Coke Zero Man’s League Update… Update… Update

If you recall, earlier this month I mentioned that I had gotten an e-mail read in the ESPN Fantasy Focus Football Edition Podcast, which led the host to proclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. This resulted in them asking me to join the Coke Zero Man’s League, a 16-team fantasy football league they created in an effort to embarrass and shame their producer Jay Soderberg, since he plays in a small, 8-team fantasy baseball league (and because embarrassing and shaming Jay is their most favourite thing to do).

So they wanted to see how Jay would do in a deep league, and set up a 16 team listener’s league (which is a really deep fantasy football league. Standard sizes for fantasy football leagues are generally 10-12 teams), filling the other 15 spots with listeners who e-mailed in to be a part of the podcast. One of the 15 listeners (dubbed “Crazy Guy”) subsequently started being a jerk on the message boards, and was hurting the league’s competitive balance by giving away his players in terrible trades. So they kicked him out, rescinding his last trade in the process, then eventually offered me his spot in the league. I accepted the offer mostly to be a part of the show, since I knew his roster was terrible and that it’s difficult to improve a roster in a league that deep (not that I haven’t been trying).

They routinely give updates on the progress of the league throughout the week on the podcast, giving the one host (the Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry) plenty of opportunity to call me “Stupid Andy from Calgary”, since my e-mail disagreed with his opinion. Since the other host (Nate Ravitz) agrees with my opinion, he countered by calling me “Sage-like Andy”, which quickly morphed to “Horine-like Andy”, with “Horine” being the last name of their boss (Mark Horine), and thus becoming a synonym for “sage”. “Horine-like Andy” has become my nickname (accept to Matt, who gets upset when he hears that and continues to call me “Stupid Andy”).

A continuing bit they do on the show is that they chat with whoever is playing Jay during the week before and after the weekend. Sadly, the hosts were away last Thursday, so I didn’t get my pre-game interview as I played Jay this past weekend. But they did call me up today to discuss the horrible 122-59 defeat I suffered at the hands of Pod Vader (Soderberg’s nickname), making it my international podcast debut.

To listen to my appearance on the show, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 and play or download the podcast for 10/30. My segment comes up at the 21:20 mark. Behold my witty repartee.

The Saga Continues…

Once again, Andy from Calgary gets a mention on the ESPN Fantasy Football Focus podcast, this time as the big news item of the day (it’s a very slow news day in the football world, as Tuesday is an off day). To hear the brief segment about me, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then choose the podcast for 10/3. I’m the lead story at about 1:55 in, and then they talk about my entry into the league for about a minute or so before moving on.

So, there you have it. Minute 14 of 15 of my fleeting brush with fame.

My Brief Flirtation with Almost Fame

Most of you know that I am a participant in that wonderfully wacky pasttime known as Fantasy Football. As part of my fantasy football preparations, and more importantly as part of my attempt to distract myself from my job, I listen to ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast featuring The Talented Mr. Roto Matthew Berry and his co-host Nate Ravitz. I mostly listen to it for entertainment purposes, as most of their advice doesn’t really pertain to the rules and make-up of my fantasy league, and, as a four-time champion of said league, I don’t really need much advice (3-1 so far this year, and the league’s highest scorer).

But it’s an entertaining listen if you’re in to fantasy football and have a half hour to kill Monday through Friday. One thing that bugs me is that Matthew Berry is always going on about the importance of handcuffing your studs (for you non-fantasy football fans, this means to draft the real-world NFL back-up of the best runningback on your fantasy roster, in case that best back, AKA your “stud”, gets injured). I think this is one of the most overrated pieces of fantasy advice, leading people to hype the unknown runningbacks that happen to occupy the spot behind your guy in the depth chart, even if that guy has never proven himself a viable fantasy player. NFL players are not interchangeable, so just because one guy performs really well for a team, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy replacing him will also do well.

An example of this came this weekend, when Brian Leonard replaced the injured Steven Jackson as the St. Louis Rams starting runningback, and proceeded to do nothing. Seizing upon this example, I e-mailed the show in an effort to expose the flaw in Berry’s logic. They, in turn, read my e-mail on the show, and then proceeded to engage in a rather spirited debate about the subject that led to a rather exasperated Matthew Berry to exclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. For the rest of the podcast, they kept coming back to me and my e-mail, to the point where Nate suggested that I should replace Matthew on the show (as a joke… I’m mostly sure).

As a result of the six minute debate my e-mail set off, I was invited to join the 16 Team Man’s League the show set up, to replace a crazy guy they had to kick out, an invitation I accepted. I expect this to not be the last you hear them talk about Andy from Calgary, as they update league progress a few times a week.

To listen to this ever-so-brief brush with ever-so-small fame, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then select the Fantasy Focus Football: 10/2 edition and play it (or download if you so chose). Then skip about a third of the way in (in the ESPN player, you can scroll to above the rewind button) and that will get you to the part about me. I keep coming up for about six minutes, then come up again a few times after that.

Your 2006 FFL Champions

The Eagles got an interception just as we got in our car to leave for dinner to put me ahead by one, then iced it on Dallas’ final drive with a sack, giving me a 50-48 victory and my fourth FFL Championship! This is the best Christmas ever.

That’s it for fantasy football talk for awhile, we now return you to your regularly scheduled cross-posted reviews.

Tie Game

This sport is trying to kill me. We’re in the fourth quarter of the Eagles/Cowboys game, and thanks to two sacks and an interception, the score of my championship game is now tied, 48-48. Unfortunately, my opponent holds a half-point lead in the case of a tie, as a result of finishing the regular season with a better record than me. I need one more sack, interception, or forced fumble, and for Terry Glenn to continue to do nothing.

Sadly, it’ll be awhile until I find out how this goes, as we have to head out for Christmas Dinner. Oh fantasy football gods, why doth thou taunt me?

Going into Monday Night

No more TDs today, so LT let me down for the first time all season. He got me 2 points on yardage, but Vernon Davis did the same for my opponent, so no difference in the point differential, I’m down 48-45 going into a Eagles DST vs Terry Glenn matchup, which I need to win outright (a tie does not help me). I need a Christmas miracle (stupid kickers).

Well, time to spend some of the holiday with my family.

The Oppression of Time

The clock is ticking away, and LT has yet to score. He broke out one big run, which had me yelling at the TV while making myself hot dogs (and keeping Gromit from jumping on the counter… never should’ve given him that piece of cheese), but was run out of bounds before he scored. Then sometime when I was probably taking Gromit outside, he had a 47 yarder called back on a penality, so I’m glad I missed that.

Matt Hasselback has lost 2 points on interceptions, so the score is now 46-43. I have at least 2 more points coming to me on LT yardage, so it remains close. But I don’t want it close, I want LT to get me points!!!

The Morning Games are Over

Going into the afternoon, with all the yardage and DST scores added up, I’m down 48-43. This is a tight game. But now my big weapon takes the field, LaDainian effing Tomlinson, who is having the greatest fantasy season in history. He’s averaging about 25 points a game, and it looks like I’ll need them. So for now, it’s LT vs Matt Hasselback and Vernon Davis, with the Eagles DST for me and Terry Glenn for him going tomorrow night.

Idiot Kickers

I’m down 43-39, largely because Robbie Gould has 14 points for my opponent, and Josh Scobee only has 2 points for me. Had I started John Carney like I have for the past two weeks, he’d have scored 12 points for me. If I lose by ten or less, I will have to shoot myself.

The Slayers pull ahead!

Robbie Gould tacked on another field goal for my opponent to put him at 36, but Deuce finally reached the endzone to put me at 36. Add Marvin Harrison’s 112 yards, and I’m up 38-36. Technically, he’ll probably end up getting at least 4 more points from Jones-Drew for yardage, but I don’t calculate those scores until after the game is final (he could still lose yards, or pick up 50 more). But I’ll get at least 2 from Tom Brady for yardage, so we’re pretty much tied right now.

Sadly, I started the wrong kicker this week. I hope this doesn’t haunt me.

Marvelous MARVIN!!!

Marvin Harrison scores his second TD, putting the game at 34-30! I was high on Harrison going into the draft, while everyone else was looking at other receivers, thinking he was too old. My philosophy is that I’ll wait til Harrison actually has an off season, instead of predicting every year that this will be the season he has one. I was considering drafting him in the first round, until it became apparent that I could get him in the second. Yay me!

After the Half

I started my comeback, the score is now 27-23, putting me down by 4. He’s gotten a couple of sacks by the Bears and another PAT, while things started to look bad for me. Marques Colston dropped a TD pass, Tom Brady came up a yard and a half short on a quarterback sneak, and Deuce McAllister was stopped on the goal line twice in a row, followed by an incomplete pass to Colston.

Luckily, Sean Payton has huge, huge balls and went for it on fourth down for the third time in the first half, and the Saints (the football team for New Orleans, not me and my wife) threw a TD to Colston. Somewhere in there Heath Miller scored a one yard TD, which was awesome because I wasn’t going to start him. When I first posted my starters, I put in Bo Scaife in at tight end, but because he’s injured, I reluctantly switched in Miller against the Ravens, figuring that I wouldn’t get any points either way. So… yay!

Throw in a Tom Brady TD pass, and I was down by three. I was in a position to go up by three, but Josh Scobee missed a 53 yard kick, which puts us where we are now.

Oh, and Gromit is going nuts, running back and forth for no reason. Which… is pretty common for him.

Fuckfuckfuckfuck…

Maurice Jones-Drew (who is playing against me) just scored a big TD. This better be overturned, but it doesn’t look like it will be.

It was not overturned. I am now down 24-7 (after both of our kickers got PATs).

11-6

My opponent went up to 11 with a Robbie Gould field goal, but then we started our comeback when Marvin Harrison scored a 37 yard TD. It would’ve been more exciting had I gotten the chance to see it, but I had to chase Gromit upstairs, where he proceeded to pee on the living room floor. My bad, I should’ve taken him outside.

He’s in his crate now. That’ll teach him to make me miss a TD!