Fantasy Preseason

28 06 2009

It is 71 days before my NFL fantasy football draft.  I track this because the period between the last NBA playoff game and my fantasy draft are very lonely times.  I spend July planning my draft strategy (RBs or QBs in the first round?  Should I try to pick sleepers?  Come up with a detailed ranking or make game time decisions?).  In August, I research actual players and coaching styles.  As the guy in the clip pointed out, the fantasy preseason is starting now and preparation is required.  If you are an avid player, you already see it on the horizon.

Your fantasy draft is probably not going to just SNEAK UP on you and neither should Christmas or your anniversary.  Try to avoid leaving events that matter to last minute preparation.  If you regularly follow this blog, I will help you with the planning for major holidays.  I’m happy to remind you in mid-January that now is the time you should be making a Valentine’s dinner reservation (by the weekend before everything will be booked).  Still, you are on your own with your loved ones unique personal days.  Treat this like any other important appointment and put these dates on your calendar with reminders (two weeks away, if you can).  I’m not certain, but I think the iPhone might “have an app for that”.  Two clips in one post is a bit much, but I think this last one finishes my point perfectly.  You already know not to miss your fantasy draft, don’t miss your mother’s 65th birthday either.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.


Matt Cassel

27 06 2009

I hope that made you laugh (and didn’t offend too many).  It has been a rough week and I think we all need a laughter break from life’s stresses and the nonstop memorials!  Thanks SNL and Justin Timberlake.  So what in the world does the clip above have to do with Matt Cassel?  Let’s face it, Matt Cassel is pretty boring (and that clip isn’t).  A year ago he was a virtual “nobody”.  He stood in for Tom Brady last season during the Patriots time of need and actually did a pretty good job.  The Patriots would have held on to him (especially since Brady’s recovery has yet to be tested), but Cassel was putting too much pressure on their salary cap and had to go.  He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason. 

We all face salary caps of our own and we call them our budgets.  The clip above highlights one option for a pretty inexpensive gift (though I don’t recommend it unless the recipient is ALREADY your woman AND has a GREAT sense of humor).  The key to giving with little to no expense is dramatically increasing the gift’s thought and creativity.  As mentioned in the Vick post, “cheap and thoughtless” is a dangerous combination.  If you already have a talent this will be easy.  You can paint a picture, compose a song, take some photographs, or write a story.  Less skilled ideas include issuing favor coupons or donating your time to a charity in their name.  Another winner is writing a sincere letter about their value in your life.  At the end of the day, the success of these ideas will often hinge on presentation.  You will need to take the time to provide the look and feel you would give to a more expensive gift.  This means boxing and wrapping these gifts (including the letter).  Inside the box, there should be actual certificates for your favor coupons or to commemorate the time you donated.  These ideas are a lot more work than their pricey counterparts, but they are likely to be the gifts your loved ones remember the most.  This is especially true when gifting your mother.  I don’t recommend trying this every year for every occasion, but it is actually a nice refreshing gesture (even when you have the money to buy something else).  If your woman doesn’t agree, get a new woman.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Donovan McNabb (Tribute to Michael Jackson)

26 06 2009

McNabb Thriller

I’m not going to pretend like this post is specifically about football or giving gifts.  It is with enormous shock that I feel compelled to pay a tribute to Michael Jackson tonight.  Admittedly there is great speculation into the personal life of Michael, but I don’t think his impact on music or pop culture can EVER be disputed.  Michael Jackson and I share a birthday (August 29th) and it was a fact that always made my birthday feel special.  This year, I’m celebrating a milestone birthday and I plan to make a CD set for some of my family and friends.  I want to select thirty songs that represent the happiest times in my life (to date).  One of those songs would definitely have to be Thriller.  From the first time I saw the video on MTV to the last time I danced to it (just a month ago while in Budapest), that song never failed to make me feel young, excited, and cool.  Apparently Donovan McNabb felt the same way about Thriller and famously made it into a touchdown dance (pictured above). 

Speaking only on Michael’s work, he touched a lot of lives.  He truly shaped my adolescence.  Michael made us appreciate what artistic greatness looks like.  He was legendary and will be missed.  If there is any gift tip to take here, it is that the world can change in a day.  Nobody is promised tomorrow and that includes icons.  Take the time to show the people you love how much you love them.  That time together is truly a gift.

Michael Vick

24 06 2009

Vick Cartoon

Michael Vick probably isn’t worth the energy of this post, but here goes.  You can’t miss the stories of the promising young quarterback turned convicted felon and media villain.  There is nothing uncommon about football (or sports) players getting in trouble, but usually the public and certainly the NFL are more forgiving.  I can easily think of several players accused of crimes against men, women, themselves, and the very integrity of their sport.  What makes Vick so different?  There are some countries where you can cook your dog for dinner tonight.  However, we don’t “PLAY THAT” when it comes to dogs in America!  We adopt them, we love them, we protect them.  The American pet industry is one of the few to experience growth this year with revenues exceeding $50B.  Fifty Billion DOLLARS!  Whether Vick knew it or not, his crimes were unforgivable to many people.  I suspect he will play in the NFL again (not next season, but maybe the following), but he will never be forgiven by the American public.

It isn’t hard to figure out where I might be going with this.  There are some gift unforgivables and it might help you if I just spell them out now (before you do them).  They aren’t really “unforgivable” as gifts are just things after all, but they will kill the spirit of the gesture.  I understand that some of these tips are very basic and you might have never thought to do them in the first place.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.  Take a quick look and take caution, if you need it.

Five Almost Unforgivable Gift Giving Crimes

1.  The Gift is Late: Don’t show up at your anniversary dinner or her birthday celebration claiming that you will get a gift later.  This looks like you didn’t give her or the celebration enough forethought.  This doesn’t apply to gifts that will take place later (like a trip) or gifts that just didn’t show up (blame UPS).  If there is a good reason for the late arrival, explain it and seem genuine about wishing something was there.

2. Poor Presentation: I hope this doesn’t need to be said, but don’t give a gift when you have made absolutely no attempt at wrapping it (not even a bow).  It should also not have the price tag on it or be in the store’s plastic bag.  I don’t think I really need to explain why so catch up with me offline if you need more info.

3. The Gift Isn’t Really For Them: If your woman doesn’t like football, NFL tickets are not a winner.  Gifts that can in any way be seen as more for you than the recipient should be avoided.

4. Hidden Insults: I know it might seem like you are helping someone out, but gifts that highlight any insecurity should be avoided.  No treadmills if she is concerned about her weight (feel free if she just loves to run) or cookbooks if her food is bad.  Gifts should always highlight what a person likes and/or is good at.

5. Cheap AND Thoughtless: My next post will be on giving great gifts with no or little to no expense.  This can be done, but not without making it really thoughtful.  If you don’t have time to think about it, the gift will probably have to be pretty good (by this I mean expensive).  How much thought does it really take to guess a woman might be pleased with diamonds?  None.  Just remember, cheap and thoughtless will always be a nasty combination.

Eli Manning

22 06 2009

Eli's Sneakers

You might find the picture above familiar, even though I’m guessing you have forgotten exactly why.  Tommy Morrissey is the man you see holding the shoes next to a picture of Eli Manning.  Two years ago, Eli hired a moving company that was owned by Morrissey’s son.  Eli’s then-fiancé (now wife) Abby was throwing out a pair of Eli’s old shoes when Morrissey’s son asked if he could have them.  He gave the shoes to his father, who considered them his good luck charm and wore them on every gameday thereafter (including the Giants Super Bowl win in 2008).  After the Giants won the title, the “good luck shoes” gained some attention and an article was written about his ritual.  This article was seen by a family friend who showed it to the estranged sister of Tommy Morrissey.  Tommy and his sister Donna were separated as children after their mother passed away.  Donna was raised by a different branch of the family and they lost track of each other.  Tommy looked for her, but was unsuccessful.  The “lucky shoes” were lucky after all, because they prompted his sister Donna to seek him out and they reunited after 45 years.

I’m not surprised that giving a pair of shoes turned out to be lucky.  I’m also not surprised that a pair of shoes managed to attract a woman that had been MIA for 45 years.  Most women like shoes.  Correction, most women love shoes.  Very few men ever think to pick out and buy their woman shoes.  Some men who like to live dangerously, do buy their women clothes as gifts.  (I can’t overestimate how risky this can be, but I will save that for another post).  Are shoes a good gift for your woman?  Ask yourself:

  1. Is her closet filled with shoes and busting at the seams? 
  2. Does she compliment other women’s shoes? 
  3. Does she often wear high heels? 

If the answers are yes to these questions, you probably have a winning gift here.  Incidentally, if she doesn’t like heels she probably does NOT have a shoe obsession.  Real shoe lovers throw comfort out the window for style and though they might enjoy flats, they borderline lust after sexy heels. 

Like I said, the buying is simple and safe (works for any occasion).  Find a pair (or two) of her heels and confirm her size.  Don’t ask her shoe size because some women lie to make their feet seem smaller.  Go to any shoe store and pick out a pair of heels you find sexy.  It is very hard to go wrong here.  A true shoe lover finds value in sexy shoes even if they don’t match with anything and they can barely walk in them.  Not to mention how jealous all her friends will be that she has a shoe buying man!  If you have a shoe lover and you buy her shoes, you will be getting just as lucky as Tommy Morrissey.  Let me know how it goes (assuming the story has a PG version).  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Jason Campbell

19 06 2009


Top 10 Things Jason Campbell Can Teach Us About Wedding Gifts

1.   Sure we think he is an amazingly great guy, but all Washington (and any team) really cares about is how much he wins.  Likewise do pick up a card, but if there is no cash or check inside it isn’t really a gift.

2.  Does Jay Cutler have way better numbers?  No.  Is anyone fairly certain he is a better quarterback?  No.  All he really would have offered Washington was something a bit more interesting.  A new guy on the field.  Buying a gift will be more interesting and it could cost you less.  Consider it.

3.   Jason has had to learn three offenses in his short career due to Washington’s constant need for a new direction.  It is not easy to know what people want and it won’t be easy to pick out a gift on your own.  Stick to the registry. 

4.  Once you invested time and energy into a quarterback, you would probably want to invest in protecting him with a strong offensive line.  Washington never managed to do that, but you can do it with your gift presentation.  Bother to seek and find customer service in most department stores and they will wrap your gift for free. 

5.  The Redskins obviously think they can do better than Jason Campbell as evidenced by their attempts to trade for Cutler and Sanchez.  If you want to do better than the free gift wrap, customer service offers some pricey (can be upwards of $5) but much nicer selections than the usually monotone free options.

6.  Jason started last season strong, but fell apart at the end.  Remember to put your name on the gift if you didn’t get a card.

7.  We would all absolutely understand if Campbell was insulted and pissed with the Redskins, but it is nice to see a sports figure that decides to take the high road.  If you don’t attend a wedding you don’t owe a gift, but if you send one anyway it would be super classy.

8.  At the end of the day Jason and Washington are stuck with each other, even if they both think they have already given enough.  You are also still expected to give a gift at the weddings you participate in.  I know you already spent a ton on the tux and the bachelor party, but the expectation will be that you still give a gift.  If you choose otherwise, that’s on you.

9.  Sometimes having fire in your belly can do a lot to make people think you are capable.  Jason lacks the ability to create this impression and thus has to stand on results alone.  When invited to an engagement party, show up happy.  Maybe bring a card.  That should cover it.

10.  Jason Campbell is in the last year of his rookie contract with no talks of extension.  This is perhaps the biggest season of his professional life.  Weddings are also big events in the lives of the people you know and love.  Be helpful and supportive as they go through the process and it will matter more than your gift.

Finally, try to make sure the video is not on you when you bust out the Y-M-C-A at the reception!  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Tony Romo

16 06 2009

Giants Cowboys Football

I’m going to come right out and admit my bias here.  I was, am, and will always be a Dallas Cowboys fan.  I like Tony Romo and despite his inability to step up at key times, I still believe he can do it.  Though I no longer cling to the idea that he is a young quarterback (he’s 29), I can find hope in another unmentioned QB (cough…Eli) who managed to win a Super Bowl despite many well documented bouts of performance anxiety.  I pray this is Tony’s (and our) year.

Romo is also known for perfectly illustrating the “girlfriend curse”.  This all started when he threw three interceptions, hurt his thumb, and lost to a really lousy Philly team.  Coincidently, his new girlfriend Jessica Simpson (when she still had the Dukes of Hazzard body) was cheering him on in the stands.  Her next visit brought a loss to the Giants in the playoffs.  The media ran wild with the story.  As a fan, I want her to just stay at home.  As a person, I have to feel bad for Tony.  Is it really that difficult to feel sorry for a guy who was just trying too hard to impress his woman?  No, it isn’t.

Many guys step in the same trap when buying their woman technology gifts.  He sure likes them, she sure needs them, and boy did he spend a pretty penny on it.  What could go wrong?  The truth is, women have a hard time seeing the romance in gifts they need.  They appreciate them, but you probably won’t get the adoring reaction you were hoping for.  This doesn’t mean you should shy away from these purchases.  She does really need these things.  Once she is using them, she won’t know how she lived without them (or you).  To heighten the initial gift opening impact, all you have to do is make it a bit more personal.  If you are giving a camera, first take some pictures of her favorite places.  If you are giving an iPod, create a playlist of songs that make you think of her.  Fill a cell phone text box with love quotes you can easily find on the internet.  I could go on and on, but really…you’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.