Scooby’s Wittblooms & Caitlin’s 1st Fantasy Football Season

10 Sep

Real talk: I’ve never been a huge sports fan. I’ll watch when it’s important to people I’m around, and that’s about the size of it. I enjoyed watching tennis with my father growing up in the days of Pete Sampras (Sampras 4eva*!) vs. Andre Agassi. I knew my dad loved UT Longhorn QB Major Applewhite, and with a name like Major Applewhite, I tended to think highly of him, too. I loved Lance Armstrong because he shared my father’s name and was a badass at cycling (although I’ll admit I’m incredibly disappointed with everything that’s gone down with him as of late, but that’s a discussion for another post). Still, given all that, I am from San Antonio, Texas, so the only professional sports team we had going for us was the Spurs, and because they populated every news channel ever for all of time, and because I quite hated San Antonio and wanted to distance myself from it in any and every way possible, I was never really a Spurs fan. This all led me to never really caring about sports at all, not to mention I’m a lanky, gangly, awkward human being who has never had the best balance or control** over my body. 

*I was totally an Agassi guy. And that was before I knew he wore a wig and was addicted to meth. Even more bad-ass!

**Caitlin has her awkward moments for sure, but she’s learned to throw a mean spiral and she cracked 100 in bowling this weekend. 

Our first UT game together. We’ve tailgated half a dozen times now, but only been inside the stadium once* and it ruled. I even say “we” when referring to the Longhorns now and I got an actual UT shirt last week, not just a similarly colored orange shirt like I wore here. *Together. I’ve been to probably 10 or so games in my lifetime.

Then I met Zack. It sounds almost stereotypical in a way that makes me feminist heart hurt, but truth be told, Zack cared SO much about sports that I just couldn’t help myself — I loved him, so it was time for me to care too. I’d had my little love affairs with sports before Zack, of course:  I was a huge fan of the Longhorns while I attended the University of Texas, spoiled my freshman year with a National Championship title and Vince Young to enjoy, and fairly spoiled the last 3 1/2 years of my collegiate career with close calls and Colt McCoy. I cried my eyes out when McCoy was injured in his last college championship game, so you can’t say I didn’t get into it when it was called for. But I still never enjoyed national teams on any real level.

In San Antonio for a Bulls-Spurs game. We’re planning to hit up Bulls-Spurs and Bulls-Mavs games this year so we can visit Caitlin’s parents as well as take in a game. Hopefully Rose will be back by then.

Suddenly, though, Zack thrust upon me a video of a young man named Derrick Rose, flying through the air and spinning mid-way like a ballerina or acrobat. Rose was beautiful to watch, fluid in his movements and truly like a dancer, making basketball an art I could appreciate. I was sold. I was a Bulls fan. I got totally involved in our season last year, cheering for Noah and his big goofy grin, and powerhouse Luol Deng, and clutch player Kyle “Ashton Kutcher/Hot Sauce” Korver. I loved watching Asik bound out like some ogre from underground onto the court. I loved when Taj would dunk and roar like a lion. I loved Boozer’s energy and fierceness. I even got excited when White Moses Mamba* appeared on the court because it meant the game was basically won. I felt just as heartbroken as when McCoy was injured in his championship game, when D. Rose tore his ACL** in the final minutes of the first round of playoffs. Basketball, I could get behind***.

*Hehehe. Caitlin always confuses Bulls bench player Brian “White Mamba” Scalabrine with our friend Mark “White Moses” Norvell. *Damnit!

**(Shakes head sadly)

***Caitlin is a world-class Bulls fan, as she clearly demonstrated. She knew literally every player on the team last season and had a thought-out analysis for each one.

Still, I frequently found myself lost when Zack and his buddies would start rambling off about who was on their bench, what last-minute trade they were making, or what the hell “Beast Mode” and “little baby stiff-arm” meant. The NFL had never appealed much to me, because it symbolized a lot of hot-headedness and drinking games* that were never really my thing. However, seeing the art of the sport of basketball and appreciating the athleticism of the players made my ears perk up when Zack started talking about fantasy games. I felt that if I had a team of players I could root for, if I had reason to care, I could get into the NFL** just as I had the NBA.

*Most of this is true, but I’ve literally never heard of an NFL drinking game. You just drink when there’s a lull in the action. 

**I’m skeptical Caitlin will ever be 1/10 the NFL fan that she is for the NBA, but I’m curious to see.

Zack was hesitant to let me into this world, however. He kept explaining that there was a lot of upkeep, a lot of things to research and pay attention to if I were to have my own fantasy team*. He also warned against the way that I bring my morality into everything (e.g. I will never, ever draft Roethlisberger or Michael Vick, thankyouverymuch). He said this would hurt me in my team’s stats and would make it harder on me. But I insisted that I’d have fun anyway, and he started to come around on the idea. Suddenly, he was more excited about it than I was (not that hard of a feat, I’ll admit) and I found myself doing a mock draft with him one Sunday morning — one of the most disappointing things I’ve ever done, to be honest, because with a mock draft, after you go through the physical draft, your team disappears** and that’s the end of it. It’s just practice so you know how a real draft goes. My mock team was brilliant 😦

*It’s a lot to take on. Especially if you can’t name more than five NFL players. I had to coach my dad up before he drafted his first ever NFL fantasy team this year, and this is a man who has played fantasy baseball for 25 years and has watched a consistent 9+ hours of NFL football every week since I’ve been alive. And he still didn’t know a number of the big names before the draft. Caitlin has never voluntarily watched the NFL that I know of. Excelling at a fantasy football league means more than spending time wondering whether Alfred Morris and Kevin Ogletree were flukes in week one or whether you need to pick them up this week, it means putting in your waiver wire request on Tuesday, seeing if it processes, keeping a constant eye on the waiver wire and injury reports and knowing the defense you’re playing week to week to decide which of your players to start.

**I still think it was good practice and do several mock drafts to see where players go.

Anyhow, we finally went through ESPN and put together a fantasy team — my first ever — that Zack and I co-own. We’ve got a Longhorn, of course (Cedric Benson* what whaaaat!) We’ve got my friend Brittany’s beloved Peyton Manning**, who she will someday marry. We’ve got the no. 1 ranked LeSean McCoy playing running back (a McCoy is only appropriate for me). Victor Cruz we picked because Zack explained to me that he does a salsa dance*** after he makes touchdowns (sold!). Jimmy Graham used to play basketball, so he pretends to dunk the football over the goal post after a touchdown — I didn’t know that going into it, but I’m glad we have him. We’ve got a solid team I’m excited about, and although I am guessing Zack will do more research to tell me about things like Arian Foster getting injured and being benched****, meaning we need to trade out our starters, and things like that — I’m really excited to enjoy my first ever year of having a fantasy team that will at the very least make me more interested when Zack talks about games***** I’d otherwise ignore altogether.

*We benched him week 1, since he had to face the 49ers run D, but should have replaced with him Michael Bush instead of Ben Tate. 

**Great start. He looks like the Peyton of old.

***No salsa dance this week.

****I wish that had been true. Foster got the majority of the touches over Tate.

*****I was genuinely excited to text Caitlin when Jimmy Graham got his first touchdown today and dunked the ball over the goalpost. 

I’d never suggest to anyone to pretend to like something they flat-out didn’t*. I think that’s a goofy way of going through life. However, if you happen to meet someone who happens to open you up to something you sincerely enjoy that you may have not given a second thought beforehand — that’s a special bond you can enjoy into the future**

*Caitlin will always hate Phish and I’ll always hate folk singers who think they’re Bob Dylan and Say Yes to the Dress.

**Even though it looked like our best player might be our kicker before Peyton turned in a gem Sunday night, we need 19 points from Torrey Smith to win. That’s a lot to ask in a non-PPR league, but who knows? I know it’ll make Caitlin care enough to keep an eye on it. And that’s already a win in my book. And if she has ideas for who we should drop or pick up on Tuesday, then we’re really onto something. 


2 Responses to “Scooby’s Wittblooms & Caitlin’s 1st Fantasy Football Season”

  1. Bish September 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Disappointed to hear Caitlin hated the Spurs since they had one of my all time faves from the ABA the legendary George “The Iceman” Gervin, the greatest finger roll of all time.


  1. Caitlin and her “Lucky Punks” Join the Fantasy Football World | rockloveaustin - September 5, 2013

    […] know enough NFL players. Last fall we drafted a team together in a free league with strangers and named it Scooby’s Wittblooms. We won four games all season***. Caitlin got into it at times, but I more or less ran the team and […]

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