Posted tagged ‘competition’

Fantasy Football Trash-talking

September 27, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          September 27, 2016

                               

It’s Fantasy Football season…in case you missed it! Millions of people spend millions of hours being the coach and general manager of their team of fifteen players and defenses. Fantasy Football is the new way that adults who are now has-been athletes relive their youth through chiseled millionaires. College loyalties go out the window. Buckeye fanatics could care less about what Ezekiel Elliott did for them in Columbus. If he is going against their fantasy team this week they want him to get pummeled and get a bad case of fumble-itis!

Part of Fantasy Football…a big part in fact…is on-line and in-person trash-talking. This past week I left two running backs  on my Fantasy bench, both whom would have notched me twenty plus points. Soon after the Thursday night Patriots’ game I got the sarcastic messages about LaGarrette Blount getting big yardage and two touchdowns while sitting on my Fantasy bench. I could sense the sneers.

And then when LeSean McCoy was also sitting on my bench on Sunday as he rolled up 23 fantasy points the social media laughter escalated.

That’s what makes Fantasy Football fun and interesting…the sense of triumph and the embarrassment of oversight competing against people you may be eating Thanksgiving dinner with.

For instance, my youngest daughter erroneously had her laptop still on “Autodraft” as we began our draft night. She wanted to take a certain player, but as soon as she hit the “Select” button whoever was still at the top of her draft list got drafted. She drafted two quarterbacks in the first three rounds before she discovered the error of her ways. Her gathered family at the same draft site- husband, sister, brother-in-law, and dad- expressed our sorrow for her…but inwardly we were chuckling and giving ourselves high-fives. At the end of the draft night we made a few joking remarks about her debacle, like campers throwing a few more logs on the fierce fire.

And now she’s laughing back at us as she sits on top of our twelve person family league still undefeated after three weeks. Who’s laughing now???

There are the on-line fantasy  products and leagues, like Draft Kings, that attract their element. A lot of people use fantasy football as an excuse to gamble. The great thing about this side event, however, is connecting with family and friends in non-sweaty competition.

Last year I emerged as champion of our “Wolfe-Terveen” family league, which emerged out of the marriage of my youngest 3-0 daughter, Lizi, and her husband, Dr. Mike Terveen. I’m sitting at 2-1 after three weeks, but my team name is a constant remember to everyone of who won last year as I merged Bill Belichick into my current season objective. Welcome “Bill-a-Back-to-Back!”

Family pride is at stake! Okay, maybe just Dad Pride! I need to secure my place at the head of the table…put these young bucks in their places.

Our family league has more than just my boast of fame name. There’s also these team names: “Who You Calling Gurley?”, “Great Barrier Reiff”, “Drove My Chevy to DeAndre Levy”, “Breesus King of the Drews”, “Detroit Lions Suck”, and “Pjanic at the Disco”. Creativity in team name adds to the aura of the opponent.

Big games this week! By Sunday night the chatter will be at full blast! Unsympathetic unfiltered words of humiliation will be typed that will mostly be accepted as humor. By the end of December the King/Queen will be determined.

And the prize is…nothing! No ring, no trophy, not even a McDonald’s Happy Meal gift certificate. The prize will be just knowing throughout the family who the champion is!

And at that point I’ll need to consider renaming my team again for the next season. I’m leaning towards “Bill-a-back-to-back-to-back!”

Winning My First Blue Ribbon…and Second

April 28, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        April 28, 2014

 

When I was eight years old I was a non-stop mover. I was the hyper kid before we ever used that term. I may have defined it. I had short brown hair…no sissy long hair for us in those days…a freckled face, and most of my front teeth. Women were always telling me I was cute. Of course, they were also all my aunts. Unrelated eight year old girls seemed unimpressed!

In the summer time our community of Williamstown, West Virginia was a paradise for kids. There was the community swimming pool, Little League baseball, summer tennis lessons on the high school courts, and the greatest outdoor basketball courts I can remember.

Williamstown also had a summer parks and recreation morning program where kids could come and get involved in different crafts, games, and other kid-oriented activities. At the end of the summer the Wood County Parks and Recreation competitions were held in Vienna, a few miles up the road. Children from the various summer program areas came together to compete against one another in swimming, track and field, and other competitions.

I can remember hopping on the bus that morning with the other kids from my park and heading up the highway. I had my school lunch pail containing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white. (We didn’t know what wheat bread was in those days. If it was around it would have been viewed with a high degree of suspicion. After all, in 1962 we were told that there were all kinds of Communist subversive efforts going on. To us wheat bread would have been seen as a subtle pulling towards the dark side.)

      On the way to the competition my park director, a nice-looking young lady who I remember as being named Patty, informed me that I was going to be competing three events: the eight year old 25 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle relay in the swimming competition; and the eight year old 50 yard dash in track.

I knew how to run fifty yards. I was fast. Whenever we played tag on the school playground none of the girls could catch me!

Maybe that wasn’t the best of ideas, now that I think about it!

The swimming competition started right after we arrived at the Vienna park, and being eight, my age group was to go first.

The announcer hit the volume on the loud speaker and said, “All those boys in the eight year old 25 yard freestyle race are to report to the deep end of the pool.” 

That was me! I entrusted my lunch pail to my friend Ronnie and trotted on my tippy toes to the  end of the pool that featured the diving boards. There was only one other boy waiting there. The starter waited another moment to make sure there were no other boys stumbling towards the deep end and then he turned to the two of us and asked, “Are you boys here for the eight year old race?” I nodded yes like a kid about to be given medicine, but the other boy looked up at the man with a pitiful expression of uncertainty and asked, “Is this water over my head?”

“Well, yes son, it’s twelve feet deep!”

     A couple of eyebrows rose towards heaven, and his eyeballs got as big as saucers, and he said to the man, “Well…I can’t swim!”

The starter looked a little puzzled and said, “Ohhh!” And then he turned towards me and continued, “Well, I guess that means you win, son!”

He handed me a blue ribbon, which I would have immediately pinned to my chest if I hadn’t been bare-chested.

The thing of it was…I couldn’t swim either! Honesty, however, had not arrived as a resident of my life, and I wouldn’t start taking swimming lessons at the Williamstown Community Pool until the next summer. I had the mindset that I could dog paddle twenty five yards. Lassie did it on TV all the time!

Besides, the deep end of a pool where the water was undisturbed looked deceptively shallow…like you could just reach over and touch the bottom.

But if you didn’t HAVE to get wet, why give out any incriminating information?

So I didn’t!

Thirty minutes later our relay team was the only team entered in the swimming relay race…so I doubled my blue ribbon haul…and was still bone dry!

The third blue ribbon was legit! I out-raced about twenty other eight year old boys in the fifty yard dash. I was like a greyhound in the midst of a bunch of dachshunds!

I enjoyed my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and hid my three blue ribbons in the safe of my lunch box, like I was The Man from U.N.C.L.E!

I’m not sure I learned any lessons that day on the value of good sportsmanship and fair play, but…I was eight!

I still have those three blue ribbons in my closet. Every time I come across them while looking for something else I simply chuckle and remember.

Those were good days, days that still make me smile, except now when I smile I have all my front teeth!

FFL- Fantasy Fellowship League

October 15, 2012

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                    October 15, 2012

Fantasy Football has become an obsession in recent years. Recent research has come out with the conclusion that $6.5 billion in work productivity is lost in this country during the fantasy football season. There’s even a radio station on satellite radio dedicated to fantasy sports. Eight percent of guys who play fantasy football have been dumped by their girlfriend because of their obsession with it.

Our church has a fantasy football league. It’s fun! The only cost to be involved in it is the blows to your pride that occur quite often. On-line trash talking is encouraged with a smidgeon of mercy. We meet on an evening in August to do the league draft and enjoy harassing each other on the ineptitude of each decision. Two years after the fact I am still being ribbed for taking a kicker, David Akers, in the seventh round. The funny thing is that I can’t remember anyone else I drafted that season, but I remember my kicker!

In case, you’re not familiar with fantasy football, remembering who your kicker is, but not your QB, running back, or receiver…is a bad sign!

In thinking about it I got to wondering about starting a Fantasy Fellowship League. If fantasy football can be such a hit perhaps taking some of the heroes of the faith and drafting them on to teams might be the new hot method of evangelism.

Who might be the QB, the field general? David? Solomon? Gideon?

Next we’d go for two prophets. We could even break them into major and minor to further specialize matters. Give me Isaiah, and the two “Z’s”- Zephaniah and Zechariah. John the Baptist is tempting, however! I’m just not sure how the locusts would go over in the locker room.

Of course, we’d have to have a position for “prayer warrior.” I’d get Daniel early on.

Apostles would need to be drafted. Peter rises to the top, but you have to be prepared for his inconsistency. Walking on water one moment, denying Christ the next; proclaiming who Jesus is here, but then a while later taking an unncessary and untimely penalty by cutting off a guy’s ear. That’s unnecessary roughness taken to the extreme!

You’d have to draft a church. The Church at Philippi would be a good choice, although they were a little bit over the top in their joyfulness. Stay away from Corinth! Too many factions, and off-the-field distractions.

A hero of the faith would be on the list. Abraham would be taken early, not much before Joseph with his flamboyant coat. The question would be who would go out on a limb and pick Rahab.

Of course, the next thing is how you would keep score in this FFL. I haven’t quite figured that our yet, but there’s got to be a way.

Years ago there was an intense youth event called “Bible Quiz Bowl.” Teams of young people from different churches would compete against one another for the title of Bible Quiz Bowl Champions.”

Perhaps the Fantasy Fellowship League could be a new wave of competition. It would be great to have a pastor’s division where pastors could show their credible managing skills. I could see a Baptist deacon trash talking with a Presbyterian elder. The FFL could replace all those church softball leagues that have been established with the hidden motive of getting the power-hitting left-fielder to come to church…during softball season.

This could be big…I mean huge! What worries me, however, is that eight percent who got dumped because of fantasy football obsession. Could it be that eight percent will leave the church because they got trounced by someone who has a hot field general one week and forgets to practice humbleness? Could there be a multitude of thorns in sides?

I need to check our church’s insurance policy to see what kind of coverage we might have. In the meantime I need to be thinking about a kicker. I was leaning towards Balaam’s donkey, but he has a reputation for veering to the right!