foosball is the devil

I joined my first-ever fantasy football league a month ago, teaming up with my dad. Our team, the Hellboys, had the eleventh pick in a snake draft (so we also had the fourteenth pick). Somehow we ended up with both Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson, the quarterback and wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.

I’m a late bloomer in terms of football fandom (heck, sports fandom in general), but I read over all the stats in the magazines my dad gave me and kept him from making any unwise moves during the draft. Last week, in the first week of the season, we didn’t do all that well; our reserves did far better than the guys we activated.

This week, though–we had Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. In a league where the average weekly highest score by any team is around 90-100, we ended up with 146 points thanks to Palmer’s six touchdowns (two of them caught by Johnson) in the Bengals’ 51-45 loss to the Browns. We outscored our opponent by more than 2x their own score. It was, to use the technical term, a drubbing.

Obviously this was a major fluke–it’s unlikely we’ll see another shootout like that this season from any teams, much less the Bengals again. But it felt pretty good for the second matchup of my fantasy football league career.

So it was an interesting Sunday…good for the Pats, good for my fantasy team, not so good for the Red Sox, who also just lost to the Blue Jays while the Yankees beat up on the Orioles, meaning the Sox’s lead in the AL East will soon be 3 1/2 games. If you’re not gritting your teeth and checking your pulse, it’s not the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, did you see what the Pats did to the Chargers? LaDainian Tomlinson currently has the lowest yards-per-carry (1.9) of any quarterback with more than twenty carries. That won’t last, but the people who patted themselves on the back for getting the #1 pick in their fantasy league draft have to be bit annoyed at losing 1/16 of that payoff (in the regular season, anyway).

One last thing…I think the “LT sucks” chant by the fans at Gillette was in poor taste. Frankly, so is “Yankees suck.” It’s not biting or amusing, it’s just mean and smacks of sore winners/losers.

Chanting “Roger” is funny, especially when he’s in trouble. If the Gillette crowd had chanted something like “MVP” after LDT got stopped for a 1-yard loss–now that would have been funny.


Thank you, Josh Beckett. Thank you.

DG and I seem to have both caught a cold at the game Friday night. She blames the Yankees. It stinks to be sick on such a glorious day like today.

Late to the party as usual, we’ve started watching Heroes and Burn Notice. Both are pretty cool. I’ve managed to turn away from CSI Miami, at least for now. Once you’ve seen twenty or thirty episodes, they all start to seem the same. Of course, Psych still has a special place in my heart.

I’ve been replaying Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Xbox, since it was added to the backwards-compatible list for the 360. It’s definitely one of my favorite games of all time. While doing some surfing today, I came across this nice retrospective on the game from last year. It does a good job of describing what keeps my playing this game so long after it came out.

My bad.

It’s all my fault.

I’ll take the blame. Heap your scorn upon me. I deserve it.

For it was I who, after having sat in the humid heat for more than three hours of what was apparently the second-longest nine-inning major league game of all time, decided I just had, had to get up out of my seat and go to the bathroom.

I did this just as Hideki Okajima came out of the dugout.

So there. It was all me. Even one of my friends at the game later told me that as soon as I’d gotten up, she’d worried that I’d jinxed things.

There I was, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I would finally watch the Red Sox beat the Yankees in person. But no. The whole thing felt eerily like watching a pre-2004 Red Sox game.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, because we had fantastic seats courtesy of my parents, who won them in a contest. And despite the loss, it was a battle to the end. Sloppy at times, too–how many points did we score in that game thanks to Jason Giambi’s butterfingers?

It would have been much more fun had there not been two young, surly Yankees fans sitting behind us, keeping up a running commentary of the game. There seemed to be an abundance of NY fans in the grandstands, actually. At one point, when Mariano Rivera got a good strike in the ninth inning, one of the two behind us kept clapping continuously until I turned around and glared at him. I kind of expected him to either clap louder or tell me to screw off; instead, he just stopped. I guess I acquired an air of authority somewhere. It’s worth mentioning that the second the game was over, they cheered and then bolted out of their seats and out of the stadium. Apparently they had no interest in celebrating while surrounded by disappointed, peeved Red Sox fans.

Peeved because of me.

Go Sox!

My friend Andy and I are going to the Red Sox-Yankees game tonight with our respective fiancees. I’ll try to bring a real camera and take some actual pictures (rather than forcing you to squint at my cell phone photos).

So the hammer has come down on Videogate and in the end, I do think the whole thing was overblown–and also mystifying on the part of Belichick & Co. What sucks the most is how this has cost the Patriots most of that grudging respect they’d earned from the media and non-NE fans. Turns out there are a lot of Patriots haters. Now I know what it feels like to be a Yankees fan (no offense, Kate!).

“…will appear and destroy us.”

Because I had to.

Hail to the King

Salon’s King Kaufman makes me feel better. Thanks, King. Please accept my apologies for taunting you after the Pats’ win in ’02 (his pre-Super Bowl column was titled, “Yes, the Patriots can beat the Rams! The problem is, they won’t”).

ToyFare #123…

…is out today. Go to your nearest comic book shop and get it!


It was six years ago that the world changed. I haven’t solemnized this occasion every year on this blog, but I’d like to today.

Here’s a link to Biggerboat as it appeared two weeks after the event. At the time, I was just cutting and pasting quotes from various articles to create a kind of collage of what I was thinking. I think a lot of it has only become more relevant–and in some cases, darkly prophetic–over the last few years.

Tale of the tape

I don’t know if this is true. Obviously, I hope it isn’t. And even if the employee was following orders, I’m not sure how much of an edge you can gain during the actual game.

But if it does turn out to be true, count me as one of those fans who will be disappointed, as I was with the HGH scandal. Yes, I realize how rampant cheating is in professional sports and that it was probably inevitable some of it was going on with the Patriots. But you still always hope your team is the exception, and the Pats seemed to have positioned themselves as one.

Anyway, the jury’s still out, for now. And this may just blow over–I suspect that unless there’s really clear evidence that the Pats used this information to their advantage in real-time during the game, the NFL will just let the scandal itself serve as a reprimand to the team. Still, though, it’s disheartening to have Sunday’s great win tarnished like this.

Halo 3 Mamajama

The truth can at last be revealed: the article I pitched all those months ago will finally hit stores this Wednesday in ToyFare #123. Titled “Halo 3 Mamajama,” it’s a huge article about the upcoming release of Halo 3 and the slew of merchandising that will be accompanying it.

The issue will be in comic shops this Wednesday, and it will hit newsstands (Barnes & Noble and Borders and whatnot) two weeks later, on the 26th. Be sure to grab a copy!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention–the article includes an interview with comic artist and toy maker Todd McFarlane, who’s doing the action figure line, and another interview with some folks from Bungie, makers of Halo 3.

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