Sunday, January 29, 2017

#325 Attend A Chinese Lantern Festival

My daughter is a huge admirer of Asian Culture. It is a very beautiful and storied culture but witnessing it through the eyes of my daughter makes it nothing less than extraordinary. She is so knowledgeable and appreciative of this ancient/modern culture. It is one of her passions that is uniquely all her own and I find that to be so very cool. Through her I have become an admirer as well and I try to share in her passion as much as I can.

Last year, while planning a little weekend away to the Jersey Shore, I was going to take my family for real Philly cheese steaks. I had forgotten how we got on the the topic of cheese steaks but both my kids mentioned wanting to try them. We would be passing through Philly on our way to and from the shore so I added it to the agenda. I also wanted to see the Liberty Bell. It was on my Bucket List. I figured maybe we could make a day of it in Philly on our way back from the shore.

I started doing some research on things to do in Philly since I am not nearly as familiar with Philly as I am with NYC. As I began perusing through my Google search for Philadelphia events, I came across a Chinese Lantern Festival that the city would be hosting for a few months in the Spring. I pulled up the website and immediately became entranced by the pictures of  these huge glowing lanterns all stunning and vibrant. I knew in that moment that I had to take Heather to see this. This was a must do! She would love this.

I decided the first weekend of June would be our little adventure. I even booked a beachfront hotel room in the Crest. So exciting!! And what was supposed to be a rainy, dreary weekend turned out to be a sunny, perfect weekend.....until around 5:00PM Sunday night. It was exactly one hour before the festival was to start in Franklin Square. I remember looking at the sky filling with dark, gray, pendulous clouds. I was really hoping that this storm would hold off. And it did hold off....until 6:05pm, five minutes after we entered the gates to the festival. Sighs.

This wasn't just a little rain storm either. It was a torrential downpour of epic proportions. Within 10 seconds the three of us were completely soaked. I felt like I was standing under Niagara Falls. Well okay, that may be a little dramatic but never let the truth get in the way of a good story right?  We sloshed our way through the blinding rain to the only shelter the festival had from the storm. That shelter happened to be The Dragon Beer Garden which set up under a canopy diagonal from the main attraction of the festival, the 200ft Chinese dragon. Makes sense.

Unfortunately the rain was so heavy and the wind so gusty, that we really didn't get much relief from the storm under the canopy. The ground was flooded with about an inch of water. I noticed an extension cord running to a popcorn machine lying in the same water we were standing in. Instantly I became panicked. I told the kids to move over to the rubber floor mat running along the the front of the bar. The rain was now pelting us vertically and the wind was knocking over anything it could on the bar. Could it get any worse?

Oh yes....yes it could. Queue in the cracking lightening and earth rumbling thunder. I glanced at the giant illuminated dragon just as a huge bolt of lightening cracked behind it in the sky. That bolt definitely touched ground somewhere pretty close. Then there was another crack. Then another one. Each crack was followed by a long, angry rumble. Sirens began blaring through the historic district. And they didn't stop. I looked up into the Philly sky. It was dark as night, illuminated only by the constant flashes of plasma. We are all gonna die! Panic mode was now reaching def-con 5.

Chinese Dragon
Enter......The Dragon. This thing was huge!!

I turn to look at my kids. My daughter was ordering an Asian inspired beverage from the bar while my son was snickering at the other soaked people under the canopy. They were a riot. I felt myself calm a little. Eventually we were all laughing under there. The heavy downpour began to turn to a light rain so we decided to venture out to see the lanterns. I also checked the time on my phone. It was 6:30pm. It would not be dark for another two hours.

We were drenched, our cloths heavy and uncomfortable from absorbing all that water, and my Jeep was in a very expensive parking garage 7 blocks away. It was also beginning to drop a little in temperature. With a heavy heart I informed my daughter that we were probably not going to be able to stay here until dark. I felt so bad. I told her we would stay as long as possible but with our soaked clothes, nowhere to change and not being able to move the car anywhere closer, eventually we were going to get too cold.

Turns out, we weren't allowed to leave the festival and come back in without having to pay again anyway and the bank of mom was now depleted. She was a little disappointed as was I. I wanted to see these lanterns glowing in the night sky as much as she did. We decided to make the best of it though because that is what we do in this family. We take life's lemons and throw them back with some tequila. Well I do anyways. My kids would probably just make lemonade. And that makes me happy that they do not drink tequila.

Let me just say, rain or not, daytime or night, these lanterns were unbelievably stunning. All were hand painted by Chinese artists then brought over to the US especially for this festival. We walked slowly through the rain, admiring and studying each lantern display in the park. The craftsmanship of each piece left me astounded. How did they do this I wondered? How can someone craft something so meticulous and picturesque and flawless? I can't even draw a straight line on a piece of paper with the assistance of a ruler.

I'm amazed when I drink from a cup without spilling half of my beverage on me. I was mind blown. Oh how I would love to have one of these masterpieces illuminating my yard. They were absolutely breathtaking. I tried to snap as many pictures as I could of these beauties, but my phone had gotten drenched. It was being very uncooperative. My battery was also hanging on by a thread. I was able to get pictures of about half of the displays though so I was content.

Along our little stroll through the park we also noticed that the festival had incorporated Asian foods, Asian art, gift stands and Asian entertainment into the festivities. Unfortunately, most of the entertainment was either delayed or canceled due to weather and a lot of the stands remained closed. We were there for the lanterns though, so that was all that mattered. But enough talk. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Chinese Lantern Festival
Right before the sky opened up and drenched everything.
It's a blurry pic cuz my phone was wet.
Chinese Lantern Festival
The detail is mind blowing.
Chinese Lantern Festival
One of my favorites...the peach trees. The colors are gorgeous.
Chinese Lantern Festival
Bumblebees, Flowers and Mushrooms. Love the colors.
Chinese Lantern Festival
The Panda Bears.....So Stinkin' Cute!
Water Lilies. Beautiful
Chinese Lantern Festival
Cherry Blossoms
Chinese Lantern Festival
Colorful Spinners
Chinese Lantern Festival
Stunning Peacocks
Chinese Lantern Festival
Flowers and Fountains
Chinese Lantern Festival
Another of my favorites, the flower arches.
Chinese Lantern Festival
So vibrant!

As it was nearing 8 o'clock, the chill was really beginning to sink into our bones. The temperature had dipped even more. My son was shivering. It was getting more difficult to walk with our heavy clothing. The rain was also getting heavy again. It was time to make our way back to the car. We were so sad to not see the lights in the night sky. The weather just wasn't cooperating with us and there was really no relief from the weather in the park.

Once we arrived at the parking garage, we had to hold my big beach blanket up as a make shift tent so we could each take our turn changing out of our soaking wet clothing. There was no way I was making the two hour trip home in drenched clothes. Fun times.....said no one ever. Thankfully no one walked by otherwise, that could have been really awkward. Then again, I parked in the most expensive parking garage in Philly so there weren't many cars in there to begin with.

I will say this, if you do have a chance to catch a Chinese Lantern Festival in your area, it is a must see. I know there are several that take place across the country in major cities each year. I am hoping another one comes to a city near me sometime soon. I will make sure that this time, we get to see the lights at night. I feel they are worth every penny. Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather before you go.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#186 Build A Snack Stadium

So I am sitting here trying to figure out what the hell I just watched for the past 3 1/2 hours. Since I probably won't post this for awhile, let me give you the date. It is 11/06/16. The Steelers just played the Ravens. Not even sure you could call that a football game. The Steelers played for like the last 9 minutes of the game. Maybe they forgot today was Daylight Savings time. Maybe their coaches lost their minds. Maybe Ben got sick of the ridiculous play calling and started making his own calls. Who knows? I sure as hell don't. All I know is I feel like a Browns fan....for real.

And Ravens fans, don't celebrate too hard. Your guys played like complete shit too. The Steelers just out-shitted you today. In fact the entire The AFC North seems hell bent on clogging the NFL's proverbial toilet. Call a plumber fast! One of the best divisions in the NFL has gone AWOL and it freaking sucks! I want my competitive, crazy ass division back! 

Anyways, as I sit here in Whatthefuckville, I start thinking about the playoffs. If the Steelers keep playing like the garbage I witnessed today, there will be no playoffs. However, I still get a little excited thinking about the playoffs for a completely different reason. Football Thanksgiving!! Let me explain.

Behold the Snack-adium!
The NFL playoffs, college bowl games and the Superbowl are like the first Thanksgiving of the year. Yes, way before that Thursday holiday in November. Or...not too long after that Thursday in November. I guess it all depends on perspective. Who cares. And....Football Thanksgiving also lasts way longer than just one day too. College bowl games start in December. By January you are into the the NFL playoffs then February brings the Superbowl. After the Superbowl there is depression. Even though it has become the No Fun League, you still miss it more than you think.

Why do I call it Football Thanksgiving you ask? Simple. Playoff football brings together gatherings of football fans to homes, bars, restaurants, social clubs etc. like a modern day mecca. No matter what team you love, no matter whether they make the playoffs or not, football fans and even non football fans still partake in the viewing of playoff games.

And what happens when fans gather together to celebrate playoffs and bowl games? Food happens! That's what! A bevy of fantastic football snacks and foods happen. I'm not gonna lie, I get almost as excited about the food as I do the games. It's the perfect excuse to throw diet plans out the door for a few weekends in December (college bowl games), January and February. Diets? Diets? There are no diets in football! Get going.

And this introvert with an extrovert personality loves partaking in the playoff festivities as well. Sometimes I go out to watch the games. Sometimes I invite a few people over. Sometimes I just wanna be alone. Back in 2012 for Superbowl XLVI, NY Giants vs the Patriots, I decided to invite a few people over. I was feeling social and wanted to create some awesome football snacks.

Boy...did I create some snacks. I decided to start searching the web for football snack ideas when I happened upon this photo of a football stadium made entirely OMG who is this genius I thought to myself??? This was a beautiful work of art that combined two of my most beloved things. Football and food!! And how they hell did they do that? This was ....I had no words. I think I cried a little. It was just so damned beautiful.

And so the quest began. I pulled up google and searched for football stadiums made from food. Turns out there were quite a few creative football geniuses out there. I came across many, many different pictures of food stadiums. I also learned that the PC term for it was Snack-adiums. Good to know. I want to be correct. The only problem I came across was, while there were many pictures of football Snack-adiums, there were little to no instructions on how to build one.

I did not allow that to deter me in my quest by no means. I'm a smart girl. I will figure this out. I started studying the pictures. Then I started crunching the numbers. Yea....some of these stadiums cost a small fortune to construct. I know mine was not cheap to make and it was small compared to some. I also noticed some were perfectly constructed. Not a chip or croissant weiner was out of place.

Mind you, I wore food prep gloves the entire time I erected my stadium but even then, the less I handled the food, the better. Mine was not as neat and perfect but it was still good. My other problem was, I could not decide what food I wanted in my stadium. I wanted it all. Cheese wedge flags, Slim Jim flag posts, dips, chips, sandwiches, pizza, hot appetizers....I wanted to do it all. I needed to calm down.

I still didn't know how I was going to construct this thing. I decided on a a smaller 8x11 pan for the field which would house spinach dip, taco dip and ranch dip. The taco dip would be covered with lettuce for grass. The other two dips would be the end zones. I also bought a roasting pan and cut it in half for the corners and 9x13 pan also cut in half for the sides. There were gaps in the four corners, but once I put the sandwiches and pizza around them, I could just dump chips in the gaps to cover them.

When I pieced it all together, it was a lot bigger than I was expecting. I was going to have to add more chips and appetizers to make it look full, otherwise it would just look cheap. When I have company over, I do not do half assed food. Add $30 more dollars to the budget. I didn't want to make anymore sandwiches, I had too many as is. So, I figured rice krispie treats would be good to put along the sides too. A little sweet to go with all the salt. Not gonna lie, this cost me around $115 to make. I could have probably spent less, but I am a food snob, especially when guests are coming. Got to have good stuff!

I realized I only had like 5 people coming over plus my kids. This was a lot of food for five people. The kids and I were going to be eating dips, pizza and sandwiches for days. I figured I could bring some into work too. I know it would get demolished there. LOL! It's all good. I wanted to make this and I had a lot of fun creating it.

So let me break down what I did.

  • Buy a few pairs of food prep gloves. You are making sandwiches, stick people, flags, etc. You are also constructing a stadium out of food so obviously, you will be handling the food. You do not want your guests eating a bunch of food you man handled with your bare hands, no matter how clean they are. It's the right thing to do.
  • I used my table top for the field and stadium.
  • I covered the table top with waxed paper. Tin foil will work as well. Think I used waxed paper because I ran out of tin foil.
  • I bought plastic cutting mats from the dollar store as well to place the stadium on. No food was touching the bare surface of my table. 

The Field:
  • I separated the dips by placing club crackers in the pan to divide them.
  • I made the taco dip field first since it was layered. Then I put the spinach and ranch dips in the end zones.
  • I made the goal posts out of Slim Jims and toothpicks. They were too heavy to stand in the dip so I just had to deal with them leaning in the end zone. I also used club crackers to brace the goal posts. That was not planned.
  • I made my football players out of pieces of Slim Jims and olives.
The Pats were the green helmets. The Giants were the black helmets.

This is Tom Brady getting sacked by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul

The Walls:
  • I made sandwiches with ham, cheese and salami. You can make what ever sandwiches you like. Just put the condiments on the side. They can make the bread soggy and some people do not like mustard or mayo.
  • I cut squares of cold pizza in half as well to build the walls. 
  • These walls fell over several times as I was putting them together. I almost threw a samwich at the wall due to frustration. 
  • The rice krispie treats also did not want to co-operate. I had to hold them together with toothpicks. I just warned my guests to remove the tooth pick before eating.
  • I made cheese wedge flags with block cheese and toothpicks. 

The Seats:
  • The seats were easy. Next time I will have both the home and visitors side filled with hot appetizers like cheese sticks, popcorn chicken and pigs in blankets.
  • I had way too many chips. Way too many. And chips go stale much faster. 
  • You can fill your seats with whatever you like. I think next time I will make a fruit or veggie section of the stadium. 

The Stadium Grounds:
  • I placed romaine slices around for grass to use with the sandwiches. 
  • I also placed bowls of condiments and salsa around the lettuce. 

Snack Stadium

Give yourself some time to do this. It takes patience. Also, once constructed, gently cover with sheets of saran wrap until your guests arrive so the food does not dry out or get stale. Once my guests had their first helpings, I recovered the stadium until they were ready for more. Also, let your guests know where the microwave is for the hot appetizers. They do not stay warm very long sitting out.

Urge your guests to eat the food. My guests did not want to ruin my stadium. As awesome as it was, it was meant to be eaten. After some coaxing, they dug in. I made it for them. I took pictures of it before they came. LOL! It's cool. Eat up! Trash the stadium. The football stadiums get trashed during the playoffs. So should mine. Enjoy!

I really had a blast doing this. I promised myself the next time I would make one of these, it would be when the Steelers went back to the Superbowl. I am still waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Come on Steelers!! I want to make another Snack-adium! Do this!

Snack Stadium

* Note: The Steelers made it all the way to the AFC Championship game which was something I was not at all expecting after watching this game. It turned out to be a great season. Maybe next year......... Stairway To Seven!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

#99 Win A Fantasy Football Championship

Fantasy Football
My First Ever Fantasy Football Draft Experience 

Friend: "Hey Fess, I have an extra spot in my Fantasy League. You know a lot about football. You could do well but the draft is tonight at 8:30. What do you think?"
Me (intrigued): "I have never played it before. Would I be able to have Pittsburgh as my team? Wait. No. Since there is money involved is New England available? Probably not huh?" (OMG did I just say that? I am so much going to Steelers hell for sure now.)
Friend: "Well you can pick as many Pittsburgh players as you want, which I personally wouldn’t do because they all suck, but you can pick other players for your team as well.
By the look on my face he sees that he completely lost me. He started grinning.
Me (very, very confused): "But how would I put non Pittsburgh players on The Steelers? Wouldn’t they be rejected?"

Friend (Looking very amused while trying to muffle his laughter. He wasn't doing a very good job at it either.): "Well it would be YOUR team. A team made up of players you pick. Not an actual NFL team."
The wood was really burning now because I could not grasp what he was saying although I was trying so very hard.
Me (Stupid is as stupid does written all over my face. “Are we using collegiate players?” I thought. ): "Well how do I know if the players are any good if they are not NFL? I don’t really keep up with college football. I was under the impression Fantasy Football was for the NFL."

As soon as those words had left my mouth I knew how incredibly stunade I had sounded. The look on my friend's face went from amusement to a “Wow…Did she really just say that?” look. Then a bell went off!!
Me: "Oh, wait! I get it now. What you are saying is that I can pick any NFL players to be on my team." (Ding Ding Ding! You have won the prize for being the brightest in your class. Here's a cookie. Now go sit in the corner and eat it.)

 Friend (laughing hysterically now): "Yes Fess. That is right. You draft players to be on your team, just like the real NFL draft."
Me (laughing at my ineptitude): "Oh! I get it! That sounds like fun! Okay I am in!"

I was very excited. I have heard many, many other people talk about Fantasy Football and now I get to be a part of it and talk about it too. (Although, obviously I didn’t listen to the talk quite as well as I thought. See above conversation.) How euphoric!

But as we all know, euphoria is not meant to last forever. Just like the honeymoon phase of any relationship, eventually the euphoria fades and what is left can go a number of ways. Some of them not so good. I began feeling all sorts of guilty now. How could I, a die hard Steelers fan, pick other players to be on my team? That would be like cheating wouldn’t it? And even worse, what if I started to like other players? Oh my god!! What if I started liking entire football teams? 

I already had a complex because I liked the NY Giants. What if my picking other players from other NFL teams created a karmic dimension that’s ultimate goal would be to punish me by dealing the Steelers a 0-16 season? Did I really need this added stress in my life? Did I really want to gnaw on Xanax like it was candy just to ease the guilt? I guess I did because at 8:30 that night I was in the draft room rearing to go.

Hines Ward

As it turns out, I had last pick in the draft. It seemed fitting since I had no plans on winning. I would just be happy to win a game or two considering it was my rookie year. So, I proceeded to take Hines Ward as my first pick. Who knew my first pick would cause so much amusement for my fellow competitors? Tips and phrases flooded the chat room wall the instant I picked him.

Here is some of the carnage over the Hines Ward 1st Round pick listed below. 

Macho Man Savage
  • A first round Pride Pick? Not good if you want to win.
  • You picked a Wide Receiver first? Really?
  • Have you ever played Fantasy Football before?
  • Steelers suck!
  • You picked Hines Ward???
  • Good! Now there are two Steelers fans in the league. We can watch them fight over their shitty players.
  • Great job! You should always choose your bench players first, then work your way up to your starters!
  • You know the Steelers suck right?
Loved the whole start with your bench players and work your way up thing. Very clever. And the Steelers suck comments were some of the most unique and original statements I have ever heard regarding my team. I was so enlightened. ( The sarcasm is spewing now people. LOL) I also learned a new phrase that night. "Pride Pick" I thought it was a fantastic choice. However, amidst the laughter and sarcastic banter, something strange and psychic happened in that very moment. It blared across the chat room stream like a big red clown suit on that stormy night back in August of 2009. 

                                It simply said…“Watch her win it all.” It was a prophecy 


Guess what? Once I got a feel for this whole Fantasy Football concept, from Week 3 on, I, me, Chrissy Fessler, was in first place. I had a 12 game winning streak. I WOULD have won the championship but Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts decided to bench 3 of my starters in the 16th week. My friend did warn me about this but the Colts were on their way to a perfect season. I did not believe Caldwell would really throw that away. How wrong I was. My Yahoo trophy should have read CHAMPION but thanks to the decision making of the Indianapolis Colt's coaching staff, it read 2nd PLACE. Maybe if Caldwell wouldn’t have benched Peyton, Dallas and Austin their trophy would have read Lombardi instead of First Loser. Just sayin’ Jim. Karma is a bitch on Planet Fess. Geaux Saints! 

The following year I was doomed to fail. The inevitable Sophomore Slump as they call it. I had become so immersed in player statistics that for my second year draft, I based my picks solely on projections and predictions, pretty much ignoring my gut. NEVER ignore your intuition. It is usually right. I just couldn’t recover from the less than stellar performances and injury prone players I had on my roster. 

Working Sunday nights at the Roadhouse also hindered my Fantasy Football Championship hopes. I was not fast enough to research and draft the break out players of the week before my competitors like I had the year before. I finished the season with a ranking of 6 out 8. Not cool! I sure as hell wasn’t going to allow this to happen next year. Not this girl. Not this football chick. No Way!

Yea..... so fast forward to the present. Have I played Fantasy Football every year since 2009? I have. I started playing in multiple leagues, including my own league. Every year I was in a minimum of at least two leagues. One year I was in a total of five leagues. I managed to have a few top 3 finishes over the past few years. I also managed to come in dead last, not once but twice, over the years. Ouch. That hurt. That hurt bad. However, I never really had a year that quite rivaled my very first year. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever win a Championship. 

50 First Dates

This year I decided that maybe I should just take an entire year off from Fantasy Football altogether. It would be like a football sabbatical if you will. It was going to be a busy few weeks for me during the preseason, which is when most FF drafts take place. We had already decided to take a year off from the family league and the work league that I participated in was now defunct. The PA Boyz League was the only other league left and the day they were going to draft was not going to work very well for me. I decided it was for the best. I could regroup and come back next year a new woman, ready to fight. 

Then Ed informed me that the date of the league draft had changed. It was moved to Sunday the 28th. I was able to make it that day but I was still thinking it would be for the best for me to take a year off. After talking with Ed about football stuff and leagues and him drawing random graphs and stuff on papers which I am not even sure had to do with our discussion, I decided to play. My fate was sealed that day. For it was on that rainy day, back in August of 2016, that the football laces and goal posts were aligned just right. For it was on that day, that a Fantasy Football Champion was born.

Woman Fantasy Football
Yes, that's right! I did it! I finally did it!! I won I won I won!! I won a Fantasy Football Championship!! I can't stop using exclamation points!! Let's do a hashtag. 
#IWON #Chrissyisafantasyfootballchampion  #holyhashtag

Truth be told, if you would have asked me back in August if I thought I had a chance at winning, my answer would have been "F@ck no!" The year before I finished 9th out of 10 or 10th out of 10. I don't remember because I try really hard to block out epic failure. All I know is that I was either Mayor or Deputy Mayor of Loserville last year.  

Anyways, I know you are all wondering what I did differently this year. You may be asking yourself, "How do I become a Champion too?" People always want tips and inspiration from Champions. I completely understand. It comes with being a Champion. Some people are shy about asking though. It's ok. I totally get that too. As a Champion, I am more than happy to share the Secrets of My Success. You don't even have to ask either. I'm just gonna share. It's the least I can a Champion. 


The Secret To My Success

1. Have zero hopes of winning. In fact, have less than zero hopes of winning. I know some people will say things like "Oh, I probably won't win." but secretly they have some hope that they will win. I had none of that this year. Not one single ounce of hope whatsoever.

2. Do not research anything on anyone more than 3-4 days before the draft. I wasn't lying when I said things were hectic for me at this time of the year. While I watched the preseason games, I didn't really soak them in. Besides, most team starters only play in the pre-seaon for a total of fifteen minutes. Nothing is worse than being the recipient of a season ending injury in the pre-season. Just ask Tony Romo or Teddy Bridgewater. It's not good.

3. In a panic, 2 days before the draft, print the Fantasy Rankings list from Bleacher Report, ESPN, HGTV or any source really. Then, during down time at work, color code the players based on position. Do this because you have some pretty sweet highlighters in your desk that you seldom get to use. Also, spill some coffee or soda on your list so it looks like you have been studying it for months. This will intimidate your opponents. Or it won't.  

4. Don't get drunk on draft day. I was dead sober when I drafted my team this year. Last time that happened was never. Hmmmmm.....maybe we are legitimately on to something here people.

5. Draft a few suspended players early in the draft. Hell, draft a suspended player with your first pick. F@ck it. Go big or go home right? Not only was my first pick suspended, he was also a pride pick. I was slated to pick 8th in the draft. There was no way in hell I was letting anyone else have Le'Veon Bell after me if he was available when my turn rolled around. Turns out, picks 1-7 did not want him, so #8 took him. Why? LB is a monster points earner, especially against weak defenses. I wasn't looking at the first 3 games of the season, I was looking at the entire season. I knew what I was doing. Of course my competitors laughed and laughed and laughed at my first round pick but.........who is laughing now? The Champion is laughing now. That's who!!

6. Pick Matt Ryan as your quarterback. I know. I know. A- A-Ron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Tom Brady (whom I took fifth round for my second suspended player), Andrew Luck.....blah, blah, blah. Everyone always has a hard on for these guys. Rightfully so too. They can be big point earners but.....don't always drink the Kool Aid. Sometimes it is good to think outside the box. Tom Brady rode my bench most of the season because Ryan was throwing up some sick numbers. Matt Ryan finished 2nd in QB fantasy points for the season right behind Discount Double Check. And to think, I chose Ryan as my back up QB. Thank god I did

7. Draft a player who was cut from their team because you did not do your research. Just kidding!! Don't do that. For real. It's not good. Picking up a star player that is suspended for a few games is one thing. Picking up a player who was cut by their team is mucho risky. ( I may have accidentally drafted a running back that was cut from their team. Ooops! That's what happens when a Steelers fan picks a Ravens player. Karma.)

8. Balance your first several draft picks among the positions you need. Historically, I tend to go heavy on drafting running backs for my first several picks. Often times that leaves me with shitty wide receivers and an average tight end because all the good ones were taken while I drafted my 800 running backs. This year I forced myself to take 2 wide receivers before picking all four of my running backs. (In the PA Boyz league you are allowed a total of 4 running backs. 2 as your starters and 2 on your bench. Thank god too cuz I kid you not, in my family league, I sometimes have 8 running backs on my roster since I allow for two flex positions.)

 9. Don't mess with your team too much. Dropping and adding players is a beautiful thing, for injured or inactive players. Changing half your line up on a week to week basis is not good. Trust me. I would dismantle perfectly good teams just because a few of my players would have a bad week or two. In turn, I would add players that had their one breakout week, the week before, only to never be heard from again. In the meantime, the perfectly decent players I had dropped, were picked up by one of my competitors, leaving me shit out of luck.  

You need to have some patience. Game dynamics change from week to week. Your star wide receiver may have double coverage against him one week but be wide open the following week against another team. This year, I think I may have dropped/added 4 players total. I pretty much just worked with what I had. Turns out, what I had was good enough to win me a Championship. 

10. Finally, don't place all your focus on having the best record in the league. Again. Doing that could lead to you dismantling a perfectly consistent and decent team. Yes, we want to win all of our games but realistically, as long as you win enough to get into the playoffs don't get tunnel vision. Our greatest strengths can also be our biggest weaknesses. I suggest studying each of your opponents' teams on a week to week basis in addition to your own. 

Adjust your starters and bench accordingly. Bottom line, we have little control over the outcomes of the actual NFL games. I have seen sure things fizzle and dark horses prevail. Like I mentioned above, Tom Brady rode my bench most of the season because my dark horse, Matt Ryan, played against teams that gave him more opportunities to put up big numbers. Tom won all but one of his actual games, but Matt won in terms of Fantasy points

So....this is how I won. I hope it helps.

At the end of the day it feels good to be a Champion. I have had the pleasure of being in some great leagues with intelligent, savvy and ultra cool players. The laughs are priceless. This was a hard earned victory for me as I came into the playoffs ranked fifth. I was a Wild Card in a league with very smart competitors. I promise to spend my year as the reigning Champion with honor, respect and pride. If anyone wants to pay me to travel and give motivational speeches to other leagues, I am down with that too. Hawaii I'm sure has some Fantasy Leagues. LMAO!

Until next time, Happy Football peeps! Kiss the ring. LOLOLOL!!


Fantasy Football Champion

Fantasy Football goddess
A her own mind! 


Fantasy Football chick
That's me!

Total Pageviews