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My Fantasy Football Draft: 2012

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Hi. I just instagrammed my well-documented fantasy football strategy. Don't look if you're in my league.

So, I have some substantive things to tell you about, I think, sometime soon. My week has pretty much been occupied by feeling weird and preparing for my fantasy football draft. Earlier this evening, I sat my son down and told him the following:

Son, you had one opportunity in life to mess with my fantasy football draft. That was the year I was pregnant with you and didn’t drink more than one beer maybe once or twice a month after the first trimester, which is useless in terms of fantasy football draft strategy. You don’t get to mess with my fantasy football draft tonight.

So while Ben and I were drafting, Soren played with Play Doh. He drew on Peaches with an orange highlighter. He partially dismantled Coltrane’s crate. He peed, sometimes where he was supposed to and sometimes not. He ran shrieking through the house. He did other things of which I’m sure I’ll become aware at an awkward time in the future, possibly with carrots.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m really serious about fantasy football. I love playing fantasy football. How well I do in fantasy football directly affects how much I enjoy any given NFL season. So you can imagine my dismay this year when I entered our draft lobby to see that I had the 12th pick (of 12 teams).

Okay, that sucks. But I prepared my strategy for this inauspicious beginning. I might end up having to decide between Marshawn Lynch and Matthew Stafford. Worse things could happen. I’ll probably get Jimmy Graham. (My original strategy was, briefly, as follows: Get an awesome QB. Get an awesome TE. Load up on RBs and WRs.) Okay, that’s cool. Picking last isn’t the end of the world, because you get to pick first in the second round. Jimmy Graham is awesome and I’m going to get him. I was really excited about getting Jimmy Graham.

But then something happened. A thing appeared on my screen saying the draft was over. I closed out of the draft and the main page for our league said that our draft wasn’t in progress. That was weird and it was almost time for the draft, so Ben and I were getting a little stressed. Finally, we were able to get into the draft lobby again and this time, I had the 11th pick and Ben had the 12th pick. It turned out our commissioner’s wife had some sort of problem getting in and he had to reset the draft. Then, long story short, Ben cried and the commissioner reset it again. So we had random draft order #3. This time, I had the 4th pick (Ben had 8th). This was a huge improvement for me, but if I can non-problem problem for a second, I was prepared to pick 12th and all of a sudden I was picking 4th and our draft was starting in less than a minute and holy crap I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after taking Aaron Rodgers.

So, anyway, here’s my team. I ended up with some guys (Larry Fitzgerald (2nd round), Santonio Holmes (10th round)) I really didn’t want to pick but they fell so far I figured what the hell.

So I loaded up on RBs and WRs and waited until the end to pick a D/ST and K. I failed at getting an awesome TE but got a fantastic QB.

QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Fred Jackson (LOL I originally had this as “Fred Rogers,” because it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Dork.)
RB Willis McGahee
RB Michael Bush
RB C.J. Spiller
RB Kendall Hunter
RB Delone Carter
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Dez Bryant
WR DeSean Jackson
WR Santonio Holmes
WR Michael Crabtree
TE Fred Davis
D/ST Broncos
K Matt Bryant

And don’t worry, I won’t talk about my fantasy football team after this because I know nobody cares about my fantasy football team besides me. But this is what I’ve been thinking about all week. If you play fantasy football, good luck! I hope you have an awesome season!

Written by Tracy

August 30th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Russell Westbrook on ESPN 8/28/12

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Written by Tracy

August 28th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

What to Do with the First Pick in Your Fantasy Football Draft: 2012 Version

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Don’t worry — I’m not going to write about fantasy football as much as I did last year. But people really want to know who to take with the first pick, so here are my top 12 guys for the 2012 draft.

1. Arian Foster
2. Ray Rice
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Tom Brady
5. LeSean McCoy
6. Calvin Johnson
7. Drew Brees
8. Chris Johnson
9. Andre Johnson
9. Matt Forte
10. Matthew Stafford
11. Maurice Jones-Drew
12. Marshawn Lynch

I think it would be reasonable to take Foster, Rice, Rodgers, or Brady with the #1 pick. Matthew Berry said something like this — you’re not going to win your league with your first pick, but you could lose it. This year, I recommend caution and when in doubt, going with the best available player in the first round, even when the best available player isn’t a running back.

(I love Larry Fitzgerald but can’t put him on this list because who in the hell is throwing to him.)

Good luck!

Update: For a little more on my 2012 fantasy football draft strategy and if you want to see who I actually drafted this year, go here. I had the 4th pick. I think I did okay.

Written by Tracy

August 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 am

Olympic boxing is the shit.

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This is an old-ass post from 4 years ago, written during the last summer Olympics. I’m rerunning it in an effort to let you know that Olympic boxing is the shit. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to get in the habit of reposting old shit.)
I have a confession.

First, let me tell you that I love the Olympics. I’d watch them all day every day if I could. I’m not crazy about synchronized diving or gymnastics, but I haven’t found one Olympic sport I just won’t watch.

What’s crazy, though, is the surprising realization that I really like a sport I thought I hated.

I feel weird saying this, but holy crap:

My name is Tracy and I love boxing.

There. I feel better.

I thought I hated — or at the very least didn’t like — boxing. I’ll admit that I stereotyped. I thought of boxing as big giant crazy Mike Tyson guys, women in bikinis who have no purpose other than to look sexy and hold a sign, and some weird Vegas cigar-smoking-steak-eating manly man vibe. And like any time you generalize and dismiss something, I was wrong.

I started watching boxing when nothing else was on, because I’m a sucker for the Olympics and I’ll watch anything. The first cool thing is that I was able to, with approximately 99% accuracy, predict who would win any given match (which is cool because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m terrible at predicting anything). The second cool thing is that, and this is so weird, boxing is freaking AWESOME.

For the last couple days, I’ve been trying to figure out why I like boxing so much. I’m not sure, but I have a few ideas.

Boxing is kind of pure and certain, like math. When I was younger, I was very touchy-feely and into things like literature and psychology, where you talk about themes and feelings and there often is no “right” answer. I also used to like figure skating and gymnastics.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate things like math, where there is a right answer and no time for bullshit or speculation, while losing patience in the kinds of touchy-feely things I liked when I was younger. I don’t want to talk about feelings and I don’t give a shit about what some judges think about the artistic expression in that triple toe loop. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with those things, but they just don’t appeal to me any more.

Don’t get me wrong — boxing isn’t definite or completely objective by any means. It’s scored by humans. If you don’t know how it works, here’s an explanation from the about.com boxing site, written by Andrew Eisele, which says it better than I can:

The boxers are paired off at random for the Olympic Games, without regard to ranking. They fight in a single-elimination tournament, with the winner advancing to the next round and the loser dropping out of the competition. Winning boxers progress through the preliminary rounds to the quarterfinals and semifinals. The two semifinals winners fight for the gold and silver medals, while both losing semifinalists receive bronze medals.

Bouts consists of a total of four rounds. Each round is two minutes in length with a one-minute interval between each round.

Contests are won by knockout or on points.

A point is awarded for a scoring hit with marked part of the glove on the opponent’s head (side or front) or body (above the belt).

A panel of five judges decides which hits are scoring hits.

Judges each have two buttons before them, one for each boxer, and they press the appropriate button when they believe a boxer delivers a scoring hit.

An electronic scoring system registers a point whenever three or more judges press the button for one boxer within a second of each other. No point is awarded for a hit unless three of the five judges agree.

When two boxers trade blows in a flurry of infighting, where no full-force punches can land, the judges wait until the end of the exchange and award a point to the boxer who got the better of it.

At the end of the bout, when each judge’s points have been totaled, the boxer awarded the most points by a majority of the judges is declared the winner.

I don’t find the subjective element of boxing (scoring) to outweigh the objective element (punching the other guy) the way I find the subjective element of, say, gymnastics, to outweigh the athletic part (for me — I know they have elaborate guidelines and it’s probably not as subjective as I think it is, but I find it annoying).

I also appreciate the simplicity of the sport — there are two guys trying to hit each other. There’s no fancy equipment or much of anything other than gloves, muscle, sweat, and will. I fucking love that. It just seems so pure and elemental. I didn’t know I was into that sort of thing, to be honest. But I guess I am.

I’m still learning about the weight classes. “Light flyweight” (106 pounds) is the lightest classification in the Olympics (I guess a light fly weighs less than a feather?). 106 pounds. That’s tiny! I do like the little guys better than the super heavyweights. I’m not sure why — maybe it’s just that they seem to rely more on speed and craft than power, which I find more interesting to watch. Most of the matches I’ve seen have been smaller guys.

Have you heard about U.S. boxer Rau’shee Warren? He lost (and was eliminated) because he was down by one point but because of the crowd noise, he thought he was up by one point, so he stopped throwing punches at the end of the match. It’s nuts. He was just on TV talking about it, and he really has an awesome attitude despite what happened. He showed up to support his teammate and gave him props for working hard. It’s really cool that, in the face of amazing disappointment, he comes out to do an interview and cheer for his buddy.

The other day, I saw the guy who lost the match hug and then carry the guy who just beat him back to his corner (and the winner — I don’t remember his name — was just adorable, with bright dyed-red hair and the interviewer at the end asked him [through his coach/interpreter] if he’d heard of Dennis Rodman but he hadn’t and it was too cute). The sportsmanship in boxing is pretty amazing. And I’m really impressed by the fact that these guys can be out there, trying to beat the crap out of each other and then, at the end, hug and it’s over, because it’s just a game. I like that. That’s kind of a lesson all of us, myself included, could use in everyday life, you know? Boxing has the potential to make us better people, and I guess that’s what I love most about any sport.

Written by Tracy

July 25th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Posted in and life,Olympics,Sports

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Soccer Practice Tailgating

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random photo from internet

What alcohol you serve while tailgating before your toddler’s soccer practice depends on when and where the practice is held. If it’s after work, I recommend beer. If it’s early Saturday morning, you might want to go with, if you’re into that sort of thing (I’m not), bloody Marys (although I have been known to enjoy what I refer to as the poor man’s bloody Mary, recipe as follows: one can PBR, one or two shots tomato juice, Cholula to taste, mixed in a pint glass). If your kid’s soccer practice happens to be early Saturday morning at a nice park in a fancy neighborhood, mimosas made with fresh-squeezed orange juice and trendy sparkling wine are the way to go. If you’ve been meaning to bust out the Sofia, by all means, now is the time.

Plan to arrive at the field at least an hour before practice starts so you’ll have adequate time to get your drink on. Especially if beer is on the menu, scope out the park ahead of time so you’ll know where the restroom facilities are located.

Let’s talk about the menu. In terms of food, you’ll want to go with appetizers and finger foods for an early evening soccer practice. Consider chips and dips and that gigantic container of cheese puffs you always want to buy at Super Target but somehow manage to resist. Another option is homemade hummus, with the usual pita bread and baby carrots or, for a more exciting taste adventure, everything bagel pretzels (these are the shit dipped in hummus). For those of you faced with the weekly horror of early Saturday morning soccer practice (Can you feel my excitement from here?), consider overnight oatmeal; breakfast burritos (the good news is that these are better when made ahead of time — just reheat in the microwave before you head out); or a big ol’ box of bagels or donuts.

A modest spread is all that’s expected when tailgating at toddler soccer practice. Don’t go all out like you would for tailgating before an SEC football game, and of course no grilling is required. Just bring a few folding chairs or a blanket to put on the ground, napkins, and some plates and utensils.

Okay for real, I’m just kidding. We don’t tailgate before Soren’s soccer practice. We totally should, though, because that shit is bananas. It seems he’s not quite ready for team sports. I don’t know if it’s that he’s younger than all the kids who are ready for team sports — Ben’s guess is that all but one of the other kids on the team are maybe a year older than Soren, and Soren and the other young kid were the ones running around doing their own thing the whole time. My worry is that our dumb hippie asses are raising a child who believes he’s a special snowflake who doesn’t have to follow directions or worry about the success or failure of a team in which he doesn’t particularly care to participate when he could be doing what he wants when he wants. I don’t really think this, but it’s the kind of thing I worry about.

I mean, yeah.

after his first soccer practice

This photo was taken right after practice, and this is pretty much the level of enthusiasm he had the entire time. (Don’t worry, his socks were pulled up over his shin guards during practice, so he didn’t look like a dork who doesn’t know how to wear shin guards, which is what he would’ve looked like if I were the only one in charge because I have no clue. In my day, people didn’t play soccer. They were too busy trying to run from dinosaurs and make fire.) The highlight of the day was when he did a few downward-facing dogs over the soccer ball, which was what he did when he was supposed to be in “soccer ready position.” (Soccer ready position looks nothing like a downward-facing dog.)

I have good intentions with this soccer thing. I don’t expect my kid to be a sports nut like I am, but I want to expose him to as many constructive things as possible when he’s as young as possible so he has a chance to maybe be good at them one day. This goes for music, art, and whatever else we come up with, in addition to sports. I took piano lessons (against my will) from a young age and was a decent piano player until the glorious day my mom finally allowed me to quit. I didn’t start playing any organized sports outside gym class until I was in maybe seventh grade, and by that time, it was much too late — I was bad (I played right field in softball, if that tells you anything) and there was no way that, lacking physical talent to the extent I do, I’d ever catch up with the people who’d been playing for years. I want Soren to at least have the chance to be good at stuff, if he’s into that sort of thing one day.

And if he’s not, we can get there early and have drinks.

Written by Tracy

June 20th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Posted in and life,Sports

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Russell Westbrook isn’t feeling it tonight.

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Russell Westbrook used so much energy scoring 43 points in tonight’s loss to the Heat he had none left to put into his wardrobe. I’d be feeling pretty subdued, too, if my team were down 1 game to 3 against LeBron and friends (to be fair, I like Wade but hate James). Better luck next time.

Russell Westbrook

Written by Tracy

June 19th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Russell Westbrook (and a dog and a kid)

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In this episode of What’s Russell Westbrook Wearing, I present his post-game press conference interview from June 14, after the Thunder lost to the Heat (bummer). Remarkably, the star of this outfit isn’t the glasses — it’s the pants.


Russell Westbrook

While we’re talking about fashion, today Soren dressed Coltrane up as Soren. That was confusing for everyone. Then he was all hey, I can be a dog.

I guess Soren was trying to

He thinks it's cool

Written by Tracy

June 14th, 2012 at 10:43 pm