Entries by: Bruno Tysh

Biggest Fantasy Busts of 2017

Written by :
Published on : December 14, 2017

 

 

If your fantasy team is still playing that means you made it deep into the playoffs. Congrats. The rest of us are back to the role of spectator. I made the postseason in one of my two leagues and was instantly bounced. It’s been a rough few months for me. But for once, this isn’t about BRUNO ARKADY TYSH. This is about fantasy football. So looking back at the regular season, we can see some interesting trends that may have lead to the doom of your team. These are the biggest fantasy busts of 2017 fantasy football season.

 

Mike Evans WR, Tampa Bay
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This was a top 10 pick in most leagues. Everyone was expecting huge things from him this year. But that production never really came. Not one game over 100 yards and only 4 touchdowns. He had a few great games but for your number one pick you need solid and excellent production and this wasn’t it. Evans also got himself suspended for one game during the year which is another strike against him.

 

Jordan Reed TE, Washington 

Pre-draft, Reed was just after names like Gronk and Kelce in the tight end department but nagging injuries have mostly kept Reed on the sideline. What’s worse is that it looked like Reed was just a step away from returning to his old form. He even teased owners with a 2 touchdown game mid season just to further trick everyone.

 

Eric Decker WR, Tennessee 
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Decker came to the Titans to be a top weapon for Marcus Mariota but the surehanded wideout never really carved out a consistent role. 1 touchdown and only 1 game with more than 4 catches is not even within the shadow of flex play. That’s the definition of a fantasy bust.

 

David Johnson RB, Arizona

It’s hard to get mad at a someone who got hurt but this was the guy and he got hurt in the middle of the first game. The consensus number 1 overall with a major injury right out of the gate. Ouch. Those owner’s odds of making the playoffs went way down immediately.

 

Odell Beckham Jr WR, New York Giants
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Speaking of injuries, we must talk about OBJ. Not all hurt players are busts but when the hype is so high and the player only plays a few games then that pushes it into bust territory. Sorry Odell. Who I took with my first round pick. In the league where I missed the playoffs.

 

Martavis Bryant WR, Pittsburgh

Bryant was supposed to be the number two behind Antonio Brown on a very high scoring offense. That also never really happened. And after a few games of low targets, Bryant seemed unhappy and asked to be traded, then retracted his comments. Also, this was paired with the rise of rookie, Juju Smith-Schuster, who was seeing more and more attention. After only a few weeks, Bryant went from starter to free agent on the waiver wire.

 

Matt Ryan QB, Atlanta
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Look, Ryan is an excellent QB but his stats last year made expectations maybe unrealistically high. But that’s the world of 24 hour news cycle. Matty Ice is currently the 16th highest scoring QB one year after being NFL MVP. That fall is enough of a drop that it lands in bustville. I also have Ryan in my other league, where I lost in the playoffs. Where Ryan got me 9.6 points in the first round.

 

New England D/ST

They are currently the 19th best unit which means not ownable in any format. The selection of a defense isn’t a huge deal but any time you miss on a draft pick is a blown opportunity and somebody drafted the Pats. Fantasy bust.

 

Jay Ajayi RB, Philadelphia
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The day one starter in Miami, had a rough first few weeks, then was traded to Philly’s crowded backfield and looked to be the first option but more mediocre play turned the situation into a time share. On the year, he has only scored 1 rushing TD with plenty of opportunities. Busty bust.

 

Jordan Mathews WR, Buffalo

The Bills moved on from Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods then added Mathews. The thought was Mathews would become the number one option but for many reasons that move never panned out. Womp womp.

 

Kelvin Benjamin WR, Buffalo
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Then the Bills traded for Benjamin, he became the new top receiving threat supplanting Mathews. But shaky QB play didn’t give Kelvin enough touches to truly make an impact. Another big name that didn’t live up to the potential.

 

Donte Moncrief WR, Indianapolis 

There was a time where Donte thrived playing along side T.Y. Hilton in an air attack lead by Andrew Luck. But with Luck out, the luck ran out for Moncrief. His big play ability all but dried up leaving him as a fantasy afterthought.

 

Jameis Winston QB, Tampa Bay
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As mentioned with Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay offense simply isn’t that good this year. Many hoped for much more and were greatly disappointed. 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions just isn’t enough for a top QB. Better luck next year.

 

These dudes did not pan out and many fantasy owners are still reeling because of it. This all goes to prove a valuable lesson about fantasy football, each season there will be names that you know that fall off and new faces that step up. Championship squads navigate this razor’s edge. Time to start working on next year’s draft board.

 

Bust a move.

 

 


2017’s NFL Midseason Report

Written by :
Published on : November 8, 2017

 

 

In the immortal words of Bon Jovi: “we’re half way there“. The NFL season that is. Week 9 is in the books and the early playoff picture is starting to take shape. Already this year, we’ve seen some wild performances, brutal injuries and some interesting trades. Let’s take a few moments to do some inventory on what was happened so far. This is your 2017 NFL midseason report.

 

Everyone got hurt

There are always injuries in football, that is nothing new but the number of big profile players that have already gone down seems disproportionately high. So far this year we’ve seen major health issues for stars like: Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr, JJ Watt, David Johnson, Julian Edelmen, Andrew Luck, Greg Olsen and Carson Palmer. That’s like one whole fantasy team. And speaking of fantasy, I owned rookie running back Dalvin Cook who was killing it for the Vikings and I until he tore something in his knee and was placed on IR. Bummers all around. By the way, this is by no means the full list of impact players who got hurt but simply the most notable ones.

 

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Wheeling and dealing

Jacoby Brissett left New England’s bench to start in Indy. Adrian Peterson moved from New Orleans crowded backfield to the feature spot in Arizona. Jimmy Garapollo dropped the Pat’s backup clipboard to take over in the San Fran rebuilding project. Wait, if both Brissett and Garapollo are gone then who will play if Brady gets hurt?

 

Then Kelvin Benjamin left Carolina and moved north to Buffalo. And Jay Ajayi departed Miami for Philly. Those guys both know their new stadiums are outdoors right? It’s about to get real cold. But all these moves are real hot.

 

Lions still give me heart issues

Detroit currently sits at 4-4 and have already had their bye week. They started 3-1 and then went 1-3. So it’s hard to say exactly how good this squad is. It’s easy to find positives and negatives on both sides. You hear that the Lions are 3-1 on the road, 2-0 in the division and they sound like they are playoff bound. Then you look at the awful rushing stats paired with the average-at-best pass rush and you think the season is going to be rough. So which is it?

 

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Who knows. The schedule lines up favorably but the Vikings are the current NFC north leaders (6-2) but Detroit beat them once already. A second win over Minnesota (on Thanksgiving!) would go a long way to setting the Lions up for a rare division crown. I can’t bring myself to predict the last 8 games but the schedule has some wins on it for sure. I pray it’s enough for a playoff ticket.

 

It feels like we wait for football all year and then it comes and just flies by. It’s slipping away already, I can feel it. As the last weeks play out and the post season picture comes into focus, my hope is we see some new teams playing in the Super Bowl. Lions vs Chiefs anyone?

 

Glass half empty kind of guy.

 

 


SBS Stadium Series: The glass palace of Minnesota

Written by :
Published on : October 12, 2017

 

 

The Michigang is back in action for our annual Lions road game meet up. This year takes the crew to Minneapolis, Minnesota for Detroit’s first divisional game against the Vikings.

 

This year’s trip was extra special because we got to visit the newest football arena in the country. US Bank stadium will be home to this year’s Super Bowl and it is clear why. The building is enormous and gorgeous. Let’s get inside and explore the new digs in this installment of the SBS Stadium Series.

 

 

First impressions of Vikings Village (the area outside the building). Kind of lame. All beer stands, which I love but no food, which sucks. Because I was starving and needed something in my belly besides booze. There was also this terrible band playing covers. I wont even dignify them with a joke. Overall, the best part of Viking Village would have to be the view. The glass face of the building is super dope. Also the local train has a stop right in front which is really convenient. But it’s getting close to kickoff so it’s time to head inside. As we made our way to the front gate we came across the witches protesting for social justice. The witches kick ass. Fuck racism and white supremacy.

 

 

The lines to get in moved so fast. Best I’ve ever seen at sporting event. Inside, they scan your tickets like a boarding pass with this fancy laser podium. It’s straight The Fifth Element. First steps inside US Bank are breathtaking. It’s like a football cathedral. The roof is so far above you at all heights. The scale is truly massive.

 

We take the escalators up to the the top level and as we move through the crowds it is clear. There are some Lions fans but not many. Probably the smallest number of Honolulu Blue I’ve witnessed on the road. Bobby joked “these Vikings fans sure do travel well”. We were outnumbered but not outclassed. Our Michigang was 14 deep and rocking our matching custom t-shirts. We drew a lot of attention. But that might be because we were chanting and yelling almost the entire time.

 

 

We find our seats and get ready for the show. But first, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of a football game, the national anthem! I did not stand for the anthem. Because Trump called NFL anthem protesters, “sons of bitches”, so I stayed seated. Because criticizing protesters who are speaking out against inequality is a trash move. But I did stop eating my pizza which I thought was a very reasonable compromise. From behind me, I hear “it would be nice if all the Lions fans would stand”. I didn’t turn or respond. Facebook comment threads have taught me how to recognize a trigger situation and I’m finally (hopefully) adult enough to not always get sucked in.

 

Then, an epic DRUM BEAT on a brontosaurus sized drum. Like Game of Thrones style viking shit. The room shouts “SKOL!”. Everyone knew what was happening. Everyone but the 14 of us. The crowd claps their hands above their heads with each beat. The drumming gets faster. It’s pretty intense. And admittedly cool. It crescendos it a roar of applause. Super loud. Maybe the loudest I’ve ever heard. This is all being lead by the Skol Line (get it, it’s like goal line) a drum line band that maybe lives in the stadium. Not totally sure on that. But they do get the crowd pretty hype. Also what’s the deal with all the Skol stuff? Do they really like chewing tobacco that much? Apparently they do. Because the entire building is smokeless. No smoking deck or area period. Maybe they have a vape zone? Also not sure on that.

 

 

Finally, it’s kickoff. I get the butterflies in my stomach. I add two beers, a pretzel with cheese and a second slice of pepperoni pizza to that stomach to kill the butterflies. The game is tight. Both defenses are balling. It’s going to be a close one the whole way I can just tell. But hot damn look at the field. The whole place feels so open and new. At one point during the second quarter, the sun peaked from behind the rain clouds and shined down on the glass of the wall and ceiling. The whole building lit up like it was magic in a Disney movie. It was beautiful.

 

Each time the Vikings have a positive play, they blare this awful horn. I’m sure the fans like it. But it gets old quick. The drum is way better than the horn. The NFC North rivals trade points until it’s Detroit 14 and Minnesota 7. But there’s plenty of time left in the game so anything can happen. And for the record, the Viking fight song they play after a touchdown is real bad and I should know, the Lions fight song is not great. But this one is rough. The clock is ticking down and now the gentlemen behind me start chirping. They keep trying to bait me into something. But I surprisingly play it real cool and don’t engage. This was no easy task by the way. I’m petty and very quick with a mean joke so this is kind of my unfortunate specialty but I swallow my insults and let the Lions defense do the talking.

 

 

Lions grind out the clock with a solid ground game and it’s over. We win. 14-7. The row busts into our favorite chant “three and one, three and one, three and one” or for s fun variation, “four and o with an asterisk”. Another huge road win. Seriously, winning on the road in our division is not something I’ve experienced too much of. It was a shock and a real joy. I will remember that day forever.

 

Overall, the stadium is perfect. Not a single flaw to mention. Other than that damn horn. The total experience was great. The Vikings fans were mostly very nice. For example, most had a hard time with trash talk. One guy saw us and yelled “Go Vikings” and then we yelled “Go Lions” and then he went “but seriously that Stafford is my something, I’d say he’s probably my favorite player in the league”. Or another guy tried to heckle by shouting, “Funny hat!” at Tomas with his lion head beanie. Sick burn you guys. It’s almost cute.

 

They say that people who build glass stadiums shouldn’t throw touchdowns. And the Vikings didn’t that day. Go Lions. And who knows, maybe the Michigang will be back in Minnesota watching the Lions in the Super Bowl. A boy can dream can’t he?

 

SKOL.

 

 


Super Team Update: Melo to OKC, Wade to Cavs

Written by :
Published on : October 2, 2017

 

 

The biggest story in basketball right now is that Dwyane Wade has opted out of his contract with the Chicago Bulls and will be joining his former teammate and best friend, LeBron James, on the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are stocking up talent with the hopes that they have enough firepower to beat the Golden State Warriors.

 

This isn’t anything new. Seems like every owner/GM these days is trying to build a “super team” to stop the Warriors. Speaking of, Carmelo Anthony has been traded from the New York Knicks to the Oklahoma City Thunder. These are both huge moves that dramatically reshape the world of the NBA. Let’s dive into the mantle of this earth shaking news and see what it means for everyone else. Without any ranking, these are our super teams as they currently stand:

 

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Warriors: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

 

Cavaliers: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Love,  Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose.

 

Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams.

 

Rockets: James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Nene, and 7’2″ Chinese star Zhou Qi.   

 

Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris.

 

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford.

 

That’s a lot of firepower on a small number of teams. Despite OKC’s big addition, it still looks like the Cavs added the most since last year. Right now, it’s on the rest of the league to stop a fourth installment of Warriors vs Cavs in the NBA Finals. Because they still look like the two best teams on paper. But who knows what the next season holds? I think many folks would love to see some new faces in the championship. Rockets vs Celtics anyone?

 

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The world of the NBA is seriously changing. Being good isn’t good enough anymore. The money is too big for all of that. The stars are aligning, literally. Basketball stars are picking sides and gutting the middle class of the league. The new normal is you either have 2 or 3 superstars or you are looking to draft one. The only thing that’s clear in 2017 NBA ball is that one star can’t win a trophy alone. Best to team up.

 

Also, playing total dick-devil’s advocate, Golden State still was the edge because their roster has played together. All these other squads have just been pieced together. Those crews are going to need to time to gel. Just like the LeBron Heat didn’t win their first year. We shall see.

 

Deals.

 

 


Review of HBO’s 2017 Hard Knocks

Written by :
Published on : September 20, 2017

 

HBO’s Hard Knocks is the best lead into the NFL regular season there is. It’s leaps and bounds better than any preseason action. This year, the spotlight turned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their young star QB, Jameis Winston. The season may be only five episodes but it’s a legit look behind the curtain of the intense drama of NFL training camp. All the cuts, all the fights and all the jokes. Get ready for a lot of cursing and more dancing than you’d expect.

 

The first and last takeaway is that DT Gerald McCoy is hilarious. Like Shaq level comedy. His jokes and personalty jump off the screen. Give this guy a movie already. Plus, he is obsessed with Game of Thrones and hearing his recaps of the episodes are brilliant. The cherry on top is that he helps carry his teammates’ pads at training camp. A chore normally reserved for the hazing of rookies. McCoy just believes in helping out. I’m swooning over here.

 

One of the training camp stories is Riley Bullough, a linebacker from Michigan State. Riley is tough as nails and never shuts up. His heart and leadership is clear. The team honors him with the nickname “Joe Dirt”, mostly because of his long hair and overall WWE style. Riley has the perfect on-the-bubble story of trying to make the team. It’s dramatic and very satisfying.

 

 

Another roster hopeful is WR Bobo Wilson. Bobo has the advantage being former teammates with Jameis Winston back at Florida State. But he is no lock to win the job. Need to watch to fully enjoy the whole arc. Then there’s defense linemen, Chris Baker, who dances with the palm tree. And yes, it’s sexual.

 

Oh and then this one time, Gerald McCoy danced with this tiny little girl who was in the stands at one of the preseason games. It’s in episode four and it’s just the god damn best. Speaking of the best, the rookie show. Which is a part of training camp where all the rookies sing a song for the rest of the team. It’s like a sporting talent show. But if you stink, then they will boo you off stage. Doug Martin danced onto stage and swept the dude away with a broom.

 

Get to the stars already. It’s all about the wide receivers. Most notably, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson (or D-Jax). They are so cute together. Like the Rock and Kevin Hart. One is real tall and charming, the other is short and charming. A classic comedy duo. Beyond the jokes, this tandem is going to kick ass this season. Jameis should rack up the yards with these two weapons. At the very least, you know some fantasy owners think so. I also drafted D-Jax.

 

 

Hard Knocks ends with the last cuts. AKA the big heartbreak. Head coach Dirk Koetter and his staff handle this meetings with class. A total change from last year with Jeff Fischer and the Rams, where Jeff treated the players like staff of a fast food restaurant.

 

HBO and NFL Films have done it again. They are straight Midas with this football stuff. I hope they make a video about me someday. Maybe when I run my own football team. Getting back on topic, the Bucs look good. Especially in slow mo. Unfortunately, the hurricane in Florida postponed Tampa Bay’s week 1 matchup against the Dolphins. Let’s see if all this hype pays off during the regular season.

 

Buc yeah.

 

 


The Cincinnati Bengals stink

Written by :
Published on : September 16, 2017

 

It’s only two weeks into Cincinnati’s season and things are already looking bleak. They are 0-2 after a brutal loss on Thursday Night Football at the hands of the Houston Texans. That was a home game where they lost to a rookie QB making his first ever start. You can’t judge a team by just two weeks but there is little to be hopeful about with the team’s performances so far. Let’s go over everything we know.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-2 with both losses coming at home. The season opener they were shutout. Just an awful start for the local fans. Franchise star quarterback, Andy Dalton, hasn’t thrown a touchdown yet. Actually, the team has hasn’t scored a touchdown in their first 25 possessions. Dalton has 4 interceptions in that span. Yuck. AJ Green has been the lone bright spot on offense while backs, Gio Bernard, Jeremy Hill and rookie Joe Mixon have all failed to produce a spark. As a reaction, Bengals brass has decided to let offensive coordinator, Ken Zampese, go. Maybe this shake up will help turn things around? Or maybe this will set the unit back even further?

 

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The Bengals defense has been decent in terms of points allowed. They gave up 20 to the Ravens in week 1 and only 13 to the Texans in week 2. Those numbers should keep this crew competitive but the issues on offense are so great that sadly it doesn’t really matter what the D does save for scoring on multiple takeaways each outing.

 

One might think, “they are due for a win” well the schedule says otherwise. Week 3 is a trip to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. Maybe they score a TD or two but they take another L for sure. That will be 0-3. And with that record, people will be asking for coach, Marvin Lewis’ head. And for good reason. This Cincinnati team has some great skill players but never seem to be able to put it all together. At what point does the ownership let someone else have a shot?

 

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Week 4 is at Cleveland. If they lose this battle of Ohio then Lewis will be fired for sure. Some will want Dalton gone too. Maybe he gets traded for picks. There are some stud QB’s coming out of college, so it doesn’t sound far fetched.

 

Maybe this all too knee-jerk from two bad weeks of football. Or maybe the writing is already on the wall. We shall see how it all plays out. But as of right now, the Cincinnati Bengals stink.

 

Bungles .

 

 


6 teams that should sign Colin Kaepernick right now

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Published on : September 8, 2017

 

 

The NFL season is finally here and it’s a total fucking joke that QB Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. There are many teams that lack a real answer under center, so it makes you wonder what’s really at play here? Save the talk of the bad press. Losing is bad press. Losing gets you fired. Kap is under 30, competed in a Super Bowl, has the arm and the legs to play at a pro level. Plus, he’s healthy. That resume could help at least half a dozen squads win some games. Here are a few organizations that would instantly improve by adding Kaepernick.

 

New York Jets

Who is their starter? Josh McCown? And if that doesn’t work then who? Christian Hackenberg? Bryce Petty? Those sound like NASCAR drivers, not quarterbacks. Kap would be a major upgrade. Or maybe the plan is just to keep tanking and draft someone next year.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Both Blake Bortles and Chad Henne have failed to inspire. People keep saying that the Jags are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. That may be true but it means nothing without someone solid driving the car. Be bold, Jacksonville, decide this is the year you are going to move out of the NFL’s basement.

 

Indianapolis Colts

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Who knows when Andrew Luck will actually be back? And what if he gets hurt again? The current backup is Scott Tolzien. He was named the week 1 starter. But he looked so bad in preseason that the Colts traded WR Phillip Dorsett to the Patriots for their 3rd string QB, Jacoby Brissett. They should have just called Colin and saved themselves a wide receiver.

 

Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson may be the future but the current reigns are in the hands of Tom Savage. It feels like the Texans always have some mediocre signal caller. Their defense is legit but they need a true leader on offense. Plus Kaepernick could be a great mentor to Watson, as both play a more athletic version of the position.

 

Cleveland Browns

Much like the Texans’ situation, the Browns have their QB of the future in DeShone Kizer (or at least they hope). But Cleveland is starting the rookie day one. We shall see how fast the kid learns but maybe it would have been nice to groom the young talent while a real starter shows him the ropes. Or just throw the kid in the deep end and pray he doesn’t drown.

 

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San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick’s old team. They moved on from Kap but never got anyone better. Their current starter is Brian Hoyer. The guy who couldn’t hack it in Cleveland or Chicago. Plus if Colin came back then all the bay area fans could bust out their old jerseys.

 

Those are just the first six I could think of. One could argue that Denver and Chicago need quarterback help as well. Either way, there will be a big QB injury sometime this year, it’s just bound to happen. And when it does, I hope management gives Kap a chance. More likely, that GM in question will just say “fuck it” and see what Tony Romo is doing.

 

Call the guy.

 

 


The Fast and Fantasy: Tokyo Draft

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Published on : September 2, 2017

 

 

Welcome fantasy football fans and anyone else who wandered here. Currently, it’s NFL preseason, which means two things: real football is very close and many fantasy leagues are having their drafts. As we all know, the draft is a huge factor in determining success for the season. It’s the single biggest element in regard to who makes the playoffs. But this isn’t a draft guide, it’s a journal entry of a man who just went through the ringer. This is my 2017 fantasy football draft story.

 

I’m in two leagues. Which isn’t that wild. At my worst, I was in five. But that was way back in college. Crazy times. Back to 2017, The Prison League (12 team, non-ppr) where we base our team names on all football related run-ins with the law. In the last few years I’ve been:

  • Ray Lewis Killed a Guy
  • Larry “Choke out” Johnson
  • Titus “Twice in a day” Young
  • Don’t Jim and Drive Irsay
  • Bad Cellmate Phillips
  • Aqib “Shot myself” Talib
  • Jerry Sandusky’s Kids (current team)

 

The funny thing is, we never run out of new names. It’s like the players and coaches know about our group and get in trouble just to help out. Then, there is my new fantasy venture, the Dynasty League (10 team superflex, ppr, 5 year keeper). I’ve never done a keeper league before. But it is the closest you can get to running a real franchise so it should be fun. The two draft dates were one week apart, on consecutive Sundays.

 

 

The Dynasty draft came first. I met with my two buddies here in town and we face-timed with a crew back in Michigan. All 10 of us were connected via wifi from different places and devices. Pretty cool experience. Would still love to do a full on live draft with all owners in one place someday. The original plan was to pick the first 10 rounds (of 27) then do the rest over text. We had some convoluted way to determine draft order and I got the short end of the stick with the #9 pick. At least the last player gets to pick twice in the snake format. Needless to say, I was a little salty. My petty super villain brain started turning. What could I do to the rest of the league to show my displeasure?

 

My first idea was to slow everything down. Drag my feet whenever possible and make the whole process as little fun as could be. As outlined by the commissioner, each owner is entitled to 6 minutes for each pick during the draft. My plan was to use every second. Make it slow and painful. Make the others feel my anger. Your classic spite-based filibuster. This plan backfired because the draft took place at noon on the west coast and I had closed the restaurant the night before. That means I wasn’t home till 5am. So I was tired and hungover. Slowing down this marathon was going to kill me. I just didn’t have the intestinal fortitude for it. I am weak.

 

As the rounds continued, a new plan came to mind. Try and use the insane depth of the bench (16 spots) to create an imbalance. What I mean to say is, how can I exploit the numbers to invent an advantage? The idea was to waste 8 picks on the top defenses (D/ST) which would force owners with good rosters to potentially start a sub-par unit. The scoring is setup that defenses are some of the most likely units to post a negative score. What if you could make an opponent to start a shit D/ST and maybe even negate some of their own offense? That would be huge. Even if the other owners smelled the ruse and stocked up, then at worst everyone is back to even (in terms of this scheme).

 

 

I picked the Broncos, Chiefs and Cardinals in consecutive rounds. A few owners took the cue and grab one of the other top 10 defenses. My turn came back around while I was digging through my handwritten draft notes (in it’s own special notebook) and I discovered a number of quality players had gone undrafted. Gasp! How did no one take Darren Sproles? It’s PPR. That changed everything. Finding great talent, late in the draft is a REAL advantage. Not the joke defense short I was trying to manifest. It’s the most Wall Street thing I’ve ever done since I did blow in the bathroom of that trendy joint in American Psycho.

 

The Dynasty draft started Sunday then continued on a group text for the last few rounds. But there were so many damn rounds that it went all week. It went until the Prison League draft started the next Sunday. That’s just crazy. And kind of awful. For perspective, in that week, one owner welcomed two new members to his family. Their births were technically mid-draft. FYI, getting twins in the 21st round is a total steal.

 

The Prison League draft had its own issues. Mostly technical. The draft was 3pm Los Angeles time, so I set my alarm for 2:57pm. Woke up, after a dozen chirps from my iphone 4S, rolled out of bed and opened my computer. I try and launch the “Live Draft” window on ESPN’s Fantasy Football site. But I get some bullshit flash plug-in bullshit error message. I launch “Diet Draft” or whatever and login to see it’s my pick and there are 4 seconds left. AutoDraft has me taking Odell Beckham Jr. Good enough for me. Rough start but I’ll take OBJ all day at #7 overall. That overall draft went pretty well. A the Dynasty madness, it felt like smooth sailing. But everyone thinks they have a good team right after the draft. I believe the term is roster-bate or rosterbating.

 

I wish everyone a good season and for some reason, if someone slights you then try and get petty revenge. Or better yet just win the whole damn thing and then gloat like a teenager.

 

Make believe.

 

 


Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas trade places

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Published on : August 23, 2017

 

Breaking news out of the NBA is that the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizec and an unprotected 2018 1st round draft pick (from the Brooklyn Nets). This is huge. We all knew something was brewing after Irving shocked everyone by asking to be traded. Since that announcement, it was only a matter of time before Kyrie found a new home but no one could have guessed the deal would be this juicy. This is everything you need to know about the big move.

 

The Cleveland fanbase has to love this trade. Kyrie Irving wants to leave but you want to get some value for him. The Cavaliers get the offensive spark in Thomas, a solid defender and scorer in Crowder and big men depth with Zizec. But the reason this deal looks so good from the Cleveland side is because of that draft pick. It could be the number one overall depending on where the Nets finish. This is the critical part. That pick is the future of the franchise. Maybe that future rookie plus the existing core will be enough to keep King James in town after next year. The Cavs might not be done adding pieces. Rumors continue to swirl. The most recent gossip is that D Wade could be joining his BFF LeBron for another title run. Maybe they get Melo too.

 

 

The folks in Boston are doing backflips right now. They traded in their 29-year-old guard with a hip injury for a 25-year-old superstar with a championship ring. The Celtics are getting younger. Their new roster will feature Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and rookie Jayson Tatum. That’s a ton of talent. Plus Boston has a stock pile of upcoming lottery picks so losing the 2018 1st rounder isn’t a backbreaker. You can see the plan here. Build the core that will eventually take over the eastern conference after LeBron James leaves or goes on the decline. It feels like the Celtics gave away a lot but they are really focusing on the long term. But don’t be fooled, this crew will be in the playoff mix from the jump.

 

The craziest aspect is that two teams who are direct rivals in the east agreed to a deal with each other. It’s one thing to ship pieces across conferences but to make a deal with your own road block? Seems perverse. Only time will tell who won this trade. It was a blockbuster to be sure. Cavs open their season at home versus the Celtics on October 17th. Should be a good game.

 

Changes.

 

 


Get to know: the Big 3 basketball league

Written by :
Published on : August 18, 2017

 

No, it’s not the NBA but it’s hoops and it’s totally fun. It’s a 3-on-3 basketball league featuring some of the game’s favorites. The Big 3 is the brain child of Ice Cube and entertainment executive, Jeff Kwatinetz. They managed to create something that is new and familiar all at the same time. So lace up your Jordans and let’s get inside the Big 3 basketball league.

 

The Big 3 plays by it’s own rules. Beyond being only 3-on-3, the game is half court ball and has many unique differences as compared to traditional basketball. The most flashy of the changes are the 4 point shots. There are three 4 point hot spots on the court all 30 feet away from the basket. Almost feels a little Rock-n-Jock. Also, the shot clock is 14 seconds but there is no game clock. Half time comes when one team gets to 25 points. Get to 50 and you win. Must win by 2 though. Other rules of note, all fouls are assessed to the team, no personal fouls, so no player can foul out. And no jump balls, home team starts with the rock.

 

In terms of game play, teams must take the ball beyond the arc after a rebound. But in the instance of a steal or an air ball, the team can go straight to the hoop. All of these rules are in place to create isolation basketball. A chance to get to see an elite talent, in space, creating offense. That’s the best part. That’s what the NBA lives on. The Big 3 found a way to boil the sport down to just those entertaining moments. While also making the game it accessible to some older stars who still have plenty to give.

 

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The Big 3 started with 8 teams (7 players on each roster) in the league and each crew features a big name coach. Names likes Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Clyde Drexler, Rick Mahorn and Julius Irving. That’s some legit basketball intelligence leading the way.

 

The teams are:

Ball Hogs – Brian Scalabrine, Josh Childress and Bobby Simmons.

3 Headed Monsters – Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams and Kwame Brown.

Ghost Ballers – Mike Bibby, Ricky Davis and Larry Hughes.

Power – Corey Maggette, Cuttino Mobley and Jerome Williams.

3’s Company – Allen Iverson (player/coach), DerMarr Johnson and Al Thornton.

Trilogy – Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington and Jannero Pargo.

Killer 3s – Charles Oakley (player/coach), Chauncy Billips and Stephen Jackson.

Tri-State – Jermaine O’Neal, Bonzi Wells and Mike James.

 

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The last name to know is actor and basketball fan, Michael Rapaport, who acts as the on-court reporter and is normally very funny. The Big 3 is basically a love letter to the NBA, street ball and all of basketball culture. If you are totally new to this sport then you are in luck because the Big 3 playoffs are about to kickoff and if you call yourself a hoops fan, then you should check it out.

 

Messed around and got a triple double.

 

 


Oh no, not again: NFL edition

Written by :
Published on : August 8, 2017

 

The NFL is a wild and entertaining league with tons of new and exciting storylines to follow but then there are these other headlines. The ones you see year after year. It’s like a broken record. You think “oh no, here we go again”. We aren’t even into preseason games yet and already some familiar news items have surfaced. Let’s dive right into it.

 

More off-field trouble for the Dallas Cowboys. Running back, Ezekiel Elliott, got into a fight outside a Dallas bar. This after pervious issues with failed drug tests and claims of domestic abuse. But these are the players that Jerry Jones likes to draft. Fans in Texas are used to their stars having run-ins with the law. It feels like the players act like the old movie cowboys and treat the world like the wild west. Shoot first, ask questions later and hire a great lawyer.

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

When the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, the hope was that the franchise could turn over a new leaf. Start fresh. Shed that rotten luck that always hamstringed a talented roster. Well, I hate to report but the injury bug still haunts the Chargers. They’ve already lost rookie guard Forrest Lamp to an ACL tear and their top draft pick, Mike Williams, is currently out of all training camp action with a back injury. Not a great start for the bolts.

 

Speaking of ACL tears. Miami Dolphins QB, Ryan Tannehill, got hurt again. He re-injured the same knee that held him out parts of last year. He likely needs season ending surgery to repair it. And in a hilarious turn of events, Jay Cutler, has been signed out of retirement/broadcast booth on a 1 year/$10 million deal. He will become the starter with Matt Moore serving as backup. Miami must now consider the future of the quarterback position. Even if Tannehill comes back healthy, can the organization trust him? Next year’s draft will tell us how much faith they still have.

 

Rumors are that the Dolphins considered Tim Tebow for the job as fill-in QB. That’s nuts and officially proves that NFL owners are black balling Colin Kaepernick. That can be the only logical reason. Why else would one look to a minor league baseball player and an announcer before a guy who played in a Super Bowl? I hope Kap gets a shot somewhere. He is too talented and only 29-years-old. Racist ass league. SMH.

 

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As we inch closer and closer to real football, the news cycle will continue to spit whatever they can. Maybe a hyper interesting piece about an aging star going vegan or something else really cool and important. The hope is, among all that noise, some real developments will emerge. But for now, let’s feast on the old faithfuls. Who wants to guess when the next Cincinnati Bengal going to be arrested?

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

 


Pay Stafford his money

Written by :
Published on : August 4, 2017

 

 

Lions training camp is underway and the team is looking to get back to the postseason for the third time in four years. This is a big change from the days when Detroit was bottom-of-the-barrel looking up at the playoffs. And quarterback Matthew Stafford is a big reason for this recent success. Because of that, management is working on getting Matt a new contract extension to lock up the young gunslinger for the next half decade. This is the move to make. The Lions need to open their checkbook and pay Matthew Stafford the big bucks he deserves.

 

Haters are going to say Stafford hasn’t won a playoff game yet so he doesn’t deserve $25 million+ per season. Or he throws too many interceptions. Or that Tom Brady isn’t even making that kind of money. Or that he sucks and Detroit needs to move on from him. These type of statements drive me crazy because they are so misguided. Talents like Matthew Stafford do not come around that often and the Lions are lucky enough to have drafted him, the franchise cannot afford to let a commodity like that walk away.

 

Embed from Getty Images 

 

The truth is, the NFL has a quarterback shortage. There are about 10-15 good to great QBs and 32 teams so you do the math. Most GMs are always looking for the next brilliant single caller. But they aren’t there. For comparison, Derek Carr was just given a 5 year/$125 million deal. Carr has never won a playoff game either. This just proves that the rate for a quality man under center has gone up. Carr helped set the price point. So forget all that talk about who is making what. All these numbers are going to shoot up. Stafford just happens to be next in line to get paid.  

 

Brady’s pay was cut because of the suspensions he was going to face. This allowed the team to pay him less in salary and give him most of his money via bonuses and performance incentives. Plus Tom is one of those guys that is already so rich that he doesn’t want to hamstring the rest of the roster with his huge contract. Keeps them so damn competitive. And in terms of interceptions, Stafford threw 10 picks in 2016. His fewest in 6 years. Also the 4th lowest total for QBs that played all 16 regular season games. Speaking of playing all 16 games, Matt was done that the last 6 years as well.  

 

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On to the good stuff. Matt Stafford or as some of my buddies call him, Dad Stafford or Matt Dadford, has thrown for over 4,000 yards in all of the last 6 years. That’s bonkers. He is only 29-years-old but has a wealth of game management experience. Stafford is one of the best clutch players we’ve seen since John Elway. To date, Stafford has 28 comebacks in the 4th quarter or overtime. This is the guy you want to have with the ball in his hands. Plus the dude has a straight cannon. One of the best arms in the league. Hands down. Let’s not forget his legs either. Not known as a mobile guy but he routinely makes plays with his feet. AKA, the total package.

 

Matt Stafford is a recent father. He is maturing, becoming the leader the Lions needs. It’s time to reward him for all his growth and hard work. In the immortal words of John Malkovich’s character in the film Rounders:

 

Pay that man his money

 

Talk is that the contract could be worth somewhere around $30 million a year. That’s wild but Stafford earned every penny of that. And when he wins a Super Bowl, it will look like a real good deal.

 

Cash money.

 

 


Derrick Rose joins Cavs

Written by :
Published on : July 25, 2017

 

Derrick Rose is bringing his talents to rust beach. The 29-year-old point guard has signed a one year deal at the vet minimum ($2.1 mill) to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. This move could shake up the Super Team rankings but word is that more moves are on the way. Let’s dive into this new war of the roses.

 

This story really started a few days ago, when the news broke that Kyrie Irving said he wished to be traded from the team. The report was that Irving wants to be in a situation where he is the top dog and the number one option. That’s a bold choice. Kyrie already has ring and is routinely in the NBA Finals. He is decently rich so this move is just about wanting to get away from LeBron so Kyrie can write his own story. That’s his choice but the real issue is that the Cavs don’t have to do anything if they don’t want to. Irving is still under contract. So now the stage is set. Enter Derrick Rose (stage left).

 

 

So Rose, the former New York Knick, is now on the Cavs. Many think that means Irving is being packaged to leave. Maybe. Maybe they all stay. Chances are, Kyrie finds a new home and Cleveland gets a quality player and a solid draft pick or picks. Or maybe the cap space to sign Melo. Cleveland was close to getting Paul George but missed out. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no knows if James is staying in town after this year. The only thing that’s clear is that I said “maybe” too many times in this paragraph.

 

29-year-old Rose for 25-year-old Irving isn’t an upgrade. Especially when it’s only for one season. But as said above, who knows what’s going to happen in Believeland in a year from now. Both can score. Derrick Rose has famously had many injury issues but he is very talented. He was the 2011 league MVP and if he’s healthy, he will be a great overall companion to LeBron James as the Cleveland Cavaliers hunt another title.

 

Derrick Rose trade

 

The Cavs may be building a new super team. James, Rose, Love, and another talent could put this crew over the top. Melo is still the wild card that has yet to be dealt. Just imagine them all together. That’s a crew that actually give the Warriors a run for their money. But maybe Kyrie goes to the Spurs and Melo goes to the the Thunder or Rockets or Dallas Cowboys. Who knows. Time will tell but it’s still fun to guess.

 

Rose could be deadly if he isn’t forced to the max on every possession. Watch the old MVP flash for a moment or two.

 

Thorns.

 

 


Art: The Spectator Sport

Written by :
Published on : July 20, 2017

 

Professional athletics is the ultimate spectator sport. Whether you are at the game or set up in front of the big screen, the role of the sports fan is clear: cheer on your squad and express your fandom in any safe way that doesn’t harm anyone else. But are the rules of viewership different from thing to thing? What about art? The original spectator sport. Before the NFL, we had cave paintings. And believe you me, those images were judged by every slopping-brow who lumbered past. But even in its infancy, art had some guidelines about how it should be digested. Later, other creative minds would challenge this vary notion leaving us in a place where the boundaries were no longer clear. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The words below are dedicated to the discussion of how we should approach a work of art in 2017.

 

Let me first start by saying that I never have trouble finding my words but this whole issue has me very vexed and confused. The fact that I reacted so strongly means this topic demands to be explored.

 

Not to brag but my folks dragged me to tons of museums, exhibits and other strange art things ever since I could walk. So I learned gallery-etiquette at an early age. For those unfamiliar, it goes like this: don’t touch anything. Ever. Unless there is a giant sign or person that says you can. Be aware of the viewers around you. Any one person is entitled to look as long they’d like and from as many vantages points but try not to limit anyone else’s experience with your enjoyment. Just beware of the space you are occupying. This is a basic idea and should resonant deeply with the sports community.

 

art watcher

 

This is the old man part of the argument. Where I complain about “kids these days” and how they “don’t respect their elders” and all that other trite garbage. Unfortunately, the world of viewing art has in fact changed with the younger generation. It now seems just as important (if not more) to document your museum day via social media. To let everyone know what you are up to. Show that you are hip and that you check out inspiring works because you are so cool and creative. But this trend is bothersome because it seems like all the thought is in the broadcasting of the piece and not digestion of it. There is no time limit or minimum but if you spend all your time getting the perfect pic and then you move on, then you didn’t witness the art. You saved or sent a skewed reproduction of the piece. Not the same. Would you put a filter on Andy Warhol?

 

Because some artists understand our love of our phones, we have seen the rise of interactive pop art that just begs that you pose with it. Enter the era of the Instagram art museum. Each installation is another photo op. A quick tour of the building and you’ll have enough grounded content for the week. Score. This article was inspired after a recent trip to Los Angeles based pop up, The 14th Factory. Gram worthy works include a room full of rakes hanging from the ceiling, a garden of giant airplane wings and the all white bedroom from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Another photo-bait spot in LA is the Museum of Ice Cream. Swimming pool of sprinkles, oversized everything, all painted the brightest pinks and yellows and whatnot. AKA Internet gold.

 

But whatever you do, don’t be this person who ruined $200,000 worth of beautiful work from Simon Birch at the 14th Factory. In a quest for the perfect selfie, the dummy in question knocks over part of the installation which causes a horrifying domino effect.

 

 

That video legit made me cringe when I first saw it. It took me back to 6-years-old and running in a gallery only to have my mom snatch me up and explain why that was a bad idea. To this day, I keep my hands behind my back when I get close to a piece. My lady calls it “museum hands” and she teases me endlessly each time she witness them. But I’ve never knocked anything over. So maybe museum hands should be protocol with everyone.

 

I get why you take pictures of art. I do it too. Where it is allowed, of course. And if you don’t know or there are no signs posted then ask an employee about their photography policy. Below is an image I took of one of Simon Birch’s gorgeous crowns. This crown was in the middle row, not the row that got knocked over. But close. Overall, this was maybe my favorite thing in the whole 14th Factory. A stunning work.

 

Crown 14th factory

 

So what’s the compromise? People are not going to put their phones away. But is it so bad that young people are excited about art that they want to share it? All the museums in LA that require tickets are sold out for weeks or months at a time. That’s incredible. Everyone needs more art in their life. I guess I’m just asking for everyone to be a little more aware that a gallery space is a public space. Be conscious of your fellow art fans and maybe keep your phone away as much as possible.

 

There is no one right way to enjoy art. So try different stuff. Bring a sketch book and sit with one work and see what you come up with. Or try that stupid headset with narrated tour. Bring different friends of family members for a new perspective in your conversation. Create new angles, it may surprise you what you find. Just remember this one thing: don’t knock anything over.

 

Posers.

 

 


Ranking the NBA’s Super Teams

Written by :
Published on : July 12, 2017

 

It looks like every GM in the NBA is trying to build a monster that can challenge the Golden State Warriors. That means packaging multiple stars on one roster. These super teams are popping up all over thanks to the recent moves in free agency. This a current ranking of the top super teams in the league.

 

7. San Antonio Spurs

Not exactly a true super team but they do have Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay. More importantly, the coach is still Gregg Popovich who has the power to make any 5 players look like all stars. San Antonio doesn’t normally make big flashy deals but it wouldn’t be surprising if they added another name at some point this year. They need something to help them get past the Warriors, beyond the starters staying healthy.

 

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

This roster is by no means loaded but it now features two of the league’s premier scorers in Russell Westbrook and newly added Paul George. That alone is enough for the Thunder to make this list. The hope is that George can help carry the offensive weight so Westbrook isn’t forced to do everything himself. The real question remaining is will this be enough firepower to get Oklahoma City back to the NBA Finals?

 

Russ and PG13

 

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

The cinderella super team. Minnesota has been slowly building a contender and this offseason they really turned up the aggressiveness about adding talent. As of now, the Timberwolves will feature Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford. Not a bad group. Lots of upside with enough vets to keep the team grounded. Wolves will make the playoffs and maybe even surprise some people.

 

4. Boston Celtics

Marquee names were falling fast off the big board but Boston waited for their guy. When the time was right, they finally sprung into action and acquired Gordon Hayward (formerly with the Utah Jazz). They had to deal Avery Bradley to make room for his contract but the Celtics think they now have the pieces to get past LeBron and the Cavs. The Boston roster will feature Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward, rookie Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris. That’s a deep crew that should prove to be a real challenge for any Eastern Conference squad.

 

Isaiah-Thomas Hayward

 

3. Houston Rockets

Houston made two gigantic moves in the last few weeks. First, they added Chris Paul and changed the entire landscape of the NBA. Then they gave James Harden a record breaking contract of 4 year/$228 million. Holy hell. That’s a literal boatload. Rockets also added 7’2″ Chinese star Zhou Qi and got Nene a new deal. And let’s not forget about Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson. But the really crazy part is that Houston is rumored to still be searching for another big time player. Carmelo Anthony anyone?

 

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs didn’t make any huge moves since losing the NBA Finals. They brought back Kyle Korver, added Jeff Green and Jose Calderon. Some hoped they would get Paul George but we know how that went. They still have Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Kyrie Irving and most importantly, LeBron James. That is more than enough to be one of the NBA’s top super teams. Could Cleveland still get a big name to join them? Sure. But with no certainty that James will stay in town beyond 2018, their options appear limited.

 

lebron-james-cavs big 3

 

1. Golden State Warriors

There was talk that opposing GM’s were going to deliberately overpay the few Warrior free agents in an effort to breakup the team. Well that didn’t happen. Like at all. Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, David West all re-signed. KD inked a new 2 year agreement and Steph got his $200 million max deal. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are both still under contract so this whole crewing is coming back for another run. Some of those guys could have cashed in elsewhere but it looks like they value championship rings over a few extra bucks. Oh yeah, they also picked up former Laker, Nick Young. Some of you may know him as Swaggy P. Either way, another weapon added to the ultimate super team. Good luck everyone else.

 

These rankings are by no means set in stone. Celtics add Marc Gasol and maybe they move up a spot. Carmelo could join one of the above crews and mess everything all up. Kobe could come out of retirement, who knows? All we do know is that as long as this Warriors team plays together, super teams are here to stay.

 

Super-duper.

 

 


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