Fantasy Football – Know Your Enemy

November 30, 2008 at 7:34 PM (Fantasy Football, Sports)

Hi there, sports fans!

How many of you are or have ever been involved in a Fantasy Football League or have any interest in doing so? Ask anyone who participates in one of these incredible time/life-suckers and they will tell you that there is nothing else out there that can make you ride high and then immediately cause you to fall to the ground. I’ve been playing fantasy football for several years now and I’ve been on the receiving and giving ends of trips behind the woodshed.

What really makes this “sport” so fun? It’s not like I’m actually out there throwing a pigskin with my buddies. I think it is the trash talking aspect, not to mention the gambling. After all, most fantasy leagues require an upfront monetary commitment (the league I’ve been participating in the past two years costs $20 to join). In the end, I pay $20 for 17 weeks of emotional ups and downs that hopefully result in me winning a portion of the pot at the end of the fantasy season. As for trash talking, there’s nothing like watching the guys on your team roll up the points on Sunday against a coworker and then letting him hear about it on Monday morning. Talk about satisfaction! Of course, you will inevitably be on the receiving end of this as well, so it is definitely a two-way street. Trash talk appropriately and responsibly.

There are several types of FFB owners, and in this first FFB blog installment, I’ll outline the types of folks you’re probably playing with right now or will be playing with once you jump on the FFB bandwagon.

The Loud Guy – This owner constantly talks about 1-2 players on his team, usually in a negative way if he just lost or in a positive way if he just won. Matt Cassel just threw for 400 yards. Again! You’ll be hearing about this for the whole week. Never mind that it took an incredible performance from Cassell to secure the 2 point margin of victory for his team. If this guy is winning, then you’ll get to hear about his studs. On the plus side, this is the same guy that will be moaning about the fact that Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg and probably won’t play for much, if any, of the remaining regular season. Plax is going to be out at least 3 weeks. That’s 15 working days for you to hear about it. Every single day. I personally try to avoid this guy unless I just beat the pants off of him the previous week.

The Guy Who Loves His Favorite Players – This owner generally will not fare well in the standings, but he stands behind his guys. Is Terrell Owens worth a first round pick? Probably not. But he’s the favorite player of this owner, and he’s absolutely got to have him on his team in order to be happy. This owner will draft the weirdest, most oddly-balanced team in the league based purely on the fact that he’s a big fan or has a man crush on each and every one of them. Generally this owner will attempt to draft a bunch of players from the same team, since he’s been following (pick a NFL team) since he was 12. I actually saw someone draft Adam Vinatieri with their 3rd overall pick last year. Absolute craziness! However, this guy’s team has to be feared, at least a little bit. You never know when all of his players might get hot one week and put forth an absolutely amazing point total. Thankfully this only happens once or twice a season, but you’re always praying that it doesn’t happen against your team.

The Newbie – This guy is probably fairly knowledgeable about the NFL in general, probably watches at least one or two games a week, and probably can talk stats with the best of them at the water cooler. However, this is his first season playing FFB, and he hasn’t quite figured out how to translate NFL production into FFB points. Deuce McAllister is a team leader and everyone in the locker room respects him. It’s usually a tough lesson for this guy when he finds out that all of those “intangibles” translate into a 10-point performance every week when opposing running backs are putting up 20+ points.

The Waiver Wire Addict – This guy will make so many moves during the season that the team that he finishes the season with will only have 1 to 3 players that he originally drafted. He’s addicted to the add/drop button. Player X gets hurt and player Y will be taking over the starting job for a team? This guy will pick up player Y before anyone else, no matter who he has to drop. Case and point, an owner in the league I’m in this year was able to pick up Joseph Addai off of waivers because Addai became expendable based on a single good game from Justin Gage. Patience is not a word that this owner is familiar with.

The Unequal Trade guy – This guy will generally field an okay team most seasons. However, his idea of good times is taking advantage of other owners in the league. He LOVES The Newbie. I’ve got Fred Taylor, how about I trade him to you for Wes Welker and Matt Schaub? No? Well, you’re a big poopyhead! He’ll wheel and deal and spin stats in such a manner that Scott Boras would be impressed. He can make the most inept guy sound like the next coming of Walter Payton. I personally like to propose equally outrageous trades to him just to hear him whine about how I’m attempting to fleece him and how he certainly won’t trade with me anymore. Darn.

The Quiet Guy – This guy makes his roster moves throughout the season, but that’s about it. You don’t hear much from him otherwise. Want to try to make a deal and have a trade happen? Forget about it. This owner won’t even acknowledge your request. Don’t take it personally, though. He won’t acknowledge anyone’s request. If his team isn’t doing well, this is the guy most likely to essentially abandon his team and stop playing altogether. He brings FFB antisocialism to new heights.

So which type of owner are you? Chances are we all fall into multiple categories throughout the season, but after 17 weeks you could have all of the owners vote and each and every person would be overwhelmingly labeled with one of these personas.

In my next installment, we’ll talk about how to properly talk trash to your fellow owners without inciting their ire and ruining friendships.




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Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

November 30, 2008 at 9:39 AM (Holidays)

As is our “right after Thanksgiving tradition” Ben and I put up our Christmas tree yesterday.  This is our first Christmas in our new house AND our first Christmas putting the tree somewhere where the cats could get to it.  Previously, we’ve placed the tree in a room with the door shut.  This year, it is right in front of the bay window in our smaller living room.  We decided to place the ornaments on the tree in two phases.  I have collected a number of ornaments when I travel and I have collected and received a number of sentimental ornaments over the years.  Needless to say, I do not want those ornaments chewed by our cats.  We also have safety concerns for our cats and don’t want them to eat anything that could hurt/kill them.  So, lights went on the tree along with various bows.  We then placed our non-sentimental ornaments on the tree (Phase 1) to see what happens while we sleep.  After the tree was in place and decorated, Buddy and Joey (two of our cats) began chewing on it.  They even attempted to lean on it from the seat of the bay window a few times.  I definitely didn’t have good vibes about this when we went to bed last night.  However, this morning, the tree still stands!  Yay!  We’ll continue to monitor the tree and may have Phase 2 of tree decorations tonight.

On a side note, Ben and I have decided that this is the last year for this tree.  I have had this tree for about 5 years and it is past its prime.  We will be hitting the after-Christmas clearance in search for a bigger pre-lit tree.  We can’t wait!

Check out the pics below!

– Stephanie

Christmas tree in front of bay window.

Christmas tree in front of bay window.

Buddy hanging out under the Christmas tree.

Buddy hanging out under the Christmas tree.

I love the reflections on the windows.  Note that Buddy is still under the tree.

I love the reflections on the windows. Note that Buddy is still under the tree.

Up close picture of the pretty bows used on the tree.

Up close picture of the pretty bows used on the tree.

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Thanksgiving 2008

November 30, 2008 at 12:22 AM (Family, Holidays)

Ben and I spent Thanksgiving with his family in Boiling Springs, SC.  We left on the morning of Thanksgiving and arrived just before 11 AM.  Food preparation was underway at his parent’s when we arrived.

We ate around 2 PM.  In attendance were Betty and Richard (Ben’s parents), Becky (a family friend), Marsha (Ben’s sister), Darius and Jazia (Ben’s niece and nephew), Maria and Lucian (family friends), and myself.  For food, we had all sorts of yummy dishes to choose from including: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, stuffing, fruit salad, salad, rolls, scalloped potatoes, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin “stuff”, baked beans, cranberry sauce, apple pie, and ice cream.  A feast fit for a king!

Jazia helping prepare stuffing. Check out that hair!!

Jazia helping prepare stuffing. Check out that hair!!

Some of our Thanksgiving meal

Some of our Thanksgiving meal

Almost time to eat.  Ben and Becky staked out their spots at the table.

Almost time to eat. Ben and Becky staked out their spots at the table.

After linner or dunch (lunch/dinner), we played several games as a family including Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, and Scene It (Harry Potter version).  We have a ton of fun and stayed up much later than we are used to these days.

We played Trivial Pursuit.  Ben and I won!

We played Trivial Pursuit. Ben and I won (not because of me)!

Ben, Becky, Darius, Betty, and Richard played Harry Potter Scene It.

Ben, Becky, Darius, Betty, and Richard playing Harry Potter Scene It.

The next morning, Betty (Ben’s mom) made breakfast for everyone.  We then assembled and decorated the Christmas tree and said our goodbyes to the family around 3 PM.

Richard (Ben's dad) placing the topper on the tree.

Richard placing the topper on the tree.

Marsha (Ben's sister) placing beads around the tree.

Marsha placing beads around the tree.

Darius and Jazia teasing each other and helping with the tree.

Darius and Jazia teasing each other and helping with the tree.

We then made our way to Clemson, SC.  We spent the evening with our friends Gary and Jenna.  They made homemade BBQ turkey pizza for all of us and it was tasty!  Ben and I will definitely be making homemade pizza in the near future.  After dinner, we went to see Clemson play Presbyterian College in basketball.  Of course Clemson won. 😉  After the game we sat around and talked until bed time.  We left their place at 7 AM this morning and headed towards Atlanta.  We picked up Peanut and Arya (our dogs) from the kennel, let them play a while, and then took a long nap.

All in all, the last couple of days were a blast!  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because the focus isn’t on gifts.  Food, friends, fun and family.  What could be better?  We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Thank you all for adding so much to our lives.  We are extremely grateful for all of the wonderful people that we call friends and family.

– Stephanie

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Keeping in Touch

November 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM (Uncategorized)

Hey everybody!  Ben and I finally took the plunge and have decided to start a blog.  We have had a lot of life changes in the recent months and are trying our best to stay in touch with everyone.  We plan to use this blog as a way for you to get a glimpse into our lives and keep you updated with the latest news and happenings in the soon to be Fishel-Brown household.  Please bookmark this blog and check it often!  We welcome any and all comments.

– Stephanie

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