Posted tagged ‘fantasy football’

Talking Soccer With American Football Dads

September 9, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       September 9, 2017

                      

Even though I’ve coached middle school football for thirteen years my family is a soccer family. I’m a soccer dad. All three of our kids played soccer through high school- our son was a part of one undefeated state championship team and a member of the state runner-up team the year before that. Our two son-in-laws play soccer. Their wives (our daughters) still play on indoor teams and an occasional outdoor team. Our two oldest grandchildren play soccer. I took up the game later on and played in an “older than dirt” league for men. I coached two of my kids’ teams when they were younger.

So, as you can tell, we’re a soccer family!

With the growing concerns about concussions in football I’m seeing more kids start with soccer and stay with soccer. In our nine year old grandson’s soccer program the boys aren’t allowed to do headers yet. That doesn’t become legal for another year.

What amuses me are the number of football dads who now frequent soccer fields but don’t quite understand the game yet. They bring football terminology and football philosophy to another sport that is more about finesse than brutal power, more about speed and touch than holding a block and running over someone.

And a lot of the dads are having a hard time making that transition from what was to what is! My high school in Ironton, Ohio was, and is, a football town. Kids start playing just after they’re conceived. Our high school teams became dominant in the 70’s and 80’s. Ironton High School still does not have a soccer team. You have to enroll your child as a student at Ironton St. Joseph if you want him to kick a round ball.

But Ironton is the exception, the one who has been slow coming to the dance! They have been resistant to the transition from what was to what is. To change would mean learning a whole new sports language.

Football dads still bring the mindset that any kick or punt needs to be launched into space, the longer the better! You’ll hear a football dad yelling “Kick it! Kick it!”, and then shouting in celebration when the soccer ball is booted down the field…even though it’s kicked to someone from the other team. With football dads distance is over-valued.

Ironton usually used a tight offensive formation. Power football over the guards. Soccer is about spacing and anticipation, weird concepts for an Ohio culture that grew up with the Woody Hayes’ philosophy of “three yards and a cloud of dust”!

At our six year old granddaughter’s soccer game this morning I heard a couple of dads talking about game situations. One had been a soccer dad for about a year and the other was making his rookie dad debut at a soccer field. Several times I heard the soccer dad begin a statement with the words “That means…”, and then explain the unfamiliar concepts to this new parent in a foreign land.

To be fair, Americans football is still more ingrained in our culture than soccer. No one gets together at Buffalo Wild Wings for Fantasy Soccer Draft Night, but BWW sells a lot of wings to people who gather there for Fantasy Football Draft Night. In fact, they even have a draft kit for each fantasy league commissioner. Yesterday at the middle school where I coach it was “Favorite Team Day”. Students could wear the hat or jersey of their favorite team. I think I saw about…two soccer jerseys, both of teams in the English Premier League, and about a gazillion professional football jerseys!

Football is ingrained in us and, therefore, I expect to hear more statements at the soccer fields in the coming week like “That was out of the end zone!” and “Why aren’t they huddling?”

You’ve just got to be patient sometimes and bring some football dads along slowly.

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!”

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!