Ah yes, the perils of fantasy football. Going into this season I looked at my team and thought I put together a pretty solid line-up. My biggest question mark in my mind was my 2nd running back, Cedric Benson. I gambled a bit and waited until around the 4th or 5th round to grab him, but in a 14 team league you’re always going to have to hope for a gamble to pay off. This one did. However, my second round pick did not. Calvin Johnson was a complete dud this year for his average ranking going into the season. Most websites had him ranked around 15-20 overall and some had him as high as the 2nd best receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald. I unfortunately listened to them. I grabbed “Megabust” (pick 24) after taking MJD #4 in the first round. My other “stellar pick” was buying into the hype machine that was behind TE Greg Olsen. He was worse than Calvin Johnson. Olsen, for the most part, had one good game when he scored 3 touchdowns. The only problem that week was that I didn’t even have him in. Instead I went with Jeremy Shockey because the Saints were lighting it up week after week and Brees looked like he was developing a nice chemistry with his TE. The other letdown was my defense. Jerrod Mayo got injured and never really got on track all year and Bart Scott wasn’t the same fantasy stud that he was in Baltimore. I tried all season to rectify the situation by taking free agents, but none seemed to pan out. Having a shitty defense in a IDP league will kill you. I found out the hard way.
Looking back, if some of my buddies had a clue how to draft I don’t think I would’ve made the playoffs. Fortunately I did, but got bumped in the first round.
We all know that fantasy involves a lot of luck and keeping the almighty injury bug away from your line-up. However, it also takes a fair amount of brains. Brains that I just didn’t seem to have when I showed up on draft night. I’ll take the low road and blame the beers.
Well, I hate saying it, but there’s always next year. Dammit! -DM
With the news of you agreeing to become the football czar of the Browns, I’d like to be the first to welcome you to Cleveland. Ok, the honeymoon is over. Now role up your sleeves and get down to work. I, like so many Browns fans, have suffered through years of awful football and have begged for ownership to create a culture for winning and a championship atmosphere in both Berea and on the lakefront. You sir, hopefully know how that is accomplished. The Browns, like the Packers in Green Bay, are similar to a religion in Cleveland. Sundays are for Browns football. Good or bad. Unfortunately for a long time it has been bad. No, I take that back. It’s been borderline unwatchable. We’ve had to hear coaches and GMs say “be patient, it’s a process.” Well, I’ve been patient. I’ve watched the “process.” It’s been horrible.
That being said- the Browns have won their last two games under Eric Mangini and the team seems to be turning a small corner. I emphasize the word small. I’ll admit, I’m in the camp that says Mangini deserves another shot. He’s put his neck out there and has gotten rid of players that made the occasional spectacular catch, but also created constant distractions in the locker room. He’s called for accountability and professionalism and he seems to be seeing some results. Look hard, they are there. I’m also in the camp that says keep Brady Quinn as the starting QB. Great QBs are not just plucked out of the air come April and obviously need more that two rookie WR’s and a new TE to throw to. He could also use a stronger running game and a new right tackle while you’re at it.
Most of all, hit on the draft choices you do make. Build this team in April and then add a few key additions after that. The Browns have NEVER had consistency when it comes to finding talent coming out of college and more than anything need a leader who understands the true importance of the draft when building a team. You can’t miss 3 to 6 guys a year and think you’ll be building anything but a consistent loser.
I’ll finish up by saying I’m truly excited you’re coming to Cleveland and I look forward to your press conference to hear your vision for the team I’ve loved since I was a kid watching players like Brian Sipe and Dino Hall. My advice would be to walk the streets of Cleveland and feel and hear the passion in the words and voices of the fans you’ll meet. Understand their love and commitment. I’m sure it will remind you of your days as a Packer and all of the cheese heads you came in contact with.
I just hope your actions and the final result will remind us of what you accomplished while in Green Bay.
Josh Cribbs will one day take his grandkids to Canton to look at the bust of their proud Granddad. Yes, I’ll say it. Josh Cribbs will be in the Hall of Fame. Cribbs now holds the all-time mark for kickoff returns for a touchdown with 8 and is nowhere near the end of his career. He could easily retire with 12 or more by the time his playing days are over and more than double the previous record of 6 held by a number of guys including Mel Grey. Not to mention the guy is also one of the top special teams guys in the league on the defensive side of the ball when covering kicks and punt returns. The lip service that is always given to special teams will finally deserve a true representative in the Hall and Cribbs will be that guy. If it’s such a integral part of the game, why is it that a true special team player hasn’t been inducted?
If Deion Sanders would’ve focused his attention on strictly being a returner, wouldn’t he have deserved consideration? Some guys have the ability to completely change the outcome of a game with a single touch of the ball and Cribbs is easily in that group.
He’ll also be included in another group of players- those in the Hall of Fame.
Mike Holmgren just turned down a senior leadership position with the Seattle Seahawks and now looks even closer to saying yes to the Cleveland Browns job. The thing right now however is that no one really knows what that job will entail. Will Holmgren be the czar of football operations much like Parcells in Miami or will he be the GM/coach? On his weekly Friday radio address Holmgren hinted that “all positions” could be an option. As a Browns fan, I must say that I love the idea of bringing Holmgren in to the fold. I just don’t know about him wearing all the hats he’s potentially toying with. The Browns need leadership at the top. Period. They need that leadership to trickle down throughout the organization. Actually I take that back. They need that leadership to drowned the organization to the point it is so saturated it could stand up and run itself. Holmgren could be that guy.
Now don’t get me wrong. If he wants to be coach, Randy Lerner couldn’t turn him down. You don’t see many Super Bowl coaches knocking on the door of the Browns to become the head coach. The Browns have been in shambles ever since returning to the league and Holmgren’s resume would at least entitle him to be the next in line to see what he could do.
I gotta believe that this is what he’s leaning towards. I think his year off taught him that being out of football and coaching isn’t in his blood and that he craves the leadership and challenge of turning a team around. He did it in both Green Bay and Seattle. Can he do it in Cleveland?
Why is it that I can shoot free throws better than Shaq- with my eyes closed? I’ve heard the excuse that his hands are too big and that it’s difficult to handle the ball at the line. Bullshit. Is he the only 7′ guy to ever play in the NBA that has big hands? I’m pretty sure Kareem had big hands and he wasn’t that bad at the line. What about a guy like Dr. J? His hands were so big it looked like they went half way around the ball.
It will be one of those things in sport that no one will ever be able to fix. The Cavaliers could bring in Mark Price and he wouldn’t be able to help. Shaq at the line is a lost cause. I just hope when the Cavs meet the Celtics or Magic in the playoffs that Hack a Shaq doesn’t become a factor. -DM
Yes, it was a difficult decision but FantasyTrophies.com is off to Vegas for the Fantasy Sports Trade Associations annual winter conference. Leaving 25 degree weather in Brooklyn, NY for the sunny desert is going to be tough, but my partner Pat and I will try to suck it up and find the strength to do it. This will be our 3rd conference we’ve attended and each one seems to be better than the last. Vegas, I have a feeling, will be not different. -DM
It’s being reported that former Seahawk’s coach Mike Holmgren is meeting with Brown’s owner Randy Lerner. The discussion: Football Czar for the Cleveland Browns. A role that Bill Parcells has made famous with the Miami Dolphins and a role that the Browns desperately need after the firing of GM, George Kokinis. Holmgren no doubt will have his hands full if he decides to take the job. The Browns have rapidly become the laughing stock of the NFL and have huge holes on both sides of the ball. The biggest hole and question mark continues to be the coach. Will Mangini remain the coach or would Holmgren bring in “his guy” to steer the ship? The next question he’ll have to answer is the QB situation. Holmgren has been deemed a QB guru and if he becomes the football mastermind he’ll have to decide who will be his quarterback. Brady Quinn has played well the last couple games, but the word is still out on if he can be the QB of the future. As a Browns fan I just hope Holmgren decides to take the job, role up his sleeves and get down to work. God knows the Browns need A LOT OF WORK.-DM
Dammit. I won’t be engraving my name on my league’s trophy this year. My team laid down once the playoffs started and my buddy Mario had every matchup go in his favor. I mean really, Chris Johnson vs. the Rams. Are you kidding me? I, on the other hand, had Cedric Benson vs. the Vikes and Calvin Johnson going up against the Ravens with Dante “I lost all my arm strength” Culpepper throwing to him. Not to mention Kurt Warner decided to have his worst game in years against the pass defense of the 49ers. Weren’t they the 27th ranked pass defense heading in to that game? MJD did OK for me while Wes Welker put up his usual 100 yards. One thing I can say for sure for next year is that Greg Olson will NOT be on my team. The guy is the most overrated TE in the league with the most overrated QB in the league throwing to him.
It really sucks to lose.-DM
It’s getting very close. The $99 mini Armchair QB Option trophy is on it’s way. I’ve sent the info to our web guy, Michael, and he’s promised me it will be up in the coming weeks. The best I can do is show a photo of it as proof that it’s been cast and is ready to go. I’ve had a ton of leagues ask me if I could sculpt the Armchair Quarterback in a small size that would sell for under $100. (Yes, I realize it comes in $1 under, but it’s still under $100)
The idea is that this trophy can finally remain with the champion once the league trophy has moved on. I have no doubt it will be one of our best selling trophies and leagues will decide to roll it into the entrance fee year after year. As a guy who belongs to a league that is 19 years old, I can tell you that all of my buddies have been asking for this for nearly 15 years. Hey, all good things come to those who wait. Keep checking in or get in touch with me to find out when it will be out. Dave@FantasyTrophies.com