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)

Artist Wife Illustrates The Drastic Ways Her Husband’s Life Changed After Kids

(Facebook/MessycowComics)

Chen Weng, an illustrator who goes by the name The Messycow, has created a series of comics showing just how much things change when one becomes a father.

Which do you relate to most?

(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
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(Facebook/MesscowComics)

Check out more from this series on The Messycow’s Facebook page and website.

Dad Dinosaur: Prehistoric Reunion

Dad Dinosaur’s high school reunion is fast approaching, but will he be able to win the big dance contest – or are his moves stuck in the past?

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Father Figures: Risky Business

“As the garage door closed behind me, I heard a muffled whimper.

“What is that?” I wondered. Another whimper and I noticed eight fingers on the lid of one of the garbage cans in the corner. I spy a set of eyes, then a nose and finally my oldest son’s face.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it.”

“What happened? Where is your brother?” No answers, just sobbing.

He moped toward the door and I followed him into the kitchen. I half-expected to see CSI investigators hovering over a chalk outline.

We walked around the corner by the refrigerator, and only then did I see his brother and allow myself to take my first breath. Then I saw a hole in the drywall the size of a young boy’s torso.

They had been running & sliding, in their stocking feet, across the marbled kitchen floor. Obviously a bit too exuberantly! I was relieved that they were both okay, but I still mustered enough anger to quash any future escapades.

Each blamed the other, of course. I used to say I couldn’t always tell when my kids were lying, but I could always tell when they were telling the truth.

If that makes any sense to you, I’m guessing you’ve raised at least two boys.”

  • Ron Fuller

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

Son Surprises Ailing Dad With Tickets To College World Series

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate your old man, and show him how much you appreciate the role he’s played in your life all these years. Especially since, as we get older, our dads do too, and they may not have many Father’s Days left.

Matt Lea recognized that this Father’s Day, and so went out of his way to make it a memorable one, for both him and his father, both former college baseball players who bonded over the game as Matt was growing up.

Matt’s father Billy suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the symptoms have been accruing rapidly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for more memories, and Matt used the latest Father’s Day as an opportunity to do just that. The 36-year-old drove 12 hours, from Florida to Mississippi, and surprised his parents at their doorstep on Sunday.

He was bearing gifts as well, bringing his dad the jersey of his favorite baseball team, Mississippi State. But that wasn’t all. Matt brought tickets too, to see the College World Series in Omaha in person.

In video of the exchange that Matt posted on Twitter, his dad was clearly taken by surprise.

“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” Matt says in the video as he produces the tickets. “How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go up to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”

“Golly,” an emotional Billy responds. “You’re gonna break my heart, here.”

Matt’s gift for his dad received a rapturous response from Twitter, where it’s been liked 46,000 times and retweeted 11,000 times.

Matt seemed as surprised by the response as his dad was by the gift, as everyone who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday knows, there’s nothing better than sharing meaningful memories with your dad, which is exactly what Matt did. An article on Omaha.com details Billy’s baseball past, the initial diagnosis of his Alzheimer’s, the VIP experience Matt treated him too over the weekend.

Matt’s Twitter account showcased the rest.

Happy Father’s Day!

Amazing Street Artist Uses Everyday Objects As His Canvas

(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Artist Tom Bob doesn’t see the world like other people. Where you and I might see sewer grates or metal pipes, he sees ghosts and saxophone players.

Check out some of the amazing ways he’s transforming parts of New York City into works of art.

(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
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(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Check out more of Tom Bob and his unique artwork here.

Father Figures: Heroes

“On February 2, 2011, my daughter was born. The whole thing started pretty normally about 2:30 am or so, my wife woke me up and said, ‘Honey, it is time to go,’ so we went to the hospital in a snowstorm.

That was the easy part.

When they put the belly monitor on her they noticed that the babies heart rate would drop to low whenever my wife would have a contraction. She needed emergency C-section, but the doctor could not make it due to the storm, and when he finally arrived it was rush rush rush!
Well when my daughter Emily did arrive, she had internal bleeding throughout her body, which included two grade 4 brain bleeds. We could not touch her because she would bruise and start bleeding.
They had to life-flight her to the university, where she spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, which left her (you may want to sit down) deaf/blind, with hydrocephalus, a shunt, cerebral palsy, and seizures (at age 6, she needed a baclofen pump because her CP got too bad to handle without it). She is doing great today. She is happy, loves life, and everyone who meets her says that she makes their day and she is beautiful.
To pay back our little community, I became a first responder, mostly a firefighter, but I did help with EMS. Never got my certification, but that is where I found out that in the U.S. we do not have any training for first responders to deal with children with special needs.
I have made it my personal mission to teach first responders about kids with special needs.
I have taken to Emily to every EMS/Fire station in the five counties around me. I have taken her to the police and sheriff’s departments to train them, and now I have a waiting list to get trained.
I don’t know if I am the hero here, but I needed to tell the story.”

– Mike Kuyper

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

Low Cost Cosplay Guy Makes The World A Better Place

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Anucha “Cha” Saengchart, the genius behind “Low Cost Cosplay,” has amassed millions of followers with his incredible reimaginings of famous fictional characters.

Whether you’re planning on portraying your favorite anime character or a Marvel superhero, this guy can show you how to do it effectively and on a string budget.

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Can’t get enough? Check out more creative cosplay on his Facebook page.