Friday, September 01, 2006

Fantasy Football - the good old days

I miss playing Fantasy Football in the cubicle world - where else can a guy pay thirty bucks for the right to:

(1) Ruin the enjoyment of watching NFL football just for the stats

(2) Enjoy the pleasures of legalized gambling

and the best reason of all:

(3) Talking smack to your coworkers!

Two years ago, I was part of a Fantasy Football Team in North Carolina - I'll omit the names to protect the smacked innocents. We had an awesome league led by a funny, hard working Commish named Dean who was Canadian, so I supposed his real allegiance was to Canadian Football.

Dean knew his football and he was one of those witty guys that could not only dish out the smack, but take it and give it right back at you, brother! I've always maintained that if men ruled the world, then the funniest guy in the office would be CEO. Dean needs to be CEO one day.

Nonetheless, we used CBS Sportsline which was awesome as we could see the NFL stats compiled in real time as the games were live and also see our line up of teams compete against each other in real time. It was a crazy way to watch football - on the TV and with a laptop, monitoring six games.

Since I wasn't skilled as Dean in talking verbal smack, I went at it in a professional way - via a Press Release. CBS Sportsline would allow comments that all of the team owners could see. So before I went to bed (by 2 am EST), I made sure that a press release was sent so that it would set the tone for Monday at the cubicle farm.

Funny how all the smack talk occurs before Draft Day - I was one of two rookie owners, so I was catching all the usual flak.

Being homesick for Nashville while commuting to Raleigh and back, I designated my expansion team to have distinctive Nashville roots.

Aldelphia Coliseum was the WoosterDome.

Name of the team was the WonderDawgs (hence how this blog was named.)

And my role models as owners were Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Bud Adams of the Titans - my two favorite # 1 & 2 teams. Plus I needed the Arkansas / Texas arrogance that these two oilmen had to go by.

Here's my official letter of entry:

Commissioner Dean;

Please send my shallow regards for not attending the owner's meeting in lovely Durham; I am here in Nashville finalizing our new stadium deal and luxury seats for the new home of the WonderDawgs.

Our state of the art, chrome - domed stadium - Nashville's WoosterDome is truly a marvel of stadium comfort and amenities. We feel that the new name change (from The GroinPullers), uniforms and our lovely female cheerleaders (which hopefully will set a new precedent from the all male cheerleaders that our league is accustomed to) will propel the PinPoint League to the 21st century of Modern Fantasy Football.

Our CFO, Mr. Bill Overdew will issue the league entry fees next Tuesday.

Thank you,
Mr. Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo
Chairman and Owner
Nashville WonderDawgs

Last, I have never seen a NFL team put on a greater fan experience than the Titans, so I wanted to make sure I had all the marketing pizzazz. After all, I was living in a fantasy world, playing fantasy football and thinking I was going to be a paper millionaire working in the tech business far away from my family, so I might as well feed my delusion with some resemblance of regularity and reality in life like a constant and timely dose of NFL football.

The team names were just as wacky: Team Shawbird owned by Dean, ShoNupBumpin by Jim and the Wrecking Crew by Larry. There was also White Chocolate, Your Worst Nightmare, Creepy Guy, No Pants, Norwood's Revenge, Jefe's Heroes and Luks Maters.

My early assessment of my picks by the Commish was not glowing, so the smack talking was on!

Kerry - Wonder Dawgs - I looked up "worthless" in the dictionary and not surprisingly it had a picture of the Dawgs roster. The ghosts of Eric Herget presented themselves in the first round with the selection of Donovan McNabb and persisted throughout the Dawgs picks. McNabb himself called PBH Fantasy Football Headquarters and let a message saying "That stupid foo did what???? Hell, I didn't even draft me until the 4th round of my league. The Dawgs are crazy minnie figgies." The dawgs' pick of Fred Taylor also surprised many considering he gets hurt just thinking about football. A now unemployed Morton Anderson remarked "it serves him right for drafting me. I'm a hundred years old. Of course I'm gonna get cut. It not like they allow walkers on the field".

Projected record: 6-10

Here are just four of many weekly Press releases issued from the WonderDawgs Media Department during the season. (note the setup / smackability angle)

WonderDawgs Go .500 in High Steppin' Win
Posted by Kerry Woo, to Everyone
Oct 5, 3:32 am ET

(Smackability angle - owner was a All American football player at Texas University)

(Nashville, TN) The WonderDawgs (2-2) won a tough, injury riddled game 80-61 against The Wrecking Crew (1-3) on ESPN Sunday Night Football. Playing in College Station, Texas at Wasamada University on an artificial bovine grass cow pasture, both teams never got in an offensive rhythm. Wide receivers were slipping and sliding on the field and quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning only combined for three TD passes.

The Wrecking Crew suffered key injuries to their marquee players Peter Warrick (bruised shin), Travis Minor (ankle), Michael Bennett (right knee) and for the WonderDawgs, Quentin Griffin (ankle), and further stirring PinPoint Fantasy League player concerns about playing on artificial bovine grass surfaces. Protesting at the game, the Rev. Al Sharpton termed it as "a low down travesty of justice and human dignity."

Numerous delays of game occurred shooing cows off the field; and several WonderDawgs were pelted by cow patties, 2x4's, tires and beer bottles from the "Cow Nation" end zone.

Owner Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo: "We're grateful for the grubby win, regardless! I've been a party to many hopped up on MSG Chinese fire drills, but I've never seen a more passionate mob of wigged out, pie-eyed, moo juiced sloshed fans - The Wrecking Crew fans were up all night yelling way pass midnight at our team motel tossing burning paper bags of bovine dung. But I do have to say, the kung-fu fight between a man and a cow halftime show was ... well ... very unique and tastefully choreographed."

Highlight reel requires Windows Media Player

WonderDawgs Tossed and Turned 70-64 by Your Worst Nightmare
Posted by Kerry Woo, to Everyone
Nov 11, 10:38 pm ET

(Smackability angle - I was on a losing skid, so I had to smack myself)

The WonderDawgs dropped two games in a row, sleep walking through a dismal 70-64 loss to Your Worst Nightmare. The lethargic effort by the offense gridlocked the 'Dawgs into a four way tie for last place in the PBH Division at 4-5.

Owner Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo was short and sweet Monday in assessing Sunday's outcome against Your Worst Nightmare. The owner offered no excuses, noting that "everybody had a piece of the pie with the Kool-Aid."

Never one to assign blame or single out a particular player or unit following a defeat, owner Woo simply said that everyone was accountable -- players and coaches alike speculating rumors that the team perks of limos, massages, steaks, clothing allowances and PlayStation time were on the chopping block if the WonderDawgs didn't shape up and make a run for the playoffs.

Chris Berman, long winded pundit of ESPN commented, "It's really not my habit to intrude, furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued, but I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude. Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo can't believe his team is in a four way tie at 4-5! I would tell UDAMAN that the problem is all inside your head; the answer is easy if you take it logically. He should just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan, he don't need to be coy, Roy... Just get yourself free and hop on the (Bettis) bus, Gus. You don't need to discuss much; just drop off the key, Lee and get yourself free... There are fifty ways to make the playoffs."

The WonderDawgs front office immediately cut Amos Zereoue, Justin McCareins and Quentin Griffin to make room for Jerome (Da Bus) Bettis.

The WonderDawgs head home to Nashville to a sold out (68,500) WoosterDome to face Jefe's Heroes (4-5). To celebrate the Thanksgiving holidays and the support of the fans, corporate sponsor Kroger is giving away $100 turkey dinner grocery certificates to every fan in attendance.

WonderDawgs Nearly Hosed by Team Shawbird, Win in OT 97-94
Posted by Kerry Woo, to Everyone

Nov 24, 1:20 am ET

(Smackability angle - owner was not only our Commish, but from Canada)

(Elsinore, Ontario) The WonderDawgs (6-5) escaped the Great White North 97-94 in a dramatic overtime win over Team Shawbird (3-8) behind the last minute clutch 8-point play of Tony Gonzales.

From the rousing opening bars of national anthem "O Canada" (sung by hockey great, Wayne Gretzky), the Shawbirds proceeded to unload on the WonderDawgs with 400 plus rushing yards. After the lavish halftime concert by The Guess Who, Team Shawbird continued to hold the WonderDawgs in check with a strong performance by QB Jake Plummer with two TDs.

Earl Camembert, Team Shawbird and SCTV play-by-play announcer caught up with owner Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo after the game... "Our WonderDawgs were a bit intimidated; dealing with the culture shock of playing outside of the USA coupled with facing an opponent flying high on beer, back bacon and donuts - Team ShawBird proved to be a tough and worthy opponent. Underneath the toques, earmuffs and plaid flannel uniforms, was an extremely well coached team full of Canadian pride."

"We were very impressed with the recently renovated historic Doug & Bob McKenzie Field, the rich lumberjack area history and the nearby brewery. The sea of thousands of plaid cladded fans did make it difficult for the wide receivers to spot the ball, but our tight ends Antonio Gates and especially Tony Gonzalez in OT came thru with clutch receptions."

No doubt about it (or is it Doot aboot?), Team Shawbird, hopelessly mired in last place (3-8), will seek to play spoiler and hose some team's playoff hopes - eh?

The WonderDawgs return home to Nashville, TN to finish out their inaugural season seeking a playoff berth with a four game sold out home stand at the WoosterDome (68,500). Rock band U2 will celebrate the release of 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' with a live concert immediately after the game against ShoNufBumpin (5-6).

da homeboy was pimpin' it - WonderDawgs grind down ShoNufBumpin 103-96
Posted by Kerry Woo, to Everyone

Dec 1, 1:37 am ET

(Smackability angle - owner was my direct report and a VP, so I had to be complementary and play off the team name. Story goes, back in high school, somebody stole his leather jacket. When the leather jacket was retrieved, it was embroidered with "ShoNufBumpin")

(Nashville, TN) The WonderDawgs returned home to Nashville and played a frostbite free game against heavily favored ShoNufBumpin, winning 103-96.

The much-needed win placed the upstart WonderDawgs (7-5) into a three way tie for first place and a shot at the playoffs while ShoNufBumpin fell to 5-7.

ShoNufBumpin Willis McGahee carried 28 times for 116 yards and career-high four touchdowns for 38 points against the porous run defense of the WonderDawgs. The WonderDawgs continued their strong offensive showing utilizing QB Donovan McNabb and "The Triplets" of Gates, Gonzales and Mason racking up 69 points with the strong running of Fred Taylor with 16 points to hold off ShoNuf.

After the game, the 68,500 celebratory fans at the WoosterDome were treated to a concert by rock band U2 debuting the new recording release of 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'

Rival owner Jim "ShoNuf" H---- was very gracious (non-bitter), congratulating and complimenting WonderDawgs owner Kerry "UDAMAN" Woo for playing a tough game. So what did H----- say to Woo? Exactly what was said between the two owners was very unclear.

ShoNufBumpin media spokesman Dwight Mannsburden explained, "Slim Jim shonuf was down on the floor with UDAMAN. And he's down wit y'all for chillin' an' sez much love, mad props to the peeps and dawgs. He knows y'all gots to get in to the big show an' he axe everyone to be cool while he gets da pimps their bling bling and y'all yo fitty over at the big PG house to keep the big Mo hood lit up and the light bill paid yaw." Jim "ShoNuf" H---- added; "It mos def take some serious cheese to get U2 an' his posse an' his wonderdawgs, an' his childrens, that super fine wife Becky, an' McNabb to da hood at this WoosterDome, numsayin?"

Ok... cool.

Anyway, whatever... LuksMater (9-3) with their high octane offense arrive this week to face the WonderDawgs at the sold out (68,500) WoosterDome. In the spirit of Christmas and WonderDawg generosity, thirty thousand deserving fans will have their electricity bill paid in full. After the game, fans will enjoy "Simply Christmas" with Amy Grant and Vince Gill performing.

I didn't make the playoffs, but that was perfectly fine as I had thoroughly intimidated the guys in the office - no one ever talked smack to me again and I was able to waste my time away in my cube in total peace.

My legacy? - the league disbanded thereafter.

Thanks Commish Dean for the memories; you served the league well.

1 comment:

ceeelcee said...

I forgot to ask. Would you like to be a Staggering Prophet? You can work out some of your fantasy sports angst with us.