Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 14 recap

Quick quiz — what do the following 12 NFL teams have in common?
** Broncos, Colts, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Rams, Ravens, Seahawks, Steelers

If you guessed “they were all smart enough not to sign Mark Sanchez this year”, well, you are correct. But more to the point, this is the full list of teams that have played in at least two Super Bowls in the last 20 years. (The Panthers are the only squad on here not to win one).

Now, a follow up question: what do the following seven NFL teams have in common?
** Bills, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Lions, Chiefs, Maryland Racial Slurs

That would be the full list of teams that have won two or fewer playoff games over the last two decades. It’s worth noting that the Houston Texas, who have only been in existence for 16 years, already have three playoff wins over that span.

Just wanted to give a friendly reminder to all as we wind towards the inevitable “Cowboys back on top of football” headlines that Dallas (2-8 in the playoffs since 1997) hasn’t been a relevant franchise for the NFL since Ezekiel Elliott was in diapers. Congrats on winning a weak division. See you on the golf course in mid-January, instead of your usual first week in January.

QB: Tom Brady, 32.62 pts — started by Mike
WR: Amari Cooper, 37.47 pts — started by Joel
RB: Derrick Henry, 47.80 pts — on Ant’s bench
TE: George Kittle, 23.50 pts — started by Paul
K: Michael Badgley, 17.00 pts — on the wire
DEF: Chicago, 27.00 pts — started by Jim
D:Bashaud Breeland, 11.00 pts — on the wire

In all honesty, I have never heard of Michael Badgley before this moment.

The big question this week was how did Ant fail to start Derrick Henry in the biggest fantasy performance of the year (238 rushing yards, 4 TDs)? The answer is because Derrick Henry stinks. His game last Thursday represents one-third of his rushing yds for the season (712), one-third of his fantasy pts for the year (135.72) and almost half of his TDs for the season (9). So, yeah, that one was difficult to see coming.

“Awful QBs” edition

3rd place: Jared Goff, -0.30 pts — on Jim’s bench
2nd place: Kyle Lauletta, -2.20 pts — on the wire
1st place: Mark Sanchez, -2.48 pts — on the wire

Dear gawd. Lauletta threw a pick in mop up work, so he is forgiven. Goff threw four INTs in prime time against a great Bears defense, and will have nightmares about that as we head into the playoffs.

But Mark Sanchez? He outshined the competition, as usual. He posted a dreadful 10.7 QB rating after his 6 of 14, 38 yds and 2 INTs performance in the Giants’ blowout win over the Maryland Racial Slurs. Not only did you have a better QB rating than him on Sunday (0 of 1, no yds equals a 39.6 rating), his QB rating was twice as high if you calculate him as playing for the Giants (2 of 14, 27 yds, 1 TD and 4 INTs equals a 23.8 rating).

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a truly awful game.

** Headline in Bleacher Report this week: “Heisman Trophy Cements Kyler Murray as Greatest 2-Sport Athlete Since Bo Jackson.” A few things ...

1 — Bo Jackson played 694 games in MLB and 38 in the NFL. Murray has played zero MLB games and zero NFL games.

2 — Deion Sanders played most of his games in the two sports after Bo Jackson. So you’re saying that Murray, who again has played zero games in either professional league, is already better than Sanders, the only person ever to play in a World Series and a Super Bowl.

3 — Charlie Ward won the 1993 Heisman trophy (that’s after Jackson, again) and then played 10 years in the NBA. But maybe Bleacher Report doesn’t believe basketball is a sport?

4 — I understand Murray has had a great collegiate football and baseball career, and the Heisman trophy sets him apart from a lot of other great college athletes. You know who else played baseball and football in college? Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. So you’re saying that Murray is already a greater athlete than Wilson.

But other than that, good headline.

** At halftime of the Eagles/Cowboys game, during their halftime yakfest, Fox flashed up a “breaking news” banner across the bottom of the screen followed by this announcement: “Saints defeat Buccaneers 28-14 to clinch NFC South.”

I get that the “breaking news” banner is overused by all networks, and a game result from two hours earlier can kind of count as new information for a football crowd. But, less than 90 seconds earlier, they showed game highlights from that matchup. Which is the point of the halftime show. So unless you’re prepared to label every highlight “breaking news,” there’s no point for that banner.

** On the Tony Kornheiser podcast, ESPN walking head Michael Wilbon rated the Bears 15-6 win over the Rams on Sunday (the one where Goff threw those four picks) as “one of the greatest games in Chicago history since 1985” because “Chicago loves defense … we don’t enjoy these 54 to 51 games.”

Correction: Everyone loves 54-51 games. Even in basketball. Watching a combined seven interceptions isn’t great football, it’s a complete mess.

Things that can’t be true but are:

** Tom Brady is 7-10 lifetime in games played in Miami. The Dolphins have only had six winning seasons since Brady entered the league.

** With three weeks left in the season, 16 players have already passed 1,000 receiving yards. Last year, only 15 did it for the entire season. In 2016, it was 25 players.

** The Arizona Cardinals have nearly 600 more punting yds on the season (3739) than offensive yds (3151). They’re also only 29 pts away from being doubled up on the season (178 pts scored, 327 pts allowed).

** Drew Brees, who has five of the league’s eight all-time highest single season passing totals, may not finish in the top 10 of passing yds this year (currently 10th, three yards ahead of 11th place).

** The Niners, Cardinals, Bills, Jets and Jaguars have been eliminated from playoff contention. Somehow the 4-9 Falcons have not. The Eagles still have a 10 percent chance of a wild card berth.

The Eagles embarrassing overtime loss to the Cowboys all but seals up the division title for the bad guys, a disappointing result after last year’s remarkable Philly football season. But, given that the inevitable will probably happen next week, we might as well roll the anagram dice and mentally prepare ourselves for the pain and torment:

Dallas Cowboys win pathetic NFC East race
** Fans wince: Bad play, tactic hole, the worst case

I thought about doing an anagram for “Dallas post-season success” but amazingly that hasn’t spelled anything coherent in about 20 years...
** Another week, another dropped game to Dad. I’m 12 back on the year and will be lucky to close that to double digits before the regular season runs out.

** So, hey … the Phillies are looking kind of exciting...

Week 14 standings

1 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1912.09 pts
2 — Carson's Chime Choir (Paul), 1843.73 pts
3 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1748.71 pts
4 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1738.49 pts
5 — Philly Special (Jo), 1692.74 pts
6 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1682.20 pts
7 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1605.84 pts
8 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1604.41 pts
9 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 1475.01 pts
10 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1471.68 pts
11 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 1441.82 pts
12 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 1351.29 pts

Only one change in the standings this week: Bob and Dad swapped spot. Never has the race for 9th place been so hard fought.

Ant picked up a few more points on Paul and me this week, while my squad and Joanna’s team both continued to slip further back from our mid-season highes. Six teams have realistic shots at topping the 2000-pts mark by the end of the year, which may be a league record, but I’m not gonna bother to check until we get closer to the end.

And if we all benched our rosters but let Jeff play for three more weeks, he likely would not make it into the top half of the standings.

We finally made it! This week marks the final Thursday night game of the season. After that, the only mid-week football will be ridiculous bowl games. So get your rosters set now so you can bid Joe Buck’s Thursday ramblings a proper farewell.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 13 recap

In honor of the significance of today, here’s a look at some of the greatest football figures of all-time born on Dec. 4:

** QB Frank Reich, born 1961 — The journeyman QB lead the largest comeback in NFL history when he led the Bills to a 41-38 overtime win after trailing 35-3 in the third quarter. But his most important NFL work was as offensive coordinator for the 2017 Super Bowl champion Eagles.

** QB Jeff Blake, born 1970 — A Pro-Bowl QB with the Bengals in the mid-1990s, Blake appeared in three games with the 2004 Eagles and managed more turnovers (two) than TDs (one). But he did score a Super Bowl trip with that team.

** LB Ted Johnson, born 1972 — The nine-year Patriots tackler ended his career with three Super Bowl rings, including one he earned snagging four tackles against that 2004 Eagles team.

** T Joe Thomas, born 1984 — The 10-time Pro Bowl lineman for the Browns is a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer. He played 10,363 consecutive snaps during his career, setting a record that is unlikely ever to be matched.

** LB Skip Vanderbundt, born 1946 — Started 100 games for the 49ers, the most ever for a defensive player whose name sounds like a holiday dessert.

** SS Montae Nicholson, born 1995 — The only current NFL player who was born on this date, he was active for the Maryland Racial Slurs game against the Eagles last night. Happy birthday, buddy! Sorry about the game.

QB: Patrick Mahomes, 41.00 pts — started by Ant
WR: Keenan Allen, 24.87 pts — started by Sam
RB: Todd Gurley, 28.90 pts — started by Bob
TE: Travis Kelce, 27.20 pts — on Jo’s bench
K: Ka'imi Fairbairn, 21.00 pts — on the wire
DEF: Jacksonville, 22.00 pts — on Dad’s bench
D: Bobby Wagner, 19.00 pts — started by Joel

Again, so close … at least we owned most of the right players this week.

If Travis Kelce (the top fantasy TE) was a wideout, he’d be the fifth-highest scoring WR in the league right now. Not bad for a position that has been a complete mess this year. After 12 weeks, only five TE’s have topped 100 pts on the season, and only one more (Austin Hooper, 90.67 pts) has a realistic chance at joining that club next week. The #7 TE, OJ Howard, is out for the season with an injury, and the #8 TE, Trey Burton, still hasn’t broken 80 pts.

Of course, we haven’t had more than nine TEs hit that 100-pts plateau each of the last two years, so maybe being a TE just kind of stinks for fantasy.

“Just ugh” edition

3rd place: DeAndre Washington, -1.30 pts — on the wire
2nd place: Oakland, -2.00 pts — on the wire
1st place: San Francisco, -3.00 pts — on the wire

We’ve got our first appearance by a position player on here in a while. Washington rushed three times for a whopping 7 yds and had a fumble in a game where Oakland scored a lot of points and could have used some more RB help.

For the record, Racial Slurs’ third-string QB Mark Sanchez managed 3.30 pts in Monday night’s game. I really have no idea how.

** I get that both of Georgia’s losses this year were to the #1 team in the nation, but arguing they should have been one of the final four teams in the college football playoff (with that #1 team) undermines the entire “every game counts” nonsense the NCAA is peddling.

They’ve lost twice to Alabama, so they deserve a third shot to beat them! Really, the only way to determine the best team out of 120 collegiate programs is to pick two and have them play five or six times...

** Front cover of Sport Illustrated this week: “It’s time to rethink Drew Brees — please stop calling him an underdog.”

Great headline … for 2006, when Brees was coming off an arm injury and was seen as a questionable pick as the new Saints field general. Since then he has made 10 Pro-Bowls, thrown for more than 5,000 yds in four seasons, and won a Super Bowl. Not exactly underdog material there.

Oh and he is also the favorite in Vegas to win the league MVP award this year. But don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s a bad player…

The Eagles and the Cowboys play Sunday in a matchup that will likely determine the winner of the NFC East. Here’s a look at the omens heading into the game:

** The Eagles are 4-1 against the Cowboys in AT&T Stadium. Their only loss came in an overtime contest in October 2016.

** Since 2000, the Eagles are 9-3 in December games against the Cowboys. They’re 12-6 in away games played in Dallas over that same stretch.

** The Eagles and Cowboys have never played on December 9 before. The day after the game, however, the Eagles will celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the infamous “they stopped him again!” contest where the green D stuffed Emmitt Smith on fourth and one twice in a row.

** Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has never beaten the Eagles twice in the same season. He won in Philadelphia earlier this year.

Remember, you can’t spell Dallas without spelling “all sad.” And you can’t spell Cowboys without spelling “cosy bow.” And you can’t spell Nick Foles without spelling “Super Bowl MVP has more playoff wins than the Cowboys over the last 21 years.”

Speaking of spelling things with Cowboys letters…

Dallas is still one of the few teams in the NFL to employ a fullback on their squad, a throwback to the days of old-time smashmouth football. And their fullback is a throwback to the old-time days of fire and brimstone. Consider what his name spells out:

Cowboys Fullback Jamize Olawale
** We foul boozy jackals bawl malice

“Boozy jackals” is a lot more fun than the “sad cows” I usually come up with.

** A glimmer of hope: I swept Dad in our picks this week, picking up four and jumping to a mere 11 down for the season. So we’re back in the Wentz zone. Maybe that’s a good time the second time around?

** Remember when getting into the Rose Bowl mattered?

** This Saturday, when you sit down to watch the Army-Navy game, please remember that it’s one of the best traditions in all of sports and also some of the toughest football to watch in any venue. Over/under for passes in the game is seven.

Week 13 standings

1 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1779.73 pts
2 — Tackleball 4EVAH! (Paul), 1719.22 pts
3 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1648.62 pts
4 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1632.51 pts
5 — Philly Special (Jo), 1590.31 pts
6 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1515.63 pts
7 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1510.17 pts
8 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1506.07 pts
9 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1413.44 pts
10 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 1368.92 pts
11 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 1352.86 pts
12 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 1265.86 pts

Mostly status quo this week, at least at the top of the standings. Paul and Ant pulled away from the pack with two solid weeks, while Jo and I combined for only about 30 points more than Paul. Jim and Bob crept up, Mom D and Dad fell back. And with four weeks left in the season, Jeff’s path to victory is not looking good.

Thursday night game is the Jaguars and Titans, a contest that has playoff implications. Terrible, terrible playoff implications, but implications nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 12 recap

Following Sunday’s big win by the Eagles over the Giants, longtime Philly radio legend Merrill Reese called Eagles K Jake Elliott “Giant Killer” for his clutch last-minute field goal against the New Jersey squad. Some may consider that hyperbole, but consider his career stats on the topic so far:

** 38 points in four games against the Giants.
** Two last-minute game winning field goals, one of 61 yards (team record).
** 13 of 25 touchbacks on kickoffs in those four games.
** Crushed 18 giant slurpees over the course of the season.
** Refused to shop at his neighborhood Giant grocery store, contributing to its bankruptcy.
** As a child, did not cry while watching “The Iron Giant.”
** During Sunday’s game, went back in time and killed Andre the Giant.

Given those facts, it feels like a pretty fair assessment.

QB: Baker Mayfield, 33.92 pts — on the wire
WR: Amari Cooper, 28.00 pts — started by Joel
RB: Christian McCaffrey, 37.47 pts — started by Paul
TE: Eric Ebron, 18.00 pts — started by Paul
K: Chris Boswell, 12.08 pts — started by Mike
DEF: Baltimore, 19.00 pts — started by Mom
D: Matt Judon, 9.50 pts — on the wire

Unusual to have an RB as the top points scorer across the board, but McCaffery’s stat line (125 rushing, 11 catches, 112 receiving, 2 TDs) bested all the QBs this week. Too bad all those numbers didn’t come with a needed win for the Panthers.

Props to K Chris Bowsell, who earned more than half of his pts with a 2-yd TD pass in the Steelers loss to the Broncos. He’s the fourth non-QB (and the first kicker) this year to throw a TD pass in a game, tying him for 44th in the league with last year’s Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. One more and he can tie former Eagles QB Sam Bradford.

“Please make it stop” edition

3rd place:Carolina, -1.00 pts — on Mom D’s bench
2nd place: Mike Gesicki, -1.17 pts — on the wire
1st place: Cincinnati, -6.00 pts — started by me.

Dear gawd. I hate defenses so much.

After last week’s defense debacle by my team, I dumped the Titans and grabbed the Bengals as a safe alternative to another bottom-feeding week. Great call by me. The Bengals gave up 35 pts to the Browns and recorded no sacks or turnovers. Over the last four weeks, my defenses have totaled -15.00 pts. No wonder I’m not in first place anymore.

** ESPN has been advertising the college football “playoff” selection show next Sunday all week, with the tag line “every second counts.”

I mean, not every second counts. The Army/Navy game won’t be played until a week after the show airs, so those seconds don’t count. I’m pretty sure the Maryland/Indiana game a few weeks back didn’t really matter. And the committee is going to keep an undefeated University of Central Florida team out of the playoff for the second straight year, so their seconds and that second doesn’t really count. But other than that, sure.

** Headline on ESPN.com this week: “Stephen Curry not hurt in multicar accident.”
Other news they missed: Curry not hurt in bear attack, Curry not hurt in baby swarm, Curry not hurt in asteroid crash. I checked, he wasn’t involved in any of those.
Maybe next time go for “Curry unhurt in multicar accident” or “Curry involved in multicar accident but not hurt” to make it clear that an accident happened. Words have meaning, kids.

** We got a new all-time leader in sacks on Thanksgiving this week. I’m not going to tell you who, because it’s an incredibly stupid stat since only two teams play every year on that holiday, so it’s basically a record confined to 6 percent of NFL franchises. But, the all-time NFL leader for win percentage on Christmas Day is the Eagles, at 2-0, which is a totally legitimate stat.

Saturday’s disastrous 74-72 win by Texas A&M over LSU in seven overtimes showed exactly why the NFL’s overtime rules are superior in every way to collegiate rules. Consider:

** The game took four hours and 53 minutes to complete. That’s a full hour longer than the single overtime Steelers/Browns game from earlier this season which featured six fewer overtimes and 104 fewer points. Wouldn’t you rather have 71 percent less excitement but an extra hour in your day?

** The seven overtimes allowed the two teams to compile ridiculous stat lines, including a whopping 1,017 combined yards of total offense. Such inflated numbers would make the NFL a joke. To protect the integrity of league statistics, you need realistic numbers, like the 1,001 combined yards in the Rams/Chiefs game last week.

** Saturday’s game ended well after midnight, meaning much of the East Coast missed the finale of the classic contest. The NFL, which always ends it’s Monday night games before 11 pm and never starts games at odd times like 9am, simply would not deprive its fans of easily accessing games.

** The college rules are confusing. Each team starts on the 25? Why? Teams have to go for two after touchdowns after the third OT? Who can keep track of that? That’s why the NFL rules are better: The first team to score wins as long as that score is a TD or a safety or a field goal if the other team also doesn’t score a FG but if they do the next field goal wins. Also the period is 10 minutes instead of 15 now, because. (Also these rules don’t apply in the playoffs).

** The seven overtime game was fun, and there is no fun allowed in the NFL.

Marqueston Huff came into the NFL four years ago with the Titans but ended up suspended for part of the 2016 season due to violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. So, naturally, as soon as he was cut by Tennessee, the Cowboys were interested. After all, you don’t develop a cancerous culture of corruption by just picking up decent players. But how can you be sure he really fits with the Cowboys way? Consider how the letters in his name define him as a man:

Wyoming alum/Dallas safety Marqueston Huff
** Fluffy moron mandates glum. He always quits.

I could have easily made “drugs” out of the letters there, but that seemed too cheap and unfair to … wait, why didn’t I do that? Hold on, let me try again:

Wyoming alum/Dallas safety Marqueston Huff
** Quote: Yo, mama, fan my flashes. I want full drugs.

That feels more right. Just like a Dallas player getting high off drugs, you might say.

** I dropped two more games to Dad to fall 15 behind him in the weekly picks and honestly I have no idea anymore. I’m actually picking games at a 53 percent correct rate, but Dad is almost at a 63 percent correct rate, so meh.

** Delaware made the FCS playoffs! I had forgotten that the NCAA expanded the field from 16 to 24 teams, giving the Blue Hens one of the last spots in the only real college football tournament around. Great achievement by the team.

Oh and they lost right away so they’re out so nevermind.

** Aw, man, Ron Hextall is gone too? Can he at least stay and play goalie?

Week 12 standings

1 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1637.40 pts
2 — 6 Mo. to Draftsgvng! (Paul), 1574.54 pts
3 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1555.91 pts
4 — Philly Special (Jo), 1494.28 pts
5 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1485.89 pts
6 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1437.54 pts
7 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1424.67 pts
8 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1422.88 pts
9 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 1278.27 pts
10 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1266.39 pts
11 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 1230.25 pts
12 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 1184.89 pts

Forget about the top of the standings — what’s happening in the cellar? Mike is out of last place for the first time since week 1! Granted, he is still 344 pts out of first place and likely has a ceiling of about 8th, but that’s the kind of late season fight we like to see out of our teams. You may not win, but nobody wants to be the guy at the bottom.

Speaking of not winning, I slipped down another spot while Anthony continues to strengthen his grip atop the standings. But don’t sleep on Paul’s team, which has made up about 100 pts on Ant’s squad over the last four weeks. If that trend holds, then … I’ll have to do more math soon and figure out what it means.

We’re still not done with Thursday games yet, folks. Get those rosters set right away, and remember that you don’t have to worry about the Eagles game until Monday night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 11 recap


Things to be thankful for as Philadelphia fans this Thanksgiving:

** The Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.
** The Phillies and the Sixers appear to be on the upswing.
** The Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.
** The Giants added a Pro-Bowl RB in the draft, and it may have set their franchise back years because they didn’t select a QB.
** The Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.
** Sidney Crosby is one year closer to retirement.
** The Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.
** Gritty will delight your dreams and haunt your nightmares, so that’s fun.
** The Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.
** No matter how bad the current Eagles’ season goes, the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year.


QB: Patrick Mahomes, 47.92 pts — started by Ant
WR: Tyreek Hill, 31.77 pts — started by Sam
RB: Saquon Barkley, 33.87 pts — started by Joel
TE: Travis Kelce, 19.47 pts — started by Jo
K: Matt Bryant, 17.00 pts — started by Mom D
DEF: LA Rams, 19.00 pts — on my bench
D: Samson Ebukam, 19.50 pts — on the wire

Only five of the top seven performers on the week came from that Monday night Chiefs/Rams game (and the #2 TE, WB and D as well). But that happens when you have the third-highest scoring game in NFL history. Special congrats to Kansas City’s Andy Reid for becoming the first coach in league history to lose a game where his team scored more than 50 pts.

Also, I hate defenses this year. Two weeks ago the Rams gave up 45 pts and were worth -4 in the fantasy tally. This week, they give up 45 more pts to the Chiefs offense and end up 23 higher in fantasy scoring. Because, football.

“Players we own” edition

3rd place: Wendell Smallwood, -0.40 pts — on Mike’s bench
1st place (tie): Philadelphia, -6.00 pts — on Bob’s bench
1st place (tie): Tennessee, -6.00 pts — started by me

Did I mention I hate defenses this year?

Honestly, I don’t remember Smallwood even touching the ball on Sunday. Then again, I blacked out most of the game from my memory ...

But, in the interest of fairness, I must note that Carson Wentz’s performance on Sunday (the worst of his career) equated to a 31.9 passer rating (19 for 33 with 156 yds and 3 INTs). That was about 8 points worse than your passer rating on Sunday evening, (0 for 1 with no yds, TDs or INTs equals a 39.5 rating). So, good work by you, I guess.

** The NFL Red Zone channel, which is awesome in every way except for this one mistake they made, noted that the Houston Texans with victory on Sunday would tie the longest win streak in team history since 1970. They should have noted it was the longest win streak since 1492, since the team didn’t exist before 2002.

And, yes, they may have been referencing the Houston Oilers, who left town in 1996 and later became the Titans. But the Titans still claim that Oiler franchise history, and Houston was a new expansion team. If we’re sharing team history now, then all of those Steeler Super Bowls trophies belong in Philadelphia because the two teams shared a roster in 1943.

** Headline in the Washington Post last week: “Babe Ruth is finally awarded Medal of Freedom. Family and fans wonder, ‘What the heck took so long?’”

Ah, yes. Finally someone is recognizing the greatness of Babe Ruth. Before last week, most of the public had never heard of the guy. But now that he posthumously received this award, which wasn’t given to any civilians until 1963 (15 years after he died and 28 years after his baseball career), maybe he’ll get some public attention for his little-known contributions to American sports.

** NFL.com has a seven-minute video on QB Tom Brady about to break the 1,000-yd rushing mark for his career.

For perspective, that would put him at … honestly, I have no idea. I can’t find any stat lists that go down that low. He’s not in the top 50 career rushing yds among active players. If he makes 1,000 this season, he’ll be 3,928 behind Randall Cunningham, the all-time leader in rushing yds among QBs.

But, yeah, please give us more Brady fawning. There’s not enough of that in the NFL today.

Here’s how the 2-8 Oakland Raiders can still make the playoffs:

** Oakland wins its last six games to finish 8-8, 7-5 in the AFC.
** Miami goes 2-4 over its last six, finishes 7-9.
** Indianapolis goes 2-4 over its last six, finishes 7-9.
** Baltimore goes 2-4 over its last six, finishes 7-9.
** Tennessee goes 3-3 over its last six, finishes 8-8, 6-6 in the AFC.
** Cincinnati goes 3-3 over its last six, finishes 8-8, 6-6 in the AFC.
** Denver goes 3-3 over its last six, finishes 7-9.
** Cleveland, Jacksonville, Buffalo and the New Jersey Jets don’t win more than four games each.

Oakland would then claim the #6 playoff spot based on tiebreakers. The Raiders and Bengals play in week 15, so obviously that gives Oakland a huge chance to make this a reality if they can just hold on for another month.

How do you describe a player like Cowboys Defensive Tackle Caraun Reid, a Princeton grad who has already played for five teams in three years (including being cut and resigned by the Cowboys this season)? Some would call him obsessed with staying in the league. Others would just make fun of his name:

DT Caraun Reid
** A trained crud

Honestly, that would be enough right there. But I’ve got more:

DT Caraun Reid
** Turd radiance
** A rerun addict
** Urinated card
** A red, acrid nut
** Iran cat udder

I’m fairly sure that “Iran cat udder” is a really racist term against some group, but I can’t figure out who, so we’ll keep it in there for laughs.

** I’m down 13 games to Dad in our weekly picks with just six weeks left to go. If I can just pick up two games every week from here on out … I will be shocked.

** You know, if the Eagles win 5 of their next six, they could end up … nevermind, nevermind.

** Your periodic DC high school football update: In the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game this week, Dematha Catholic led 36-33 with 39 seconds left. Here’s what happened next:

— 15 yd TD pass by Gonzaga. Zags 40, DeMatha 36, 29 seconds left.
— 80 yd kickoff return TD by Dematha. Zags 40, DeMatha 43, 15 seconds left.
— Touchback. 25 yd pass by Gonzaga. Zags 40, DeMatha 43, 4 seconds left.
— 55 yd Hail Mary TD by Gonzaga. Zags 46, DeMatha 43. Game over.

If you need proof … 

Week 11 standings

1 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1503.72 pts
2 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1460.27 pts
3 — Spell It L-A-U-B.... (Paul), 1424.28 pts
4 — Philly Special (Jo), 1380.70 pts
5 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1373.00 pts
6 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1342.57 pts
7 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1292.14 pts
8 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1264.04 pts
9 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 1179.39 pts
10 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1167.71 pts
11 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 1100.56 pts
12 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 1082.45 pts


Another bad week by me and another stellar week by Ant puts him atop the standings. I wonder if swapping out the highest scoring defense for the lowest scoring one hurt my team...

Anthony didn’t just grab first place, he raced ahead by more than 40 pts. Unfortunately for him, Mahomes is on a bye this week, so he’ll have to find his fantasy bonanza somewhere else for at least one week.

Paul and Jo remain right in the thick of the action, while the Jim-Mom-Joel tier remains just out of respectable reach. And, after that, Mike is still in the league.

Two teams on a bye and six teams playing on Thursday. Don’t forget to set your roster before you loosen your belt for the turkey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 10 recap

Ridiculous things that happened in football this weekend:

** Bears K Cody Parkey missed four kicks on Sunday, two FGs and two XPs. If you remember Parkey kicking for the Eagles, you know that isn’t unusual. What is weird is that he hit the upright with all four misses. Three were on the right side, the other on the left.

Honestly, that’s 100 times harder than making four FGs.

** Tampa Bay rolled up 507 yds of offense on the Maryland Racial Slurs this weekend, including 406 yds passing by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yet somehow, that translated into a whopping 3 pts for the team. Four turnovers and two missed FGs killed any chance of winning the game.

Related, the Maryland team scored the opening pts and never relinquished the lead. In fact, they somehow haven’t seen a lead change all year — nine games into the season, whichever team has scored first in each of their games has not only won but never trailed again.

** Coming into Sunday, the Chief’s record when winning the coin toss this year was 8-1. Their record when losing the coin toss was 0-0, since it hadn’t happened all season. They finally lost the toss for the first time on Sunday, but still won the game.

** Davidson College rushed for 789 yds in their game against San Diego on Saturday, setting a new all-time record for rushing yds in a game. The team had four players with over 150 yds each and ended the game with 852 yds of total offense and 52 points.

Oh, and they lost, 56-52.

** The Giants and 49ers were allowed to play a nationally televised game on Monday. Why the FCC or FEMA didn’t step in and stop that filth is beyond me.

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, 45.82 pts — started by Sam
WR: Tyreek Hill, 23.87 pts — started by Sam
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, 32.50 pts — started by Sam
TE: Zach Ertz, 28.67 pts — started by Jim
K: Wil Lutz, 17.50 pts — started by me
DEF: Maryland, 20.00 pts — started by Dad
D: Vince Williams, 12.00 pts — on the wire

So, a good week for Sam out there...

Quick, which wideout is third in the league in receptions and 10th in yards? Trick question! It’s TE Zach Ertz, who had a ridiculous 14-catch, 145-yds, 2-TDs line from Sunday’s game. In a year where only three TEs have broken the 100-pts mark so far, Ertz is the class of the position, and has produced 72 more fantasy pts that supposedly great TE Rob Gronkowski.

“Defenses we own” edition

3rd place: (tie) Atlanta, -1.00 pts — on Joel’s bench
3rd place: (tie) Jacksonville, -1.00 pts — on Dad’s bench
3rd place: (tie) New England, -1.00 pts — started by Jo
2nd place: Seattle, -4.00 pts — started by Ant
1st place: (tie) NY Jets, -5.00 pts — on Ant’s bench
1st place: (tie) Carolina, -5.00 pts — on Mom D’s bench

Believe it or not, there were two more defenses in negative pts this week that we didn’t own: Detroit (-4.00) and Cincinnati (-6.00, the lowest possible score). With four defenses on a bye this week, that means one-fourth of all the defenses in the league were worth fewer pts than the teams that didn’t play.

Special shout out to Arizona WR JJ Nelson, who caught one pass for -10 yds on Sunday, giving him fewer receiving yds and fantasy points for the game than everyone watching safely from their couches.

** Rick “Doc” Walker, the resident aging idiot on the Maryland Racial Slurs’ radio broadcast, lamented on Sunday that the local team’s offense was sputtering and “besides the interception (of Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick), we haven’t seen any impact plays so far from this team.”

That’s fair criticism as a team approaches halftime. Walker’s remarks came with 9 minutes left in the first quarter, at the start of the Bucs second series of the game.

Look, I’m as impatient as the next guy, but complaining you’ve only seen one game-changing play before the second commercial break is a little greedy.

** WIP had an online article Monday morning that was titled “Here’s how the Eagles can still make the playoffs.” And contrary to reality, the text of that article was not “They can’t.”

** In one of my head-to-head fantasy leagues this week, I was up by 47 pts in the third quarter of the Monday Night Football game. I had one player, 49ers RB Matt Bredia, still playing. My opponent had no one left.

Yahoo gave me a 99 percent chance to win the week.

I understand that they may not want to post “100 percent” until the games are all complete, but the only way for me to lose the matchup at that point was, with 20 minutes of football left, for Bredia to pick up no more rushing yards, no more catches, and fumble the ball 24 times (more than once a minute). Maybe the algorithm needs to be tweaked a bit.

The NFL was forced to move Monday’s planned Rams/Chiefs contest in Mexico City to a new venue because of poor field conditions at Azteca Stadium. The game will now be played in Los Angeles ...less than 50 miles away from some of the most destructive wildfires the state has ever seen.

Not great work on that change of venue. If the NFL was forced into panic mode, here are a few better choices for a surprise game:

** Toronto: They’ve got a CFL field there and two thirds of the Hollywood film crews working today. It’d be an international game and a home game for the Rams.

** Hawaii: They play the Pro Bowl there and then don’t use the stadium for anything else. It’s a long flight, but no players are gonna complain about some extra vacation there.

** Rio de Janeiro: All those Olympic venues are pretty much unused now anyway. Slap some yard markers down and give the local economy a boost.

** The USS Gerald R. Ford: Want to really honor the military? Play a game on an aircraft carrier. The decks are big enough. Just watch out for the out-of-bounds area.

** New York: It’s the number one media market in the country, and currently they have no real football teams to watch.

No way to sugar coat it, kids — the Eagles loss on Sunday night was awful. Women and children around the land were left weeping that once again evil triumphed over good. And, of course, this suggests that the end times may be upon us again. But before anyone overreacts, let me just shift the letters around a little bit to bring you some comfort:

Philly Eagles upset Sunday night by a resurgent Dallas Cowboys team
** La lament: Yes, a sad, lengthy ache. Guys, Birds still got a Super Bowl. Yup.

Just a reminder that in the last 21 years, the Cowboys have won two playoff games and have not advanced past the second round. But, I’m sure the 4-5 squad they have this year is about to change that.

** Split my games against Dad this week, so I remain 11 back. I got absolutely robbed of a chance to be nine down by a terrible review call in final two minutes of the Jags/Colts game. However, I should be punished for having any faith in Jacksonville in the first place.

** Delaware lost in terrible fashion this week and fell to 18th in the FCS rankings, leaving them just outside the field of 16 for the FCS playoffs. They’re behind Elon and Towson, both of whom they beat this year. And their losses were to the #1 FCS team, the #10 FCS team and an ACC team. But, hey, it’s good to know that football rankings are garbage on every level.

** So, Jimmy Butler? That’s good Philly news, right?

Week 10 standings

1 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1361.37 pts
2 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1350.44 pts
3 — Mimes Learning Words (Paul), 1318.26 pts
4 — Philly Special (Jo), 1269.50 pts
5 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1224.29 pts
6 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1190.71 pts
7 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1157.29 pts
8 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1119.16 pts
9 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1099.51 pts
10 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 1060.95 pts
11 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 1001.51 pts
12 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 968.17 pts

Let me give you all a football tip — the key to motivating your fantasy football team is persistence and creativity. LeSean McCoy isn’t working in the RB spot? Move him to a flex position. Your kicker is coming in too low? Make a bold switch. Your team is sluggish and needs inspiration? Then change your team name over and over again.

You may not agree with Paul’s methods, but you can’t argue with his results. He grabbed a season-high 183 pts this week to vault into the realistic conversation for the top spot. That’ coupled with a solid week for Ant and a dreadful week for me, puts our top three teams within 45 pts of each other. Jo is lingering at about 90 pts back, and then we get into the “need to make a move now” category.

Also, Mike is still in the league.

The Eagles season may be finished, but there are still seven more fantasy weeks left until we crown a champion. The Packers and Seahawks play this Thursday, so set your rosters carefully.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 9 recap

Playing games is a completely arbitrary way to determine who goes to the playoffs in the NFL. Wouldn’t it make more sense instead to base the standings off what the fan base wants to see? With that in mind, here are the updated divisional leaders based on the percent of seats sold at their home games:

NFC East
1st — Eagles (100.1% of home game seats sold)
2nd — Giants (94.2%)
3rd — Cowboys (90.5%)
4th — Maryland Racial Slurs (74.6%)

AFC East
1st — Dolphins (101.1% of home game seats sold)
2nd — Patriots (100.0%)

NFC North
1st — Vikings (99.9% of home game seats sold)
4th — Packers (96.0%)

AFC North
1st — Browns (100.0% of home game seats sold)
4th — Bengals (79.5%)

NFC West
1st (tie) — 49ers (100.3% of home game seats sold)
1st (tie) — Seahawks (100.3%)
4th — Rams (75.7%)

AFC West
1st — Broncos (100.5% of home game seats sold)
4th — Chargers (94.0%)

NFC South
1st — Saints (100.1% of home game seats sold)
4th — Bucs (87.8%)

AFC South
1st — Texans (99.7% of home game seats sold)
4th — Colts (91.7%)

Next week, we’ll discuss how the electoral college football poll should pick the winner of the Super Bowl.


QB: Drew Brees, 39.44 pts — started by Mom D
WR: Michael Thomas, 26.07 pts — started by Joel
RB: Kareem Hunt, 30.93 pts — started by Mom D
TE: Travis Kelce, 22.10 pts — started by Jo
K: Cody Parkey, 12.00 pts — started by Mom D
DEF: Chicago, 29.00 pts — started by Jim
D: Danielle Hunter, 18.00 pts — on the wire

Again, so close ...

Props to Mom D for starting three top performers this week but still finishing with a good-but-not-great total of 137 pts for her squad. DeSean Jackson will do that to your team chemistry.

Missing from the list again this week was Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes, who went over the 300-fantasy-pts mark for the year. Nobody else has topped 240 yet. At the moment, he has scored as much as Carson Wentz and Matt Stafford combined on the season.

“NFC contenders’ defenses” edition

1st place: (tie) Tampa Bay, -4.00 pts — on the wire
1st place: (tie) New Orleans, -4.00 pts — on the wire
1st place: (tie) LA Rams, -4.00 pts — started by me

Look, I knew that starting the Rams D (against the Saints) was probably going to be a loser move, even though they were the top fantasy defense on the year coming into the game. Chicago, four-turnover, two-TD performance against the Bills on Sunday now leapfrogged them to the top spot.

That ridiculous Bears game came against perennial bad performer Buffalo QB Nate Peterman, who had the best game of his short career on Sunday. Sadly for him, it was still a terrible day — he threw for 189 yds and had three interceptions, but did rush for a TD. He has only managed four total TDs in nine NFL starts against 12 interceptions and two fumbles.

But he does have a 1-8 record to boast about for all that work.

** Former Cardinals and Colts Coach Bruce Arians told an Ohio paper this week he wouldn’t come out of retirement for any NFL job except for one: The Cleveland Browns.

Just a reminder that the Browns have won six of their last 57 games, and haven’t won a playoff game in 23 years. But, yes, that does sound like a dream unretirement job.

** Story on SBNation Monday: “Is this the year an NFL receiver finally cracks 2,000 yards in a season?”

Subhead on that story: “No receiver is currently pacing to break that mark.”

Well, I’m gonna guess the answer is “no” then. But thanks for the question.

** This week, the Chargers cut former Eagles K Caleb Sturgis after he missed two extra points and a 42-yd field goal. Since he didn’t remain with the new team past week 10, he no longer counts among the list of unrestricted free agents lost by the Eagles last year, which means his salary counts differently in the league’s compensatory draft pick compensation calculation, which means DT Haloti Ngata’s signing with the Eagles earlier this year now offsets Sturgis’ Chargers salary, which means the Eagles will not receive an additional seventh round pick to make up for “losing” a quality player because of cap reasons.

Basically, the Eagles are gonna lost a seventh round draft pick next year because Sturgis missed two extra points and nothing about this crazy compensatory picks system makes any sense. But c’mon, man, make those XPs.

The Cardinals this week announced they are cutting ties with QB Sam Bradford, signed in the offseason as a potential bridge to a younger franchise signal caller. Bradford’s tenure only lasted three games (with no wins) but it was enough to bump up his career earnings to over $130 million. Here’s a look at what that money has bought so far:

** Nine years in the league
** Four different teams
** 34 wins in 83 games (a .409 win percentage)
** 48 other games missed to injury
** One playoff win (with him injured on the bench)
** 17th place on the all-time league earnings list (ahead of Mike Vick, Cam Newton and Champ Bailey)

But don’t pity unlucky Sam — someone is bound to give him another big contract next year, because someone always does.

After a lackluster year last season, the Cowboys vowed to play smarter this year. And that starts with players like offensive lineman Adam Redmond, a Harvard University grad who majored in sociology and joined Dallas in September. So, how is that signing working out for the team? Just look at his name:

Cowboys Guard/Lineman Adam Redmond
** A dumb goon. A dry mind. A smeared clown.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, folks. Unless the cover is a Cowboys playbook. Then judge away.

** I dropped two more games to Dad in the NFL picks this week, putting me a full 11 games behind. The good news is that #11 is Carson Wentz, which is a positive omen. The bad news is that it’s 11 games behind, which is not a positive omen.

** Delaware eked out a 21-16 win over Albany on Saturday to move to 7-2 on the year and #12 in the FCS rankings. Delaware’s two losses on the season are to North Dakota State, the #1 team in FCS, and Wake Forest, who plays in the division above them.

I’m still having trouble understanding why they’re six spots below 6-2 Elon, who the Blue Hens thumped 28-16 a month ago, but hopefully they get a chance to repeat that in the playoffs.

** Eagles didn’t play a game this week and picked up tons of ground on first place. Not bad. Maybe they could skip playing every week...

Week 9 standings

1 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1257.26 pts
2 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1217.51 pts
3 — Philly Special (Jo), 1164.27 pts
4 — NNnnnoooOOOOooooooo! (Paul), 1134.79 pts
5 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 1107.23 pts
6 — We Love the Mud (Mom D), 1057.12 pts
7 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 1027.80 pts
8 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 1017.57 pts
9 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 1002.15 pts
10 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 951.19 pts
11 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 944.49 pts
12 — SweatpantsEnthusiast (Mike), 846.42 pts

I’m not sure if Paul’s team name changes each week count as comedy or performance art, but either way I am 100 percent behind this adventure. Also, I coul try and explain the candy corn joke he is making here, but it barely made sense 25 years ago, so...

What I can explain is that a solid week from mt team earned me breathing room over Ant's squad. Joanna is creeping closer to the top two spots despite being deported from America this week. Bob and Dad are slowly scraping out of the cellar. And Mike continues to be in the league.

We're halfway done, folks. Get ready for an eight-week sprint to the finish line.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fantasy league 2018 -- week 8 recap


It’s not too late to plan the perfect football-themed Halloween costume for Wednesday. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

** Browns Coach Hue Jackson: Pick a street with 40 houses, fail to ring the doorbell on 37 of them, then act indignant when you get fired from your team of Trick or Treaters.

** Giants QB Eli Manning: Replace your right arm with a broken pool noodle and then look sad about it the whole night.

** RB Adrian Peterson: Dress up as an old man but then surprise everyone by outrunning the rest of the crowd to the front door.

** Patriots Coach Bill Belichick: Put on a hoodie sweatshirt, stay at home, then steal candy from kids as they come to your door.

** An NFL ref: Just point at random cars, trees and other inanimate objects while yelling “holding!” When someone objects, call roughing the passer on them.

** WR Golden Tate: Put on a Lions jersey, then put on an Eagles jersey, then go out there and win some games.

QB: Deshaun Watson, 40.96 pts — started by Jo
WR: Marvin Jones Jr., 23.30 pts — started by Mike
RB: James Conner, 33.50 pts — started by me
TE: Jordan Thomas, 15.93 pts — on the waiver wire
K: Wil Lutz, 16.00 pts — started by Ant
DEF: Cincinnati, 17.00 pts — on the waiver wire
D: Dee Ford, 12.00 pts — on the waiver wire

Ohmigawd, Pat Mahomes didn’t make the list for a change.

James Conner is now the #3 fantasy RB on the season, which is great for everyone who took him with the #2 overall pick this year. But most people didn’t do that and instead grabbed Le’Veon Bell, the presumed starting RB for the Steelers who continues to hold out deep into the regular season. Conner has gone from waiver wire pick-up to bonafide fantasy star. And the day that Bell comes back, he’ll probably get cut from millions of teams around the country.

“Players we started” edition

1st place: (tie) Miami, -6.00 pts — on the wire
1st place: (tie) Oakland, -6.00 pts — on the wire
1st place: (tie) Baltimore, -6.00 pts — started by Mom D

Look, we have defenses bottom out all the time. But three in the same week? That’s worth writing about. The Dolphins, Raiders and Ravens defensive squads combined for zero turnovers, zero sacks and 120 points allowed. It wasn’t much of a surprise for the Oakland and Miami squads, who have been poor to awful. But Baltimore was among the top scoring defenses of the year coming into week 8. Looks like Carolina didn’t just make Philly miserable.

Special shout out to Jamis Winston, who threw four picks on Sunday en route to getting benched and destroying my other fantasy team. In fairness, he’s awful, and I only have myself to blame for believing in him.

** From Thursday Night Football, as the Dolphins face a 4th and 7 trailing by 15 in the 4th quarter:
Joe Buck — “Now (Dolphins) Coach Adam Gase has a decision to make, whether to kick the field goal or go for it.”

Troy Aikman — “And it’s one that he is going to have to make, and it looks like he is making it.”

Thanks for clearing that up.

** Speaking of Joe Buck on Thursday Night Football, why the hell was Joe Buck on Thursday Night Football? He had just done the World Series in Boston the two nights prior. Fox flew him to Houston to do the football game while the baseball teams were headed to Los Angeles, where he picked up play-by-play duties on Friday.

Was there really overwhelming demand to fit him in on Friday night? Can’t we get one evening off from his blundering madness?

** In the third quarter, with the Rams trailing the Packers in a key game for both franchises, Los Angeles QB Jared Goff was sacked on a clothesline tackle by LB Clay Matthews that drew a roaring ovation from the crowd.

One problem with that: They were playing in LA.

Look, I understand the franchise just moved there two years ago. And I know the Packers are a popular national team. But we as fans were told for years how hungry the city was for its own football team. And the Rams are the best team in football right now. And more people at that stadium were rooting for Green Bay than the local squad.

Maybe instead of these stupid London games, the NFL could have just played exhibitions in LA all these years and not forced loyal fan bases to lose their beloved teams for the sake of false promises about fan base growth. Maybe if both the teams playing in LA were visitors, you’d have fans cheering for each side instead of just the out-of-towners.

Actually, the stupidest thing I read in recent days was an article in the Washington Post that talked about how Boston sports fans have gone from long-suffering losers to a multitude of championships. Even after the Red Sox fourth World Series title in 15 years, expect more of this garbage to come — how did the city of Boston ever go from such sports misery to such sports success?

News flash: They didn’t. Boston has always had successful teams and still whined about how hard it was to not see their teams win every year. If you are a 50-year-old Boston sports fan today, you have seen 21 championships among the four major sports in your lifetime. That’s the exact same number as a 50-year-old New York fan, and they’re fielding three extra teams every year.

Only five cities have fielded teams in all four sports continuously since 1968: Boston, New York, Detroit, Chicago and Philly. During that span, New Yorkers have never had to wait more than seven years for one of their teams to bring home a title (they’re in a six-year drought, though). Chicago has seen 12 championships over that span but hasn’t had to wait more than a decade between titles.

Boston had a bad 15-year stretch — missing a championship for all of the 1990s — but never went more than four years between titles over that same span. So, unless you’re a Boston fan born after the Celtics win in 1986, you never really had to “wait” to see your team win it all for any significant stretch.

Detroit had one 15-year title drought over the last five decades and is working on a 10-year drought right now. And Philly? Somehow the 24-year, 100-seasons stretch without a major sports title between the Sixers in 1983 and Phillies in 2008 never got as romanticized as the poor Boston fans’ “suffering” did. What you did hear was a lot of sports pundits criticizing that Philly fans returned to booing the Eagles so soon after last year’s Super Bowl win, presumably not appreciating the long wait like those not-complaining Boston fans do.

But, there is a silver lining to the Red Sox winning this year’s title: With the same number of championships as New York over the last 50 years, and 12 this century alone, Boston has officially become shorthand for “insufferable teams that win a lot.” So you don’t have to hate the Yankees anymore. It’s more patriotic to hate Boston instead.

The Cowboys, desperate for WR help, traded for Raiders wideout Amari Cooper last week, and I have never had an easier time with this anagram. Behold:

Amari Cooper
** Poor America

The number of times I have found anti-patriotic sentiments in the names of players for “America’s team” would make your head spin. Want to make America great again? It can only start with an overdue mass revolution against the Cowboys.

** My other fantasy teams are 4-4 and 3-5, and I’m down nine games to Dad in the weekly picks. I’m beginning to feel like the 2018 Eagles, hung over from the celebration last year and unable to right my football ship as the season slips away. Unlike the Eagles, though, I have a stable of Awesome Cups to help dry my tears.

** Delaware knocked off #10 Towson this weekend, putting them a step closer to securing a spot in the FCS playoffs. They’re in first place in the Colonial Athletic Association and have two wins against ranked opponents. Get your post-season tickets ready, folks.

Week 8 standings

1 — Nick 'MVP' Foles (Capt. Awesome), 1105.53 pts
2 — For Who? For Wentz? (Ant), 1102.04 pts
3 — Philly Special (Jo), 1031.67 pts
4 — Want Some CandyCorn? (Paul), 975.71 pts
5 — Witch Hunting (Jim), 962.12 pts
6 — We Love the Mud (Mom), 918.98 pts
7 — Kneel Armstrong (Sam), 911.03 pts
8 — The Garoppolo Gamble (Joel), 908.87 pts
9 — Last Exit 2 Kutztown (Bob), 893.70 pts
10 — Kiss A Fish Today (Dad), 868.27 pts
11 — Blue Collar Killers (Jeff), 846.51 pts
12 — SweatpantsEnthusiast, (Mike), 765.50 pts

Wow. I’m still in first, but just barely. Both Jo and Ant posted weeks of 175-plus pts, turning the league into an actual three-team race for the first time in a while. Paul’s yet again renamed team is knocking on the door, and came in just under 150 pts. For the week. In fact, nine of the 12 teams topped 100 pts, which is a remarkably good showing for almost everyone.

Related, Mike is still in the league.

We’re done with the tyranny of the London games but there’s still a Thursday contest to worry about. Also, the Eagles have their bye this week, so remember to fill in those gaps before Sunday at 1pm.