Tag Archives: Features

The Reality of Fantasy

“4 those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick” -Arian Foster (via Twitter, @ArianFoster)

Fantasy football is like planking, Justin Bieber, and the Dougie all rolled into one. It is the biggest thing on the planet, and if you don’t believe me, just check the numbers.

It’s estimated that roughly 19 million people partake in fantasy football each year. Nineteen million! Try and put that number in perspective. If you’re having trouble grasping the sheer magnitude of this many human beings doing any one thing, consider this: if fantasy football were its own country, it would be the 60th-largest country in the world, bigger than such nations as the Netherlands, Greece, Guatemala, Ecuador, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, and the list goes on. And God only knows how wealthy a nation of fantasy footballers could possibly be.

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A Divine Intervention

I was rolling down Interstate 405 the other day when I came upon a crappy sedan plodding along the highway at about 50 miles per hour. Forced to spend a miserable ten seconds or so behind the Casey Kotchman of automobiles, I noticed that this slow-moving bastard had an Obama sticker on his bumper.

Now, I’ll be honest, I like Obama. He seems like a cool guy. I’m not really big on politics, but I can tell that he’d be a good dude to hoop and drink with. That sort of thing goes a long way in my book. He’s a guy’s guy, basically. And being a guy’s guy myself, I appreciate that.

At this precise moment, however, I was experiencing frustration. Frustration brought on by the operator of this clunker compact car. Frustration instigated by someone who happened to be advertising the current President of the United States of America.

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Seattle Sportsnet Presents…Five Rules To Social Media

Because it’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.

Rule No. 1: If you cannot properly distinguish a joke from a more serious matter, there is no reason you should have Facebook, Twitter, or anything like that at all. Except LinkedIn. You can keep that.

The fact is, you humorless bastards are ruining it for the rest of us.

You kill our comment threads, turn every one-liner into a societal issue, and frankly, should be exiled to an island somewhere where you can all fight with one another until your extinction.

You may have accidentally collected friends or followers, I understand that, but do they really like you? Do they actually enjoy being around you? Or would they rather you go jump off a bridge and sink to the bottom of the ocean? Think about it.

Social media was borne for the witty, the engaged, those who can laugh a little bit, who can smile from time to time, who enjoy living and realize that a joke is comedy and not a personal slight at something you embody or believe in.

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Mail Order Memories

When I was a kid, I was a baseball nerd. I played ball all year long, went to dozens of Mariners games, watched Baseball Tonight religiously, knew every player in the bigs (seriously), and collected cards like a klepto poker player. I was chubby and dorky and devoted myself to that accumulation of cardboard artwork like it was my baby.

My collection was thousands deep, spanning an era when baseball cards would essentially become worthless over time. Card companies were flooding the industry with new brands, new sets, new subsets, new inserts, new everything. Demand was high, but supply was even higher. The baseball card industry broke the first rule of economics, oversupplying their consumers with the goods, devaluing their product to the point of running their businesses into the ground.

For me, however, it wasn’t about the money. I cherished my collection. I curated it, sliding my most valuable possessions into plastic sleeves, organizing my anthology alphabetically. Even as I grew up and began moving from place to place, I often toted parts of my collection with me, a reminder of a childhood I had pledged to paper heroes.

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That, Sir, Is A Bike Lane

There is something all too empowering about a bike lane.

Really, when you get right down to it, all you have is an ephemeral white line upon equally ephemeral man-made pavement. In mere minutes, the bike lane can be reduced to nothingness, the restricting boundary erased like a stray pencil mark on white college rule, the manicured rockery eroded like silt along a riverbank.

And yet for some reason we give unto the bike lane as if it were more than that. As if its whiteness — purity’s hue, mind you — is more than just the rigid absence of color. We are asked to share the road, to co-inhabit the concrete, and we do that. We do it both willingly and lawfully, steering our motor vehicles or our pedestrian paws away from said lane. Seemingly at all costs we avoid this forbidden expanse…save for those of us who pedal our Schwinns down its purity-lined path, of course.

As drivers and foot commuters, we yield space to our two-wheeled brethren. One could argue, however, that they do not yield equally to others in return. Consider, if you will, all those cyclists who filter into the flow of motorized traffic, who wander onto walkways, who stray from the sanctity of the bike lane in spite of its mere existence. Wherefore art thou, dear cyclist, when this holy light through yonder pavement breaks? Dost thou not revel in its grandeur, in its grace? Nay, thou dost not.

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Our City, Our Sonics

The Oklahoma City Thunder just won a playoff series for the first time in their brief, three-year history, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pay proper homage to their enormous accomplishment. Congratulations, f**kers. You earned it. Kind of.

You know what, it’s about time we took out some venom on OKC. We’ve spent all this time blaming Clay Bennett, blaming David Stern, blaming Howard Schultz. Why not let the benefactors of Seattle’s greatest heist have it for once, right?

First of all, Oklahoma City, you’ve got nothing on Seattle. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Let me ask you a question. Does anyone in that town of yours even play basketball? Anybody? Because in Seattle, we play on asphalt monuments emblazoned with the logo of OUR TEAM all over the city.

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The Neverending Fan Base

I remember when I got my first Sonics jersey. The year was 1995. I was in fourth grade, ten years old at the time.

It wasn’t the jersey I really, truly wanted. Every kid in school wore KEMP or PAYTON on his back. I wanted to wear KEMP or PAYTON, too. But I had to settle for McMILLAN. These replica jerseys — watered-down mesh imitations made by Champion — sold for forty dollars at regular price. This particular jersey, bearing the name and number of the team’s most unsung player, was on clearance, and therefore affordable enough to go home with me on this day. Thus, I became the only kid at Medina Elementary with the uniform of one Nate McMillan.

(My little brother, meanwhile, became quite possibly the only kid in history with a Sarunas Marciulionis Sonics’ jersey…it was the only jersey they had on sale in his size.)

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