Fantasy Football, Week 10

I knew it was too good to last! Three upsets in a row may have been to much to expect from my beloved Browns, but they gave it a try. Sixteens seconds from hte end of overtime it took for the Jets to beat us. I’m not sad. Disappointed, of course; you always are when your team loses. But they played tough, and I think this is the year we’ll see the beginning of a new era in Cleveland football.

Hope so, anyway!

As far as my fantasy teams went…meh-looking Monday morning, but my teams that had Michael Vick starting pulled out some amazing numbers. Bye weeks are over, so it’s time to hit the waiver wires and prepare for the stretch!

This week’s results:

Yahoo Teams

RTVP League:  (5-5) Angus’ All Stars 73, Jayusmagnus’ Legion 96
Chix & Dix League: (3-7) Stratoblasters 285.0, chicago bears 234.0
Purple Pride League: (7-3) 4th And 10 155,50,  gwizzles team 77
Beer & Brats League:  (3-7) The Others 130.16, Patriots 02 04 105 129.80
Pros Joes & Schmoes League:  (6-4) The New No. 2 122.57, RimRats 137.07

League 5101: (4-6) The Dharma Initiative 123.52, TUTANKHAMUN 131.08
League 6613: (7-3) Reedy Creek Ramblers 88.24, Mumbles Galaxy 52.80

Fox Sports Public League 6970A: (6-4) A Team Called Brian 171.6, James’s Team 71.5

ESPN Players League: (2-7-1) Intimidating Team Name 156, Team TAR 57

So I’m a combined 6-3  for the week, and 43-46-1 for the season in my head-to-head contests.

Fantasy Football, Week 3

My Browns lost a close one to the hated Ravens this week. They were in it until a botched play killed their momentum. But they did better than expected.

How did my teams do this week?

This week’s results:

Yahoo Teams

RTVP League:  (2-1) Angus’ All Stars 87, MacD’s Ratbastards 54
Chix & Dix League: (1-2) Stratoblasters 245.0, chicago bears 291.0
Purple Pride League: (1-2) 4th And 10 112.0,  gwizzles team 82.0
Beer & Brats League:  (1-2) The Others 118.94, Shafiano 191.34
Pros Joes & Schmoes League:  (3-0) The New No. 2 150.90, RX Readers 106.13

League 5101: (2-1) The Dharma Initiative 113.04, Gods 74.20
Leagye 6613: (3-0) Reedy Creek Ramblers 108.84, Iggles For Life 98.84

Fox Sports Public League 6970A: (2-1) A Team Called Brian 86.4, South Texas Dawgs 82.5

ESPN Players League: (0-3) Intimidating Team Name 71, DWB Challenger4 112

So I’m a combined 6-3 for the week, and 15-12 for the season in my head-to-head contests.

Fantasy Football, Week 2

You wonder why I get so excited about my fantasy teams? Because my RL team, the Cleveland Browns, ain’t doin’ so hot. As usual. I have to have something to root for; that’s the main purpose of my fantasy teams.

This week’s results:

Yahoo Teams

RTVP League:  (1-1) Angus’ All Stars 55, Jade’s Team 65
Chix & Dix League: (1-1) Stratoblasters 227.0, New York Emperors 195.5
Purple Pride League: (0-2) 4th And 10 116.0,  GoldRushNiners 137.5
Beer & Brats League:  (1-1) The Others 161.18, pony express 122.78
Pros Joes & Schmoes League:  (2-0) The New No. 2 168.64, Jayus’ Jesters 130.14

League 5101: (1-1) The Dharma Initiative 104.26, Pimp Daddy 72.28
Leagye 6613: (2-0) Reedy Creek Ramblers 91.20, the whinebags 57.86

Fox Sports Public League 6970A: (1-1) A Team Called Brian 64.8, Newc’s C0wboys 105.0

ESPN Players League: (0-2) Intimidating Team Name 88, Team PAR 95

So I’m a combined 5-4 for the week, and 9-9 for the season in my head-to-head contests.

Yay (Kind Of)! Football!

It’s that time of year again: the weather’s changing, kids are back in school, sunsets are sneaking up on us earlier and earlier, and I go into denial as I increase the number that represents my physical age.

Yes, my friends fall is nigh, and football is back!

I should mention that by “football”, I mean professional, NFL football. I’m not a fan of college football, because the matchups are generally something like Notre Dame hosting Northampton Country Community College with a resultant score of 72-3. Not very interesting to watch. I don’t watch the bowl games, which allegedly feature the best teams, because all of the corporate sponsorships have killed the fun for me. The Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl were OK, but the Hooters Fiesta Bowl and the Walmart Fabreze Bowl just seem like three hour product plugs to me. I’m surprised they’re not throwing around bags of Tostitos instead of footballs.

(As a tangent: hey, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and the rest of you. How about taking those millions and millions of dollars you spend to get your name on a football stadium and instead lower the interest rates and fees I have to pay?)

Anyway, back to professional football. Did I say professional? I may be stretching the definition a bit, as I am, have been, and will always be loyal to my team, the hapless Cleveland Browns.

It is not my intent, nor do I have the time, to go into the history of my Brownies, or to analyze the various problems that have in the past, and continue, to plague my team. This post is just a small celebration of the return of the only sport I follow closely (I’m not a baseball or basketball kind of guy, I don’t understand hockey, and golf isn’t really a sport, is it?).

That being said, I had guarded high hopes during the preseason: our quarterback, Jake Delhomme, who many had written off as washed up, looked decent, our draft picks looked like they were ready to play at the pro level, and we had Mike Holmgren running the show. Could this finally be the year?

My enthusiasm took a hit in the last preseason game, when rookie RB Montario Hardesty was lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Still, I’m a diehard fan, and I was psyched for the season opener against Tampa Bay.

Well, that didn’t turn out too well. After building a 14-3 lead, we ended up losing 17-14. Delhomme threw a couple of picks, there were lost fumbles, the defense looked lost in the second half…it was ugly.

Today many “loyal” Browns fans are moaning and groaning and talking about dumping the QB and coach and making plans for what we need to do to have a winning team next year.

After one freakin’ game.

Me? I’m willing to give my team a 623rd chance.

I’m just happy they’re back.

Random Thoughts (Christmas ’09)

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. I start decorating the weekend before Thanksgiving, because the big dinner and football take up too much time. Once a month, on the 25th when possible, I listen to Christmas music for an hour or two. I stock up on Febreze Fresh Evergreen and Snow candles and air freshener in December so I can enjoy them throughout the year. “Winter Village” is my iGoogle theme year-round.

It’s not the presents and gift-giving; it’s not the nostalgia of the holiday programs (although it has to be close to a national emergency to make me miss “A Charlie Brown Christmas”); it’s not the music; God knows it’s definitely not the snowy weather (which I hate) that keeps me singing “We Need A Little Christmas” in my increasingly raspy voice.

It’s the general atmosphere, what the season does for most people’s attitudes at this time of year that I look forward to most. People who are Scrooges or Grinches the rest of the year find their hearts, if only temporarily. Children are on their best behavior, hoping that being on the straight and narrow for a month or so will make up for eleven months of naughtiness. I don’t know that there’s ever been research done on the subject, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there are more smiles flashed, hands shook, and hugs given in December than any other month.

I love, love, love the season (of course, I do my shopping online; getting anywhere near a mall would dampen my enthusiasm)!

A few random memories and other tidbits:

  • I don’t remember my first Christmas. Give me a break; I’m 58 fer cryin’ out loud.
  • One year we had an aluminum tree, illuminated by a lamp with a rotating wheel that held different colored sections of cellophane.  You don’t see that much any more.  Probably a good thing.
  • I think it was in 1963 that we were living in Walnut Creek, California. For Christmas the family piled in the station wagon and drove to Anaheim and spent Christmas Day at Disneyland.
  • My five favorite Christmas recordings, in no particular order: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono; “The Little Drummer Boy” – The Harry Simeone Chorale; “Christmas Canon” – The Trans-Siberian Orchestra; “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” – The Trans-Siberian Orchestra; “Christmas Time Is Here” – The Vince Guaraldi Trio.
  • We lived with my grandparents for a spell when I was younger. I remember one Christmas season (probably the same one with the aluminum tree mentioned earlier) one of my siblings happened to look out of the window to see a strange man waving his arms around and jumping up and down. We couldn’t quite see him in the dark, but he seemed very frightening. The youngest of us started crying as the strange figure came knocking on the door, although the adults were laughing and telling us everything was OK as they opened the door and let the strange man in. He was, of course, outfitted in the requisite red-and-white and fur-trimmed uniform, and the adults were ho-ho-ho-ing and saying it was only Santa Claus. We were all encouraged to sit on his vast lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas, but none of us kids were excited about it; yes, we were all familiar with Santa and had met him several times at local shopping centers (yes, Virginia, this was long before the concept of “malls”), but this guy…his hair and beard were scraggly, his face was battered, he didn’t speak (not even one “ho”) and his eyes seemed like holes cut into his face. Which, of course, they were; this Santa was, in fact, my grandfather dressed in a rather old and well-used suit and a mask that must have dated to the Civil War.
  • One of my fondest childhood memories is of Mr. Jingeling, the Keeper of the Keys. He started out as a character created at Cleveland’s Halle’s Department Store in the mid-50’s to sell toys during the holiday season. He proved to be so popular that he’s been around ever since. I remember seeing him during his daily spots on Capt. Penney’s show on WEWS.
  • For my son’s second Christmas, we stayed up late, getting everything just right, and set up the video camera so we could catch the look on his face when he came into the room. Getting up early, we double-checked everything, made sure the camera angle was perfect, and as his mom was bringing him, I pushed “Play” and “Random” on the CD player, which had been preloaded with various titles of Christmas music, including Volume 4 of A Very Special Christmas. As Cam came into the room, he eyes widened and his jaw dropped at the sight of the tree and presents. The camera caught it all, including the audio playing in the background: “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC. Not exactly the mood setting music we were hoping for.
  • My five favorite Scrooges:
  • #1 Alastair Sim

    #2 Jim Carrey

    #3 Mr. Magoo

    #4 Michael Caine

    #5 Rowan Atkinson (as Ebenezer Blackadder)

  • (Added Dec.16) Mrs. Claus would visit us on New Year’s Eve (a ruse, I would imagine, to get us off to bed early so the adults could enjoy midnight). Our stockings would be hung somewhere with care (we didn’t have a chimney), and we would awake in the New Year to find she’d loaded them with apples and oranges and other healthy snacks; no doubt to atone for the sweets and so forth that her health-unconscious husband had filled us up with. We weren’t crazy about Mrs. Claus.
  • (Added Dec.22) Somehow, in 5th Grade at Spicer School in Akron, Ohio, I was chosen to participate in the school Christmas play. I probably volunteered, but I don’t remember the details. I do remember that I was supposed to be a shepherd (Shermy!), but I didn’t have any lines to memorize. Probably had to sing a carol with everyone. I was really looking forward to it…until the day of the play. I got stage fright before I even left the house, and had my mom call me in sick. What a wuss. Merry Christmas to all schoolkids who dread the holidays because they’re afraid they’re going to look silly in front of their peers.
    I’m sure as the season goes on I’ll add to this list. I tend to wax nostalgic as I hear certain songs, see certain things, and even smell certain smells. Hope your season brings you special memories, too.

    Merry Christmas!