Thursday, October 23, 2014

PPR is Ruining America

Baseball season is in full swing and I'm tired of pretending to care.  Living so close to the home of the St. Louis Cardinals means you're either a huge baseball fan or the demon seed of Davy Jones, or worse still---a Cubs fan. 

Baseball is boring.  There, I said it.  It ranks right down at the bottom of the sports list, just above tennis, golf, and soccer.  I don't mind playing any of those sports, but I don't understand how people can watch them on t.v. or even cough up their hard-earned money to purchase a game ticket.

Thankfully, God invented football.

And Sundays.  Also, Mondays.  Oh, and Thursdays too.

And then man invented fantasy football, because he was fat, lazy, and past his prime.  While the rest of St. Louis tries to involve me in conversation about who's pitching tonight's game, why they lost last night's game, and how they'll improve for tomorrow's game (there are too many games in baseball), I'm thinking about mini-camps, draft strategy, and what it'd be like to party with Johnny Manziel.

Don't pretend like you don't want to be there.
I'm also thinking why would anybody want to play in a PPR League.  I've played in one for a couple years now, and I hate it.  It's everything that's wrong with America.  It's anti-capitalism.  It takes from the rich and gives to the poor.  It's like handing out trophies to all the kids.

For those that don't know (Hi Mom!), PPR stands for "Point Per Reception".  It gives a player a point every time he catches the ball.  It doesn't matter how many yards he gets.  All he has to do is catch the stupid pigskin.  Your player caught the ball in the backfield for a loss of two?  No problem, have a point. 

It makes crappy players worth more while devaluing superstars.  It makes the quarterback one of the lower scoring positions.  It boosts the managers confidence in his decision to draft a work-horse tight end or flat-catching running back in the first round.

I don't want to play in a league that considers Darren Sproles a top five running back.  There's no way you should get five points for your quintet of no-yard-gaining check-downs, while Calvin Johnson has to catch a 40-yard pass for the same amount of points.

That's one small step for Darren Sproles, one giant point for the idiot that drafted him.

Meanwhile, 40 yards down field and ten feet in the air, another point is awarded.

I will give PPR props for making the draft more interesting.  Rather than the standard rush on running backs in the first round, managers are all over the place picking up second-rate wide receivers, third-rate running backs and even tight ends (gasp).  But that's the only upside I found for playing PPR.

I actually took the time to researche pros and cons for PPR Leagues.  I'm not a busy guy.  The main reason I found people like to play that format can be reduced to this:  It makes bad players better.

In other words, people that suck at fantasy football, i.e. the other people in my league, got tired of having crap teams every year and decided that if they padded the stats in their players' favor, they might have a fighting chance.

It rewards mediocrity by boosting points---shortening the gap between greatness and not-so-greatness. 

PPR does not reflect reality.  Games are won by yardage, not by desperation plays in the backfield for a loss of yards.  Sorry Darren*.

Mr. Sproles, if you're reading this (I know you are), I want you to know that I kid.  You're an amazing football player.  You're also a prime example of the type of player that PPR benefits.  

Boo at the Zoo

My wife and I try to plan fun things for the kids to do.  We always fail.  No matter how much we think the kids will like this thing or that, it always ends in us being grumpy--either at each other or the kids--for example:  Our zoo trips.

Our zoo is awesome.  If you've never been to the St. Louis Zoo, you're missing out.  First off, it's free.  What other all-day event can you do with your kids that's free?  A picnic at the park?  No thanks, you can keep your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while I down a 1/2 pound of charbroiled meat next to the Conservation Carousel.

Your kids can ride a cow while you eat one.
Secondly, it's one of the highest-rated zoos in the country.  I don't have time to back that up with any links.  Google it.  I have stuff to type and my kids get off the bus in ten minutes.  With everything the zoo has going for it we have a miserable experience every time we go.

When we finally make it over to the zoo, the first thing we see is not the penguins or the camels or even the turtles.  It's the bland, beige, booger-bespeckled wall of the North Entrance Restroom.  In and out with speed that would make a pit crew chief proud and we're on our way.  Then five minutes later, coming out of the Penguin House, we stop at another bathroom, because our oldest daughter hasn't figured out that you can go poop and pee in the same bathroom trip.

Maybe the fish smell triggers something.

Halfway through our day (and a couple more stops at bathrooms), our son hasn't seen a single animal yet--despite the 45-minute drive to the zoo in which he discussed all the animals he was going to see.   His Aspergian obsession with maps keeps his head down and his nose buried.   While he can tell you exactly where the lions are located at on the map, to this day, I don't think he's actually ever seen one.

Drawn from his memory.
And then there's the zoo train--an awesome idea in theory, but a horrible idea when you have a double stroller, a diaper bag, a snack bag, a 6-foot 4-inch body-frame and three kids that have almost every Thomas the Train video that's ever been peddled.  I swear that some times we don't go to the zoo for the animals. We go for the train ride.

And then, at some point in the trip, the baby (yes, I know she's 3 now) breaks down.  Our first two kids never had public meltdowns or temper-tantrums.  Libby is making up for it.  We try to lay her down in the stroller, give her a sippy, and let her nap.  It doesn't work.  EVER.  The one kid in the group that actually looks at the animals, points at animals, and makes animal noises, is done for the day.  Clock her out, she's going home.  And so are we. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How We Roll

The wife and I have a few things in common:  we both like The Walking Dead,  we're both Caucasian, and we both think I'm a great kisser.  Beyond that, we're totally different.  It's like she's from Venus and I'm from Mars.  I think somebody wrote a book about this topic.  No, wait, it was a movie--Total Recall.

Not only are we different, but we do things differently.  For example, I like to leave my wife loving and encouraging messages on our bathroom mirror:  "Whaddup SEXY!  Yeah, you.  I'm talking to you.  Looking good."

She likes to leave me messages too, although they are less loving, less punctuated, and less encouraging:  "scoop litterbox"

To be fair, she is encouraging me to scoop the litterbox.

Our parenting styles differ quite a bit as well.  A while back, I made a short video showcasing just a few of these differences:

The truth is we complement each other nicely.  I just tend to compliment her more.