Chad Ocho Cinco
I fully support Chad Ocho Cinco's name change. It's fun. I like things that are fun. I can't wait until it's official and broadcasters have to say it. I'll be ecstatic when his name shows up in Yahoo! fantasy leagues as Chad Ocho Cinco. Way to go, Mr. Ocho Cinco: you're now one of my favorite players.
Head-to-Head Fantasy Football
I've often railed against keeping a fantasy football league's standings according to head-t0-head matchups--it's not a fair way to do it. The Hazelweird League uses "Cross Country" standings. Each week, you are playing against everybody. In a 10-team league, if you have the highest score that week, you go 9-0. If you have the second-highest score that week, you go 8-1, and right down the line.
It's a fair way to do the standings, but is is also much more fun. the Hazelweird League has ten teams with eight starting positions per team. That means in a given week there are eighty players (including team defenses) that you are following and that can have an impact on your fantasy success that week. If we went head-to-head, there would only be 16 players affecting each manager each week, so there would be many games that several individuals wouldn't care about. With eighty players, each NFL game (during a week without byes) has an average of five fantasy starters that can affect your standings. Every single NFL game I watch this year has the potential to affect my fantasy football finish for that week.
If the artist formerly known as Pacman wants to move on, change his identity, and continue his career as a football player, I'm happy to move on too. I don't think we should hold his sins of the past against him forever; he lost a year of football, and now I just want to see him as a very good defensive back and punt returner.
Links and Stupidity
Pat Reusse takes us on an historical tour of Viking season openers.
This is really stupid, but sometimes I forget Jim Kleinsasser is still on the Vikings (Star Tribune). I don't think he's crossed my mind once since 2007 ended.
The Viking defense (Pioneer Press).
Paul Charchian writes a Viking fantasy preview at Vikings.com.
Tyrell Johnson (Viking Update).
Clark Judge picks the Vikes to win the NFC North.
Fanhouse predicts the Vikes to win the NFC North. One writer predicts the Vikes will go to the Super Bowl and lose. I don't think I could take the emotional hit of a Viking team getting to an NFC Championship Game, winning an NFC Championship Game, waiting for two weeks to play one game to redeem the franchise, and then losing. I think it would crush me. Every time I see predictions of the Vikings losing the Super Bowl I think of this. Really, I do have a life. Really. My entire emotional well-being does not rest on the Vikings. No readers of this blog will believe that, and few people who know me well believe it, but it's true--I do have a fulfilling life apart from the Vikings.
Read through Peter King's MMQB , and you'll see some of why I think King is turning into a weak version of Dr. Z: he's becoming the crotchety, hornery old football writer. King still goes for the friendly tone, but recently I've seen some stubbornness, pride, and meanness coming out more frequently. But while Dr. Z has an authentic and often witty crotchetiness, King just comes off as very conventional.
Should the Cardinals have chosen Warner over Leinart? Duh! (Cold Hard Football Facts). You may wonder why I've bothered to spend time on this blog writing about the Arizona Cardinals' starting QB decision. I don't even have an answer.
Chris Simms: Free! (New York Times)
Just a reminder as the football season begins: I'm on a 2008 blackout of Tom Powers and Jim Souhan. They are each bad writers full of horrible jokes and no insight. They write about the Vikes frequently, but I won't be reading them, so I won't be writing about their terrible columns.
What a fun and jittery time of the year. School is starting and football is starting.