I do not like fantasy football. I do not play fantasy football – – or fantasy “anything else”. I tried it once in an NFL fantasy league and lost interest in about the 4th week of the season to the point where I never changed my starting lineup from that point on. In one week of the season, I “started” four players who were out of action for the week. Somehow, I did not lose every game of the season and wound up something like 2-12. I bring this up because I want to point you to a column by Brad Dickson about fantasy football that I really think you should read in its entirety.
Brad Dickson is a humor writer; so, this is not a “serious” exposition on fantasy football. Nonetheless, I think there are several important issues that he addresses there. Just to whet your appetite, here are two short paragraphs from that column:
“It hasn’t been easy to resist the siren call of fantasy football. Indeed in 2018 playing fantasy sports has become America’s new pastime, having supplanted the erstwhile, laudable pursuits of Fidget-spinning, dabbing and searching for Pokemon.”
“There’s no doubt that fantasy football, which has grown into a full-fledged pandemic in America, makes you do crazy, off-the-rails stuff. My buddy Vic once sneaked a look at his cellphone during the eulogy at his grandpa’s wake to see how many yards Matt Schaub had passed for during a first half. (He justifies this by asserting it was ‘during a lull’ in the eulogy.)”
With the season-ending injury to Jay Ajayi, there had been an increased focus on the potential for the Eagles to trade for LeVeon Bell – – who has pretty much made it clear that he will not be signing with the Steelers next year. Forget all of the questions about if Bell is in “football shape” and how he might fit in within an Eagles’ locker room that has stars but not divas. Focus solely on this question:
- If the Eagles cannot sign him to a contract as part of the trade process, is it worth it to them to “rent him” for a few months?
My answer to that question is a resounding, “NO!” If I trade to acquire Bell and I am the Eagles’ GM, I do not want to be part of the focus of a ton of drama once the offseason starts. So, if I am the GM of the Eagles – which I am not nor am I connected to that position in any way whatsoever – here are the parameters of my deal:
- I believe the Eagles have 2 second-round picks in next year’s draft. I would offer one of those to the Steelers on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. That’s it; that’s all you will get from me for Bell. If they come back with a “counter-offer” that sweetens the deal, I would reduce my offer to one third-round pick.
- AND I would demand the right to negotiate with Bell’s agent for a contract extension beyond the end of the 2018 season. If Bell signs on, the trade goes through; if not, the Steelers still have a disgruntled RB who may show up in another 4 weeks – – or not.
Here is my offer to LeVeon Bell’s agent:
- Three-year contract … total value of contract is $48M … incentives could increase the value by up to $5M … total guaranteed money is less than $28M.
Again, my offer to Bells’ agent is take-it-or-leave-it; the last thing I would need in the middle of a season is haggling over details. Granted that Bell is the best running back option out there – – but he also brings more baggage with him than any other guy I might sign off the street to include:
- Two substance abuse suspensions
- An injury history
- Currently evident diva tendencies
And now it should be patently evident why I do not have the temperament or the résumé ever to be considered for the post of GM for an NFL team.
In the aftermath of the melee/brawl that ensued at UFC 229 in Las Vegas over the weekend, humor-writer, Brad Dickson, had this observation on Twitter:
“I watched my first ever UFC match Saturday night & I have tons of questions. For starters, when the winner spits on his vanquished opponent & jumps out of the Octagon to attack the opponent’s manager, how many points is that worth?”
Recall that I said earlier this week that UFC and professional wrestling were converging in terms of the promotional and “storytelling” aspects of the two enterprises. Brad Dickson’s comment goes to the question of what a first-time viewer of this sport is supposed to make of the after-fight activities. I do not have a good answer for him other than to say that all of this will be part of a humongous build-up to the rematch that will happen – – and then maybe a third match to be the “rubber match” …
It is time for a Quick Quiz … Put away all your notes and put all your cell phones out of reach. There is to be no Googling …
- There are 3 metro areas who have a pair of NFL franchises attached to them. The LA region is well served. The Rams are excellent, and the Chargers are at worst, “above average”. Take the LA metro area out of the discussion here.
- The other 2 metro areas with 2 NFL teams located there exist in a bleak landscape. The Giants and the Jets are both sub-standard teams in the NYC market; the Niners and the Raiders are both sub-standard teams in the Bay Area market. [I am being polite here; those four teams – Giants, Jets, Niners and Raiders – may not win a total of 25 games this season.]
- So … which metro region served by 2 NFL teams has the worse prognosis looking forward? The NYC area or the Bay Area?
- 100 words or less…
Finally, since I have cribbed from Brad Dickson for much of the content above, let me close with another of his observations about the stadium environment at the University of Wisconsin for a college football game:
“Then there are University of Wisconsin home football games at night which strongly resemble Turkish prison riots if the inmates paused to do the Wave and ‘jump around’.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………