2014 Portland FFL Week 14 Recap

The wheat and the chaff are being separated faster than you can say “fire Marc Trestman.”

STUFF THAT MATTERS:  Ben crushed Moe with a glorious showing from three of his standout WRs (Julio Jones with 31, T.Y. Hilton with 25, and Cal Johnson with 21), and will face the wily Pat in Round 2 this week.  Nathan Y got a strong performance from Russell Wilson to move past Tim, whose cold-weather swoon makes one wonder if the 2014 Cowboys somehow swapped souls with Tim’s team.  Nathan has his work cut out for him this year, as for the second straight year, Andrew set a league all-time high scoring record in the playoffs.  Last year, he managed a 194 in the second round en route to a championship.  This week, he put up 196 without the benefit of the +5 home field advantage, although it came in a bye week.  He scored an insane 144 points from five players alone: Cutler had 25, Roethlisberger had 28, Lacy had 22, A.J. Green had 28, and Le’Veon Bell with 41.  Had Andrew benched Torrey Smith for Michael Floyd, he would have topped 200 for the first time ever.  Seven of Andrew’s players now rank in the top 10 at their positions for the season, with another three ranking in the top 15.  The boy is doing something right.

Wiscweed

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An Oakland Raiders holiday poem

NFL: Preseason-Seattle Seahawks at Oakland RaidersPHOTO CREDIT: FoxSports

After Derek Carr’s 22-28, 254 yard, 3TD performance that crushed the 49ers’ playoff hopes and probably heralded the end of the Jim Harbaugh era (if not also the Colin Kaepernick era), here’s a holiday poem in honor of the new toast of Oakland:

NEW CARR SMELL

[Sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”]

You know Pryor and Boller and Russell and Palmer,
You know Frye, Flynn, and Campbell, and Collins, and Walter,
But do you recall,
The most potentially maybe possibly promising Raiders QB of all…?

Since Gannon, the Oakland Raiders
Have had a very dismal road.
And if you ever saw them,
You would even say they blow.

All of the other pro teams
Used to laugh and call them names.
They never let poor Oakland
Join in any playoff games.

Then one foggy Draft Day eve,
Reggie McKenzie said,
“Derek with your throws so bright,
Won’t you guide my team tonight?”

Soon all the Raiders loved him,
When they ended Harbaugh’s dynasty,
Derek the bright-throws Raider,
You might avoid mediocrity!

raidersfanPhoto credit: Getty Images

A Raiders fan getting into the holiday spirit…

2014 Portland FFL Week 13 Recap

Take it away, Jim!

Ah, yes.  Playoffs.  Here’s how the cookie crumbled:

  1. Andrew               9-4      [BYE]
  2. Pat                      8-4-1  [BYE]
  3. Ben                     8-5
  4. Tim                     8-5
  5. Nathan Y            6-6-1
  6. Moe                    6-7

That’s right, our league has mapped itself onto the actual NFL, and has allowed a losing record to sneak into the playoffs.  Moe, congrats on your NFC South title.  Maybe we should bump you up to a 4 seed…?  Continue reading

2014 Portland FFL Weeks 9-12 Recap

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sorry for the hiatus.  I was out searching for reasons why Mike Smith still has a job in Atlanta and I got lost for a month.  But now, here we are — one more week to go in the regular season and the playoff picture still very much in question.  If the FFL regular season ended today, the playoffs would look like this:

2014fflbracketPat and Andrew would be the top two seeds, with Tim hosting Nathan Y and Ben hosting Moe.  The LSB (Loser Sponsored Banquet) would be hosted by yours truly and Nathan L.  Luckily, the season does not end today.  Continue reading

The 2014 Kansas City Royals: Real Life “Major League”

Everyone has their favorite comedies.  Mine happens to be an energetic and formulaic (but surprisingly smart) screwball1 comedy from 1989.  Major League, for the unfortunate few who have not seen it, is the story of a ragtag bunch of baseball players who are thrown together by malevolent Cleveland Indians owner Rachel Phelps with the intention that they will lose enough games to make attendance fall low enough that she can justify moving the team to Miami.  For various reasons, and by way of various dynamic personalities, the team improbably begins to win in spite of (and in order to spite) Ms. Phelps.  The flick culminates with a wild win-or-go-home game against the hated Yankees that involves, in no particular order, an infidelity ruse, a voodoo idol, and a sacrificial bucket of chicken.

One of the unspoken reasons that many comedies, including Major League, are so engaging is that they are not bound by realism or probability in the same way that our lives are.  In other words, Major League neither would nor could ever happen in real life.  Except…it very nearly did.

majorleague

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2014 Portland FFL Week 8 Recap

Why is “ammo” the abbreviation of ammunition?  Why not ammu?  Regardless, Tim had plenty of it to throw at Moe last week, when he ran his streak to eight straight wins.  Mercury Morris and the ’72 Dolphins  are starting to fidget in their adult diapers.  Moe the Metronome has now scored 101-100-100 over the past three weeks, suggesting that she has been busy counting dalmatians when she should have been upgrading her team.  Despite being 8-0, this was Tim’s first weekly high score of the season.  Pat took down Bo with a solid performance that featured Emmanuel Sanders, Aaron Rodgers, and Larry Fitz besting Arian Foster’s huge day.  Pat also got a nice boost from DeMarco Murray once again, who (along with the resurgent offensive line) has taken Jason Garrett off the hot seat and into the running for Coach of the Year.

Garrett2Jason Garrett: the love child of Brody from Homeland and Jerry Jones.  Jerry Jones: the love child of General Wesley Clark and Gollum

Pat also got his first high scoring game out of old stalwart Jason Witten, whose Elizabethton, Tennessee roots often lead Nathan L to affectionately dub him “corn-fed.”  If we’re going for tough guy farm nicknames, I personally would opt for 🔫LICENSE TO TILL🔫Continue reading

2014 Portland FFL Week 6 and 7 Recap

We are now more than halfway through the FFL regular season, and the lower playoff seedings are less clear than the “before” picture in a Proactiv commercial.

While Tim, Moe, and Ben have begun to get some breathing room between them and the rest of the pack, both of the 3-2-1 teams (Nathan Y and Pat) fell back into the fray in Week 7.  Pat, who remains the only FFL participant whose name is a form of football scoring (Point After Touchdown), undid his massive 155 point outpouring over Kevin in Week 6 that saw Joe Flacco vomit out 32 points alongside more strong showings from Aaron Rodgers and DeMarco Murray.  Week 6’s big kahuna was Ben, whose 162 (behind Brady and the rampaging T.Y. Hilton) bested my 147.  I guess four total points from my three running back slots (Doug Martin 4, Chris Ivory 1, and C.J. Spiller -4) isn’t likely to get it done.  Anyone is likely to be an upgrade over that sorry showing, including obscure strangely-named backups like Texas alum Fozzy Whittaker.

fozzywhitakerApparently, Fozzie Bear uses the same phone that Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson used to call plays against the Colts

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2014 Portland FFL Week 5 Recap

Week 6 is upon us, which means it’s high time for a Week 5 recap.  The closest match of the week was Ben vs. Tim, which featured the battle of the four veteran quarterbacks and the coming out party of Andre Ellington (largely due to one big play).  Ben came up just shy despite a 9 for 9 (5fg, 4xp) from Stephen Gostkowski, and Tim managed to eke out a win and stay undefeated despite the end of the two-week streak of strong play from the exquisitely named Lorenzo Taliaferro.

limerick1Tim, not surprisingly, also employs a player named Giovani

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2014 Portland FFL Week 4 Recap

In the wake of the recent NFL woes, I give you the following Commissioner’s quote: “I deserve to be fired.  I was put in charge of a successful league and, although the league remains a rousing success, I have mismanaged all the resources under my control.  I have failed to hold certain people accountable for their deplorable actions, and I have offended many with my poor decisions and lack of attention.”  Alas, those words do not belong to Roger Goodell, and certainly never will.  No, they are mine.  As FFL commish, I am embarrassed that I failed to replace a bye week starter and, most of all, I am ashamed to have started the Carolina Panthers defense for two straight weeks.  What does a defense have to do to end up with back to back weeks of -7 and -8 fantasy points?  Apparently, give up 37 and then 38 points, give up (strangely) 454 yards twice in a row, and generally get kicked in the testicles at will by the AFC (“Actively Fucking Carolina”) North.

northcarolina

Tim put up a solid showing in beating me, largely on the heels of Eli Manning’s breakout performance in an ugly Thursday night thrashing of Washington.  Eli completed 28 passes and threw for four touchdowns (before running in a fifth) in a game that allowed many millions of forlorn Yankee fans to smile again.  Continue reading

2014 Portland FFL Week 3 Recap

Although some trends in the standings have started to take shape, six of ten teams managed to score between 108 and 112 points this week.  That’s a startling number.  Luckily for those of us who enjoy drama, four such teams happened to play each other.  In two of the closest games of the year (obviously), Nathan Y eked out a victory over Pat, and Andrew scratched and clawed his way to a narrow win over Kevin.  In the Pat/Nathan tilt, it’s easy to blame Pat’s Larry Fitzgerald (1 point) and his apparent third banana status behind Michael Floyd and John Brown.  Through three weeks, Larry Fitz is tied for 73rd (73rd!) among wideouts with 2.7 points per week.  Maybe he needs a change of scenery.  Maybe he needs a haircut.  Maybe he needs an alter ego who can be the “bad boy” prima donna who won’t sit quietly as his position is usurped into decoy status.  Come to think of it, alter egos never end well.

?????I, like you, am still waiting patiently for the Sasha Fierce/Ziggy Stardust/Chris Gaines compilation album

Henry Ford once said of his new Model T, “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  Well, Nathan L can field any fantasy football players he wants so long as they suck.  Continue reading