It’s Thursday and I ran across an old photo of me with the original Armchair Quarterback fantasy football trophy. Thus I had to post it as a #TBT (Throwback Thursday). It’s gotta be circa 1995. As you can see I have one sweet tux on and the trophy looks a bit different. That’s because the original trophy was made out of plaster. The base is also pine instead of solid oak. As for me, I look exactly the same. Ok, not quite.
The Demarcus Cousins trade talk is definitely heating up as the NBA Draft approaches. I imagine today and tomorrow will venture into silliness as the dreaded “league source” will surely be quoted multiple times in these waning hours. Today the “Cousins to the Lakers for the second pick and Julius Randle” has become the popular topic of the hour. It seems reasonable but will the Kings pull the trigger? Sending Cousins away to play with Kobe Bryant is a scary proposition for a divisional rival.
Beyond all of the speculation, it’s hard to imagine that in this era where the superstar rules the roost, a team would listen to their head coach and trade away their best player. Let alone when it’s the 5th coach in five seasons and Cousins still has multiple years left on his current contract. George Karl has a track record of success but he also has an equally long record of irritating his star players. From Ray Allen to JR Smith to Carmelo Anthony, they’ve all had their own problems with Karl. Maybe it’s because he’s an “old school” coach that wants to build a team that doesn’t rely too heavily on one player but rather win with team basketball. The problem is that doesn’t seem to work in today’s NBA. Even the Spurs, who many regard as the definition of team ball, had a superstar in Tim Duncan.
One thing is certain. Either Cousins gets traded away or when the season starts it’ll be time to pop some popcorn, pull up a chair, and watch the spectacle that will be Demarcus Cousins and George Karl trying to coincide after this offseason mess.
For the third year in a row, my son Sebastian decided that he’d like to play paintball with his buddies for his birthday. And every year I tell him I’m ALL IN! I may be the “old guy” that can’t run as fast as these teenagers but it doesn’t matter much when a paintball is flying at your ass. I like to think of myself as the savvy vet who has years under his belt. After all, I started playing paintball when I was a teenager and the original and only gun you could buy was the Splatmaster. A plastic, single pump piece of crap that only held 12 paintballs at a time. About eight of us bought it at our local hardware store and we’d play almost every weekend. It didn’t take long before we were all buying advanced guns and spending way too much money on gear. Including a silencer I purchased to go onto the end of my pistol. It created a cool muffled sound that was totally distinctive and told all my friends the end was near.
Playing with Sebastian’s friends compared to mine is a bit different. My buddies would take chances and didn’t care much about getting hit. The crazy death charge of a flag was all part of the game. A face shot was something you’d take with you to school the next week with pride. Which happened quite a bit because we played with only the old school shop goggles and no face shield. We didn’t have many rules besides play until we all ran out of paint.
I will say though that this birthday party things definitely got more intense. As the day came to a close and we only had about 15 minutes left in field rental, we all decided to play one more game. A judge suggested we play what he called “Iron Man.” A name that meant you’re only out if you call yourself out. Some reluctantly agreed but it was ON! We went to a speedball field where you don’t have any trees for cover, just geometric shapes in an area that is roughly 40 x 40 yards. When the horn sounded paint was flying everywhere. Kids were scrambling to find cover and not get hit as I decided to go straight up the middle of the field. I decided the only way I was going to call myself out was if I ran out of paint. Let’s just say that never happened.
I eventually got in a shootout with about 3 kids at a range of about 10 feet that resulted in welts on my back, side, and arm that will probably take several months to heal. Was it worth it? Hell yes. It was a total blast and took me back about 25 years. Sometimes the “old man” can even muster up some teen spirit or what many may call, “stupidity.” And next time they’ll know that unless I run out of paint I won’t be the one saying “OUT!”
Being better connected with fans of FantasyTrophies.com is always something I’m interested in improving. Facebook and Twitter have been my go to platforms in trying to do just that. However, lately I’ve been stepping up my game on Instagram and I really like the results. It allows me to post what I’m doing around the shop or drawings I do on my commute on the NYC subway. Being an artist I’m always drawn to the visual side of things and Instagram definitely allows me to better communicate with my fans and customers through photos. So if you haven’t already checked it out, my account is @FantasyTrophies. Hope to see you there. -Dave
The Cleveland Cavaliers may have lost to the Golden State Warriors last night in the NBA Finals but things are definitely bright in my hometown. I can admit without hesitation that the Warriors were the better team. They were also the healthier one. Cleveland played the entire series without Kevin Love and only had Kyrie Irving for the majority of game 1. That’s two All-Stars in their prime sitting out the biggest series of their lives. Not to mention Anderson Varejao was lost early on in the season. With that said, Lebron was still able to carry the Cavs to game 6 before running out of gas in the end. It’s rare that a team in Cleveland loses and fans aren’t completely devastated. However, this is one instance that we can say “wait until next year” are truly believe it.
As game 6 of the NBA Finals is about to tip off, the question on the minds of many is if Lebron will be voted the series MVP even if the Cavaliers lose. I for one think he should. The MVP award doesn’t state that it needs to go to a player on the winning side. If that is not a prerequisite than Lebron’s name should be on it hands down. He’s putting up numbers that have never been seen in the history of The Finals and we may never see again. No other player has ever been asked to carry a team without it’s other two All-Stars in trying to win a title. Lebron is proving just how amazing he is and that win or lose he deserves the MVP. In my opinion.
This is just a quick post to act as a reminder to all of the commissioners out there that now is the perfect time to order that championship plate. You know the one you’ve tried to forget about because your name isn’t on it. The one you usually order one week prior to your draft because the champ has been on you. Why not get it out of the way and order it now? Avoid the crazy season and stop putting it off. Your buddy will thank you for it. As will I.
Kevin Love said he knew as soon as it happened that his shoulder was dislocated and that the Celtic’s Kelly Olynyck did it on purpose. I knew that the Cleveland Cavaliers chances at an NBA Championship were probably right behind Love as he ran off the court and into the trainer’s room. Unfortunately my fears have become closer to reality as Cavs GM David Griffin announced today that Kevin Love is more than likely done for the remainder of the playoffs. As a long suffering Cleveland fan I’ll just chalk it up as another painful experience that will haunt me for years to come. One that will be more than likely be referred to as “The Shoulder.” It will be grouped right in there with “The Drive”, “The Shot”, “The Fumble”, and “Red Right 88.” Painful memories that constantly haunt Cleveland sports fans of what could have been. I’ve been through so many that I’ve lost count. Please Lebron, make this never ending nightmare go away! I beg of you.
My Cleveland Browns unveiled their new uniforms yesterday and I gotta say, I like them. I was skeptical when I heard that they were going to make a change but these uniforms push the Browns into the future a bit with still keeping a sense of history. You can’t please everyone and I’m sure there are fans that absolutely hate them and think the Brown and Orange should remain loyal to the days of Otto Graham and Jim Brown. I thought this same thing when the Browns returned to Cleveland back in 99 and there were rumblings about a uniform change. However, the younger generation of players don’t know a thing about Browns history and instead want to wear a uniform that has some flash to it. When programs like Oregon are changing their uniform on a weekly basis and college teams are pushing the envelope on uniform design, modern day players don’t want to wear something that reminds them of their grandparents. It’s proven that performance can be linked to appearance. Here’s hoping this new look can help them win more than 5 games. Of course hitting on the draft would help too.
Made in New York still has a nice ring to it for many people. Count the Japanese in that category. The Japanese television show, “Made In New York,” decided to stop by my shop the other day and do a feature on FantasyTrophies.com. I was initially contacted over a month ago and they asked me if I’d be interested in giving their viewers a taste of how I go about creating my trophies. I was all in. A member of their team, along with a translator, showed up at my studio shortly after to do a preliminary interview and see if everything would work out. After trying to explain what fantasy sports are I was then able to show them some of my process. Both agreed that Fantasy Trophies would make for a perfect segment and that their viewers definitely haven’t seen anything like it.
When the film crew arrived I had all of my trophies laid out. I gotta say, seeing all of them at one time is pretty impressive. It’s easy to forget how many variations I have and how each trophy captures the essence of the sport. The film crew seemed to agree. I gave them a brief history of how Fantasy Trophies came to be including how my cousin Johnny became my model and how I even designed and drew the logo. Then I went through a few parts of the process before they filmed each trophy and wrapped things up. It was great experience and I look forward to seeing the finished episode. And who knows, maybe fantasy sports will become huge in Japan as well.