Monday, December 31, 2007

Fantasy wrap-up

As promised, here are the final words on my 2007 Fantasy Football season.

I won the championship in two leagues and finished fourth in another.

From the three teams I had, here's my All-Star starting lineup:
QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
RB: Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers
WR: Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns
WR: Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
WR: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
W/R (flex): Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts
TE: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
K: Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
DEF: Green Bay Packers

Most Valuable Player: Drew Brees - most people say running backs are the most important Fantasy players, and I see their point, but I believe the quarterback is the most important because he usually can score the most points. Brees struggled early in the season, but finished up with another great season.
Surprise Player: Ryan Grant - having seen him play at ND, I never expected him to play in the NFL.
Disappointing Player: Marvin Harrison (WR, Indianapolis Colts) - To his credit, he's injured. But even when healthy, the future hall-of-famer was very inconsistent. He's still a top-notch receiver, but I'm ready to drop him in favor of a younger player.
Player I'm Most Likely To Keep Next Year: LaDainian Tomlinson - I think he's got a few more years of strong production left, and he's so versatile that it's tough to let go of him. Greg Jennings was a close second in this category.

Getting away from Fantasy Football, here's my official predictions for the NFL Playoffs:
First round
Jacksonville over Pittsburgh
San Diego over Tennessee
Seattle over Washington
Tampa Bay over New York

Second round
New England over Jacksonville
Indianapolis over San Diego
Dallas over Washington
Green Bay over Tampa Bay

Third round
New England over Indianapolis
Green Bay over Dallas

Super Bowl
New England over Green Bay

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, LaDainian Tomlinson did his part with 107 rushing yards and a touchdown - a good, not great, night for him. It was enough to put me in a position to win in one league but not enough to beat me in another. The only problem was that Tony Scheffler caught just two passes for 37 yards. I needed much more from him, but I guess that's what I get for counting on a guy I hadn't even heard of up until a couple weeks ago.
So, I've won two championships and I'm in the consolation game of my other league. I guess that's not a bad year, especially since I've played for about 4 years now and this is the first year I've won a league.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Conflict Named LT

This man is causing me a great deal of internal conflict today.

For those of you who don't know, his name is LaDainian Tomlinson and he's a running back for the San Diego Chargers. Many people believe he's the best running back in the NFL. Many also believe he's the best player to have on your fantasy football roster.

I am fortunate enough to have LT on one of my three fantasy teams. Unfortunately, he's also in the lineup of one of my opponents this week. Therefore, I am incredibly conflicted as I wait to see what happens in tonight's game between the Chargers and Denver Broncos.

I have sealed up the championship in one of my three leagues, but in the other two leagues it all comes down to tonight's game.

In the league where I own LT, I am currently trailing my opponent 125.55-99.09. I also have Denver tight end Tony Scheffler in that league while my opponent has no players in tonight's game.

In the league where my opponent owns LT, I am currently leading 70-49 and LT is the only player either of us have in tonight's game.

So, you can see my conflict. In one league I'd love LT to have a great game but in the other league I'd love LT to not even play. The ideal situation for me would be for LT to have a good - not great - game and for Scheffler to play out of his mind. I'll let you know what happens tomorrow!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Time for an update on what I've been reading, listening to and watching-playing. Read on and you'll see why I combined watching and playing.

I'm still working on Made to Stick by the Heath brothers. It's a great book and completely interests me, I just haven't found much time to digest it lately. Hopefully that will change soon! I've got a few others I'm looking forward to starting

Thanks to a link I found on Tony Morgan's blog a long time ago, I found SpiralFrog. It's a site where you can download music for free, but you can't burn it to a CD or sync it to your iPod. You also have to sign up for a 30-day membership which you can renew as many times as you want. So, if you listen to music while you're at your computer it's a pretty cool site. The selection is nowhere near as good as iTunes, but you can't beat free! My latest download is the Counting Crows' Greatest Hits ... classics!

The only thing I've been watching lately is NFL football. I love it now more than ever and the reason is simple: I'm playing in three fantasy football leagues so almost every game means something to me. By the way, I made the playoffs in all three leagues. I'm in two championship games and one semifinal this week. In one league, I was the last team to make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed and I upset the No. 3 and No. 1 seeds to make it to the final game. I'll let you know how I finish in all three leagues and hand out some postseason awards soon. For now, here's a guy who stands a pretty good chance of getting one of my awards ...

It's all for you!

I've said before how my wife doesn't like the idea of me putting pictures of our kids on the internet. I've also said that I respect her opinion and haven't put any on my blog yet.
But, since it's Christmas and since my kids are just so stinking cute, I'm going to risk it and let you guys have one glimpse.
This very well may get me into a lot of trouble and this post may have to taken down sometime, but it's worth it. I love my kids so much and I can't possibly hold out on you any longer.
So, if you care at all about me, please leave a comment telling me how thankful you are for these pictures. It may help my case with my wife!
We took some pictures the other day, hoping to get one suitable for use as our family Christmas picture. As you can imagine, there were a few decent ones and plenty of not-so-good ones. The first one is the one we settled on as the best and included in our Christmas letter. The rest are outtakes. Then at the bottom is a picture of the kids posing in their new pajamas they received from their great-grandparents who live in California.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Celebrity Look-alikes

Thanks, Rob, for this link. Here's a few guys who look like me ... sort of.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Team

It has come to my attention in the last few months that I am very unusual.

Some of you already knew that, but for the rest of you, I'll try to explain.

I don't have a team I claim as My Team.

Most of my friends have their various teams they cheer for on a regular basis. They stick by those teams in good times and in bad. They are not fair-weather fans. They are die-hards.

Me, not so much.

For a long time now my philosophy has been to simply enjoy sports with no special affinity for any certain team. That way I can almost always enjoy whatever game I'm watching because I don't care who wins. I just like to see good games.

Well, apparently this philosophy does not sit too well with the folks who don't feel the same way. They call me names. They make fun of me. They think I'm simple.

I understand their way of thinking. I understand having strong emotional ties to certain teams.

At one point in my life I considered myself a Notre Dame football and North Carolina basketball fan. I used to care a great deal about those teams. But I grew out of it.

Now, as a gesture of compassion to those who I've offended with my sport worldview, I'm going to choose a team to call my own.

This was not an easy decision for me, and I'm almost perturbed to have come to this conclusion. But, after listening to coach Tony Dungy on Focus on the Family for the past two days, I can't help but support him and, thus, buy into the fascination of many of my friends and become a fan of the Indianapolis Colts.

Be warned, friends who are fans of the young horses, my allegiance is based solely on my respect for coach Dungy, not necessarily on the merits of the team he now coaches. Understand that should Dungy cease to coach the Indianapolis Colts, my affinity will follow wherever he goes. So, enjoy it while it lasts!

Also know this: You will not see me wearing any apparel with a horseshoe on it. I cannot, in good conscience, endorse this pathetic logo. I accept the colors of royal blue and white, but please don't ask me to don the horseshoe!
Finally, since the Colts are part of the National Football League, my old philosophy remains intact for all other football leagues and all other sports.

Go Colts!

Ownership in Meetings

My friend Derry wrote about some very special students he works with who have taken ownership of their youth group's effort to reach the lost. You can read it here.

That post got me thinking about the exciting opportunities I've had since becoming part of the staff at Nappanee Missionary Church.

Most people don't like sitting through meetings, and I understand why. There are some meetings, however, that I get excited about. When I am asked to be part of a "creative team" meeting I know some great ideas are going to come out. When I am asked to be part of a programming meeting, I know I'm going to leave with some responsibilities and the freedom to carry them out my own way.

The other day I was part of a planning meeting for the church's annual Volunteer Appreciation Night. NMC has somewhere around 800-900 people to honor on this night so it has become quite a big deal. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of people's efforts to pull it off.

We tossed around theme ideas until we landed on "All-Star Night." We're going with a baseball theme, since the event is in May, and we want to make the volunteers feel like the All-Stars.

I left this meeting with a picture of what the logo and look of the night would be and went straight to work on it. I took ownership and ran with it, and this is what I came up with.

This is the first time in my professional career that I've really felt like a big part of an even bigger team. Before, I usually just felt like the guy who was expected to make other people's ideas come to life. Not always, but most of the time. So, it's really nice to be able to take ownership and feel good about it.

I still operate within the team's overall goals, but now I get to be a player and not just the batboy. It feels good. I'm very thankful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My son, the evangelist

The other day I was working out at the YMCA early in the morning and the manager came up to me and shared a story about my son from a couple days earlier.

My son was there with my wife and daughter and the YMCA manager walked through the childcare area. He told the children to be nice to the childcare worker because she also works at the post office and she handles all the letters to Santa Claus.

My son, who is 3, walked up to the manager and told him, "Christmas is about Jesus."
I love that kid!