Hurricane Katrina + Brett Favre = A Weird Post About Fantasy Football

"Brett Favre plays well during times of turmoil," I say.
"That's an understatemenet," you respond.

"Brett Favre is positively phenomenal when things are at their worst," I profess.
"That still doesn't quite cut it," you rebut.

"Brett Favre fucking rocks when things have gone to shit!" I exclaim.
"Exactly," you say pleased.

I have written about it before, but Brett Favre turning on the goosebumb machine after his father passed away in December of 2003 still ranks pretty damn high on my list of favorite moments in sports.

Last year the Green Bay Packers started the season 1 and 4. Dismal, pathetic, and a clear sign that the Packer's reign of the NFC North was coming to an end.

Then, on October 14, 2004, Brett Favre's wife, Deanna Favre, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This news came just eight days after Deanna's brother, Casey Tynes, was killed in an ATV accident.

Brett Favre's next game was on October 17th. And granted, it was against the lowly Detroit Lions (who haven't won a Championship since Vietnam was a French colony) but the Packers won big, 38 -10. Including that game, the Pack proceeded to run off 6 wins in a row, and finished the season winning 9 of their last 11 games. Favre finished the season with 30 TD's and over 4,000 passing yards before spontaneously self-combusting (yet again) in the playoffs.

It has now been pretty well documented that Favre, a native of Kiln, MS, and his family have been badly effected by Hurricane Katrina. Not nearly as bad as tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of others living in the Gulf, but effected negatively none the less.

Given Favre's track record for coming up big (all right, REALLY BIG) in games following his and his families personal tragedies, what should we expect from him next weekend (when he plays again against the hapless and piss-poor defense of the Lions)?

That question started ratteling around my head a day or two ago while I took a moment to think about my fantasy football team.

My fantasy football draft went a few weeks ago (Yes, I had a fantasy football draft in early August. And yes, I know, I am a dork) and I got lucky enough to snag Favre as my backup QB to Daunte Culpepper. I also picked up Favre's best two receivers, Javon Walker and Donald Driver.

And now, after every thing that has happened down in the Gulf, I realize:

I have to start Brett Favre for week number one.

And I have to start Walker and Driver, too.

I have to start all three of them for Week 1, don't I?

I really have no other option.

If Brett Favre doesn't throw for 350 yards and 5 TD's against the Lions, I will eat my hat (not my conversation hat, though.)


Also, I hate to mention the destruction that Hurricane Katrina caused so casually, but I did anyway. Honestly though, my thoughts are with those directly effected by the storm and with those who have family and friend down there.

Throughout my life I have made winter pilgrimages to the Gulf to stay at my Grandparents condos (they bounced around between Ft. Walton and Destin, FL before finally bucking up and getting a place in Orange Beach, AL) and between 2000 and 2001, I lived off and on for about eight months in Pensacola, so I know the Flora-Bama area of the Gulf pretty well.

That being said, the images that I have seen on TV and on the Internet are absolutely foreign to me.

Literally incomprehensible for me to take in.

Biloxi, MS looks like Beirut, circa 1983, not the thriving gambling hub of America's Redneck Riviera that I have come to know and love.

This is undoubtedly America's worst situation since 9/11. Admittedly, I am a bit of a news junkie. I have been sitting around flipping between CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews for the last few days, hoping to finally hear some good news. Unfortunately, it seems to just keep getting worse.

If you can afford to, give 'em a few bucks and help.

They need it.


Update (9/13/05):
Well, I started Farve, Walker, and Driver. And they fucking killed me.

Driver got six points, Farve forgot to throw a touchdown, and Javon Walker is now out for the rest of the season, thus ending my fantasy season before it really even started.

Once again, I am the same guy who thought that the Cardinals signing Tino Martinez was a good idea, so you should never listen to me about sports.

I don't even know why I listen to myself about sports. I have no idea what I'm talking about.



Tales From The Rear, Vol. II

As I once did to celebrate my buddies return home from Iraq, I again offer a glimpse into what my mind was like during my time in the Marines in order to celebrate Josh, Daryl, et al.'s third trip to the cradle of civilization, in yet another Tales From The Rear.

This e-mail was fired off to my buddy Joe during the spring of 2004. I had been getting ready to separate from the military in early May, when I found out that I, in fact, wouldn't be getting out until the middle of June and I would have to spend my last three months as a military policeman at a Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina (if you have ever met me, and chances are even if you haven't, you can imagine how out of place I would be in that position.) This e-mail basically sums up how well my life was going at the time, and really the five year period from 1999 to mid-2004, for that matter:

"So you think your life's pathetic, huh? Well, about two months ago I broke up with my girlfriend. Why? Because it was Major League Baseball's Opening Day and I had just subscribed to MLB.com radio, so that I could listen to every Cardinals game.

The breakup went a little like this:
Kristin: "You want to go to the Beach tomorrow?"
Al: "Nah, the Redbirds have a matinee game against the Phillies."
Kristin: "Um, okay..."
Al:"You know what...I'm kind of busy all weekend, why don't you give me a call Monday. Actually, better make that Tuesday. I've got a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 'Real Time Event' to play Monday night on Playstation."

And she never called back. What a bitch.

Now my life is a ridiculous cycle of listening to baseball, playing baseball on Playstation, porn, sleep, and law enforcement. If I could just find a porn of Jim Edmonds in a police uniform being double-teamed by two hot blondes, my spring would be set.

One of the four facets of my pathetic existence that I just mentioned is law enforcement. I've been a military cop for about 2 1/2 months and have two weeks left walking that thin blue line. It has been entertaining to say the least. I can now proudly say that twice in my lifetime I have made a middle aged woman cry (once was in a hotel room in Virgina Beach during the spring of 2000...a totally different story.)

Anyhoo...I saw this lady driving around not wearing her seat belt, so I had her pull over to talk to her. I went up and got her licence and registration...I ran it through the system and everything was fine. I walked back to her car to tell her to buckle up and have a nice day.

As soon as I got within her view again she yelled at me "Not to be disrespectful, but...." I'm not entirely sure of what she said after that, but it definitely was not respectful. She went off on her rant for quite a while.

As soon as she said "You'd better be fucking right or heads are gonna roll," I thought "Fuck this bitch...it's ticket time!" and I wrote her up. Once she saw the ticket she started sobbing about how she has surgery next week and she has to drive to it and her husband will beat her and boo hoo hoo...shut the fuck up, ya old hag.

Just another day fighting crime as far as I'm concerned. Not that I really care...I've got three weeks left in this stupid military and my five years will finally be done. I don't expect my life to get too much better, but it can't be nearly as pathetic as it is now.

Anyway, back to the game...Pirates are up 6 to 4...Ray Lankford steps to the plate...


Although I failed to mention the fact that I was probably drinking a gallon of Yellow Tail a night, that e-mail is a rather intimate and accurate look into the mindset of yours truly at the tender age of 23.

Anyhoo, here's to you Josh, Daryl, and the rest of you fuckers. The next time I see a yellow magnetic ribbon on the back of a car, I'll think of you. Or about how much I hate those fucking magnets. Probably the latter.

Have fun over there, don't get yourselves killed, and update your fucking blogs, douchebags.



Quick Thoughts on Baseball

If I could convert the rage which engulfs me whenever I hear Tim McCarver's voice into raw energy, I would be able to provide power to the majority of the Mid-Atlantic Coast.

Last Friday night I watched a Little League Baseball game announced by Bob Carpenter. On Saturday afternoon I watched another Little League Baseball game, again announced by Bob Carpenter.

Which is sadder: The fact that Bob Carpenter apparently cannot turn down a job... or the fact that I spent my weekend watching 11 year old boys play baseball. I'm opting for the latter on that one.

Just because I can: Bob Horner.

Considering the fact that I'm the guy who wanted the Cardinals to acquire Barry Larkin and Roberto Alomar (both now retired) during the off-season, I've been holding this theory to myself for a few weeks, hoping to keep myself from looking like an idiot once again.

However, I did a little research and found out that this time, I might actually be right:
The Cardinals pitching woes can be directly related to the absence of Yadier Molina (and of course by pitching woes, I mean the fact that Matt Morris and Jason Marquis have been relatively struggling as of late.)

Since Yadier Molina went out of the lineup on July 8th:

Matt Morris has 2 wins and 4 losses to go along with 1 no decision. His ERA has gone up from 3.17 to 3.83.

Jason Marquis has gone 1 and 5 with 1 ND. His ERA has jumped from 3.98 to 4.22.

I have never been one to dismiss the effects that the relationship a pitcher has with his catcher (insert gay joke here), be it positive, negative, or non-existent...but it appears that both Morris and Marquis may want young Yadier back sooner than the other hurlers do.

With the ever increasing price of parking and food at the Ballpark (not to mention the $9 big-beers), it's truly amazing what a great idea taking a flask to a Friday night baseball game is.

It's only when you're still hungover on Monday because of that damn flask does it seem like a bad idea

After last weekend's Cubs-Cards series, I have taken away the following synonyms for:
Great - Chris Carpenter
Good - Aramis Ramirez
Okay - Abe Nunez
Average - Jeremy Burnitz
Not so good - Cubs fans tolerance for alcohol (Saturday's two hour rain delay led to Wrigley being at about 2/3 capacity by the end of the sixth. Drunk bastards.)
Just bloody awful - The Kansas City Royals

One more: Dave Kingman

I had never noticed this until I saw this pic, but Rafeal Palmeiro wears #25. Also wearing #25:

Now, I'm not specifically trying to imply anything to group those five names together, but I think you know what I'm saying.

Just something I found kind of interesting.

However, if you happen to wear #25, you might just want to keep your names out of the papers (Troy Glaus, Derrek Lee, Carlos Delgado, Phil Nevin, and Dmitri Young, I'm looking in your general vicinity.)

Allright, If no one else is going to propose this trade, I will.

How about:

Ken Griffey Jr for Jason Marquis and Adam Wainwright. Straight up.

Someone get me the Reds on the phone. Let's make this happen.

I'd like to go ahead and be on record as the first Cardinals fan to apologize to America. The Cards are quickly becoming rather media-whorish.

And not only are we on nearly every fucking nationally televised broadcast every god damn weekend (grouping us in with the beloved company of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs) but we have the audacity to put our AAA Memphis team on the field and hoping that the nation still watches the game.

Looking at the schedule shows that the Cards still have at least three FOX game of the week's left and I would imagine a good four ESPN games, be them Sunday nights or during the week.

On behalf of Cardinals Nation, America...I, for one, apologize.

...more coming later this week...



Beisbol, Build-a-Bars, and Flat Brim Hats

"Can you ever really need time off from doing nothing?" you ask.

I reply, "Apparently you can."

Oh..oh...oh, Trust me on this: a week's absence from writing obscene columns for one's pathetic blog can do absolute wonders for the soul. Now get yourselves ready for three minutes of reading bad jokes, worse grammar, and whimsical preaching about a bygone America.

If you are one of the eight people that have checked in during the last week to be disappointed to not find a new post, well then, I'm sorry (and, also, get a life.) But since you've missed me I figure that I should recap my time off. Basically, I've taken a week's worth of time off to watch some baseball, throw a rager of a party, and do a little vacating.

I've never claimed to be an exciting man.

For starters, The Lady Friend and I went down to Busch Stadium for last Thursday's Cardinals-Marlins game. Just to get it out of the way: AJ Burnett is one hell of a thrower. If your team gets the chance to pick him up, encourage that transaction. Encourage the hell out of it.

With that said, at the game, sitting behind us, was a family from West Virginia. They came into the Lou for a five day weekend, which included four days at Busch. That's a family I can not only respect, but effing appreciate.

Sometime around the third inning, the father pointed his five year old son to a spot down the left field line, a spot that I'm sure you're all well aware of, the spot where Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run in 1998. The father was explaining how that summer went down...how exciting...how electric...that one summer was. Steroids, back then, weren't on the radar...weren't on the national consciousness whatsoever... we just didn't think about them. And for those few moments last Thursday at Busch, I wasn't thinking about steroids, either.

That's when it hit me: 25 years from now, baseball fans aren't going to care that players from 1995-2003 were using illegal drugs. They're going to look back and see hilarious one hit wonders like Brady Anderson (As far as I'm concerned baseball's version of Dexy's Midnight Runners: no talent, one big year), they'll read amazing stories about magical performances in books like Summer of '98, and they'll remember the time when they were 5 years old, sitting at the old Busch Stadium in Saint Louis on a hot August night in 2005, when their dad told them about the legendary Mark McGwire.

They'll remember steroids about as well as I remember Ron LeFlore snorting approximately 148 pounds of cocaine in 148 games with the Tigers during 1979, or that Joe Morgan spent the 1983 season wearing a butt-plug.

They're going to remember what they want to remember.

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time." - Terence Mann, Dyersville, IA. 1989.

Now, I should probably inform you that, a few weeks back, my father and I built a rather kick-ass bar for my back patio. Last Friday, the roommates and I did what any group of 25 year old alcoholics would do to celebrate having a 9-foot long bar on their patio: Throw a "build-a-bar" party (If you are not familiar with this party theme, here's the basic premise: If you bring a bottle of cheap booze, not only can you get free mixed drinks, you also get to drink free keg beer. Always one helluva a winner of a party.)

I'll spare you the rather laborious task of reading about the "highlights" of the party, but I will tell you this: by the end of the night two girls were crying, another girl was puking, my roommate Matt was topless and screaming in our front yard, and one guy was pissing in my basement (and there is no bathroom in my basement...fuck...there's not even a drain.)

Now THAT'S a fucking party.

The next day, The Lady Friend and I took a three hour trip east into Indiana and spent some time at my Grandparent's lake. I don't really have any jokes here. It was just a really nice time. Although, The Lady Friend did drink too much wine and fell off of thier back porch.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...she is, without a doubt, THE personification of grace.

As all of you Cardinal fans out there are already well aware of, rookie Anthony Reyes won his debut tonight. This kid can flat out pitch.

Not only am I already hoping on the bandwagon for him to be in next year's starting rotation, I'll fucking drive that damn bandwagon if I have to.

But here's the problem...when you wear your hat like this...I'm not sure what your nickname should be, but I'm leaning rather heavily towards it being Tony "The Tool" Reyes.

Some things which are distinctively American: Blues music, Chuck Norris, and Baseball hats.

As Phil Hartman's character in CB4, Virgil Robinson, once said "Any person who would defile America's pastime by wearing a baseball cap backwards... well, that's an evil that speaks for itself! "

Anthony Reyes, I'm still not sure what your baseball hat says about itself. But, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like it.



Palmeiro Denies Steroids, Acknowledges Orgy

Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days after violating Major League Baseball's steroids policy Monday, becoming baseball's first true star to be suspended under the new steroid testing policy. Palmeiro, however, remained steadfast in denying that he ever knowingly used steroids.

In a prepared conference call for reporters on Monday, Palmeiro claimed that he could not be sure how he consumed the steroids, but he did have some theories.

"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period," Palmeiro said. "I have, however, done some pretty sick shit. On Friday, July the 15th, I collected my 3,000th career hit in Seattle, WA. Later that evening my wife, Lynne, threw me a surprise party in our suite at the Edgewater Hotel."

Palmeiro, who has won multiple awards during his career, including American League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards between 1997 and 1999, and also carried the unofficial title of "World's Greatest Latin Lover" from 1993 to 1998, began to describe the party, "Lynne was joined by three young ladies whom we had met at Lipstix gentleman's club during a previous visit to Seattle. Also in the suite that night was the hotel doorman, Raul, and about thirteen pounds of blow.

"While I don't remember anything that happened after 1 am, I find it hard to believe that one of those broads would have injected me with steroids. Snorting coke off my Viagra hardened dick? Sure. But juicing me? That doesn't even make sense. But I wouldn't put anything past them crazy ass bitches."

Palmeiro, whose tone suddenly turned serious, added, "Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program. That's really no surprise, though. He [the independent arbitrator, later identified as one Ted Snyder of Schaumburg, IL] has had it in for me ever since he found my jock strap in his wife's laundry basket in September of '95. Don't hate the playa, brother, hate the mutha-fuckin game.

"I hope the fans understand I have worked very hard over a long 20-year career. I hope that one coke-fueled, passionate, hot summer night will not ruin my reputation and that the fans can forgive me. I will not, however, admit that I made a mistake. Giving Keith Hernandez a BJ back in '88...Now THAT was a mistake."

Palmeiro concluded his press conference by slipping into a velvet bathrobe and saying something unintelligible about his "glorious mustache." He then began pointing at his crotch, repeatedly mumbling the words "basket" and "crank," and winking at every woman in the room.

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"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."