Tag: patriots

Fantasy Football Recap #12 – Skin of My Teeth

It was a crazy week for me this week, in part because I rushed to get my lineup situated before the games started on Thursday, and missed out on using Barber on the one week he could have scored 20+ points for me.  By Sunday evening, all of my players' points had been tallied (totaling 135 for the week), and I could only watch in dread as my opponent slowly crept up the scoreboard every time Tom Brady threw another complete pass.  At the end of the first half of the New England / Philadelphia game, I thought it was over for sure — all Brady needed to do in order to force a loss for me was to toss out another 100 yards and a touchdown.  Yet time and again in the second half, New England got close to the end zone only to run the ball in, or otherwise turn it over without a pass TD.

I watched the last few minutes of the game anxiously, my opponent 1 point behind a tie for the week.  I know the Pats were trying to run the ball to run out the clock.  But would Brady throw that one extra pass to try to get a first down and ensure the Patriots retained possession for the rest of the game?  In the end, the answer was no; they kicked the ball, and regardless of Feeley's pick at the very end of the game, I was a winner for this week, 135-134.  It took me until well after midnight to settle down from the nail-biting jitters, as it just doesn't get any closer than that, in fantasy competition.

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A Trip to Panther Stadium, a Recap

As I mentioned yesterday, I managed to snag a pair of tickets to the Carolina Panthers vs. Patriots game that happened last night.  As anyone who pays attention to football can tell you, the Panthers got trounced heartily by their New England foes, but that didn't stop the wife and myself from having a great time.

Taking advice from a coworker, I managed to snag a "primo" parking space in a lot that was only charging $15 for parking (prices ranged from $5 to $50, depending on how close to the stadium you wanted to get).  We walked past a lot of tailgaters on our way to the stadium, but since we only came down in time to make it to the game, we didn't do any pre-partying ourselves.

The walk from car to stadium was 100% uphill.  I swear they put the stadium on the top of the hill, as people coming from the other direction complained about the same thing.  We were sweating a bit by the time we made it to the gates – luckily we had planned ahead and each brought a 1 liter bottle of water that we immediately sucked down once we were inside.

Nobody ever promised us good seats with the free tickets.  We were in section 532, which meant we were in the highest section of the upper level.  We had to walk up about a quarter mile of switchback ramps to get to the 500 level of the stadium.

By the time we got to the 500 level, we were drenched in sweat and stopped to relax in the cool breeze that we felt for the first time since we had entered the stadium.  My wife (who remember, is 5.5 months pregnant!) rested for a bit while I ran off to get us something cool to drink.  A huge diet pepsi and a beer later, we were cooling off and ready to go find our seats.  We found the proper section and tried to figure out how far we had to climb to get to where we'd be at for the duration of the game.

It turns out that row 24, where we were located, was not the highest row in the stadium, but it was damn close.  About 4-5 rows was equivalent to a flight of steps, so we climbed about 5-6 flights of steps up the grandstand to get to our row.  We needed another cold drink by the time we got to the top.

When we finally cooled down long enough to take in our surroundings, we realized that although we were about the height of Icarus when his wings melted from the heat of the sun, we had a pretty good view of the field. 

The perspective was a little weird, being so foreshortened, so throughout the game we had to keep looking over at the sidelines to see what kind of yardage gain the teams had made.  Still, we could see everything and the people around us were a lot of fun to cheer with.

In the end, the Panthers got trounced, I drank a few beers, we had some decent barbecue, participated in the screaming crowd on all the great plays, and generally had a great time.  The walk back to our car was all downhill, and we stayed cool by munching on a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone each as we went (I opted for Cherry Garcia, Dee had Cookie Dough).

All in all, a great experience for both of us for our first trip to a professional football game.  It is definitely something I'd want to do again, although I'd try to plan for a game where the weather would be a bit cooler.  I'm sure my wife feels the same way :-)

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Are You Ready For Some Football?

Psst – Before you read any further, please note I'm talking about American football, not the better kind you play primarily with your feet.

It's about that time of year again, where pro-football fans hunker down on their couches and cheer on their teams, reveling in every pass, rush, sack, and touchdown.  The pre-season games have started, the teams get their first chance to really show off their new talent and plays, and the fans get a taste of the game to warm up to before the madness of the official season is upon us.

I'm a football fan.  Not a die-hard, paint-your-face-and-chest and scream-until-you're-hoarse fan (although this might be worth trying out one Sunday at home, to see how the wife and daughter react), but just a typical sports fan who enjoys seeing the competition, the well-crafted plays, and the superb athleticism of the players.  They may be overpaid (that's a topic for another day), but those NFL players sure put on a fun show.

With football season comes Fantasy Football.  I'm part of a league that plays on the fantasy football system hosted by Yahoo, with some friends of mine who are up in New York.  We each pay some money into a pot at the beginning of the season, throw a buck into the pot for each trade made during the season, and winner takes all at the end.  Of course, winner also has to pay for the Superbowl party, but they still make out okay.  And of course, they have bragging rights until the next season starts.  I really enjoy Fantasy Football because it allows me to be interested in games/teams I normally wouldn't care about.  Plus it's fun to talk smack with my friends and hash over what I coulda/shoulda done for my week's roster.  Even if I'm not very good (I usually finish about 4th or 5th place out of 10 teams), it's a fun and entertaining way to pass the season.

My fantasy league's draft will be Wednesday the 5th, the night before the first regular season game (yes, our league's commissioner is a procrastinator).  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get some good picks this year, but I'll be halfway back in the draft order, so I'll most likely get a couple powerhouses, a couple mediocre players, a couple sleepers, and a dud or two.  It'll sort itself out after a few weeks though, so I'm not too worried.

The Panthers Will Win Tonight...Hopefully
The Patriots Will Be Going Down Tonight

Also, a vendor who sells some stuff to our office had an extra pair of tickets to tonight's game of the Panthers vs. the Patriots, and guess who gets to go?  The game's at 8pm, so my wife and I managed to get the sister-in-law to babysit and we'll be heading down to Bank of America stadium to check out the pre-game festivities, enjoy some beer (well, at least I will…the wife is 5 months pregnant and therefore the designated driver), and then take in what should be a pretty fun game.  It probably won't be a nailbiter, given that it's a pre-season game, but it'll be my first actual attendance at a pro-football game, so I'm very excited.

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