Page 2 of 2


This week has been crazy. The next few will be crazier.

  • Father of Uncle Crappy will be having bypass surgery on Friday. In the span of a week, we went from routine check-up to problem with stress test to scheduled heart cath. IN ONE DAY, we went from probable need for angioplasty or installation of a stent to multiple bypasses. We’re all good in the meantime, and we’re actually pretty happy with how this has worked out. I’m sure I have more thoughts about this; I’ll post them when they come together a little bit.
  • I lost my first Yinz League fantasy game this weekend, despite having a pretty good day. My roster of misfits and has-beens put up a hundred-plus, but I still got rolled by TheJim, in what is certainly the highlight of his week.
  • As thrilled as I’m certain Jim is to win this weekend’s fantasy game, he had another pretty good thing happen to him on Thursday — TheAmy successfully gave birth to Jack Thomas Shireman at 12:36 p.m. Congrats to Jim, Amy and Jack — and to Norm, the winner of TehBaby Pool. The Shiremans and Norm will split the $52 pot; Norm also gets a Sportsocracy shirt and a WearPittsburgh shirt of his choosing, thanks to Woy.
  • I told you last week about BBM‘s contest and her wonderful idea for raising money for the fund to build a permanent monument at the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville. Here’s how it turned out. BBM got more than 32,000 page views in September, which meant she has a little more than $100 to donate to the fund; an anonymous BurghBaby fan also dontated $1 for each comment/contest entry, and that totaled $390. Pretty cool. Even cooler? I won tickets to the Pittsburgh Rugby Football Club’s Brewfest coming up next month, and I’m looking forward to swapping Athens stories with PghRugbyAngel at the festival. And even cooler than that? Gina won the GD and Marley Stanley Theater shows I offered up for the contest. Gina’s visited here a few times, and although I don’t know her I have the sense from reading her blog a bit that those CDs will have a good home.
  • I put in for Phish tickets for all three nights at Hampton next spring. If we get just one night, I’ll be off-the-charts happy. And I’ll still try to pick up the others via Ticketbastard.
  • Terrelle Pryor? There were times he looked like a freshman last night. And then there were times he looked he should be collecting the Heisman at the end of the season.
  • Hey — the Browns didn’t lose this weekend.

fantasy-tastic, week four.

Speaking of gambling, I’ve had a pretty good start to the fantasy football season. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Yinz League — Butler Bernies

I’m not how this happened, but I’m in first place here, undefeated despite being ninth out of 16 in scoring. Besides my tightightight win against Father Spoon in Week One, I’ve taken out PittGirl, the Mean Gene Machine and, last weekend, Death Valley Dawn’s 6 Demon Bag. And I’ve done it with a roster that would have a tough time beating many college teams. Go figure.

This weekend’s opponent? Dudley’s Death Drop, the team coached by our commissioner, tehjim. My only real hope for a win is if Jim is a little preoccupied by the birth of his son and forgets to make some key roster moves.

GBAPA League — Butler Braylons

Things ain’t going so well for me here — I’m fourth out of six, and I’m not really sure what to do about it. A couple of players I’ve been counting on for big points aren’t coming through, including the team’s namesake, who’s been so bad that I’m thinking of renaming the team. How does Butler Gimpy-Ass-Ball-Dropping-Michigan-Losers sound?

Pick ‘Em

Not good, but there’s time to recover. In the college game, I’m third of four — which is UNACCEPTABLE. In the pro game, I’m third of seven. That’s a little better.

The Bet

In The Big One against The Wife, I have an early lead, currently something int he neighborhood of five points. This follows the usual pattern — I’m good early, but then I start making stupid picks because I’m feeling too confident. And then The Wife kicks my ass. We’ll see.


I’m not suicidal over the Southern Cal game. I’ve just been very busy.

How busy? I’m in a motel in Harrisburg, getting a little work done the night before I cover a meeting of the state board of education. It’s not all bad — when I pulled into the HoJo parking lot tonight, I was happy to find a Lancaster Brewing brewpub right next door. And there will be a stop at Troegs on the way out of town tomorrow.

Yes, I have thoughts about football. Yes, I need to finalize the entries of TehBaby Pool. Yes, I need to post this week’s fantasy update.

But for now, I’m finishing A) an Keller Williams interview that runs this weekend, and B) a bottle of Stone Vertical Epic ’08 that The Wife thoughtfully packed for my trip east.

Y’all have a good night. I’ll try to do the same.

fantasy-tastic, week one.

I’m not much of a gambler, but during football season, I have a hard time resisting the lure of the fantasy games. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m playing in a record number of pools this season; this post represents the first of what should, in theory, be weekly updates about how things are going.

Pick ‘Em
I play a college and pro version, both based at work; in the pro game, we pick winners and in the college game, we pick against the spread. After two weeks of college football, I’m in second place, two points behind the leader. And after one week of NFL football, I’m also in second place, just one point down.

GBAPA League — Butler Braylons
This is a points fantasy league, and I did OK during the first week. I wracked up 135 points, good for third place. We have just six teams in this league, so my roster indeed resembles a kind of football fantasy team — Romo, LT and Earnest Graham led the way this week, and I have high hopes for my team’s namesake. But maybe not until after the Pittsburgh game.

Yinz League — Butler Bernies
Much like Kosar, I found a way to win on the first week of the Pittsburgh celebrity bloggers league. And as Bernie did frequently, I barely squeaked it out, beating Father Spoon’s Should I Drink That team by one-tenth of a point. How did I pull it out? By putting a voodoo curse on Minnesota’s Chester Taylor; if Taylor had gained like one additional yard on his fourth-quarter catch in Monday’s game, I probably would have been the loser. Of course, if I had noticed before Sunday afternoon that Seattle’s Bobby Engram was out until October with a shoulder injury, I could have taken him off my starting roster and squeezed some points out of someone else.

Points are tougher to come by in this league, managed by tehjim of Sportsocracy fame, because we have a full compliment of 16 teams — and the blue-chippers are really spread thin. I’m counting on Brett Farve to have a miracle season for the Jets — and for the Butler Bernies.

I’m hoping I can relax a bit this weekend — my Week Two opponent is PittGirl; she is the blogging giant of the Burgh but her fantasy team wasn’t so hot in its first game, getting crushed by Cindy’s crew, 86.07 to 59.97. Prediction: the Butler Bernies will bury PittGirl’s Minions this week.

The Bet
This is the Big One — the annual bet between The Wife and me, with a big fancy dinner at stake. We run through the schedule of games involving Top 25 college teams and the entire NFL schedule each week, simply picking winners. And in the 12 or so years we’ve been playing, I’VE WON JUST ONE TIME. I’m not sure why this is; I may pick too many upsets, or put too much stock in what I perceive to be my Superior Football Knowledge.

What I should do is go through an entire season just picking chalk. But she’s still figure out a way to beat me in the end.

I have a decent start to this season, though — we split the two NFL games we picked differently last weekend, and I gave myself one point on the first weekend because I left a sheet out for her, right on the coffee table, and SHE FORGOT TO FILL IT OUT.

So. I’m up one. Whooo!