Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My First Fantasy Draft: Slushies, Pinterest, and One Pre-Season Game

Last Wednesday I experienced my first Fantasy Draft. While RH researched players and made his own list ranking his favorites, I made my decisions based on whether they had a funny, interesting, or cool name. A very scientific algorithm, right?

So the experience went a little something like this…RH and I headed to a local community college where he had taken a few classes this summer. My home internet is basically dial-up speed, and he was (rightfully) worried about the draft working correctly. So we settled into a fairly empty lounge and made ourselves at home.

I prepared to for the worst. The draft began at 7:00 and RH warned me that it could last until 9:00 or 9:30. However, these guys apparently had some lives to get back to and we were done in a little over an hour and were able to head to Sheetz for some post-draft slushies. Score. (Except that they didn’t have cherry and I had to get a Pepsi one. Boo. There must ALWAYS be a cherry option when it comes to slushies!)

The actual draft wasn’t too labor intensive. You are able to select the players you want to draft and add them to a list, so that way you can quickly draft them during your turn, or it will auto-select that player when the time runs out. The most difficult thing is when you have your next player picked out and some jerk right before you drafts them and you have to scramble to choose another player. I didn’t think I would be too upset about this (as I’m not super into any particular players) but I was. Some curse words were said. I really wanted Reggie Bush. I don’t care how he plays, but he is adorable and I wanted him on my team. There was also some ginger I wanted. [As I am what RH (lovingly) calls a “half-ginger” or “day-walker” I have a soft spot for all gingers. My lady crushes have included Lindsay Lohan (circa Mean Girls) and Emma Stone. I heart anyone who can make freckles sexy!]

While my main strategy was to choose players based solely on their names, I did pester RH with his thoughts on my choices. I didn’t want to pick someone totally awful. And he was also up on the knowledge of who was recently injured, thanks to his NFL texts and constant reading of football blogs. So he helped to steer me in the right direction if I made an obvious mistake. You also have to choose players to fill out different positions on your team, such as Running Backs, Wide Receivers…that’s all I really remember right now…other than a quarterback, of course. And this thing called a Flex player that really confused me (still not sure what that is). Had I been on my own, I probably would have selected the least important players first given my limited football knowledge, so he was able to tell me what positions I should choose first and last. So ladies, unless you actually understand football, have a dude with you that doesn’t mind answering questions, or all the good players are going to be gone while you’re busy picking out positions that don’t matter as much.

Turns only came along every couple of minutes, so there was a lot of downtime (at least for me, as I wasn’t frantically researching or consulting premade lists). So in between rounds (there were over 20) I amused myself on Pinterest and BuzzFeed. So RH got a little glimpse into what I like to do with my downtime…which is look at pretty clothes, recipes, and funny lists. I had an extensive giggle fit over a particularly hilarious BuzzFeed list that used quotes from New Girl’s Schmidt to describe life situations. Pretty sure RH thought I had lost my mind. So ladies, if this is the first time you’re experiencing a draft, do a little multitasking and find some new pins for your boards in between. Helps move things along!

So I’m excited to see what happens with football season starting as I want to win the cash prize! I do need to start getting more comfortable using the online program, it’s very easy, but I’m a little intimidated (I’m convinced I’ll mess something up) and usually wait for RH to help me. Apparently one of my players is already injured and not playing, so I’ll need to pick someone else. Thank god I have someone in the know who can tell me these things!

I did attempt to watch a preseason Eagles game on Saturday night. I chose their new Coach for my fantasy team (trying to have a little faith in RH’s favorite team) and I wanted to see how the game went that night. Unfortunately, I slept through most of the game as I got little sleep the night before and had spent the day in the sun. But they did end up winning in the end, so hopefully that is a good omen! My new goal will be to stay awake during the next game we watch. Sunday afternoons are usually our “football time,” which as everyone knows, is also prime napping time. Tricky, tricky.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Football & Film: Mostly Inspiration, with some Whipped Creme Bikinis

As there is yet another week until my fantasy draft, I thought I’d do a post on football movies. Just to keep the football talk going…

In a surprising turn of events, I usually like football movies. Maybe because they feature actors like Paul Walker and Mark Wahlberg and the storyline to football ratio is typically 70:30. And they normally have great soundtracks. But who knows for sure? So let’s do a rundown of some football movies from my perspective.

1. Varsity Blues
Hands-down one of my favorite football movies. Lots of good one-liners (let’s say it together: “penis, penis, penis, vagina, vagina, vagina.”), lots of eye-candy (Dawson with dark hair!), some good laughs, and some good drama (see: “I don’t want your life!”). I especially like the one player’s pet pig. Adorable.

However, my interest in this movie is short-lived after the “teacher in the strip club scene” as it switches primarily to football game scenes only and a lot yelling by Jon Voight, who’s pretty much a major douche bag in this movie. But, overall an entertaining film. Follows the “small town boy with big college dreams” plotline.

2. Remember the Titans
Okay, most important thing about this movie? It features a young Ryan Gosling. Let me repeat that, a YOUNG Ryan Gosling. That right there is worth the viewing.

Set in the sixties, it features Denzel Washington (extra points) as the first black football coach at a recently integrated school (yep, based on a true story). Denzel plays a great role and the movie focuses on the growing friendships amongst team members, most notably between two players, and how the town adjusts to the change. So it’s got some pretty inspirational themes. I also remember crying at the end, so between Ryan Gosling and that, it’s a pretty girl-friendly movie. Put it on the list as date night approved.

3. The Replacements
This movie is about a misfit team of players who take over when the pros go on strike. The quarterback is played by Keanu Reeves, who pretty much leads the team (as a quaterback should, I believe?). There’s a bunch of good laughs in this movie, with a little inspiration thrown in. The characters are very memorable; two of my favorites include two sumo wrestlers on the defense and a “wiry” kicker. And apparently, when the pro-teams go on strike, so do the cheerleaders. Or at least in this movie. So they are also replaced…by strippers. All in all, a funny film that gets you rooting for the underdogs.

Now at this point, my knowledge of football movies becomes a little hazy, so we’re moving onto the lightening round.

4. Brian’s Song
Know it’s a classic tear-jerker and based on actual people/events, but saw it in elementary school, so my memory ends there. But ladies, if you want to win some points with your significant other, bring this one home as a surprise. Pretty sure all men love this movie.

5. Invincible
Marky-Mark portrays a (real) guy who was a huge Eagles fan in the 70s. The Eagles hold an open tryout and he makes the team and plays in one game (I think). The end.

6. Rudy
Samwise Gamgee gets to fulfill his dream of being on the Notre Dame Football team. (Okay, not really him, but Sean Astin portrays the real guy. Have another true story here. I sense a trend.)

Seriously, my Dad had it on one Saturday afternoon when I was in middle school, people. That’s all I know. I did remember the movie enough to refer to Sean Astin as “Rudy” in the Lord of the Rings. (Can we all agree he was the real hero in those movies? Frodo? Not so much.) But it’s another classic and ranked on the “most inspirational movies” list.

7. The Blindside
Homeless teenager gets adopted and goes on to play football in college and eventually goes pro. Sandra Bullock plays a feisty southern momma. And who doesn't love Sandra Bullock?

Alright, that’s it. That is my official knowledge on football movies. If R.H. were here, I’m sure he’d be able to tell me the true stories behind most of them (especially Invincible as he’s an Eagles fan). But he’s not here and this is about my knowledge, right? And my knowledge according to this list is: football inspires people and brings them together. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, maybe try a football movie. However, I’d stick with the ones based on true stories if that’s what you’re after…you can’t dig too deep into Varsity Blues and The Replacements.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Football: A Story of Love & Hate

Growing up, football was synonymous with boredom in my mind. Just hearing that familiar theme on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon while my dad enjoyed a game and a beer (okay, several beers) was enough to make me consider slitting my wrists. (Vertically, I was taking no chances here.) And don’t get me started on the announcers…I know that John Madden guy is a legend and all, but seriously? His voice makes me want to bang my head against the wall. How did he get that job? And the constant need to replay everything. In slow motion. Over and over. Let’s move it along, shall we?

Waiting to have use of the TV, I would see two minutes left on the clock and feel the excitement building…the torture was almost over! But that quickly turned to further irritation as two minutes somehow turned into fifteen or thirty. Stupid football and it’s time warping abilities. And more often than not, the end of one game meant the beginning of another. Now that I think about it, I believe I must credit football with my love of reading, which lead to my love of writing…you lucky people, you!

As I grew older, I could tolerate the Superbowl. It seemed to encourage drinking, eating unhealthy bar food, and best of all…yelling. All things I enjoy. I could get down with football one night of the year if it included all that! Except for the year they were playing a special episode of Glee after the game. I stayed up to watch and the post-game coverage went on and on and on….as if we hadn’t known who won? I eventually gave up and went to bed. No Journey covers for me that night. And I think the Giants won that year. Even though I don’t like football, I have developed a hatred for the Giants. Long story that I may share at another time.  

However, as irony should have it…about a year ago I met a guy. Who loves all things football. I’m talking about a guy who literally gets text updates from the NFL on his phone. Because you just never know when breaking football news is going to happen…? He participates in multiple Fantasy teams. He has gone back to school to get a degree in Sports Management to help fulfill his dream of literally WORKING for the NFL. He was a volunteer at last year’s Superbowl and spent a week in New Orleans (okay, I was pretty jealous of that due to the location. Hello French Quarter!).

Oy. You think I’d run in the other direction, right? Nope. Fell head over heels in love with him. And being the awesome girlfriend that I am (my words, but I’m sure he’d agree), I have compromised and tried to embrace this football thing. I mean, it seems to be pretty popular, right? Millions of fans can’t be wrong! I have purchased a t-shirt of his favorite team (as a surprise to wear during the first game of theirs we watched together. Cute, right?), attended a game in the freezing weather of December, and a practice (you read that right) in the humid weather of July. I volunteered to join his fantasy team. (Just to kick their football loving butts.)

This all lead to the idea for this blog. I still do not understand many, many things about football. I like teams based on their colors and mascots and players based on their names. Discovering that Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line created NFL apparel was the highlight of last season for me (adorable!). While I do not think I’ll ever truly understand football, I thought it would be amusing for me (and others) to chronicle my experiences this season. A sort of “what a girl who avoids sports at all costs sees” versus “what a male football fan sees.” (You can find my boyfriend’s blog at: But trust me; it’s full of truly intricate football stuff. Involving calculations and forecasts. You have been warned. )

So I hope you have enjoyed my first “let’s get to know each other” post. I’ll hopefully update before the season starts with my experiences at the game last year and practice, just to lay some more groundwork. I will also be drafting players for my fantasy league (with the technical help of my boyfriend…let’s call him R.H. from now) on the 21st so I’m sure that will make an interesting story. But maybe not…pretty sure I’m just going to be sitting at a computer for two to three hours, picking people when it’s my turn. Woohoo. Maybe that occasions calls for booze too?