KSK Mailbag: When is it okay to give up on a team?

09.11.14 3 years ago 116 Comments

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How's that workin' out, AXE?

An intriguing conundrum today: if you grew up a Rams fan, how close would you be to writing off the team entirely? TRICK QUESTION: never imagine yourself as someone from St. Louis, you can’t possibly understand how much of a status symbol high school is.

If you have a fantasy question and also a sex / life question you want to submit for next week’s ‘bag, please email us here. Let’s get to your questions.

Captain Caveman,
Fantasy: WR, pick two of the three: a surprisingly healthy and spry looking J Maclin at Indy, Mike Evans against a terrible/banged up STL secondary at home or Justin Hunter vs the transvaginal mesh that is the Dallas defense.

I like Maclin and Hunter.

RB – Alfred Morris against JAX or your Keepers suggestion (thanks!) Justin Forsett at Pitt. Granted, I could also put in the unused third WR above in this spot as it is my flex, but it seems like a waste of running back to do that.

Agreed. Forsett if it’s a PPR league; otherwise Morris.

Unfortunately I don’t have a sex question, but instead a reality football question. I am from St. Louis.

Oof, sorry.

I was born in the weird time after the Cardinals left and before the Rams came so while I have always been a big fan of the NFL, I’ve always just felt kind of a necessary fandom to the Rams due to proximity (I’d go to games if friends had tickets and I was in junior high when they won the Super Bowl and I remember that being pretty cool). I’ve really wanted to be a TRUE fan of this team but oh my god are they awful. And not even in a lovable losers kind of way, but in just a gut wrenchingly unentertaining, stale, ownership-seems-like-it-could-give-less-of-a-shit-about-its-fans sort of way. I feel like being a fan of this team doesn’t even come with an identity. They don’t even have a cool “Factory of Sadness” moniker for fans to rally behind.

Does it go against the unwritten “code of the fans” for me to just completely clean my hands of this franchise and instead start following a team that I actually enjoy watching – win or lose? I’m in my twenties, so part of me feels like people will think this is hollow and dumb. Then the other part of me think that why should I possibly care what other people think about how I digest an American sport that gives me entertainment on Sundays?

I know you’re a guy who stuck with the Seahawks through it all, so I’d appreciate your perspective.

Sincerely,
Oh shit, I’m Drake aren’t, I?

I can’t fault you for giving up on the Rams. That team has been frustratingly stupid for several years now, and it takes some next-level incompetence to suck as hard as they do after the RG3 trade. I don’t know if you can just “pick” another team, but you can certainly still follow the NFL and your fantasy players with enthusiasm and the lightness of emotional remove. If and when the Rams get good again, you can still pull for them without being a TOTAL bandwagon fan. Your fandom was just in mothballs.

That’s how I think about the Mariners, if you don’t mind me shifting into another sport for a moment. For the last decade-plus, they weren’t small-market minnows or lovable upstarts; they were built stupidly, with overpriced contracts and no understanding of their park’s dimensions. I didn’t need a World Series champion; I just wanted something to root for. And when I saw that team, it just felt like a “Fuck you.”

And that’s what I see when I look at the Rams right now. I think you’re free to disengage until they fire Brian Schottenheimer and/or draft a human quarterback made with actual bone and sinew, and not fishing line.

P.S., in lieu of the sexy, I thought you’d enjoy this collection of present-day starlets shot as old-school pin-ups. Kate Mara’s (attached) is a personal favorite.

Pffft, PHOTOSHOPPED.

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Hello sir,

Fantasy first: I find my team a bit overloaded at WR. I currently have on my roster (we start 3):

Dez Bryant
Desean Jackson
Golden Tate
Sammy Watkins
Riley Cooper
Wes Welker
Josh Gordon

Now obviously I’m stashing Gordon until his situation is sorted out (hoping I would have him back for at least the fantasy playoffs). And I may drop Cooper at any time if I need a bye week replacement at another position.

I recommend doing so.

My question is what do I do now? My instinct is to sit tight for a week or two until we see what happens with Gordon and see how Watkins develops, but then I should make a trade for a RB right? My RBs are:

Matt Forte
Pierre Thomas
Darren Sproles
Carlos Hyde

I’m thinking I can package either Tate or Watkins with Pierre Thomas to upgrade at RB? This league generally doesn’t do much trading so I don’t have a great sense of what kind of value I could get back for a package like that. Also, should I consider trading Welker? I don’t know if I trust him with his age and concussion history, he could end up missing a chunk of games and then this whole thing might blow up in my face.

Nobody wants Wes Welker. You can drop him or you can hope he bounces back, but you’re not getting anything better than table scraps for him unless you’re in a league with PFT Commenter.

You’re fine at RB. Start Forte and Sproles week-to-week, and spot-start Hyde against good match-ups until he takes over Frank Gore’s job. (Not that you’re wrong to go for a trade, mind you. Packaging Golden Tate and Pierre Thomas for an upgrade at running back is a great idea, I’ve just found that not too many fantasy owners part with good running backs in order to get two players who can disappoint in the flex any given week.)

Relationships: Happy to report that I am in a strong relationship with my girlfriend of a little over a year and a half. The only issue that I foresee on the horizon is that she is going to start traveling soon for work. She’ll be away for a bit starting in about 2 weeks and then will be out of town all but one or two days in the whole month of October, and into November. Any tips for how to get through this stretch smoothly?

I love my girlfriend but she can be a bit clingy at times

BOOOOOOOO

and gets very homesick easily, and she thrives on stability so I’m not sure how she will handle being on the road, away from home for such long stretches.

Thanks,
D’Squarius Green, Jr.

Easy: frequent FaceTime/Skype dates, one or two exceedingly nice gestures (say, flowers delivered to her hotel for no reason besides “you miss her”), and a lot of patience. When you go out, try to go out with friends that you and your girlfriend hang out with together. Don’t just get high and play video games with Booger and Todd. Fucking Todd, man. You KNOW she hates Todd.

Instead, if you get some drinks with Rob and Jessica or end up as the fifth wheel at a dinner party, you can come home and tell your girlfriend about how much everyone wished she had been there, and fill her in on what Jessie was wearing — little stuff that lets her know there’s a hole she needs to come back and fill, not a rockin’ bachelor party you’ll have to rush to clean up after.

**********

Hi person who conned someone into paying him to make Fantasy Football videos,

I conned NO ONE, sir. Some two-plus years ago, someone came down from sales and said, “Hey do we have a fantasy football show?” And then our studio producer said, “Can you do a fantasy football show?” And I was like, “Yeah.” Because I can be just as wrong as all those other idiots, y’know? And I can do it with hair.

Fantasy: My team looks good, with a base of Megatron, Luck, LeVeon Bell and Arian Foster. My question concerns my bench and the stale doughnut known as Matt Ryan sitting on it.

I feel compelled to note that most stale doughnuts don’t lead the league in fantasy points.

The Falcons offense looks really good and Ryan looks like a top-5 fantasy QB so far so the question is, should I consider trading him or Luck away for an upgrade at WR? And if I do, what can I realistically ask for in exchange? (10 team, non-PPR, standard scoring, standard positions league.)

You should trade one of them — I’d ask for AT LEAST a Jeremy Maclin/Randall Cobb-type low-end WR1 — but I think you may have trouble finding a trading partner in a 10-team league. With QB being a relatively deep position this year, it may take an injury to drive the market for a trade.

Work: Just got laid off from my job as a writer at a community publication. I love writing and want to be able to do that as a career but there are no decently paying writing jobs on the immediate horizon. I would love to know if you think its possible to keep working at the writing thing while working a soul-sucking 9-7 office job or, would taking such a job spell the end of my writing career.
Thanks,
A guy who knows stale doughnuts

This football dick-joke blog was BUILT on soul-sucking office jobs. Back in 2006, I was working as a “business development assistant” (fancy title for a guy who did a lot of cutting and pasting in Word and Excel) during the day, and on nights and weekends where I wasn’t working my soul-sucking second job, I’d come home and dump all that pent-up creativity into not-very-good blog posts, which paved the way for me to write not-very-good blog posts full-time.

I’ll be quick on this, because few things are duller than writers writing about writing, but if you’re one of the poor fools who isn’t happy unless he’s putting life into words, you’re going to keep doing it whether you get paid for it or not. Get whatever job you can, and keep writing. Your writing career isn’t over until you die or you give up.

**********

Ahoy Cap’n,
How’s things? Lovely weather we’re having.

FF: I was asked by a good friend to join my first ever league 4 hours prior to the draft. Thus, no prep, and I just winged it during the draft itself.

I did this with a 30-hour dance marathon in college. I had barely slept the night before, then there was an open spot to be on my feet for 30 hours, so I took it. RELATED: 19-year-olds are stupid and nearly indestructible.

Standard Yahoo scoring, 12 teams, QB/3WR/2RB/TE/WR/K/D. I managed to put together a decent team (Stafford, Matt Forte, Arian Foster, Julio Jones, Vernon Davis), but I’m a little weak at WR. Because of no prep time and lack of in depth knowledge of the league, I followed your advice (draft the best you can get) and picked Rivers and Romo instead of an unknown to me WR.

Please don’t pin that on me. I wouldn’t have told you to take three quarterbacks.

The question is, what can I expect to get for either one of those two? Is a good 2nd WR worth either of those (my 2nd is currently Edelman), or am I hoping for too much? I figure Romo will bounce back, and in a 12 team league, someone must want a good 2nd (or even 1st) QB.

Yeah, you might have to wait for Romo and Rivers to rebuild their stock before you can get them. Or you can flip Stafford now if you have faith in Romo/Rivers as a QB1.

As for what kind of WR you can get, it really comes down to the other owners’ rosters. You need to find someone who needs a quarterback AND has an extra wide receiver or two. Personally, I’d look around to see if someone’s QB1 is Tom Brady or Andy Dalton, because that person could stand to upgrade their roster.

2nd question, if you don’t mind. Pick one: DeAndre Hopkins (@Oak), Hakeem Nicks (v Phi), Markus Wheaton (v Bal). I’m leaning towards Hopkins just based on how awful Oakland looked against the Jets.

Shit, you’ve got Hopkins and Wheaton? Things aren’t TOO dire at WR for you. I like both those guys this week. I touted Hopkins in the War Room and Wheaton in Keepers. VISUAL EVIDENCE:

Sex: More of a theoretical question/general opinion. My best friend and I are both 33, successful in our careers, well traveled, well read, not bad looking; in general considered a catch by our friends and family (of course). The past couple of years we’ve both had rather bad luck when it comes to dating. I came up with this theory that the early 30s are sort of a no-man’s-land when it comes to dating for men. I’m thinking, women in their mid to late 20s will either hold on to the hope of meeting a “more fun younger guy”, or not yet know what it is they want; whereas women in their early 30s are looking for someone more impressive and accomplished (and generally older).

Balderdash, poppycock, and other outdated words for “bullshit.”

 

We live in NYC, so options are not an issue, if anything they should favor us. We’ve both been in long term relationships previously, so it’s not like we’re un-datable. We’re also both looking to actually settle down, so we’re not just screwing around in the sea of Manhattan women (I don’t want kids, so that limits my options some, but he’s a breeder). Does my theory hold any water? Or am I just mistaking correlation for causation?
Over and out,
Roger Wilko.

That’s you and your buddy feeling sorry for yourselves, so you built a theory about the world to make sense of your frustration. It’s understandable — Bill Simmons has built an entire set of “rules” for gambling with the same approach — but there isn’t a ton of logic behind it. Or if there is, I’m not buying it on account of the sample size.

If it’s any consolation, a few years back, one of my best friends in New York and I had the same frustrations. We’d been in college together, the Marines together, and we had decent jobs but miserable dating lives as we entered our early 30s. It’s not that we couldn’t find ANYONE to date, it’s that we had grown into ourselves a little bit, and thus found a higher percentage of New Yorkers shallow and/or boring and/or selfish. As younger men, we had wanted women who were exotic and challenging and bikini models who were also trial lawyers. But our tastes became simpler and more specific.

“I just want someone kind,” I said to Ben.

“With a good sense of humor,” he added.

“Like a teacher or a nurse. Someone who actually does something good.”

“Yeah!”

It’s been about five years since we had that conversation. We’re both married to grade-school teachers now.

I’m not saying that finding a sexy teacher is the secret to ending your unhappiness in the dating game (although it rarely hurts). But it helps to know what, exactly, is making you unhappy. And here’s a hint: it’s not women in a specific age bracket. It’s the qualities of the people themselves. For every woman in her mid- to late-20s “looking for a more fun younger guy” there’s a woman the same age bracket looking for someone a little older and more stable. Probably a lot more of those in the latter category, actually.

tl;dr — You’re a 33-year-old single man in New York. Make more social plans, and fewer specious theories.

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