Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit a preview for each of that weekend's games. The best preview from each game will be selected and combined with the others into one comprehensive guide, and points are awarded based on how many individual previews from each writer are selected. Get it? OK. We sorta do, too.
On any given Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday), your NFL Run & Shootaround crew will be gathered around multiple televisions, making inappropriate jokes and generally regressing to the mean. Catch up on all the NFL action right here.
I am exhausted. Not just because I spent 40 minutes of "real time" standing-squatting-jumping-kneeling-windmilling in my living room as the last four "game minutes" plus OT played out between the paid football players representing the Chocolate and Charm cities yesterday. (BTW, no one should be surprised that D.C. prevailed — food > manners.) But also because meaningful December football is no longer part of my constitution. Like baggy jeans and land-line telephones and paying for music, the once-vital D.C. pro football team has become less critical to my daily existence for all of the obvious and exhaustively well-documented decades' worth of reasons. Of course the 2007 run after the still-unfair and still-distressing Sean Taylor tragedy was inspired. But Todd Collins was prominently involved, which means ... that Todd Collins was prominently involved. This QB and this team and this run are different. Like, once-in-a-generation different, which definitely feels like hyperbole but isn't, IMHO.
Congratulations, you won the five-day holiday war and the fantasy postseason remains a distinct possibility. Thanksgiving meant forced pleasantries as NFL guardians combined to pile on 202 points — the most ever scored on a Thursday. Black Friday was for second-guessing your lineup, reeling from Matthew Stafford’s big day. The weekend brought conventional stress. I’m sorry you had to keep tabs on the Eagles and Panthers, but the goal is still four more weeks of chaos. Office parties are for the weak-minded. Ice-skating and hot chocolate with lovers is an exercise for quitters. Vapid consumerism is for victims of manufactured consent and people that traded for Dwayne Bowe.
You are George Costanza in the bunker. Gather inspiration from luminary thinkers with their backs against the wall: Winston Churchill, Tom Landry, Lil Wayne: “All I have in this world is a pistol and a promise / A fist full of dollars, a list full of problems — I'll address them like P.O. Boxes.”
Sever ties with good luck charms like Randy Moss. Stop waiting for Antonio Gates to do something. Don’t be the contending force that eventually loses by standing pat when it most matters. Most leagues no longer allow trades, and that means the waiver wire has never been more important. With so many ripe prospects breaking, today’s claims are a critical guessing game. There’s so much intriguing talent available, in fact, that I’ve itemized these gentlemen into distinct A and B Teams.
There’s a tradition at the University of Missouri that takes place each year after the final home football game. Win or lose, senior players make the climb up the grass-covered hill in the north end zone and choose a rock from the large white “M” built on the slope. The last game during my four years at Mizzou, against Iowa State in 2009, was also the last game for the winningest senior class in the school’s history.
I remember watching Danario Alexander and Sean Weatherspoon, the two players whose presence defined the season, each select a rock and hold it up for the crowd that had gathered. And I remember thinking that in four years, coach Gary Pinkel had won 38 games with players passed over by college football’s elite. Both Alexander and Weatherspoon were two-star recruits, according to Rivals. On Wednesday, the prize of Mizzou's recruiting class had five stars all his own. That, before he plays a down, is what makes landing Dorial Green-Beckham matter for a school like Mizzou.