Friday, August 29, 2008

The Five Day

So after this guy wondered if he should plead with God to make it rain on Obama's DNC acceptance speech...it didn't rain. It was bone dry.

However...a hurricane is going to hit the Gulf Coast just as the Republicans gather for their convention.

A massive weather event distracting news attention away from the GOP.

God is trying to tell us something! This is it, people!

First time...

...I ever wanted a 40-minute speech to keep going.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Probably Don't Need Him For Much

Have I mentioned that I carry the fantasy curse? Like Rogue in X-Men, if I draft you, I suck your life force away.

I make Joseph Addai my first pick and today comes news that Colts center Jeff Saturday will miss at least six weeks with a knee problem. In his stead, rookie Steve Justice will hike the ball to Peyton Manning. Unless he snaps it to Jim Sorgi in Week 1. Good gravy.

As us Steeler fans can attest, you need a center. A good center prevents defensive players from coming right up the middle and squashing your plays.

Joe Addai, I have drafted you with the touch of death. My apologies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ol' Good News, Bad News

My late round fantasy football picks never work out. My early round and middle round picks don't have the finest track record either, but my late round picks rarely see the roster by Week 2. But before the WVFL draft, Rotoworld hipped me to the fact that Chris Perry might end up being the starter in Cincinnati. I used a 10th rounder on him. My last pick before taking a DST and a K.

Then Perry started getting more preseason carries. I started looking like a genius. And my heart skipped a beat when I saw the following headline:

Report: Bengals are shopping Rudi Johnson

Oh, Lordy Lordy hot sex on a platter! Feeling faint (from the skipped heartbeat, see) and with quivering finger, I clicked on the link. No doubt friends would be sending trade offers (Bro, Peyton for Perry?) or just straight up congratulating me on nabbing a starting back with a 10th round pick.

Then I read the story.

Then I saw the bad news.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen was the one reporting this trade rumor. In other words...it was false.

The same Chris Mortensen who said this weekend that the Cardinals named Kurt Warner the starter. One day before Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said ESPN didn't know what they were talking about. The same Chris Mortensen who continually breaks stories that turn out to be incorrect.

Sure enough, today I see this. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis saying Rudi could earn his starting job back in the final preseason game.

On one side, I have Marvin Lewis, who said the Bengals would never bring Chris Henry back...six months before they brought him back. On the other, I have Chris Mortensen, who either flat out makes stuff up or is lied to by NFL insiders as some grand prank.

Look, I stopped watching SportsCenter seven years ago when I realized I didn't care about the Budweiser Hot Seat. About the only thing I watch on ESPN ever is Monday Night Football, and that is excruciating with the sound on. I maybe was one of the first people on this bandwagon, but I'm not the only one out there who thinks that ESPN sucks. But if I think a story isn't true BECAUSE it was reported by a certain ESPN personality, maybe that's a problem. I'm more willing to believe the Chinese gymnasts are 16 than I am to believe any story Mortensen breaks.

Bottom line is, because he's a Ladybug in 2008, Chris Perry will not do a damn thing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good News, Everybody!

When Russia responded with overwhelming force to Georgia's incursion into South Ossetia, it was a disorienting time. Was the Cold War back on? Should we be concerned that Russia is openly indicating that they think we're weak and ineffectual, being bogged down in Iraq? Would Dick Cheney try to steal the nuclear codes from Bush and nuke Moscow? Should we be embarrassed that we literally could not do a thing to Russia besides politely asking them to stop it?

Well, worry no more, friends. Cindy McCain is heading to Georgia! She is going to assess the casualties. I assume that means she will get on the phone tomorrow night and say, "Yes, John. There have been some casualties. Yes, like the newspapers reported. I would email you photos, but you can't use a computer." Mrs. McCain has also worked against landmines in the past, so it is likely that she will ask the Georgians to dig up the landmines they planted to stop Russian tanks. Sure, that'll be an uncomfortable chat because we are allies with the Georgians and they can't stop Russian tanks any other way - or at all - but like Princess Diana, she is greatly committed to a cause that everybody else believes in.

So sleep easy tonight, Americans! Although the world is a large and scary place, the daughter of a guy who started up an Arizona beer distributorship is on the case!

And if you think it's one remarkable coincidence that Cindy McCain's trip to make sure everybody in Georgia is okay was announced the same night as Michelle Obama's speech (which didn't at all clarify her stance on land mines), you are a cynic. A blackhearted cynic. So cynical, in fact, that you are expecting Cindy McCain to adopt a freshly orphaned Georgian this weekend in a political stunt to top Bob Roberts' staged assassination attempt. Shame on you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Cascading Wonder

There are a few good shower moments out there. After the gym, all sweaty, not too bad. After golf, rinsing the grime out and cooling down, getting better. But there ain't no shower like a post-beach shower, all right!

You get back from the beach, you're in pretty bad shape. Sand everywhere, a salt-crusted face, wet bathing suit making your body cold. The post-beach shower, the greatest shower there is, remedies all three.

Hit the water, boom, the salt washes off your face, leaving you nice and clean. The sand gets washed out of every crevasse and fold on your body. You soap it out of your leg hair.

If you went into the ocean, your body temperature has probably dropped about ten degrees. That warm, warm shower just feels so, so nice. Your most personals are chilly to the touch from a wet suit...until the water hits it.

The post-beach shower is basically the best part of going to the beach. Almost the only reason to go. I wish I was at the beach right now just so I could shower this afternoon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Peyton Manning's Consecutive Games Streak

Is over. It's going to end in Week 1 against the Bears. How do I know this?

Because my first pick last week was Joseph Addai. Jim Sorgi will start the first eight games for Indy this year and Addai will have 500 yards and 2 touchdowns in the those games.

This will happen.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Anquan! Calm Down!

If you are not Arizonza Cardinals and Lake Balboa Ladybugs wide receiver Anquan Boldin, you can keep reading this, but you don't have to.

Anquan! Calm down! I see that you're asking for a trade. Since I know everybody wants to finish their career as a Ladybug, you must want to be traded away from the Cardinals. Maybe it's because Matt Leinart stole your woman, maybe it's because you make $4 million a year while Larry Fitzgerald makes $10 million a year. Or maybe you're tired of being the NFL's annual sleeper team.

Listen, I drafted you in the third round this year. Do you know what that means? It means that you're #81 on my scorecard, but #3 in my heart. Of the entire roster, there are only two guys I like better than you. Three, if McNabb stays healthy all year.

Now, maybe it's my fault for drafting you thinking you were in a contract year when in reality you're only one year through a four-year extension. I'll take the hit on that. But nobody is trading you two weeks before the season. What you need to do is go out there in 2008, put up 1,900 yards and 21 TDs and then the Cardinals will be sure to trade you with two years left on your very reasonable contract. Reasonable for them, I mean.

Come on, Anquan. I know you can do it. Channel that anger!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Drilling Stupidity Down Our Throats

John McCain visited an oil rig yesterday, but not to hype electric cars. No, he's still in favor of drilling off of our coasts. And he has been ever since a giant oil company, Hess, pumped a massive donation into his campaign's tank.

Senator Obama opposes new drilling. He has said it will not 'solve our problem' and that 'it's not real.' He's wrong, and the American people know it. This platform we are at today sits above a field of 160 million barrels of oil, and is capable of producing on a daily basis 55,000 barrels of oil and 72 million cubic feet of natural gas.

Great. We consume 20 million barrels a day, so this one field will provide 0.275% of our daily needs. If we can find only 35,000 more fields just like it, we'll be 96% energy independent!

Also, who's complaining about a natural gas shortage?

Our nation is sending $700 billion overseas every year to countries that don't like us very much. When I'm president that's going to stop.

I know a lot of countries don't like us, but Canada? I mean, Canada is the country we import the most oil from. The top is rounded out, in order, by Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, Angola, Brazil, Algeria and Russia. Okay, Russia and Venezuela definitely don't like us. But Iraq loves us because we gave them freedom and Saudi really loves us. Here's a better question. If we have an infrastructure that is so reliant on oil that we have to deal with countries that don't like us, or say, are the home of 18 of the 9/11 hijackers, is that really a system we want to keep alive with more drilling?

On another note, since we don't have a national oil company, I assume that if we lease every square foot of our coastlines to Arco and Exxon, they'll be required by those leases to only sell the oil procured to American refineries, right? Even if China or India is willing to pay 2-3 times as much per barrel? I mean, this is OUR oil, right? I know McCain doesn't like taxing oil companies, so if Exxon can sell Gulf Coast crude to another country, not only will we not get any oil, we won't get any tax revenue from it. Ah, I'm sure somebody will ask these questions to McCain in the first debate. The network press is pretty dogged.

So even though drilling will have no effect on gas prices ever, and we wouldn't even get any out of the ground until McCain is 80, McCain is for it. Even though he was against it in June. His Olympics ad is right. He is the original maverick. He is not at all afraid to say idiotic things that completely contradict how he felt weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Ways To Lose Than Ever!

I have good traits and I have bad traits and to me, one of the bad traits is that I usually lose. Pools, tournaments, you name it, I have lost it. Friends and fellow competitors probably consider this a good trait, along with my willingness to keep losing year after year.

Last year, I was in a survival pool and got bounced in Week 2 when Cincinnati lost to Cleveland 51-45. Not the biggest deal in the world, except I run the pool and had to continue doing so for the next eight weeks while other people had fun. I was also in the standard fantasy football league as well as a group pool with four friends. In that one, we pick straight winners for every game and rank our picks from 16 points to 1 point. The person with the most points at the end of the season is treated to a nice dinner on the three also rans. I was not the winner. I was so far in last place that I also had to buy the first round of cocktails. The other three guys lost their 16-and 15-point game maybe once each, and I lost those ones at least five times. It wasn't uncommon last year for me to hit the shame trifecta of a Steelers loss, a fantasy loss and last place in the points pool. Then on Monday I would have to go back to work. Great start to the week!

I have DirecTV's Sunday Ticket SuperFan package. I can see every game in the league in HD, I get a special channel that shows teams in the red zone, another channel that shows every game at once and on Tuesdays, I can access 30-minute, plays-only recaps of every game. I watch at least 12 hours of NFL football a week. I could probably tell you the third receiver of every team in the league. Seattle's will probably be Ben Obomanu. Miami's is going to be Ernest Wilford, it seems. I know a lot about football. Except who is going to win a given game. That, I could not tell you with two tries.

So maybe what I need is to join another pool. And I will. In this new one I'm in, $100 gives you 2000 points to start the season. Quite simply, you bet those points against the spread or over/under until you either go bust or have the most points at the end of the year. Minimum bets start at 400 points, go up to 600 in Week 7 and up again to 800 in Week 13. You can make as many bets as you want up to your entire bankroll.

I'm already looking forward to Week 4 when the Steelers lose, the Lake Balboa Ladybugs lose 110-105 and another WVFL fantasy team wins 68-65, I get bounced from the survival pool, I lose my 16-point and 15-point games in that pool and my 600-point bankroll becomes my 0-point bankroll because Rob Bironas kicked a meaningless field goal as time expired. Good times all around.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Allez Cuisine!

When you are white, over 30, married and spawners, your entertainment options are quite limited. Game night and dinner parties are about the most fun you can have until the kids are off to college. At which point you no longer care about fun anyway.

Not being satisfied with the ordinary, a group of us this weekend decided to combine game night and a dinner party into the married parent equivalent of a Caligulan orgy. That's right, we had our very own Iron Chef. IRON CHEF BACON!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!

On one side, me, your non-humble correspondent. On the other side, a man named Merlin* (* no, really). In the middle, five judges and a massive pile of cured pork belly. Merlin and I were responsible for at least three dishes. The judges would give up to 10 points for taste, 5 for plating and 5 for originality in the use of the featured ingredient.

We arrived at Kitchen Stadium Burbank at 4:30pm (the time will be relevant later) and I immediately started frying up the three pounds of thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon I had purchased from the butcher. I was going to need every drop of fat that meat pile was going to render off.

Right off the bat, I could tell Merlin was doing things differently. He was using pork belly as opposed to the cured version, bacon. And he had approximately 150 ingredients, including a variety of flavored oils that Whole Foods would envy. I was a house painter and he was putting tempera to canvas.

My prep work - frying three pounds of bacon - was done in about an hour, and even though I was serving first by coin flip, I waited to let Merlin catch up with his prep. And waited. Then I drank a third beer and waited some more. Finally, it was on. More on than when we first showed up. That was merely starter being on.

My first course was BLT Puffs. I made big gougeres and spiked the choux with bacon bits. I sliced the golden puffs in half and and piled them up with a slice of heirloom tomato, butter lettuce, bacon strips and mayonnaise. America doesn't really have a peasant food tradition that smart guy chefs can go upscale with, except maybe soul food, but this was pretty close to a fancified workman's lunch. The raves were plenty and the competition was off to a good start.

Merlin countered with roasted pork belly sliced over a hash of corn and sweet potatoes spiked with chili oil. That was topped with a poached quail egg and greens. I was already way behind in the plating department. I got a few points for actually using plates, but Merlin was preparing for a Food and Wine cover shoot. Flavor wise, I thought his pork belly was fantastic and the hash was delicious, but the BLT Puffs held up and were certainly in possession of more bacon power. Originality was probably a wash, though I would think reinventing the BLT and putting it on bacon bread was more original than putting pork on a pretty pile of vegetables. It is probably best that I wasn't a judge. Also, eagle-eyed readers who can look between the lines have probably picked up on some foreshadowing.

Next, I turned out a Pennsylvania classic, spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, figuring it would be an exotic culinary adventure for the California crowd. Merlin turned out porkcorn, popcorn popped in rendered pork belly fat. He spritzed the popped corn with more pork oil and sundried tomato powder before serving it all in a rolled up paper cone. My poor salad was merely a salad in a bowl with a dressing that was maybe little too sweet. Although the pork corn didn't have a monster bacon or pork belly flavor, I got hogtied in every other aspect of this round.

It's common knowledge that bacon makes everything better. That was practically the entire point of this challenge. Hence, my entree, Bacon Makes Everything Better. I fried chicken in pure bacon fat, made mashed potatoes with bacon bits and then sauteed swiss chard in more bacon fat. Bacon was making every part of this dish better. And saltier. And fattier. I guess that's redundant. I actually had some plating in mind on this pass, so I leaned a piece of chicken on the south slope of Mt. Potatoes and smothered that mess with my mustard cream sauce. And hell yes, I added some bacon to that. The judges ate this one up, with one comment that this could be ordered in a restaurant as well as a request for the sauce recipe.

Merlin responded with a ravioli in vegetable broth. This dish ate up the majority of his day as he made the dough, the filling and the carrot and leek broth. The raviolis were filled with some pork belly, cheese, asparagus and other odds and ends and it was a good damn ravioli. But I think this was my round. It was just a ravioli in broth, so I may have finally gotten a plating edge here. And for originality in the use of ingredient, I unno. You tell me.

Time for last course. Sweet, sweet bacon was going to be turned into sweet bacon and served for dessert in a dish called Breakfast For Dessert. I caramelized bacon in brown sugar and butter and then let it harden on the cutting board into bacon candy. Then I browned up some french toast, topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then liberally sprinkled the dish with bacon candy. On the side, I served mugs with a scoop of coffee ice cream. French toast, bacon and coffee. Breakfast For Dessert.

In my unbelievably biased opinion, this dish was such a home run that it should've been worth six runs. The bacon candy was perfect and if the point of good cookery is contrast, I was in contrast overload. Salty and sweet, hot and cold, crunchy and soft. It's entirely possible that this is the best dish I ever made.

Merlin wrapped it up with a fried plaintain topped with a sweet pork and blue cheese mousse accompanied by a fig. All drizzled with honey. It was okay. The mousse was as imaginative as everything else he did, but it was closer to a sweet appetizer than a full-on dessert. His plate was prettier, of course, but I think my originality was over the top.

Forks were finally down around 11:30. We had cooked for seven hours, plated 28 servings each and I knocked back three beers and three glasses of wine. Everybody was exhausted and full and highly salted. The judges retired to their chambers to tally up the scores while Merlin and I sat and wondered how long it would be before we ate bacon again.

In the end, Merlin nicked me by an average of four points per judge. Basically, one extra point for plating on each course, though I'm sure it worked out differently. And despite my whiny baby routine above where I declared myself the winner of every course, he should've won. Plating and originality were scoring factors and he fried me up like some bacon in those departments. I was focusing on flavor, but my dishes were not tastier than his to a degree that I could pull it out. If they were at all. The boy makes up some nice dishes and I was serving BLTs and salads.

It was two different styles going against each other. My restaurant, Bacon, would be a neighborhood joint with solid food and dishes under $20. Great ingredients, prepared simply with the occasional twist and surprise here and there. You'd go once a month or more and you would like it a lot. "I don't feel like cooking tonight. You wanna just pop over to Bacon?" "Sure."

Merlin's restaurant, Lardon, would be a white linen tablecloth place with twinkling music. Great ingredients, inverted with creative elements you'd never expect. You'd go once a year for a birthday or anniversary and you would like it a lot. "Where are you guys going tonight for your birthday?" "Lardon!" "Oooooooh, wow. He must really love you."

Hey, hey, hey! Calm down! You know I'm going to give you the recipe for Breakfast For Dinner! I always do that kinda stuff for you!

It's right below this.

Breakfast For Dessert

INGREDIENTS
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 cup milk
Ground cinnamon
Vanilla extract
Nutmeg
Knob of butter
Day old loaf of French bread
Vanilla ice cream

METHOD
The day before, slice the bread into four equal sections (not lengthwise, goofball) and leave out on the counter overnight.

Put the bacon, butter and brown sugar in a stainless steel pan over medium low heat. Stir to combine. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sugar from caking on bottom. Toward the end, stir the mixture into a small pool or pile to bring it all together. Spoon everything out to a cutting board and let sit.

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add milk. Add cinnamon, vanilla extract and nutmeg to taste and combine. Slice bread thickly, then dunk slices in batter. Let slices float in the batter for 30-60 seconds to get soaked. Remove each slice to a cutting board (separate from the bacon) until each slice is soaked.

Melt knob of butter (about 1/2 tbsp) over medium high heat in a non-stick pan. When tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan, it's hot enough. Place each slice in the pan. If they touch, that's fine.

Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes. If you constantly check the bottom, it won't brown properly. Let it sit. If it's not nicely browned after 5 minutes, give it more time. Flip and brown the other side before removing french toast to plates.

Chop the pile of bacon candy into smaller bits, nothing too exact. Top french toast with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then sprinkle liberally with bacon candy.

RESULTS
Oh damn! I can't believe how good this is!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The 2008 WVFL Season Preview

With the league expanding to 14 teams this year, and half of the owners being foolish at best, the annual WVFL draft was as unpredictable as ever. In most years, our benches went as deep as the ingredients on a shampoo bottle. Between that and the incredible reluctance of most GMs to swing a trade, the draft set your season. But now, with a league as deep as John Kenneth Galbraith and rosters as thin as Dean Koontz, things are more up in the air. Still, we need a season preview and useless predictions that will be off the mark, or this can hardly be considered an official league.

Stringfellow Hawks - Like the first guest helping himself to the juicy center of the 6-foot long party sub, the Hawks took Tomlinson with their first ever WVFL pick. Then he took Willis McGahee in the second round, which made everybody like him just a little bit more. And then Willie Parker in the third round. The newcomer is clearly an advocate of the RB-RB-WHATTHEHELLONEMORERB school of drafting. Marvin Harrison might be a fourth round steal, but Bernard Berrian is a sixth round jail sentence as punishment.

Best Pick - Tomlinson. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, Stringfellow.

Worst Pick - Bernard Berrian isn't even Minnesota's best receiver. And even if he was, he has to get the ball from Tavaris Jackson.

Playoffs?!? - As Nate can attest, Tomlinson has carried some horrible teams to the playoffs. But with six playoff teams and eight not, this is going to be one of the eight not.


Deathfromabove - That loud pop you heard during the draft was Matt Hasselbeck's back. The 4th round DFAer is hurt and Seattle isn't sure how badly. Sixth rounder Ahman Green is also hurt and so is eighth rounder Reggie Williams. So look out, fellow even round picks Jamal Lewis, Kolby Smith and Tennessee defense! Bobby Engram is the hurt Seattle receiver, so maybe Burleson gets a boost, and it's a pretty good backfield. but DFA is going to need a lot of luck beyond their top four.

Best Pick -If he's anything close to last year, and that's a plus-size if, Jamal Lewis isn't bad at 27.

Worst Pick - Mmm...no flat out dogs, but either Gage or Kolby Smith have to be dropped for a kicker at some point.

Playoffs?!? - It's going to be close. Would you be comfortable if your playoff hopes rested on Nate Burleson? If so, please send supportive emails to
paul.allen@microsoft.com.


Purple Swirls - Caulen loves his team and he will tell you so. He also loves chest hair, as we all learned from the
draft video. And looking at Caulen's roster, you can see just how thin WVFL teams are this year. He's set at receiver, but only halfway home in the backfield and Garrard simply doesn't throw for enough yards to stand out at QB with our new 25 points per yard scoring system. A lot of Caulen's games are going to come down to Witten and choosing the right flex play of the week.

Best Pick - Steve Smith was the ninth receiver off the board. Not the shabbiest.

Worst Pick
- Julius Jones is barely holding on to his job after one preseason game.

Playoffs?!?
- He makes them every other year, so I won't pick against him.


Atlas Shruggz - In his first fantasy season, Atlas has to root for the success of the Patriots and Chad Johnson. It's a bittersweet...symphony...this life. The author of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, more or less advocated worrying only about yourself and screw everybody else. However, Atlas Shruggz is going to need help all over the place. Laurence Maroney needs Coach Worstpersoninamerica to give him goal line carries over New England's ten other backs. Jonathan Stewart needs DeAngelo Williams to not be good. Greg Jennings needs Aaron Rodgers to help him. Anthony Gonzalez needs Marvin Harrison to get hurt. Deuce McCallister needs a great knee surgeon (and he needs to pay for his own healthcare) and Donte Stallworth needs Braylon Edwards to draw quadruple teams. Ayn Rand shrugs at this team in shame.


Best Pick - Greg Jennings could be a middle round steal if Aaron Rodgers doesn't implode from pressure like a deep sea skin diver.

Worst Pick - This is harder than normal with our expansion. Um...Jonathan Stewart. That's pretty early to take a rookie backup.

Playoffs?!? - If this was a real team, Tom Brady would be yelling at his teammates every week for letting him down. But no sportswriter would call him out on it. Shruggz will be one of eight teams out of the playoffs, putting him in the majority! Hooray!



Vanduhlay Industries - An NFL star hasn't held out through regular season games in quite some time, but man will Vanduhlay be more comfortable when Jackson is back in the stable. If Brandon Jacobs goes in the third round for the second year in a row, but puts up 15 touchdowns instead of 6 this time, I will be quite angry indeed. Johnson, Jackson, Jacobs and Jbell. This team better invest in gauze and ice packs.

Best Pick - As far as I know, Justin Fargas is still the starter in Oakland, so a nice 10th round flyer. Hey, did you hear he's the son of Huggy Bear? No? Watch a Raider game some time for five minutes. They'll mention it.

Worst Pick - Matt Forte is a rookie, his quarterback might be Kyle "Beardo" Orton, his offense might be the worst in the league and VI already had two backs.


Playoffs?!? - I will say yes, actually. Cutler should be able to pile up enough yards to be decent at QB, Bowe will improve and Johnson and Jackson are monsters. But JUST into the playoffs.


Lake Balboa Ladybugs - After every draft, I think my team is great and I flounder. This year, I think my team is average so I'll probably go undefeated. With the sixth pick, I knew I'd be choosing between Addai and Barber and until late this afternoon, I was going with Barber. Hey, when those live fantasy draft bullets start flying, training goes out the window! Knowing running back was especially weak this year, I wanted to open RB-WR-WR and so I did. Addai, Colston and Boldin can go toe to toe with any top three in the league, but my running game is completely at the mercy of some sort of mystical luck that never ends up working out.

Best Pick - If any of the ravings about Shockey being on the Saints come to pass, getting him 90th as the 8th tight end taken could be pretty good.

Worst Pick - Chester Taylor, Chris Brown and Chris Perry all need to break out and they all have a bye in week 8. Just like Selvin Young. So...pick one of those.

Playoffs?!? - In '03, I was 9th. In '04 and '05, I skipped the league to protest the Iraq war before realizing nobody cared about brown people losing arms in explosions. In '06 and '07, I needed a win in the final week to make the playoffs and lost. BUT! In my last three seasons, I finished 9th, 8th and 7th. So that means 6th this year and that's good enough!



The People's Elbow - If you added up Nate's last four draft positions, they wouldn't equal his 7th spot this year. (1+1+1+1=fuck you already) Uncomfortable with picking so in the middle, where he couldn't breathe, Nate might have submitted an all-time poo stink, on par with a Brian Bosworth movie. Brandon Marshall is suspended for three weeks, Jerry Porter possibly died in a car accident last week, and Felix Jones is a backup but still better than Kevin Jones, who is out until Week 7 or he gets used to his prosthetic foot, whichever comes first. Nate his going to give himself angina this year when he subs in Tomlinson's weekly points for Gore's to see how he could've done. Silver lining? The WVHL draft is coming up.

Best Pick - Uh...Cooley? I unno. Gotta be somebody, right? But that's like being the funniest line in Epic Movie.

Worst Pick - You should never pick a defense as early as the 8th round, and if you must, it shouldn't be Arizona.

Playoffs?!? - If we switch to an NFL-style draft order for 2009, Nate might get the first pick again.



Crafton Tough Kids - I invited Larry to the league and he basically drafted my team by proxy after I talked up Barber and Fitzgerald for two weeks. This could be a sneaky good team. Palmer was weird last year, but our new scoring is so heavily weighted to passing yards that he could be really useful. LenDale White is sneakily useful for such a chubber and Ward and Cotchery should combine for strength at WR2. Assuming the CTK start the right one each week. On another note, CTK would be a good name for a restaurant in L.A. As long as people don't confuse it with bld, BLT Steak, AOC, STK or CPK. And no, I did not make any of those up.

Best Pick - If it's not Cotchery, it might just be...Ricky Williams...in the 10th...at running back...with the hash pipe.

Worst Pick - A kicker should never be taken before the last round.

Playoffs?!? - This might actually be one of the better teams in the league. And I'm not just saying that because I know my friend can be crippled with insecurity. It's his two lazy eyes. He thinks people stare and he is right.



Brookline's Finest - It will be amazing theater to watch Scott Henry on Sunday night of Week 2, Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh. "No! Get him! Get him! Noooooooooo! Knock it down! Goddamn it! Cleveland touchdown! Oh wait...Edwards caught it. Yes! Double points. Wait...but that...that puts the Steeler over 28 points allowed. I lost a point there and now we're down 31-27. I...um...weeble...what do I want to happen now? Ooh! Kick return touchdown!" And it'll only get worse when Pittsburgh plays the Patriots and Anthony Smith is supposed to cover Moss over the top. Or when Rudi Johnson plays the Steeler D twice. Scott Henry, the most conflicted football fan in America.

Best Pick - If you're going to wait until the fourth round to take a back, Fred Taylor is a pretty good one to have. Especially considering that he will
pass JIM BROWN this year in rushing yards.

Worst Pick - Even if they look alike, that was too early for Scott to draft Kevin Curtis.

Playoffs?!? - The two best receivers in the league will carry Skip to the tournament. And when Scott Henry is in the playoffs...HE GOES TO THE FINALS!



LetsGoPens - Clint skipped the draft and he's probably going to want to skip the season. But you can't be too hard on a guy who plays even though football isn't in his top five sports. Or top twenty. And when I look into the big green eyes of his avatar...I go to mush. I can't bash the guy. But I can bash Yahoo!, who thought Clint would like to have Ronnie Brown and Darren McFadden back to back. Go to hell, Yahoo!! The first exclamation point is theirs, the second is mine.

Best Pick - Terrell Owens? I guess? Good work, HAL 9000.

Worst Pick - With Darren McFadden 4th and Calvin Johnson 5th, Yahoo must've thought this was a keeper league.

Playoffs?!? - Nah.



Lowcountry All Stars - Jeff Webster hated his team before the draft and hated it during the draft. But now? He can probably keep hating it. No player in the league is more frustrating than Lee Evans...except maybe Reggie Bush. Roddy White has to get the ball from Matt Ryan and Jerious Norwood can't even get on the field. As usual, Webster will hate his team all year, but when I try to trade for one of his guys, he'll shoot down every offer. What a dildo.

Best Pick - With more points for yards and fewer deducted for picks, Eli is a great pick in the 7th round.

Worst Pick - Man, Reggie Bush sucks. Plus, he's going to get in trouble with the NCAA this year and that carries the death penalty, right?

Playoffs?!? - Mmm...Webster will be middle of the pack, but not top middle. And that's what makes the playoffs.



St. A's Crusaders - Football is not really what St. A's excels in. It's more of a baseball school. Brees is a great pick for our league, but the receiver corps is an entire supporting cast. Crayton and Welker can't exactly be counted on week in and week out. Then again, neither can the rest of this team. If you really, really, really are dying for an angle on this team, how about this? If Julius Jones, Reggie Bush and Deuce McCallister all go down, St. A's will have the most fruitful last two picks in the league.

Best Pick - If Galloway is even close to last year, 10th round is a great value.

Worst Pick - Rashard Mendenhall in the 6th round? Even in a Pittsburgh-heavy league, that's pushing it. Although in a Steelers-only league, it's the steal of the century.

Playoffs?!? - St. A's hoping to make the playoffs and
this guy. Two prayers that will go unanswered.


Newbomb Turk - Steven Jackson in 2007 and Shaun Alexander in 2006. If Tony Kress drafts you, it's one year too late and your body is in danger. Look out, Larry Johnson! Again. Between Johnson, Edgerrin James, DeAngelo Williams and Kevin Walter, it's entirely possible than TK doesn't have a single starting running back by Week 4. At receiver, Roy Williams is never as good as everybody expects him to be and neither is Chris Chambers. And Tony Romo is bound to face a huge distraction in the middle of the season when he dumps his girlfriend in frustration. Fortunately, TK is running nine other football teams this season that will take the sting off of this one.

Best Pick - If he didn't get Romo, I'd hate to see who his QB would've been, so..Romo.

Worst Pick - It could be Edge, but let's say Bobby Engram since his leg just fell off or something.

Playoffs?!? - In some league, yes. But not our league.



Iron City Pounders - Imagine being so excited for the draft to start. You have some players in mind. You can't wait to get in there and see what you get. Except you're picking last in one of the deepest leagues in the country. So while Tomlinson went at 7:45:11pm PT, you're not picking until almost 8:30. By that time, you just want a running back whether he's a superstudstar or not and you get Maurice Jones-Drew. So picking 14th out of 14 isn't the greatest draft spot ever. But imagine the excitement in Week 7 when the Pounders are out of it and other teams start dropping trade offers for Peyton Manning. Now that will be fun!

Best Pick - If you name your team the Iron City Pounders, you are definitely from Healthcareburgh. But why not prove it by taking Santonio Holmes earlier than almost every other Yahoo! draft?

Worst Pick - Kevin Smith is a rookie playing for the Lions. You guess how that will turn out.

Playoffs?!? - I've seen crazier things happen. But not in this case.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What I'm Looking Forward To

Here's something that will be fun. If Russia overtakes Georgia and tries to annex it back into the Russian fold, Georgia will have no army, no resources, no nothing. The only way they would be able resist Russian forces and possibly fight back is through...guerilla terrorism.

And since we're supporting Georgia, the United States will be fighting guerilla terrorism in Iraq and supporting and financing it in Georgia.

I think that will be a good ol' time for people who like integrity.

Chris Hansen IMs His Wife

Years of entrapping predators and asking them, "What are you doing here?" has made Chris Hansen paranoid about who's on the other end of modern technology. Don't ask how, but I ended up with a transcript of an IM chat he had with his wife recently.

LisaHansen101: Hi, sweetie!

DatelineChris: Who is this?

LisaHansen101: It's me. ;)

DatelineChris: How old are you? What is the age of consent in your state of residence?

LisaHansen101: I'm 38 and I have no idea.

DatelineChris: What can I do for you?

LisaHansen101: I have a surprise when you get home!


DatelineChris: Oh yeah? What?

LisaHansen101: Kisses! xoxoxo


DatelineChris: WHO THE FUCK IS THIS?!

LisaHansen101: Chris, it's me.


DatelineChris: ARE YOU A FUCKIN COP?!?!??!

LisaHansen101: It's Lisa.


DatelineChris: ARE YOU FROM PERVERTED JUSTICE?!?

LisaHansen101: Chris, I'm your wife. We've been married for 12 years.

DatelineChris: Where did we get married? Where was our honeymoon?

LisaHansen101: New Jersey. Aruba.


DatelineChris: Wrong! Cancun! Nice try, but no way I'm coming to your house for sex and getting naked. I think you're underage.

LisaHansen101: It was Aruba, Chris. We went to Cancun for our five year anniversary.

DatelineChris: WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!??! I CAN'T SEE YOUR FACE!!!! IF YOU ARE UNDERAGE, IT IS NOT - NOT! - MY INTENT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU, ORAL, VAGINAL OR OTHER! I AM IN CLEAR LEGAL STANDING!

LisaHansen101: When are you coming home? Do you need a ride from the airport?

DatelineChris: You're old enough to drive?

LisaHansen101: Of course.

DatelineChris: That makes you legal then. Are you saying you're over the age of consent in your home state?

LisaHansen101: Chris, I am 38. I told you that.

DatelineChris: Who is this?!?

LisaHansen101: Your wife. Lisa. We are married.

DatelineChris: Oh hey, Lis. I'm home Thursday. And I need ass so bad. Wear that black lace thing under your pants when you pick me up and I'll drill you the second we walk in the door. Oh God, I can smell your snap from here.

LisaHansen101 signed off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Derma

When do you get your standard-issue Olympic rings tattoo on your shoulder blade? The day after you qualify? Two weeks before you leave for Beijing? When you turn 18 to remind you what your goal is?

Everybody seems to have this tattoo, regardless of country, so I'd like to see somebody explain this apparent rite of passage to me.

Also, if you're in one of the swimming heats and you finish 8th, five seconds behind the qualifiers, do you even tell people back home you were in the Olympics? Do you permanently cover your shoulder blade tattoo with an Ace bandage?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And Here Come The Doubts!

Like any good dedicated fantasy footballer who has trouble putting things in the proper priority, I crunched some numbers last night to finalize my draft strategy. Naturally, because I was so certain I should go RB-WR-WR this year, the numbers told me otherwise. Just to put the screwgie on me. Dang numbers!

As it turns out, passing yards (25 yards per point) might be the biggest stat in our league after touchdowns. And with interceptions only counting as -1, the quarterbacks might be where it's at. Those sexy gunslingers! No wonder they get the ladies! And because only 8-10 guys throw for more than 4,000 yards this year, it seems like there's a greater gap between the 5th QB and the 20th QB than there is between the 5th RB and the 20th RB. Particularly if the 20th RB ends up getting some touchdowns this year. So my original strategy to wait on a QB like Garrard or Schaub is exactly foolish.

So basically, I'm going into Thursday thinking RB-WR-QB or maybe RB-QB-WR depending on how things shake out. But...the only quarterbacks I would consider taking in the top three rounds are Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees and Palmer. Yeah, even though he kinda wronged me last year, with only -1 interception point, Palmer gets stronger in our league. So does Brees, who just about throws more than he hands off.

I wouldn't mind Romo and he'll probably be there in the third round, but if I get Barber first, then I have two anchors from one team, a situation I never like. On top of that, those two studly anchors would be Cowboys and then I'd have to root for the Cowboys to be good and that leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I could root for the Cowboys to go 5-11 and lose each of the 11 by a score of 45-42, but that seems unlikely.

If I got Addai in the first round, Romo wouldn't be a problem. But do I really take Addai over Barber hoping I'll get Romo later? What if Peyton was available in the 2nd round? Then what!? Arrrgh! Maybe I'll just wait to the fourth or fifth round and go for McNabb or Roethlisberger. The Steelers should be passing a lot again this year, right? Even with the line struggling?

My team is going to be terrible because of a confused, if not non-existent, draft strategy. Can't wait!

Only In America

Only here, nowhere else, could we suffer through eight years of massive tax cuts combined with the highest government spending in American history, lose jobs more years than not and then have our Olympic viewing sullied with this ad.

I love the pat simplicity of the equation. Higher taxes + more government spending = fewer jobs. "So, fewer jobs." It's just so, so, so, so, so, so simple. Such a truism!

Only in America could McCain run such a ridiculous, false ad, while we're smack of the middle of eight years of proving that equation false, and not have his credibility destroyed. At least metaphorically. Somebody writing "McCain's Credibility" on a sheet of paper and then tearing it up or something.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And With The Sixth Pick, The Lake Balboa Ladybugs Select...Disappointment

The West View Football League has laid out its draft order and I have the sixth pick out of 14 teams. I won't lie - I never do! - but sixth is exactly where I wanted to be. High enough to still get a big buck stud in the first round, middle enough to not be waiting two weeks in between picks.

I really don't have much interest in hoping a second or third round running back has a decent season this year. Last year, my opening quadrant of Gore, Palmer, Jacobs and Evans let me down, so obviously RB-QB-RB-WR is not the way to open. Right, it wasn't the players or the GM, it was the position order.

So I'm going to change the position order. Ideally, I'll open up RB-WR-WR. Barber or Addai in the first round. I'd like to get Barber because when I drafted Jacobs last year, the idea was he would get goal line carries and then the Giants started giving those to Reuben Droughns of all people. That was such an enjoyable fuckover that I'd like to repeat it this year with Barber and Felix Jones.

Then a premier receiver in the second. Guys like Colston, Fitzgeralrd, Boldin and Houshmanzadeh should all be available. In an ideal situation, the rest of the league will be old schooling it with running backs and I'll get that second big time receiver in the third round.

Or...by the time my third pick rolls around, I'll probably be so panicky that I'll forget all planning and draft Matt Forte so I have two running backs. I already stink.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Real Man Of Genius

When asked if he regrets voting in favor of the invasion of Iraq, John McCain justified his vote by wondering what Saddam Hussein would be doing with the profits Iraq would be making of a $130 a barrel oil. He would be buying Ferraris armed with ICBMs, that's what he'd be doing!

Of course, if we never invaded Iraq, creating Middle Eastern and global instability, oil prices never would've shot up so high in the first place, but if you're planning on voting for McCain, you probably didn't think that far down the line. Don't feel bad. McCain didn't either because he honestly has no idea how cause and effect works.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Hostage Situation Comes To An End

One of the most modest, selfless players in the league will now be playing in one of the calmest cities in the countries. And with their favorite player ever playing for their favorite team ever, Chris Berman and Tony Kornheiser have throbbing excitement boners, the likes of which have not been seen in quite some time. Positively throbbing. And with two Jets-Patriots games scheduled this year like all years - excuse me, two Favre-Brady games - expect Berman to die of a heart attack during the first one and Kornheiser to keel over during the second.

Yes, Brett Favre is now playing for the Jets. Personally, I think the Jets could move from 4-12 last year to at least 9-7 this year, assuming Favre picks up the offense quickly enough. He seems like an incredibly bright fellow, so it shouldn't be too much trouble. But the Jets have a pretty decent offensive line, a good back in Thomas Jones, two good receivers, a good tight end and this year's weak AFC East schedule.

And even if Favre struggles, Jets fans are already used to losing and interceptions. Maybe they'll even be excited to have interceptions thrown 40 yards downfield for a change, instead of them being thrown at the line of scrimmage like Chad Pennington does. Speaking of which, with one extra season in the works, now Favre can set the all-time interceptions record he's worked so hard on over his career.

Now all we can do is hope the Jets somehow end up facing Green Bay in the Super Bowl, so in one of the all-time ironies, Green Bay wins a game on a Brett Favre interception.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

220, 221, Whatever It Takes

Obama suggests checking our tire pressure regularly would offset the meager gains offshore drilling would produce. In addition, you can check your tire pressure tomorrow and offshore drilling won't produce a drop of sweet crude for about seven years.

But since McCain has nothing to run on except Obama, he pounced, mocking Obama's plan for...for an unknowable reason, actually.

In fairness to McCain, he has been a Senator for almost 30 years and is the kept husband of a millionaireness, so probably hasn't pumped his own gas since the '50s, let alone checked his own tire pressure. For all he knows, you have to check your tire pressure with a 10-pound, mercury-based barometric pump and he just heard mercury is toxic. He might think you have to inflate your tires with a bicycle pump and he knows those little pedals you stand on don't do much in the way of keeping the pump steady. It's always sliding off to one side and John McCain doesn't want Americans looking foolish. Also, McCain's first car, a Model T, had those wooden tires with the metal belts hammered around them to prevent chipping. I ask you, Senator Obama, how do you check the pressure of wood? You're so inexperienced!

And besides, it'd be one thing if the air pump was right next to the windshield squeegee. But it's also way over in the corner of the gas station! Does Senator Obama really expect us to drive 20 feet just to check our tire pressure?

No, John McCain is not for checking your own tire pressure. I realize that means in this case the Democrat is promoting individual responsibility and the Republican is promoting a governmental solution and now you're all mixed up! John McCain, aka Drillbot, has one solution to our problems. "Drill! Drill! Drill!"

But as usual, McCain's solution is shortsighted, paid for by industry, mostly idiotic and completely wrong.

As ThinkProgress recently noted:

As ThinkProgress
recently noted, the Department of Energy and the auto industry have said proper car care can have a significant impact on saving energy and gas money. Moreover, stock car racing giant NASCAR also agrees, urging its fans to pay attention to tire inflation pressure to increase fuel economy.

Part of McCain’s solution to energy independence and high gas prices is to “
immediately” start “drilling off shore.” Such an approach would yield a savings of 6 cents/gallon two decades from now, in addition to putting to the planet in peril. By contrast, car maintenance can save 12 cents/gallon immediately.

As Obama
recently noted, it's like the GOP revels in its own ignorance.

But, because this is America, where spin and beliefs matter more than facts and information, this latest dustup is just being batted back and forth by both sides. For the Republican side, here's the
least biased news report I've ever seen.

Good God. Chinesa state media doesn't run such slanted coverage of the Dalai Lama.

Listen, I have to fight my inherent elitism like Luke Skywalker fought his inherent rage. Daily and actively. I'm constantly aware of it so I don't simply dismiss people who think differently than me as being less intelligent or less well-read than I am. But if somebody is ready to vote for John McCain this fall, I honestly don't know what in the world they're thinking. We've lived through the last eight years of unabashed Republicanism turned up to 11 and 80% of Americans are unhappy and think the country is going in the wrong direction. If McCain wins this election, while promising to keep up the ignorant, foolish and outright stupid foreign and domestic policies Bush and friends have instituted, I will simply give up. I won't read the paper or websites any more because it won't matter. I won't still abreast of current events because it won't matter. It won't matter because no amount of information can convince a majority of this country that it's time to change. I'll go straight the comics section while we kept falling behind India and China and other countries that value education and critical thinking. Hell, I'm smart enough to take care of myself. I'll be fine. It's the dumb ones that are screwed.

Christ, McCain makes me so crazy that I'm thinking like a Republican! Only caring about myself!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bistro Krogmann

We straight up opened a bistro in our kitchen last night. After a trip to the farmers market Sunday, I had the foodstuffs to turn it out. I should've put a chalkboard in the driveway with the night's specials written on it.

I grilled a whole striped bass stuffed with white wine, basil, sage, lemon slices and leeks. Served it with roasted red potatoes and leeks sauteed in brown butter. Though to ruin the bistro feel, we drank a Spanish white wine instead of a French one. This Spanish wine tasted mainly like apple juice, which is quite a change of pace from most Spanish wines that taste like nothing.

Keeping the bistro open tonight and serving a whole grilled chicken with frites. Or french fries, if you will. A chicken that I also bought at the farmers market. Gonna butterfly that bird, lay him flat on the grill and get him crisp. Lemon, garlic and basil marinade beforehand. Sliced heirloom tomatoes (from you know where) on the side. Daaaaaaaaaaammmmmn! If that sounds good and you want to stop by for dinner, just look for the chalkboard out front.

Wine Sale

There's a place called The Winehouse. They sell wines there. This weekend, they were having a blowout sale to clear some stock. Wines that are normally $100 were going for $80! Wow! Although I was really looking for $15 wines going for $10. In fact, this is a particularly good wine that we bought for $10.99. Price: Low. Sophistication Level: Probably Also Low. But taste? Taste: High.

The place was packed with people loading up carts with 10, 15, 20 bottles of wine. It was like the rush for the first Tickle Me Elmo, except quiet, dignified and more pretentious. People carrying around printed lists of bottles they had to add to their collection. Debates over whether 2000 or 2001 was the finer vintage. Noses being turned up at rose.

It was quite a crowd. If the building suddenly exploded, Obama would lose California. There were too many of us in one place.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hotel Bird

As much as I was looking forward to fig season, and as much as you people were looking forward to hearing the reviews on the 2008 version of Uncle Mike's Country Fig Jam, it seems that the fauna of the Valley was looking forward to fig season even more. So far, I've had about one day to pick ripened figs before they are absolutely destroyed by birds and big green beetles. Those critters absolutely shred the figs, leaving just one side of a husk hanging on the tree. It looks like I'm drying little pieces of leather out there.

Every time I open the backdoor, about 10-15 birds scatter from the tree. It's quite the avian party. At this rate, I'm only going to be able to harvest 400 of the 600-some buds on the tree. What a loss that will be.

Draft Strategy

I don't have one. I should have one. Though I had one last year and it was a one way bullet train ticket to Nowheresville.

Our league is going to have 12 teams most likely, which means 36 wide receivers start in our league each week, 24 running backs and 12 flex players. There are not 36 good receivers and 24 good backs in the league. There are maybe 10 of each. And maybe 5 good quarterbacks.

Last year seemed to be the start of running back by committee around the league and the end of the rock solid RB-RB fantasy draft strategy. Since I'm as much of a trendster as anybody else, maybe I'll go RB-WR this year. Should I take Moss? I have a feeling that, hang on, you won't believe this, he won't have another record-setting 24 touchdown year. He might come down just a li'l, li'l bit. Can I get David Garrard in the 7th round? If I do, who in the world is he going to throw to? Cocaine Matt Jones might be cut, Reggie Edwards has knee problems and wide receiving problem, Jerry Porter is clinically insane and their other nine receivers are all just plain bad.

You know what I wouldn't mind for my first two picks? Marion Barber and Braylon Edwards. Of course, I get Barber, Dallas will make Felix Jones their new goal line back for some unknown reason.

Ugh. I hate all of this.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Is Over

Traditionally, the end of summer came on Labor Day. One last chance to barbecue while sipping a frozen drink and wearing white shorts with a linen shirt. But in the go-go '00s, everything is faster and more xxxtreme. Now summer ends when you have your fantasy football draft. Mine is August 14th at 7:45PT.

I only like things that I'm good at, so I hate fantasy football. In my league, the West View Football League, the last two seasons saw me needing a win in the final week of the regular season to clinch the last playoff spot. I lost both times. Last year in particular was a calvacade of busts. Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, D.J. Hackett, Jerricho Cotchery...if you were somebody who could score touchdowns, you were not on my team. I had at least five weeks last season where my only TD came from Carson Palmer, and he usually balanced that out with 2-3 picks. You don't win too many fantasy games with only 47 points.

When I got the invite to '08 WVFL last week, I decided that I was going to do no research before the draft. So what if I thought Julius Jones was in Carolina? Fantasy football is basically all luck anyway. If anybody knew anything about anything, the first two picks in every draft last season would've been Tom Brady and Randy Moss. And I definitely wouldn't have picked Frank Gore fourth if I knew what I was doing. Last summer, I read everything I could get my hands on, believed the hype and took Gore. Ugh. What pain. So I was steadfast! No research for me this season. I have the Sunday Ticket on DirecTV and watch twelve hours of NFL games each week. I'd be fine.

Naturally, I've been reading every website I can find for the last nine days. And it's been great. I've learned that Jake Delhomme will bounce back this year, and also that's he's going to be a bust to be avoided at all costs. I've learned that people actually think Alex Smith will be good this year...for some reason. Assuming he's still the starter. I've learned that Ahman Green and Larry Johnson will also bounce back this year. I've also learned that they're poison that should be avoided at all costs. People actually want me to draft Matt Forte. Matt Forte sounds like he's in the Bears' marketing department, not their backfield. All I know for sure is that Kevin Smith of the Lions won't be any good because every single site I see is saying he will be good.

I have an incredible knack for drafting players either one year too early or two years too late. I love, love, love sleepers and I always manage to draft guys who stay asleep through the regular season. I'm still waiting for Reggie Brown to break out, two years later. Come on, Reg baby! However, that doesn't stop me from loving my team on draft night and assuming I'm going straight to the top, baby!

Well, this year, I'm doing it differently. Right now, I am incredibly pessimistic about my chances in 2008, and the draft is still two weeks away. I'm assuming that if I get the #1 pick, I'll take Tomlinson and this will be the year he finally breaks down. Or if I get the #9 pick, my first two players will be Marshawn Lynch and Braylon Edwards and they'll both have broken legs by Week 2. My quarterback will be David Garrard and he'll become the first player in NFL history to die on the field. It's going to be a bad year, folks.