is the week of clarity for all of us fantasy freaks. The
day of reckoning is upon us again. Most leagues end their
regular season after next weekend's games, and we will
all soon know our fantasy fates. Would we have better spent
our study time trying to stave off tossing dinner while
watching reality TV shows with the wife, or did our obsessive
hours of toiling pay off. Soon we will know.
I have read the annual discussion on the Huddle message
board concerning the question of having too many fantasy
teams spoiling the fun. Well, you can look at that issue
several different ways. If you have several teams, chances
are that at least one or two will make the playoffs,
and the chance of winning a Championship is much greater.
There is nothing worse than having only one team and
having a star player go down along with your teams chances
of success. Of course, I scarcely remember those days.
I figured out early on that I could balance several teams.
This year I have 5, which in reality is probably one
or two more than a person should have. But I have an
illness. I can't help myself. You know. I know you know.
I have 3 teams that are re-draft leagues, a 10 team
and two 12 team. I also have 2 keeper 12 team league
teams. Between the five teams, runs the whole gamut of
emotions. One 4-8 team. One 10-2 team. Three are playoff
bound for sure. One is hanging by a thread, the 4-8 team
died weeks ago.
My keeper team that I have had for 4 seasons is the
pitiful and embarrassing 4-8 team. This will be the first
team I have had that did not make the playoffs in 10
years of fantasy football. My league mates read this
column and will delight in my admission that I have a
team that sucks. I can scarcely remember how confident
I was after the draft. I had a starting line-up of Garcia,
T. Henry, F. Taylor, Owens, Mason, D. Clark, Reed, and
K.C. defense. How this team ended up 4-8 is a bigger
mystery to me than the fact that parents continue to
let their boys spend the night with Michael Jackson.
I boycotted the Fox pre-game show this week. I made
that decision the second I heard Keyshawn Johnson would
be there. Fox thought they were pulling a coup, bringing
the hottest story in the league right in for a ratings
boost. For me, it was just an excuse to skip the whole
program. The Buccaneers sent Keyshawn to his room without
supper, and Fox was the mother sneaking food to his room
and giving him a hug. Isn't that nice. Yep, those Fox
execs are a bunch of Mothers in my book.
Of course, since I did not watch Fox and I am on an
ongoing boycott of CBS (Deion Sanders) I was forced to
watch the entire two hours of ESPN Countdown. But I could
not escape Keyshawn. There was Michael Irvin defending
Keyshawn in his usual abrasive, overbearing, 80 IQ fashion.
Irvin said, "Keyshawn told me Jon Gruden told him
one lie after another....". Yeah? So what. When
you have a jerkwad like Key' constantly whining and yelling
at you, eventually you just tell him what he wants to
hear just to shut him up. Kind of like the way you have
to deal with your wife sometimes.
Irvin went on, "What you must have from your head
coach is TROOF!!" Troof? What the hell is troof?
Michael, I defy you to find that word in the dictionary.
Then when Steve Young tried to explain reality to Irvin,
the former prostitute banging, coke honking beacon of
morality just kept interrupting Young. Irvin in his usual
understated style just kept talking over him so Young
could not make his point. Let me tell you what, that
is good television. Maybe in Iraq that would be good
television. Here in America it is an embarrassment. ESPN
just keeps getting better and better.
The whole issue with Keyshawn is about inappropriate
behavior. Not about what Gruden told him. It is about
disrespecting your coach, your team, your league, your
fans. Key' is so disillusioned that he thinks he is such
a talent that his coach has to take whatever he dishes
out. No Key'. You are not Terrell Owens, You couldn't
carry his jockstrap. And you cannot get away with what
he gets away with. I'll never forget Keyshawn dissing
Marvin Harrison on that Monday Night game. That was the
defining moment of Key's career to me. There is nothing
much worse than an egotistical idiot. Key' isn't fit
to shine Marvin Harrison's shoes. Marvin Harrison represents
what athletes should strive to be, while Key' represents
everything wrong with pro sports today.
BIG KAHUNA PICK
Alright sports fans. I hit my pick last week. The Rams
did indeed struggle to best the Cardinals, and damn near
lost the game outright. An easy cover. Thank you very
much. 3-2 overall - win loss win loss win. I would like
to say that I will break the pattern, but to tell you
the truth none of the early spreads are impressing me
much. That's the hard part when you get to this time
of the year. The sportsbooks have honed their numbers,
and are tough to beat. Obvious opportunities are harder
and harder to come by. This is especially true when you
have a week like last where underdogs can rise up and
rule the day. But, this is not about easy picks anyway.
This is about going out on a limb and still beating the
man. So here it goes.
The Thanksgiving games are usually dogs. The Lions are
perpetually bad, and the Cowboys in the 90's usually
mauled their opponents in a perfect turkey induced snorefest.
Lately the Cowboys have been so bad that one could hardly
ruin a great meal by having the misfortune to watch them.
But this year there is at least a chance that the 'Boys
game will be a good one. At the very least the game is
meaningful, and for that I'm sure we are all thankful.
The Dolphins come to Dallas off a big come from behind
home win against the Redskins. This one is easy folks.
The Dolphins played a late Sunday game. Now they have
to fly to Dallas for a Thursday road game. The 'Boys
just beat a legitimate contender and feel good about
themselves. The Dolphins almost lost a game they should
have won easily. Guess where my money is going. Take
DALLAS -3 and make some money while you lay on the couch
like a beached whale with your belt undone. Only in America.
10) RAMS: Why is a team on top of the NFC in the misery
index? They barely escaped Baltimore at home, and Chicago
on the road. And then needed a last second FG to beat
the Cardinals. This team is winning, and has an easy
path to the playoffs. But you just get the feeling that
they will be ill equipped to make a serious run at the
Superbowl after barely beating a bunch of patsies along
9) DOLPHINS: Barely beat the 'Skins, and that was only
due to the fact that I think the 'Skins were scared and
confused by the new Miami uniforms. All the people ready
to christen Griese as the next..........Griese a few
weeks ago have now surely decided Fiedler isn't so bad
after all. Hopefully the Cowboys will force them to wear
their white jerseys and spare us all from seeing those
orange monstrosities again.
8) DEADSKINS: The only good thing about Sunday Nights
official death knell was the fact that Bruce Smith finally
managed to get his sack record. Great job Bruce. Now
will you for God's sake please just shut up about it,
and spend the next 5 years working on your induction
speech. Be sure to include several lines like, "it's
all about the team". By then we will have all forgotten
that you stuck around just to get the record, not to
win a ring.
7) VIKINGS: The team has frittered away a seemingly
insurmountable lead, and Ahman Green is dragging the
Packers behind him right on the Vikings tail. Culpepper
is spending his Sundays doing his best impersonation
of the Cardinals era Jake Plummer.
6) SEAHAWKS: When you score over 40 points on
the road at Baltimore you win 99 times out of a100. Whoops.
5) FALCONS: Ran up a 21 point lead on the Titans in
the first quarter, then remembered they were the Falcons.
They let some QB nobody ever heard of clip them while
Mike Vick stood on the sideline holding his arms out
to make sure none of his teammates stepped on his bad
4) BILLS: If you had told me before the season that
the Bills offense would be the worst in the league this
season, I would have given you a verbal wedgie and considered
giving you a real wedgie just for good measure. I'm not
sure if the problem is the O-line, Drew's happy feet,
Moulds injury, the coach, or all of the above. Probably
that last one.
3) LIONS: Well, here they come again with the
ever exciting early Thanksgiving game. I look to football
for an excuse
not to talk to my relatives on Thanksgiving, but the
Lions games are so boring that I am usually forced into
turning attention away from the TV. C'mon Lions, either
get it together, or give up the Turkey day game to a
team with a prayer.
2) GIANTS: The Monday Night loss to Tampa sealed their
fate as an also ran. But I would like to personally wish
Jim Fassel the best of luck with his next team. And I'd
especially like to thank Fassel for taking that late
safety to push the game over the 5 1/2 point spread.
Now even the boys in Vegas hate Fassel.
1) RAIDERS: These are tough times for the Raider Nation.
Mired in a horrible season. The team is actually playing
competitive football now but still finding a way to lose
every week. The really good part is that there is really
no reason to think that next season will be any better,
as half the team may be going up on steroid violations,
and the other half would be happy to just be able to
get it up.