An Englishman’s Experience Of Fantasy Football

(Tom Aldworth and Getty/tab1962)

Look, America, I get it. I know what you guys are about. I’ve eaten an apple pie or two in my time. I’ve worn blue jeans. I’ve had a Budweiser. I’ve even watched your version of The Office all the way through. So I get it.

So when I was asked to join a fantasy football league this summer, I said yes. “How hard can it be?” I thought. The quarterback throws the ball at the guy and he runs it to the end zone. I’ve seen Forrest Gump. I know the basics.

To prepare myself a little further I did some research. I watched both seasons of Last Chance U on Netflix, and I was suddenly an expert. I don’t know if you guys know this, but there is something called a “running back,” and those guys are pretty athletic. Also, they have a whole other team who come on to kick the ball every now and then! It’s pretty wild.

Now, three months on, I hate fantasy football. I don’t know what the hell is going on, and my team sucks.

Here are some of the main challenges I have faced so far:

1. The Draft

Like, I get the principle of this. I understand how it works. I understand why it works. I felt confident about this. But do you know what makes the draft particularly difficult? Not knowing a single football player by name. It’s pretty hard to pick people when you don’t know who they are. But I did some research. Quarterbacks are important. Running backs are important. Wide receivers are important. It was all starting to take shape, and I was excited to smash a bunch of Americans at their own game.

And then they scheduled the draft.

Now, America is a big place. You guys have four time zones, so coordinating a cross country fantasy football draft is kind of complicated. Throw in the fact that there is one idiot who lives in a different continent, and it’s pretty hard to find a suitable time for everyone.

The draft took place at 2am British time, and, unsurprisingly, I was asleep.

All my research. All the hours spent discovering players and learning positions. All the blogs I read about what to prioritise. Wasted.

2. Trades

A common theme in my experiences of this season is my lack of knowledge about teams and players. “Your QB isn’t very good, you should do a trade,” my friend said to me. My QB’s name was Mike Glennon and he played for the Chicago Bears. I looked him up, and, sure, he wasn’t very good. The Bears were, apparently, not the team to beat this season. So I figured, sure, I need to get a new QB.

My friend wanted to trade. Mike Evans for Dak Prescott. I don’t know, man. Mike Evans seems pretty good. If my friend wants him so badly, why should I give him up? It was soul-searching time. I asked around. I got some advice. “This is a good trade for you.” “You should do it.” I was hearing a lot of positives about this trade, so I decided to accept.

Then suddenly my “friend” Rob decided the trade wasn’t good for him anymore. That he was getting the raw end of the deal. It was his frickin’ idea! He goes, “give me Doug Martin too.” Now, I may not know football, but what I do know is that two players is more than one player. Something seemed fishy to me. Why the hell am I gonna give him two of my guys if I’m only getting one in return? What does he think I am? Some kind of idiot?

“Two is more than one, buddy. No trade,” I said, confidently. So we haggled.

I used the knowledge I had learned about the Bears to my advantage. “I know the Bears have a bad team. I know you won’t be missing Kendall Wright. Give me him too.” I was so proud of myself. He agreed. We did the trade.

Then it had to go for ratification through the league and it took like 48 hours to go through (what the hell?). But eventually it happened.

You guys, this is my biggest success to date. As I write this, on November 9 the total points look like this:

Fantasy Trade Analysis
(Tom Aldworth)

3. Game Week One

I swear to god, I got the third highest points in the league in game week one. I was delighted. I had done it. I was flying up the table. Except, one of the guys whose teams did better was the guy I was playing. So I got no points. Not a single point.

I… I’m not… I can’t talk about this anymore

4. The Season So Far

Nine games in, my record looks like this: 2-7-0

Seven defeats. Seven.

My buddy Travis said to me before the season, “I don’t really understand it either, I just make sure I replace injured players.” He’s top. He’s won seven games. That lucky son of a gun.

Looking Ahead

It turns out, all the apple pie in the world couldn’t prepare me for this ridiculous game. I’m frustrated, I’m weather beaten, I am in a rut. Maybe I’d be more optimistic if I knew how many games there are in a season. Do I even have time to turn this around?

I don’t know man, this game is complicated. I don’t understand it. I am tied for last. Maybe I’ll listen to some Bruce Springsteen and try again next year.

On the plus side, I’ll always have Dak Prescott.

Dak Prescott
(Getty/Ron Jenkins/Stringer)

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

(Getty/master1305/Tom Briglia)

A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails

(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)

Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.

(Instagram.com/cheeksmagee)
(Facebook.com/KellySmith)
(Instagram.com/abbyjmccoy)
(Instagram.com/instagramycohen)
(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)
(Instagram.com/JoyScribner)
(Instagram.com/bullitt.with.a.name)
(Facebook.com/KristenMadral)
(Instagram.com/heatherdtomlinson)

Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.

DAD STRENGTHS

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.

DAD WEAKNESSES

He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.

VERDICT

Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.

FINAL DAD GRADE: A-

Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.