- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I had a rare Sunday off this past weekend, and the plan was to relax and watch football all day like I used to. Those plans were quickly shelved, though, after our 3-year-old broke into the pantry and got his hands (and face and the majority of his torso) on the almond extract.

So my afternoon began with a trip to the emergency room, a stark reminder that things aren’t what they used to be.

When I finally did get a chance to relax, our Little Almond Joy took to jumping up and down in front of the TV and yelling, “FOOTBALL!” Given that this didn’t involve Cookie Monster or Thomas and Friends, it was nice to see the boy expand his horizons.

The scene made me a little proud, and it got me thinking about just how different things are these days.

For the longest time, I was young, miserable and good at fantasy football. Now, I’m old, happy and, well, not so good at fantasy football.

I was 19 when I entered my first fantasy league. I was 19 when I won my first fantasy league. I won that league four times in its first eight years of existence. I added a fifth title in 2008. For the first 20 years, I rarely missed the playoffs. But I haven’t put together a strong team since 2010. That’s the year my soon-to-be wife joined.


Anyway, before I go down a dangerous path

It used to be that every move I made worked out. Start journeyman John Friesz on a whim in my inaugural season? Victory! Start rookie Peyton Manning over Brett Favre in a league title game? Victory! Roll the dice and play DeAngelo Williams in another title game? Four touchdowns later, victory!

Now, Midas has lost his touch.

Heading into last week, I traded Eddie Lacy and Tom Brady for Drew Brees and Bishop Sankey. I then had the pleasure of watching both of them have their best games of the season — Lacy on Thursday night and Brady on Sunday night. In between, Brees threw more interceptions than touchdowns; Sankey got all of eight carries; Montee Ball sustained a serious groin injury; Michael Crabtree continued to underachieve; Jimmy Graham got hurt; and the defense I benched outscored the defense I played by 25.

I’m last in the league in total points. You know who’s first? My wife. The same wife who has been to two straight title games. If she makes it three in a row, it will be the first time anyone in the league has done that since me, a long time ago in another life.

Well, at least I’m happy, although not quite as happy as when I started writing this.

Week 5 Lineup Crime: Surely the Eagles defense/special teams wouldn’t score multiple touchdowns again, right? Wrong. Philadelphia did just that, scoring 26 points. I started Cincinnati instead. The Bengals scored 1. I lost by 11.

Week 6 Lineup Time: I waived Blake Bortles, so the rookie should have a career game against the Titans. It’s a tough matchup against the Ravens, but the Mike Glennon-to-Vincent Jackson connection should continue to thrive. The Bengals should bounce back at home behind Andy Dalton’s first big game of the season. OK, this is the week Keenan Allen finally finds the end zone. I expect a big day from Alfred Morris.

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