleans and Dallas vs. Jacksonville), the Creepy Pop Culture (see Atlanta vs. Carolina and Philadelphia vs. Houston) and the Emberassing Similes (see Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay and Indianapolis vs. New York Giants). And, in one master stroke, he lumped the Holy Trinity of Sports Similes into the rare, vomit-inducing Godhead Simile (see Minnesota vs. Washington). Wow. I’m in awe that people like Mr. Nesbitt get paid to write this stuff. But, I take solice in knowing he’s not being paid enough to buy an ipod (see Denver vs. St. Louis).

Imaginary football

September 1, 2006 at 3:52 pm | Posted in clif, football (american) | 1 Comment

I manage a fantasy football league and we recently held our draft. This is the story I posted at the league site. The Brother’s Wood asked me to post it here despite my protests that the only ones interested in it would be those who participate in the league. For the rest of you, it will seem senseless and tedious. Anyway, for those of you who haven’t participated in a (good) fantasy football league, this is what you’re missing out on.

The draft has come and gone without much of a hitch. I was worried, though. We started late, the site kept reloading, I was sure it would crash at any minute. As the draft got going, my apprehension built. I was drafting for two teams, you see, while making the picks for the computerless. I was a fidgity ball of nerves. Then, much to my relief, bluebeard’s beard–old reliable–drafted a defense with his third pick. This beacon of familiarity guided me to a state of profound calm, letting me know that everything would be just fine. And they were.

I was glad so many of you (eight, eventually) could make it to my folks’ place. We had a good time, we laughed, we joked and, I like to think we learned a little. I know I did. Here are five things I learned:

1. Even though I thought 4 of bluebeards’ first 5 picks were crazy, there may have been some method to his madness. He’s not super deep at any position, but he’s got good starters across the board and has great prospects for the future. This is his best team yet.
2. Your fantasy friends are a rollicking good time, but they’ll stab you in the back. After expressing my displeasure when mt heart attack grabbed Santonio Holmes in the 10th round, my dear brother, realizing my next choice for a rookie receiver was Greg Jennings, snaked him out from under me two picks later. I got him back in the 12th when I counselled him to avoid Jerry Porter then grabbed him with my next pick. In the 14th, I recommended to Aaron that he draft rookie TE Joe Klopfenstien, even helping him spell the name out in the player search. Two seats away, and two picks before, Ryan pulled the trigger before Aaron got the chance. That bastard.
3. Bribing Chad to put me at the start of the draft doesn’t pay. Fine. I didn’t bribe him, but I did get the first pick and used it on Reggie Bush. Exciting, sure, but my receivers took a major hit when I only got to pick one between the first overall pick and the 48th. Consequently, this may be my weakest team since I started this league.
4. A good draft doesn’t always equal a good team. I actually learned about this phenomenon last year. I thought I had the perfect team last year and would steamroll my way to the league title. Eventually, I snuck into the playoffs with a 6-7 record and was destroyed in the first round. The way I see it, since this draft was terrible, that pretty much makes me a shoe-in for a great year. Lock it up!
5. Aaron likes to sing along with the Beach Boys. And I like to listen.

That’s it. Feel free to share any draft lessons you learned. Also, don’t forget to vote in the new “best draft” poll. I may be inclined to bestow an “honor” on the winner if enough of you participate.

Here are the responses I got:

6. Laying off the beer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a great draft. Oh sweet, sweet beer. I promise I’ll never neglect you again.

7. Those damn backups who get traded sure are awesome. Man, I’d love to have some awesome. I’m talking Ashley Lelie, Kevan Barlow, TJ Duckett. Get ’em while they’re not hot, folks. They’ll warm up later.

and

8. never overthink (or maybe over-think) the draft. while i was busy dafting gavin put in this lars von trier movie called manderlay. it turned out to be amazing (not only amazing but mindblowing or maybe mind-blowing]) so i couldn’t concentrate on the draft. this, i think, vastly improved my draft.
9. if you’re going to post message responses you should probably do so under your own name. but i just realized i’m logged in under aaron’s name and it seems like too much w[o]rk to switch it.

If this article didn’t pique your interest in fantasy sports–and I would certainly understand why–let me say that fantasy sports are an excellent way to learn about and gain interest in a sport. They give you a reason to pay attention to a sport, it’s players, and it’s rules. And as Brian’s last article (or, the explanatory post-article comment response[my interpretation of it, at least]) pointed out, gaining an understanding of a particular sport goes a long way towards appreciating it.

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