Fantasy, Favre, F-bombs and the first day of school

Fantasy, Favre, F-bombs and the first day of school

Friday, Aug. 19, 2010
2:35 AM

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Thats a pretty incongruous grouping in the title, but in the life of a bartender, I could be talking about those four subjects, in a matter of minutes, at any time during my night. Im nothing if not versatile! Who would have guessed that the dog days of summer would provide so many interesting topics to discuss? For the guy-in-a-red-bow-tie it all starts with my rotisserie baseball team. Its the blessing and curse of being in the mix. This is week 20 of the 26 week everyday grind that is fantasy baseball. It does not leave your brain. EVERYDAY! So, unlike the also-rans in the league, I cant take any time off to focus on fantasy football stats in preparation of my upcoming football, draft. Well, not a lot of time anyway. I have a fever, and the cure is more fantasy stats. (Or is that cow bell?)

Its at a time like this that separates a winning season from merely cashing. And thats the point. Since the reason for fantasy sports is to win a title in a make believe numerical sporting contest to prove your mental prowess and all-around manliness! Not winning is for losers! But unlike fantasy football, which is almost all luck for someone who remotely knows football, in baseball the luck is still involved, but with due diligence, you can make up for some misfortune. The problem is which move is the one you should make? Its in this way I share something in common with Brett Favre. No, not the diva part, although, since I won my fantasy football league last year and have turned my participation in my work leagues in to my own personal ATM machine(I love saying that!), Im partially entitled. Its the fact that I wrap myself into a pretzel before I can make a decision. Back and forth, back and forth, will I, or wont i? Its mental torture! Poor Brett, his constant indecision(S!) must be wearing him out. NOT! Im just kidding. I dont think Favre and I are alike at all. I think Favre takes his time in waffling on decisions because he likes the attention and is a drama queen. While I on the other hand feel that any decision I make will meet with impending doom and regulate me to also-ran status. Can you feel my pain? My psychosis?

Something besides fantasy drafts that all NFL fans look forward to as a sign that the season is here, is the show Hard Knocks on HBO. (Could you imagine, in this day and age, anyone who doesnt get HBO? Honestly! ) Ive watched them all, and besides mostly wanting to vomit during the one featuring the Cowboys ,Eagles fan and all, I have enjoyed them thoroughly. Who could forget during the Chiefs edition, Brodie Croyles wifes declaration, in her Alabama twang, that this will be Brodies year! Or last year, featuring the Bengals, the organizational angst over the hold-out of 1st round pick Andre Smith? Included in this was the viewing of his work-out video that was, unfortunately, for all of us watching, released for public consumption. Lets just say it wasnt the best marketing tool an agent has ever used to make his client more enticing.

The re-enactment of that work-out clip during the rookie talent show was absolutely hilarious. Then, this year, there is Rex Ryan. I dont know about you, but I found him to be a f-ing scene stealer and f-ing larger than life. Its his use of a certain four letter word, and its derivatives, that has made him the object of national attention. Its gained that attention largely to the negative reaction of his mother, which most found humorous and sweet, and the negative reaction of Tony Dungy, which was not. Swearing and bad language unfortunately, are a fact of life. Obviously, there is a time and place, but its something adults do. In fact, while watching a Cubs game at a certain un-named bar, you hear it a lot! (One of the reasons, besides Illinois law, that the youngsters should be kept away from the bar proper.) While I have a ton of respect for Tony Dungy as a person and a coach, I think its time to lighten up Francis! Coaches curse. Bosses curse. Its an attention getter. As long as its not part of a personal verbal assault, I dont see the harm in it in a locker room or professional playing field, where non-participants are not permitted. Again, this is a behind-the-scenes glimpse. For me personally, because I have young children and a live microphone in front of me each Friday and maybe have gotten a little older, I try to use profanity as little as possible, but sometimes, with the guys, might let it fly. Boys will be boys. Working at a bar, I understand it will happen and I cant fight every battle to stop it. But there are times when I need to step in to stop it for the sake of everyone else in the restaurant, when it is loud and belligerent, like I said, time and a place.

But by making this public stand, Im trying to figure out, what does Dungy have to gain, and what is he trying to prove? The public olive branch to Mike Vick I understand. But this? It reminds me of the Eddie Murphy routine where he talks about Bill Cosbys disdain of the use of foul language in his and Richard Pryors comedy acts. That objection didnt make an f-ing difference then, and from our knowledge of the Ryan family, this probably wont make an f-ing difference now. Like everyone else I talk to at the bar, I cant wait to watch the rest of the series. And finally, no possible segue here, so Ill jump right in, its here, a day that has become a parents holiday in my house, my kids are back in school! Its time to get my life back, or at least some of it. Entertaining the kids all summer, while being something I live for and revel in, can wear an old man out. (Not that its just me, the Boss helps out once in a while!) Luckily, theyre all at an age where they still love to go to school, so I dont feel entirely guilty in my glee. Well still have plenty of time together.

Its called me, doing, I mean, helping them with their homework every night! But because they get up so early and home from school late, two things happen: Theres less time for them to nuke the house, which means less clean-up time. And, for a late to bed, late to rise bartender, there is a little extra free time after lights out for the kids during his evenings off. What to do with that time? Did I mention that my fantasy football draft is in two weeks? Its time to study. Im going to own that f-ing league, again!!

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Saturday: 

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

White Sox courting of Luis Robert leads to 'Christmas in May'

Cubs blanked again by Dodgers

Tyler Danish gets win in first big league start as White Sox beat Tigers in first game of doubleheader

After getting shut down by Buck Farmer, White Sox ninth-inning rally falls short

Scott Boras fires back at Jake Arrieta’s critics and makes another Max Scherzer comparison

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base