Note From Jon


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Retaining Joel

I generally try to avoid business trips, but I figured heading to San Diego would give me a good chance to handicap the odds on when Joel will move back east. It's still a tough call. From the scenery and activity standpoint he may never be back. However, his foray with foster dog Fiona (who's not a bad dog... once she gets over her fear of water and relieving herself outdoors) made it clear just how hard it will be to replace Reagan. I think an over/under of a year is still about right.

Note to Jon:
  • The Jamba Juice at the Chula Vista Center has a $1 deal on a delicious hot Parmesan Pretzel with the purchase of a smoothie. Ever since my Whole Foods got rid of Jamba Juice I've been craving some and made up for that all week in San Diego.
  • If Joel asks if you can jump up on a retaining wall in his backyard (and mentions that he can)... don't try it, at least not in flip-flops. Ouch.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Side-view Century

Usually when a biker gets hit by a car, the biker takes more damage than the car. Thankfully, I was the rare exception to that in my head-on collision with a pick-up truck about 40 miles into my Century ride. I’d like to think I was just that determined to finish the 100 miles, but it probably had more to do with getting hit by the one part of the truck which would give way before my arm did—the side mirror.

Even before the collision it was an eventful morning. No more than five miles in I discovered the flaw in my plan to pre-hydrate for the race. I felt the call of nature and had another 22 miles until the sanctioned rest stop. The problem is this area is not populated enough to have a gas station or restaurant I could pop into, but populated enough to have fences and houses discouraging me from stopping just anywhere. By mile 13 I knew there was no way I was making it all the way to the rest stop and my standards for a bathroom had diminished considerably—from isolated woodland to anywhere without a fence. I was seriously considering Tour-de-France-style (i.e. while riding) but figured I wasn’t skilled enough to stay on the bike let alone avoid pissing off the neighbors (or on myself). So you can imagine my joy when I found a ten foot gap in the fence above a dry culvert with a few trees beyond. I practically leapt off my bike and ran to the first tree. I was safe. And then I looked up. Directly above my “urinal” was a wriggling mass of bees. But by now I was… committed. And vulnerable. As the first bee flew from the tree and landed on me I prayed that my yellow and black jersey would convince it that I was a friend. My disguise worked as the other bees left me alone. By the end I felt so comfortable with my new friends I decided to document them. What I hadn’t anticipated was… the camera flash. Needless to say I ran back to the bike even faster than I had run from it.

After that everything was perfect until the fateful curve I took at 11:00. As the truck and I approached the curve on Meyerstown Road I could see that he was turning farther and farther into my lane. At first I assumed he was just taking a tight turn and I hugged the right side of my lane. By now he was entirely in my lane and I assumed he was trying to scare me (I’ve heard bikers aren’t well loved in these parts). But when he didn’t veer off I was sure he was trying to run me down. Before I had a chance to abandon the road altogether and careen into the fence, there was a thunderous (to me anyway) smash as the side mirror exploded off of my arm and shattered on the road. Somehow I managed to keep a grip on my bike and coast to a stop. Apparently the driver hadn’t noticed me biking towards him, and it did seem from his reaction that he was oblivious rather than malicious. I was shaken up but otherwise uninjured and after a discussion with the driver I cruised to the next rest stop powered mostly by adrenaline. I’m sure the mirror-less driver and I were both considerably more vigilant after that.

Thankfully the second fifty miles started with seeing my family at the midway point and were mostly memorable for the bucolic scenery, the delicious food served at the rest stops, and my amazement that I felt as strong at mile 85 as I had at mile 45, despite having never ridden more than 65 miles. I even sprinted the last two miles in an effort to finish in under 6 hours and 30 minutes on the bike (I did succeed even though my bike computer kept counting an additional two seconds once I had stopped!). Despite the close calls described above it was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone and when combined with all the post-ride celebrations it was one of the best days of my life. Thank you to everyone who supported me in accomplishing this (specifically the Potomac Peddlers Touring Club for putting this Historic Back Roads Century on, Darren for inspiration, my family for support, Mimsi for many of these photos, and of course my post-ride masseuse—I am not even sore today!).

PPTC Historic Back Roads Century at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quarterbacks for sale

Well the air conditioning was certainly better for this year's Fantasy Football auction, but with Doug earning his new team name, Too Cheap For WiFi, I actually had better internet access last year drafting from the Dakar airport. It's possible my brain wasn't acclimatized to the colder air because I kept drafting quarterbacks that I felt were undervalued... and ended up with seven of them on my roster (you can start two). Hey, I was burned a couple years back when Aaron Brooks and Jake Plummer—who both lost their jobs a few weeks into the season—were my starting QBs. I am already working the trades.

The auction ended in record time this year so I had Sunday evening free and decided to fully devote the day to Fantasy Football by downloading my friends' new documentary on the subject called 10 Yards. My college buddies Hunter and Josh are documentary filmmakers who you may remember from their excellent movie 10 MPH about riding a segway across the country. If you haven't seen either of these films you can download or stream them from For the next couple of days 10 Yards is free to download and as a bonus, registering for OurStage through their link will provide $2 for Hunter and Josh to continue their film-making careers.

Last year's team—African Safari—had the best record in the regular season but managed to finish just out of the money in fourth place. We'll see if this year's team—likely to be named Seven QBs—can fare better:

Remaining Salary Cap: 3000
Total Salary Used: 997000
QB Carson Palmer (Traded to Flea as part of the Lynch Package)
$90 000
QB Kurt Warner
$11 000
RB Joseph Addai
$320 000
RB Larry Johnson (Traded to Flea as part of the Lynch Package)
$205 000
WR Andre Johnson
$180 000
WR Anquan Boldin
$56 000
TE Kellen Winslow (Finally gave up on him and grabbed Tashard Choice)
$30 000
K Mason Crosby (Dropped for Tony Scheffler's second signing on my team)
$1 000
Defense/Special Teams Seahawks (Dropped for TE John Carlson after week 6)
$1 000
QB Matt Schaub
$16 000
QB David Garrard (Dropped for cap space to fill my 4 empty roster spots)
$12 000
QB John Kitna (Dropped for WR Devin Hester after week 6)
$9 000
QB Jake Delhomme (Dropped for the Saints Defense... who play the Lions championship weekend)
$11 000
QB Matt Leinart (Traded to Flea as part of the Lynch Package)
$1 000
WR Roddy White
$16 000
RB Ronnie Brown
$36 000
RB Kolby Smith (Traded to Flea as part of the Lynch Package)
$1 000
RB Dominic Rhodes
$1 000

----- Added -----
$300,000 RB Marshawn Lynch (Acquired for Palmer, LJ, Kolby Smith and Leinart)
Week 3
$6,000 TE Tony Scheffler (Free Agent, shocked he was available considering
his 2 TDs last week and the potent Denver passing game)
(Dropped Week 5 after he sprouted crutches from a groin injury)
$3,000 RB Fred Jackson (Acquired as a Voodoo Doll, he is killing
Lynch's production by stealing receptions. Outscored Lynch 17 to 13 last week)
Week 4
$1,000 Def Tampa Bay (Seahawks on bye and TB has been better so far anyway,
although it's starting too look like I might rather have gotten my second choice of Eagles
Defense last week instead of Tony Scheffler)
$1,000 WR Bobby Engram (Lost out on all RBs better than Fred Jackson so I grabbed Engram,
and will be starting BOTH Bills RBs this weekend. Ouch.)
(Dropped week 7 for Kevin Curtis)
Week 5
$6,000 RB Kevin Smith (Beat Swag's bid of 5k, I figured 6k is a good investment in a RB getting regular carries, even if it is for the Lions)
Week 6
$2,000 WR Devin Hester (Injured himself after amassing a whopping 4 points for me... which still was more than Engram who I would have started in his place) (Dropped week 7 for David Akers)
$1,000 TE John Carlson (Insurance against Elephantitis Winslow--now supposedly a staph infection--thankfully I didn't need to start him)
$1,000 K David Akers (Bye week fill-in for Crosby, of course now I don't know which one to keep) (Dropped to pick Crosby back up when I realized he was the #1 kicker in the league... and that the Eagles had completely fallen apart)
$3,000 WR Kevin Curtis (With Winslow down I needed more TE options)
$1,000 TE Tony Scheffler (Back for his second stint)
$1,000 QB Matt Leinart (with Schaub out and Delhomme unproductive, I am getting nervous about having my season undone by a Warner injury... plus I felt my team name required more QBs)
$2,000 TE Kevin Boss (dropped Scheffler yet again in my quest to get production from the one position I hadn't thought would be a problem) (Upgraded to sudden TE stud John Carlson)
$2,000 TE Tony Scheffler (third time's the charm?)
$2,000 TE John Carlson (Loves Seneca Wallace)
$32,000 RB Tashard Choice (Wish I'd started him against the Giants)
$2,000 D Saints (In case I can't resist their matchup against the winless Lions)

In honor of Josh and Hunters' film 10 yards, I'm going track my fantasy season on here this year. I'll try to give a status on Monday mornings and then update with the final result later in each week. I'll also be tracking how the Carson Palmer/Larry Johnson for Marshawn Lynch trade is looking each week...

"How many QBs do I have?" 2008 Results

Week 1: Monday morning: Things are looking good for a 1-0 start. I hold a 110-50 lead over "And Larry" (there's another team called Chuck). "And Larry" has both running backs in the early Monday Night game left to go (Adrian Peterson and Ryan Grant) but unless they go Willie Parker and Michael Turner (combined for over 350 yards and 5 TDs yesterday) on me, it shouldn't be an issue. He also has the Raiders defense while I have the Packers kicker Mason Crosby.
Trade update: Palmer scored a grand total of 2 points for Flea. LJ had 9. Despite resting most of the 4th quarter, Lynch had 18 for me by himself. Winner so far: Me!
How many QBs do I have?: 5 (Kitna, Warner, Delhomme, Schaub, Garrard), down from the 7 I drafted now that Palmer and Leinart are gone.
Result: Win 117-72. Puts me in third place after week 1.
Next up: A match-up against "Whack-ass", current league leader and owner of the suddenly formidable RB duo of Willie Parker and Michael Turner.

Week 2: Monday Morning: Currently beating former #1 "Whack-Ass" 166-101. The effort was solid all around (with every player chipping in at least ten points) but it was the 3 TDs from Warner to Boldin that have me looking at first or second place after week 2. Barring a 65-point outburst from Dallas kicker Nick Folk tonight, I'll be 2-0 and the only drama is whether Donovan McNabb scores 31 points (about 3 TDs and 300 yards passing) for "Chuck" to prevent me from taking first place. Some other notes from this week:

  • In week one, "Whack-Ass"es running backs (Turner and Parker) combined for 66 points. In week two (against me) they combined for 15. Thank you scheduling gods.
  • Hurricane Ike tore the roof off Reliant Stadium forcing the Texans and Ravens to have their bye week unexpectedly moved to this week. Hardly the most significant result of the storm but this actually helped me because two of my receivers shared a bye week... now if I can get my RB bye week conflicts resolved without a natural disaster.
  • At one point (before the Warner/Boldin show combined for 70 points) I thought my week hinged on a series of plays in the Indy/Minnesota game. "Whack-Ass" had Peyton and Wayne. Peyton threw a long pass to Anthony Gonzalez... who lateraled to Reggie Wayne who scored a TD (Equaling 2 TDs for "Whack-Ass"). But the play was challenged and Wayne was ruled down at the 1 yard line. After Peyton was stuffed several times they finally handed the ball to my RB Addai who scored... perhaps. That play was also challenged but the TD stood so it ended up being a 3 TD swing in my favor.
Trade update: Larry Johnson is out on passing downs and quoted as saying he doesn't see a future with the Chiefs. He scored 2 points yesterday. Palmer scored 1. Lynch scored 13 for me (and Kitna who was in for my empty Palmer spot scored 17). Wow does this trade look good for me through two weeks. Amazingly it may look even better for Flea who has since traded Palmer (and Jerry Porter and Todd Heap) for Trent Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jason Witten. After yesterdays games this trade looks absurd.
How many QBs do I have?: Still 5, though one is likly to go this week as I clear some cap space.
Result: Win 168-115. 2-0 and in 1st place with a 7 point lead over "Chuck"
Next Up: A match-up between the top two teams in the league. I wish I'd played "Chuck" this week as I'd have beaten him 168-167. While the other half of this dynamic duo "And Larry" is busy making Flea competitive again (by taking Carson Palmer off his hands for the #1 TE, a WR2, and a potential QB upgrade in Trent Edwards), "Chuck" has a QB duo in Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler who look every bit as imposing as my opponents RBs Turner and Parker looked coming into this week. It will be a tough match-up and most likely comes down to whether New Orleans can keep Brandon Marshall out of the endzone... gulp.

Week 3: Monday Morning: Chuck put things out of reach this week so the Monday night game didn't matter.
Trade Update: I don't have the exact scores but Lynch had his best game yet with 2TDs and Larry Johnson and Palmer were better than past weeks but neither did anything to indicate this wasn't a great trade for me. Unless things change I'll probably declare this a win and stop tracking it.
How Many QBs do I have?: Down to 4, and only Warner is looking solid. Kitna and Schaub may lose their jobs if they don't turn it around in the next couple of weeks and Delhomme hasn't played well yet.
Result: Loss 139-112. 2-1 now and in 4th place. Actually I am glad he won by quite a bit because the strangest result in the NFL this week was my backup RB Ronnie Brown scoring 5 TDs against the Pats... on my bench. Thankfully I would have lost even if I started Brown over Addai so it wasn't a coaching decision (of course if I started him over Kitna, or started him over Addai and Roddy White over Andre Johnson... oh well, at least it looks like Brown may be able to help by the end of the season)
Next Up: 5th place team "Hey Rookie!" who may be tough since I am down a second QB and RB and starting Delhomme and Fred Jackson in their places. Basically I need a down week from Drew Brees and Reggie Bush and I have a good chance (as long as Buffalo scores on the ground with either of my RBs and not through the air to his Lee Evans)

Week 4: Monday Morning: I was busy.
Trade Update: My first loss regarding this trade. Larry Johnson went off and outscored Lynch by himself (Carson Palmer was injured and didn't play). I don't feel too bad though because LJ was on Flea's bench.
How Many QBs Do I Have?: Same 4, and Schaub and Delhomme finally put in good performances.
Result: Win 137-114. 3-1 overall and back in third place. My free agent acquisition of the Tampa Defense and garbage time points from Warner and Boldin won this one for me. Now only Chuck remains undefeated (after beating up on his winless lover's team "And Larry").
Next Up: Flea! The head-to-head matchup with my trade partner. Here's hoping that Larry Johnson got his good game out of the way last week... and that the Cardinals don't give up 6 TDs to Flea's Trent Edwards the way they did to Brett Favre!

Week 5: Monday Morning: I've still got a chance, but I'd have to give the edge to Flea. I have a 15 point lead 118-103 (but I lose a tie) and he has WR Lance Moore going for the Saints tonight. In a points-per-reception league like ours, 15 points is a pretty average WR performance, but if they keep him out of the end zone and under 100 yards I can hold on. A win would put me in 2nd place due to the previously-undefeated Chuck's (embarrassing) loss to Whack-Ass. The only more embarrassing loss this week was Swag's 65 point effort against the formerly winless "And Larry".
Trade Update: In the head-to-head matchup, Lynch disappointed with only 9 points for me. However, Flea started Larry Johnson against me instead of Clinton Portis (and his 23 points). Larry Johnson rushed 7 times for 2 yards (and zero points). Here's what Rotoworld had to say about him today: "Hope you sold high on Larry Johnson! Has their ever been a bigger one game comedown that doesn't include an injury than 198 yards to two? ". Since the 9 point swap would mean I'd already lost to Flea, I will credit the trade with putting me in a position to win.
How many QBs do I have?: Four. But only 2 that finished games on Sunday. Warner seems to be my only reliable starter at the moment, although Delhomme had another solid effort.
Result: Win 118-111. Both the Redskins and I sit at 4-1 now. The trade (and Flea's decision to start Larry Johnson) proved critical in this victory. I'm in second place overall, 10 points behind Whack-Ass who knocked off Chuck... and did quite a bit of bragging about it (actually offering himself up as a paid Fantasy Football consultant). Still he did lose a game 168 to 115. Who was that to again?
Next Up: McCray (3-2) brings Rodgers and Romo to challenge me, but I'll finally be starting Wildcat Ronnie Brown so I'm feeling pretty good, as long as McGahee and Ryan Grant don't choose this week to break out of their season long slumps.

Week 6: Monday Morning: Trailing 145 to 153. Everything hinges on how big Kellen Winslow's balls are. Literally. My tight end was hospitalized from Thursday-Sunday with nuts the size of grapefruits. He's in my starting line-up and my only chance at getting those 8 points back, but he's got less than a 25% chance of playing. I suppose I should have some perspective and just be grateful that I don't have a job where people are blogging about the size of my testicles.
Result: No Winslow = No Win. I fell to 4-2 and into second place despite having the second highest score of the week. Of some consolation is that I have the highest powered offense in the league with 797 points for so I'll likely continue to win any tie-breakers.
Next Up: Doug's (1-5) team which should be an easy win on paper but he has the potential with Tomlinson and Eli Manning capable of big weeks at any time.

Week 7: Monday Morning: Leading 121-91. I'm taking solace in the Red Sox failed ALCS comeback with another fantasy win (assuming Denver kicker Matt Prater doesn't have the greatest fantasy game ever by a kicker and score 30 points against me).
Trade Update: Larry Johnson was suspended this week and apparently beat on another woman at a night club so he may well be completely done in KC. Palmer is also out with an arm injury which doesn't have a clear timetable. Lynch hasn't taken the next step up like I'd hoped but he's been consistent and the trade is looking critical to my success right now.
How many QBs do I have?: Three. Kitna was placed on IR last week (supposedly for his balky back but mainly because the winless Lions want to go in a new direction) so I am now down to a fairly standard number of QBs on my roster. I may need to petition for a new team name soon. At least Warner and Schaub both seem to have solidified themselves as every week starters for me.
Result: Win 119-92. Now 5-2 overall. Not sure where they subtracted my two points but glad I didn't need them. Thanks to a strong Monday night effort by "Chuck" and a ridiculously lucky tie by "Whack-Ass" I remain in 3rd place despite maintaining my lead in total points scored. Most importantly I have worked my way through all of my major byes and aside from potential issues my biggest problem going forward may be deciding who to bench between Kurt Warner, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Anquan Boldin, and Roddy White (this week it looks like Boldin, until he shows he can take a hit again)
Next up: My rematch with Flea whose team has come on strong lately thanks to Kyle Orton, his trade for Jason Witten, and three top 5 RBs in Barber, Portis, and the surprising Matt Forte (who thankfully has a bye this week). Hopefully Marshawn Lynch uses this week to seek his revenge against his former owner who thought so little of him that he traded him for LJ and Palmer.

Week 8: Monday Morning: Won 153-104. Currently high-scorer for this week despite having Boldin on the bench. With "Chuck" and "Whack Ass" facing each other I am guaranteed to move into second place now (likely behind "Whack Ass"). And I swept the season series against Flea. Next week I have to bench one of Warner, Schaub, Andre Johnson, Boldin, or Roddy White. This week they all scored between 25-31 points.
How many QBs do I have?: Three, and likely to remain that way from here on out unless I make a trade.
Result: Win 153-104. 6-2 and in second place behind Whack-Ass. I've noticed my record keeps matching the Redskins.
Next up: A rematch with Chuck who handed me my first defeat in week three.

Week 9: Monday Morning: Won 126-99. It was a team effort with everyone going into double digits except for Schaub and Lynch who both left their games with injuries. My team also played solid defense, managing to hold Steven Jackson and Brandon Marshall to uncharacteristically bad weeks (combined 5 points). This win will put me in first place over Whack-Ass if Willie Parker scores less than 28 points tonight.
How many QBs do I have?: Three, although Schaub sprained his knee so technically only two healthy ones. Looks like I may start all three of my star WRs this week instead of two QBs.
Result: Win. 7-2 and in first place.

Week 10: Monday Morning: The bad news is that I am trailing Whack-Ass 148-88. The good news is that I have my two strongest players Warner and Boldin going tonight along with the Cardinals Defense. Still a 60 point deficit is tough to overcome.
How many QBs do I have?: Three, but at this point I am really only using Warner. It took seven selections but I may have selected the league MVP with one of them.
Result: WIN! 155-148. Now 8-2 and still in first place. Despite the Cardinals only scoring 3 TDs, my team gets credited with 5 since Warner hooked up with Boldin two more times. They combined for 61 points and the win for me. Of course it helps that Whack-Ass decided to leave Peyton Manning on his bench. Thanks for that. I've now swept the season series against Whack-Ass who earlier in the season was offering his consulting services to the league—when he only had one loss (against me).
Next Up: My matchup with Swag and his host of Redskins (Campbell, Moss, and Cooley). Warner has now moved into the fantasy points lead and will win me $25 if he finishes the regular season that way.

Week 11: Monday Morning: I'm trailing Swag 111-106... but I've still got Lynch and Winslow going tonight. If they can't combine for 5 points I don't deserve to win and will consider this a gift to Swag who will be recovering from a root canal... and if I win he probably won't even notice the additional pain.
Result: Win 148-111. 9-2 overall. Lynch had his best game of the season with 100+ yards rushing and 10(!) receptions. Winslow came back to earth after his breakout week 10 performance. Overall I'm in first place and will likely win any tie-breakers with over 120 total points over the next highest team (strangely that team is ranked 6th). Warner still leads the league in fantasy points and his biggest competition looks like it could actually be Boldin despite him missing two weeks.
Next Up: The less dynamic of the "Chuck" "And Larry" duo who I last played in week 1. A win there should clinch a playoff spot for me.

Week 12: Monday Morning: Leading 139-77 with Mason Crosby going tonight vs. Greg Jennings and Jeremy Shockey. Unless Jennings and Shockey are throwing TDs to each other (tough to do since they are on opposite teams) I think the lead is pretty safe. It was a solid effort across the board with only Kellen Winslow failing to produce. Warner only had 18 points but should maintain his league points lead.
How Many QBs do I have?: Back up to 4 with the re-addition of Leinart as Warner insurance. All 4 QBs on my roster are from the original 7 I drafted.
Result: Win 142-111. 10-2 overall and clinched a playoff spot.
Do I own the Fantasy MVP?: One of the things out league does is award bonus money for having the highest scoring player for a week, highest scoring team for a week, and highest scoring player for the season. I'm not looking too good for the first too but Kurt Warner is currently the leading point scorer for the season. He has a one point lead over Drew Brees and a slighter bigger lead over Philip Rivers. Over the next couple of weeks I'll track whether he holds on and wins the prize money for me.
Next up: "Too Cheap to Pay for the Keg" who lost last year (thus requiring him to buy the keg for this year's auction) and failed to fulfill his keg-buying duty. At 1-11 he looks set to have a chance to redeem himself next year... or to repeat his team name.

Week 13: Monday Morning: Leading 87-76. Clearly my team took advantage of the pressure being off and rested this week. This is my worst performance yet, somehow I may still wind up with a win thanks to "Too Cheap to pay for the Keg" clearly aiming to repeat as the last place team. All I have to do to hold on tonight is not have Andre Johnson (#11 overall) get outscored by Marcedes Lewis (#211 overall) by more than 10 points. It should be easy... of course this game shouldn't be this close either. A win will guarantee me first place in the regular season and the top seed in the playoffs (in which case I can't imagine how few points my team will score next week when there is even less to play for).
How Many QBs do I have?: Still 4, although I may be lobbying to become team "How many times I have I resigned Tony Scheffler?" (3 times so far).
Result: Win 107-79. 11-2 overall and clinched #1 seed in the playoffs which start week 15.
Do I own the Fantasy MVP?: So far. Despite a mediocre performance (for him) of 21 points, Warner gained on all three of his closest competitors: Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and (sadly) my own Anquan Boldin. It all comes down to this week, and basically it will be determined by whether Brees (who I happen to be facing head to head) outscores Warner by more than 4 points. Technically Warner could still lose if he is outscored by Aaron Rodgers by 17 points.
Next up: "Hey Rookie" who's fighting an uphill battle for a playoff spot. He needs to beat me and have "Whack Ass" lose. Frankly I am rooting for "Whack Ass" whose team currently looks far less imposing than "Hey Rookie's"

Week 14: Result: Ouch. Lost 134-94. While I still end the regular season #1, with the best record at 11-3 and the most total points at 1841, because "Whack-Ass" lost his way out of the playoffs entirely by going 0-3 the past few weeks and losing this week by 1 point... I now have a rematch against the team that just crushed me by 40 points. Well, here is my chance for immediate redemption at least. If this loss wasn't enough motivation, his QB Drew Brees also managed to edge out Kurt Warner for season MVP by 2 points and steal the $50 bonus that should have been mine. My team—RBs especially—was asleep this week and resulted in my team scoring the least of any team in the league, so we clearly have something to prove, and it starts by holding Drew Brees to under ten points tonight!

Playoff Semi-Finals: Friday Morning: We get an early update to this game with my opponent "Hey Rookie" starting league MVP (bitter!) Drew Brees and dangerous PPR RB Reggie Bush against me in the Thursday night matchup. Total damage 23 points. I'll take it! Perhaps more importantly it is looking like Addai will be out for Sunday's game, which might seem like bad news for me except that it means I can start Dominic Rhodes against the Detroit Lions (23 rushing TDs given up this season!), and not worry about split carries. Of course I'm not sure what it says about my team that here I am in the playoffs and I'm planning to bench 630K (Lynch and Addai) of my million dollar salary cap!
Monday Morning: It's looking like I picked the right week to lose to "Hey Rookie" last week (when it didn't count). This week I've got a 134-107 lead thanks to Rhodes' as-advertised performance against the Lions and Andre Johnson's timely 200+ yard outburst. This is good because otherwise I'd probably be kicking myself for starting Ronnie Brown's 8 points over far better performances from Tashard Choice, Kevin Smith, Marshawn Lynch, and even Marshawn Lynch's backup Fred Jackson! Now barring a half-dozen 50 yard field goals from Phil Dawson tonight or the Philly Defense outscoring Donovan McNabb by 30 points, things are set up for the finals next week between myself and #2 ranked Team Chuck.
Result: No miraculous kicking for Phil Dawson on Monday so I won 134-110 and am guaranteed to at least make my money back ($100 entry and $200 for 2nd place or $500 for first place). I face Chuck in the finals, who I split my season series with. I've got some lineup calls to make. Do I bench Warner or Boldin because of weather and the fact that Arizona has already clinched? Do I bench Andre Johnson against shutdown corner Nnamdi Asamougha? Tampa D or Saints D (against Detroit)? And which two RBs to pick from: Lynch, Addai, Rhodes, Tashard Choice, and K Smith (I am eliminating Ronnie Brown from consideration).

Playoff Finals: Ugh. I hit a season low (by nearly 20 points) of 77 points, while Chuck fell one short of the season high of 176 points. Normally, as coach I would step up and say that it starts with me, that I made the wrong calls, benched the wrong players, didn't make the right trade or free agent move... but I lost by nearly 100 points. If I'd have been able to start all 18 players on my roster I would have lost. I was smart enough to bench my team MVPs Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin and to start waiver pickup Tashard Choice. But frankly none of that mattered. I'm pretty sure it was the largest margin of victory all season and likely in playoff history. I got crushed and there is nothing to do but collect the $100 that I did win as 2nd place and settle in for the Fantasy offseason. After two years in a row finishing in first place in the regular season and with the most points but then losing in the playoffs I am going to rally for bonus awards in those categories. Thanks to Hunter and Josh for the inspiration with their movie 10Yards, maybe I should go back and study it some more for next year, this was still my best finish yet in this league.