Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about Fantasy football

TFD: Garbage time tales -- yelling at the TV for fantasy points

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: November 26, 2012 - 5:26 PM

We like to pretend that we rise above the fray, but anyone who watches sports with us knows better. We yell a lot at the TV. We can -- at times -- use inappropriate language. Just ask Rocket. Or Malik Rose.

But we hit an all-time low late Sunday afternoon watching the end of the Saints-49ers game. The outcome was not in doubt, but we were clinging to a thin fantasy football lead in a must-win fantasy game (again, all desperate stuff). Our team was on a five-game losing streak and sat below .500 for the season, but somehow a victory this week would all but assure a playoff berth.

So we sat, cheering for the three players we had going in one game -- Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and Frank Gore -- wanting the game to last as long as possible.

We almost threw something at the TV when a Gore garbage time TD was called back by a holding penalty. And yes, we pumped our fists and shouted when Brees completed two completely meaningless passes to Graham in the final minute, thus getting us an extra point from both.

As it turned out, we sweated out a subpar game from Randall Cobb in the Sunday nighter (#IncreasinglyLostSeason) and ended up winning our fantasy matchup by 4 points.

We'll almost certainly be in the fantasy playoffs. But we will feel shame. Oh yes, we will feel shame.

TFD: Tim Brewster's new team had some trouble with the smoke machine on Saturday

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: September 4, 2012 - 5:00 PM

Tim Brewster is the new wide receivers coach at Mississippi State, which trounced Jackson State 56-9 in Saturday's opener. It was a fine opener for Bulldog Nation ... except for the opener before the opener. The squad, it seems, had a little trouble with the smoke machine coming out of the tunnel, causing a multiple-man pileup (new fantasy team name?). Maybe it was the Smoke Monster? Ah, you know what. We've never watched an episode of "Lost." We have no idea if that makes sense.

Here's the picture, per this man's Twitter. Sports Grid has a distant video you might also enjoy. Looks like a bunch of guys got shot with a pellet gun if we didn't know any better.

TFD: How many fantasy football leagues is too many?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: September 7, 2011 - 5:06 PM

That's our answer. Headed to the RandBall League Draft tonight. One tomorrow afternoon. Had one already this past Saturday. Three leagues. That is what we consider too many. Disagree? You and China69 can duke it out in the comments.

Clearance Clarence: Hockey and body hair mark the triumphant return

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: January 26, 2011 - 1:46 PM


You all know the disclaimers and the drill by now. Clearance Clarence -- the brainchild of commenter Clarence Swamptown -- does not necessarily reflect the opinions of RandBall or the Star Tribune. But it is awesome. Clarence?


The NFL season is over and spring training is more than a month away, so let’s focus on other important things - primarily hockey and body hair:

* Surprising Moments in Minnesota High School Sports History:  Recently we have explored unknown and/or extraordinary moments in Minnesota high school sports history.  To date we have covered the Tier II Hockey Tournament, baseball mouth guards, something called Ringettes, and hockey players wearing pants. This week we cover rock music videos created by Minnesota high school hockey players in the 1980’s that might implode the Youtube if done today.
Hockey Players Used To Be Rock Stars:  It is an irrefutable fact that every single Minnesota high school hockey player in the 1980s looked like Robin Yount. Opaque mustaches and curly mullets littered the ice, and it was tremendous. From the mid-‘80s and into the early ‘90s, possibly sensing that hockey fashion might be at its historical zenith, a local television station decided to permanently capture the soul of that era by means of video transcription. Every team participating in the state hockey tournament during that time was given a television camera and sent back to their schools to make a homemade music video.  These videos were then broadcast on television during the intermissions of state tournament games, and every video was undeniably awesome. After scouring the internet I regrettably cannot find any of these videos online, so I will do my best to describe them with words.  As I remember it, every music video shared a handful of basic elements:
1)      Each music video was a mixture of the team’s in-game season highlights and footage of players lip-syncing and dancing within the school.  Sort of like NHL On The Fly mixed with a Rihanna concert.
2)      An AC/DC song was always used.  Thunderstruck was by far the most popular, followed by TNT, Hell’s Bells, and Highway to Hell.  If a team had black in their colors, they used Back in Black.
3)      During any Angus Young guitar solo a hockey stick was always used as an air guitar. Always. Picture Britney Spears dancing down the hallway in Baby One More Time, but replace Britney and her inappropriate Catholic schoolgirl outfit with Robin Yount in a game-worn sweater and rolled up jeans playing air guitar with his Coffey-pattern Christian Bros. Like I said, pretty awesome.
4)      Blue coverall-wearing shop teachers were prominently featured within every video.  Hockey players love those guys, and vice versa. 
5)      During Thunderstruck’s crescendo, when the background instrumentals fade and all you hear is Brian Johnson’s echoing “you’ve been… you’ve been… you’ve been….”,  every team would use that exact moment to highlight their biggest check of the season. And just as all historical NFL highlights seem to feature flailing Minnesota Vikings, the music videos always had some poor unsuspecting rube from Rosemount getting absolutely destroyed at center ice when THUNDERSTRUCK was finally screamed.
I’m not sure why the music video idea was eventually {redacted}-canned.  Perhaps a school strayed from AC/DC and used a song that just didn’t sit well with the powers that be.  Maybe a rap song shut the whole concept down for good.  Regardless, any link to one of these music videos would be appreciated.
* Growing Up Stinks: I received a very nice watch for Christmas.  It’s steel and heavy and it’s by far the nicest watch I have ever owned. It looks relatively professional and makes me feel like a grownup.  Unfortunately I have astonishingly hairy forearms.   I have only ever seen 3 people with hairier forearms than myself: 1) Ex-Phillie Greg Luzinski 2) Actor/comedian Robin Williams, and 3) [Hilarious but redacted].  Okay, that wasn’t fair - nobody considers Robin Williams a comedian.  Anyway, the watchband links keep pulling out my forearm hair whenever I move my arms. Shaving a 2-inch section of my forearm would be weird, right? Is there some sort of tape I can use on the inside of the watchband?  
* Country & Western Song of the Week: The late Stephen Bruton’s Too Many Memories. BONUS TRACK: Stephen Bruton & Gary Nicholson’s Fallin’ & Flyin’ as performed live by Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett and Elvis Costello.
* “State of Hockey” News:  The proprietor has recently added a couple of terrific new recurring guest posts to the RandBall stable, including Rocket’s Red Glare, a long form version of commenter Rocket’s opinions on the NHL and his hatred of Stu.  I love hockey and wholeheartedly welcome a weekly post dedicated to my favorite sport to play.  That said, I have my own opinions on why so many people have a hard time supporting the Minnesota Wild locally, and supporting the NHL in general.  Most of these reasons have been well-documented:  The division away games are played too late, the division rivalries are watered-down, the rinks are too small, the players are too big and there is too much diving and clutching and grabbing to really open up the sport. With overexpansion and the overuse of the neutral zone trap the league perennially churns out a handful of good teams, a handful of bad teams, and two dozen mediocre teams with identical and interchangeable rosters.  And don’t get me started on our local team’s silly name and precious “State of Hockey” trademark.
Last week the Atlanta Thrashers announced that they have lost over $130 million since 2005.  Obviously those losses are unsustainable. At this time last year, word on the street was that the Thrashers were set to relocate to Winnipeg, a city that lost its NHL franchise in 1996 and would welcome a new team with open arms.  That rumor has been repeatedly debunked, but there is simply too much smoke for there not to be any fire behind the gossip.  More than any single league adjustment, a Thrashers relocation to Winnipeg could improve local interest in the Minnesota Wild. Logistically, it would make sense for Winnipeg to replace the Wild in the Northwest Division to be with the other western province teams. The Wild would move to the Central Division where the time zones are more Wild fan friendly and our old Norris Division rivalries (Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis) would be rekindled.  Columbus would take Atlanta’s spot in the Southeast Division so that all teams there would exist within the Eastern time zone. Done and done. In summary, any move that lets me see a road game end before Fallon’s monologue AND lets me drunkenly shout SECORD SUCKS more than once per season is a good move. Get it done Bettman.
Your thoughts on hockey stick air guitar, forearm hair, and ways to make the NHL more local-fan friendly are welcome in the comments below.

Monday (The ultimate fantasy football victory and shame) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: November 15, 2010 - 9:08 AM

We ask you to take a look at the results from two of our THREE fantasy football leagues (yes, that's too many). We defy you to find fantasy football matchups that more clearly defines the difference between the pretend thing and the real thing.

LEAGUE 1 -- Funk Funk Fantasy Football Federation

Our matchup: Goose With a Beer (us) vs. Hell's Elk (our friend Zo)

The scenario: Trailing 41-30 in a pretty tough scoring league (very TD-heavy) going into Sunday night's game, where Hell's Elk has the Steelers' D and we have Mike Wallace as our final scoring options.

What happened: The Steelers' D does nothing ... Wallace drops an early TD pass ... BUT after we had given up on the game and left MC Creme Fraiche's house following the Patriots' pick-6 that made it 29-10, Wallace came to life. His yardage and first garbage-time TD pulled GWAB within 41-40. And then there was the second gorgeous -- and completely meaningless -- TD with a little less than three minutes left that gave us the 47-41 victory.

What does it mean: Not only does it mean we had a stirring fantasy comeback victory for the ages ... but it also means that every single player (and team defense) in our eight-spot starting lineup lost in their ACTUAL game while leading us to a fantasy victory. That would be Brett Favre, Chris Johnson, Arian Foster, Randy Moss, Wallace, Brandon Pettigrew, Billy Cundiff and the Chiefs defense.

LEAGUE 2 -- RandBall League

Our matchup: Excellence in Kiting (us) vs. Double Rainbow All the Way (RB commenter Brandon)

The scenario: It's a close game going into the afternoon, with us trailing something like 70-62 in a scoring system that gives away points for just about anything.

What happened: We became very excited to see the Chiefs had fallen behind by a huge score early to the Broncos. Why? Well, it meant our QB Matt Cassel -- in for bye-week Aaron Rodgers -- would likely be throwing a ton of passes in the second half. And that's exactly what happened. Cassel ended up with an unholy 469 yards and 4 TD passes, putting up 32.9 points all by himself. HOWEVER ... our enthusiasm waned once we discovered Brandon had a couple of garbage Chiefs of his own: Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. They combined for three TDs and about 300 yards rushing/receiving -- and 48.7 points to give Double Rainbow a 13-point lead going into tonight.

What does it mean: Cassel's game was one for the ages. But Double Rainbow's double trouble was just too bright.

We don't do this often, so this is your chance. Your tale of fantasy garbage time glory or woe in the comments.


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