Thursday, August 22, 2013

NFL Team Fantasy League

I'm starting up a new fantasy-type competition for this 2013 season, aimed at all of you NFL diehards/dorks/enthusiasts. I want to see who the best prognosticator in all the land is.

NFL Team Fantasy League

Goal: I really like how fantasy football gives fans the chance to follow different players from across the NFL that they wouldn't normally care about. The objective of this league is to give you a reason to care about the outcomes of games from throughout the league that you might not normally care about.

Before the Season:

Over/Under NFL Team Regular Season wins - In this league, you will select either the OVER or the UNDER for each of the 32 NFL teams before the season begins. I will provide the master list (shown below), providing the specific number of wins for each team.

Example: Green Bay over/under 10.5: If you think they win 11 or more games, you pick OVER. If you think they win 10 or fewer games, you pick UNDER. Rinse & repeat for each team. It's that simple.

Smallprint: You CAN push. Example: Arizona's over/under is at 6. If you're confident they win 6 games exactly, then you may pick PUSH. If they win 6, the PUSHers would receive 1 point, while both the OVERs and the UNDERs would receive 0 points.

Week to week:

Swap: For the first 9 weeks of the season, you will have the opportunity to make a "swap", essentially switching one of your picks from OVER to UNDER or from UNDER to OVER (or PUSH, if you so desire). You can only make 1 swap per week. You can choose not to make a swap. You will not receive an extra swap the next week, NO carry over.

Locked in: Once you swap a pick, you cannot swap them again for the rest of the season. That pick is locked in.

Penalty: There will be a 1 point penalty for missing a swapped pick. Example: Chiefs look bad in Week 1, you switch your pick from OVER to UNDER. They end up going 15-1, you receive -1 points.

Confidence points: For the first 9 weeks of the season, you have the opportunity to add 2 "confidence points" to your picks - 1 for an AFC team and 1 for an NFC team. Any confident points added to a correct pick are added to your final total.

Max - You can only add 2 confidence points per team.

Smallprint - Any confidence points added to a pick before swapping that pick at a later point are negated. Example: Add 1 confident point to "Seattle OVER pick" following Week 1, swap from OVER to UNDER following Week 6, and then get the pick correct - only receive 1 point. The prior confidence point was forfeited. 


1 point for each correct pick (32 points possible)
0 points for each incorrect pick
-1 point for each incorrect "swap" pick
9 weeks of confidence points (x2 = 18 points possible)
Total points possible - 50

Cost - $20 (+ a small service fee if you pay online ---> Pay Online)

Payout - 100% redistribution, dependent on number of entries. I no want no money.

Deadline - Before Baltimore/Denver kick off - September 5, 7 P.M.

Where to send picks - Email to (most communication with this league will take place via email. If you are interested at all - comment on this post, text me, tweet me, or Facebook me your email address.)

Official Over/Under List:

Arizona - 6
Atlanta - 10
Baltimore - 8.5
Buffalo - 6.5
Carolina - 7.5
Chicago - 8.5
Cincinnati - 9
Cleveland - 6.5
Dallas - 8.5
Denver - 11.5
Detroit - 8
Green Bay - 10.5
Houston - 10.5
Indianapolis - 8.5
Jacksonville - 5
Kansas City - 7.5
Miami - 8
Minnesota - 7
New England - 11
New Orleans - 9.5
NY Giants - 9
NY Jets - 6
Oakland - 5
Philadelphia - 7.5
Pittsburgh - 9
San Diego - 7.5
San Francisco - 11
Seattle - 10.5
St Louis - 7.5
Tampa Bay - 7.5
Tennessee - 6.5
Washington - 8.5

Hi$ Dirkne$$

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Challenge: Rivals II - Power Rankings Week 4

Earlier this week I was feeling lazy. I didn't know if I'd be able to write about The Challenge. I mean, this is the time of year where I'd prefer to save up all my ambitious energy and B my L all over football season. Maybe nobody would even notice if I just quit writing these.

Until a man reminded me of something very important. A man whom I'd consider to be an idol of mine; a life coach if you will; a mentor for any of us who have ever felt down, questioning whether we'd ever get back up again. Of course, I'm talking about The Teej here...


And yet, somehow, someway, TJ Lavin didn't even get nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality Program. The game is rigged, man.

In lieu of this inspirational quote from our Challenge Commander in Chief, I thought we'd run down the best quotes heard recently on this week's edition of....

ReWoRoRu Power Rankings

1. “That you are right now … going … and being like, 'Oh, yeah yeah yeah. I’m here. I’m here …' I cannot believe that you are like … it’s ridiculous.” -Trishelle

We start with the verbal climax of the most one-sided fight in Challenge history (because a fight couldn't possibly be more one-sided) between Trishelle and Aneesa from two weeks back. Trishelle was upset that Aneesa was "everything," in reference to her being both black and jewish, and in the heat of the moment, unleashed this unruly nonsense. I can only imagine how many perfectly phrased insults were logjammed within Trishelle's brain at the time, only to suffer a nasty case of verbal diarrhea for everyone to see. Then Aneesa put forth the most nonchalant (yet, effective) forearm shiver I've ever seen, straight to Trishelle's grishelle, leading to her immediate departure in a mystery car parked in the driveway that she had the keys to for some reason. The Challenge is the best.

2. "I will fucking melt my toothbrush down and stab his ass." -Knight

I am enjoying the Knight era. Dude reminds me of a cartoon character. A cartoon character who says whatever he's thinking all the time. He also drinks beer out of what appeared to be a Brita water jug while swimming in the pool this week. Outstanding. However, Knight isn't only awesome away the Jungle, he's also pretty gnarly within, deciphering the key strategy of going low in what has been my favorite Jungle challenge so far, the blindfolded light-sabering sumo match.

3. "Someone's gonna die tonight. This Jungle's gonna be awesome." -CT

You gotta love that thought process. As I was watching the episode, I even questioned aloud whether The Challenge has ever had a pain-inducing challenge like what was teased to us. In other news, Nany is the latest rookie to suffer from the CT Virus. There is no known cure. Seriously though, CT preys on rookie girls on The Challenge the same way ketchup does on Jemmye.

4. "Ketchup is legitimately my biggest fear … that's my fucking phobia." -Jemmye

Oh, man. I love that she's afraid of ketchup. I love that Knight knows she's afraid of ketchup. And I love that the fear of ketchup is a real thing, called Mortuusequusphobia, which was the name of the episode this week.

5. "I'm like the Great Gatsby." -Jordan

The rookies representinnnnnnnnnnn'! I think if you watch the Real World season that precedes The Challenge, you actually feel a sense of pride in the rooks doing damage. And in this case, doing damage means scoring with every guy/girl/houseplant/hot tub jet in the crib! They're killing it. They even won the challenge this week, but I'm not so sure it was in their best interests to do so. If the Jungle was on the line, then of course you'd like to win, but this only seemed to widen the target on their backs, a sentiment echoed by CT. They better win next week, or me thinks they'll be going in to the Jungle no matter what.

6. "Emily and Paula have won three challenges in a row and I'm so over it" -Nani

So, pretty much the way I feel about Alabama winning National Titles* (*with a loss). Even if Emily and Paula ever actually lose, it's not like the girls will be able to throw them in to the Jungle, because it's the guys who will decide. And the guys are on their side. They're basically in the final Challenge already. On top of that, Paula was seen dominating this week's mid-commercial segment, winning a mini-challenge by stuffing what appeared to be 8-10 humongous grapes in her mouth. Now, if this were a tasteless blog, this would be the exact sentence where I'd craft a joke about Paula's ability to fit multiple things in her mouth at once. Thankfully, I have more class than that.

7. "My inner dating site is triggering an algorithm that says you guys are compatible" -Wes

Quite possibly the dorkiest statement to ever come out of somebody's mouth. Who says this? He was talking about Leroy and Jemmye, who were fixing to hook up until Jemmye went all cray cray and scared away Leroy (along with any chance at Leroy's babies). But there was somebody looming in the on-deck circle: Hey, Theresa.

8. "This will scare bitches in the Jungle, that's what the hair's for" -Jasmine

Not nearly as scary as this….

9. "This bamboo pole is like trying to navigate a fat woman through a grocery mart." -Preston

That's not AT ALL what the challenge was like. Needless to say, they got dead last.

10. "I feel like I'm moving into an apartment with really oddly shaped furniture." -CT

Analogies might be the biggest difference between rookies and vets.

11. "I actually have a battery pack and I hook that shit to my nipples." - Cara Maria

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what? 

12. "Thanks for nothing Cara Maria & Cooke, 'preciate it." -teej

You begin with the man, you end with the man.

His Dirkness

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Challenge: Rivals II - Power Rankings Week 2

Bill Simmons calls the Real World/Road Rules Challenge (or as it's more commonly known, ReWoRoRuChallllllenge) America's 5th professional sport.

I'm taking it a step further.

Obviously, nobody cares about baseball. I love soccer on the international level, but no one league can stand up to The Challenge by itself. And everybody knows the WNBA peaks at its Draft.

The NBA is great if you're a fan of one of the five or so teams who represent the 1% (or if you enjoy 18 month long Free Agency discussions). College Basketball has the single greatest event in life (followed closely by the Lenexa BBQ and the Challenge finale, in that order), but I can hardly bring myself to care about the first three months of the season.


College Football is still great, although watching Alabama win tainted National Championship after N.C. is getting a bit tiresome. And the NFL, well, I mean….HOLY SHIT, THE NFL STARTS IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!!!

Which brings us back to The Challenge. I say it's the second best sport behind football, and the third best league behind the NFL and NCAAF. In addition, this season's Challenge combines the return of some savvy vets, some previously unknown before the last Challenge sophomores, and the best format the show has to offer: Rivals.

So I thought I'd do a weekly whenever the hell I feel like it edition of ReWoRoRuRahhhRahhhhh Power Rankings.

1. T.J. Lavin & He Killed It

Always, and forever. How bout that dagger Lavs delivered following Anastasia's panic attacky loss in The Jungle last week… "I guess she shouldn't smoke cigarettes and not eat." Daaaaaaaaaamn, Teej! I can't wait for these two to be paired up on Rivals III.

2. Emily & Paula 

The overwhelming female favorites. Paula has the brains (not actual smarts, obviously, just friends with many of the veterans) while Emily has the braun (she a beast). These two have won both of the first two challenges.

3. Johnny & Frank

Bananas is the best in the biz. Not only at politicking, but also knowing what to say to get the most air time ("God, I HATE my partner," "This season is gonna SUCK," "Ooh, that is the most ____ in Challenge history!" Also, Frank did a podcast with Grantland this week, which is highly enjoyable.

4. Trey & Zach

Have won both of the first two challenges. I give Bananas' team the edge because I think he rallies the veterans in effort to eliminate Zach The Zolden Zod's zquad before the finale.

5. CT & Wes

My original favorites in the male division, but I don't think CT, or as he was better known at birth: Cannibalistic Titan, can control himself all season. It almost seems more likely that CT gets booted from the show for fighting than somebody beating this duo in a challenge.

6. "XXX Challenge"

Wow, what a challenge last week. The producers actually came up with a challenge so gay that both the flamboyantly gay guy (Preston) and the flamboyantly straight guy (Wes) thought it was too gay to participate in. You win again, Real World/Road Rules Challenge.

7. Sarah & Trishelle

There names popped up during last week's deliberation because there isn't anybody, anywhere who likes a girl named Trishelle. But Sarah is still a beastess in challenges and most likely Emily's top competitor.

8. Cara Maria & Cooke

Two good athletes who earned bonus points with Cooke peeing all over herself and Cara Maria not thinking it was gross at all, laughing it off. My sleeper girls to win it all.

9. Leroy & Ty

Alls I want to see this season is any combination of Leroy v. Zach v. CT in The Jungle. The Challenge gods must appease. However, this duo is penalized because of the inevitable Ty meltdown looming, in which he threatens to quit. Happens every season.

10. Aneesa & Diem

These vets got politics on their side, but they could never win a final Challenge. Also, Diem's boobs look weird. To borrow this season's catchphrase, "not a good look."

11. Camila & Jemmye

Haven't understood a single word either of these two have said the entire time, I think I need someone who drinks CAMO 900 to translate. But, hot diggity, look at them bitches thrust!

12. Derek & Robb

These guys are boring, so here's something interesting - The Challenge doesn't allow dark liquor in the house. Only clear stuff. And wine. And beer. And computer keyboard spray (listen to the Frank podcast!).

13. Jordan & Marlon

Props to Jordan for scoring him some Sarah Michelle Gettin' it on in the closet this week (they even did it in the same spot as CT and Anastasia, making them Challengkimo Bros, I think).

14. Jasmine & Theresa

Jasmine sucks at challenges, sure, but she dominated that mid-commercial segment of the first week when she flat walked into a glass door/window and hit the deck. For you DVR'ers, these segments are must watch.

15. Jonna & Nany

I don't recall the specifics, but I remember thinking Jonna was a loathsome person after her exit from last season's Challenge. Thus, her power ranking suffers.

16. Knight & Preston

Peacekeeper Knight cracks me up. And he's always in the middle of fights in the house somehow. But they have a penalty coming their way next challenge because the gay dude couldn't handle the gay challenge.

His Dirkness

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chiefs Play it Safe, One More Time

Many people have half-jokingly posed the question of whether the Chiefs could trade their currently held number one overall Draft pick for last year's number one pick (Lucky 2 Sucky) or even next year's top choice (anybody who isn't in this Draft, please!). Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs did the 89th (Jason Dunn!) next best thing, by trading for the number one pick of 2005, Alex Smith.

Now I've been asked by, literally, handfuls of people what I think about this trade. "Are you okay with getting Alex Smith?"

Naw man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from okay.

I'm interested in one thing above all else when it comes to today's NFL… Aggression. That's all I want. In all aspects. On the field, off the field, in the bedroom. Everywhere.

Think about the playoffs that recently concluded. Both teams that advanced to the Super Bowl were aggressive on offense, on defense, and in their decision making.

The Baltimore Ravens were considered somewhat of a laughingstock entering the playoffs, somewhat because people wrote them off after they fired their Offensive Coordinator following Week 14. Bold move.

The 49ers were sparked by a midseason change at Quarterback. Their young gun, Colin Kaepernick, was a big play waiting to happen for them. They erased three score deficits in the playoffs twice (or, rather, a 2-point conversion away from twice), because of The Kaep's abilities.

The 49ers lost the Super Bowl, a game they had no business losing, because Joe Flacco and the Ravens were the aggressors from the beginning, making play after play downfield. They had the arm (Flacco), the mind (John Harbaugh/Jim Caldwell), and the balls to do so, in my opinion because Jim Harbaugh thought he had the better team that night, backing his team into a conservative corner.

I believe this philosophy extends past last season. Bill Belichick's Patriots have long been the most aggressive team in the NFL when it comes to forward thinking (no huddle, spread, 4th downs), as well as the league's most successful team (or, at the least, the most consistent). Jeff Fisher's Titans back in the day. Vermeil's Rams. The Saints' onside kick. Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are both second tier Quarterbacks, who have garnered the game's top prize multiple times. What similarity do they share that separates them from their peers? Their knack for the big play! Big Ben scrambles around to find open receivers down field more than anybody, while Elijah throws a gorgeous deep ball and has the right group of receivers to compliment that.

Be aggressive. Be, be aggressive.

"So what in god's name do your ramblings about aggression have to do with Alex Smith and the Chiefs?"

Oh yeah, sorry.

This trade for Alex Smith is all about playing it safe. People have spun it by saying the Chiefs got the "Best QB available." That's inaccurate. What they mean, is that the Chiefs got the QB with the lowest risk of being a failure. They traded for the most known quantity. They went with the safest bet, the best chance they had to win 9 games.

Alex Smith was a terrible QB the first six seasons of his career. His numbers turned a corner in 2011, with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh. Under his tutelage, Smith was asked not to lose games. Basically, he was what Chiefs fans hoped Matt Cassel would be. His handoffs went up and his interceptions went down. His completion % went up. His times sacked went up. So long as he stayed out of the way, the NFL's best defense and bruising running game would win a majority of the games for them. Harbaugh maxed out Alex Smith this way.

Enter Andy Reid, who carries two very well documented flaws with him, tucked away somewhere in his pantalones. He loves to pass (or maybe I should say, he hates to run). And he doesn't know what the hell's going on with this clock, these timeouts, and whatever the hell challenges are. Lets deal with the former for now.

If you support this trade, you're probably thinking one of two things:

One, Alex Smith will thrive in Andy Reid's system. Hey, I believe in The Giant Child as much as anyone, so this seems logical. But this means you're putting Alex Smith in a position where he is asked to win you games. That is Reid's system. He puts the onus on the QB. This is a direct contradiction to Harbaugh's strategy to get the most out of Smith these last two seasons, thus salvaging his career. And maybe you think Smith and Reid are capable of pulling off this transformation.

Well, I'mma go to work on that argument with a pair of pliers and a blow torch:

~Alex Smith has thrown for three 300 yard games in his 80-game career (psst, Matt Cassel has seven).

~The highest an Alex Smith led offense has finished in 3rd down conversion rate (perhaps, the most telling stat of a QB?) is 25th. The complete rundown: 32nd, 26th, 32nd, 29th, 29th, 31st, and 25th.

~In Alex Smith's 2011 breakout season, he was sacked a league leading 44 times, behind arguably the best offensive line in football, and the 20th most passing attempts in the NFL.

~In Alex Smith's best, albeit shortened, season in 2012, his Total QBR on 3rd downs was 33.1. Matt Cassel's was 44.5. (I'm harping on 3rd downs, because it's a strong indicator of what life will be like if Reid continues with his pass happy offense.)

Two, you foresee a philosophy change coming from Andy Reid. He will play to the Chiefs' strengths by running the ball, and continue to get the most out of Smith by limiting his impact, a la Jim Harbaugh. 

To which I say, what's the point? Why are the Chiefs giving up valuable Draft picks for a guy we're asking not to lose games? This formula will not bring the franchise a Super Bowl. It won't happen. I'll tattoo Smith's head on my ass and run naked down 39th street if it does happen. Seriously. Hold me to it. (Note: I probably would have done this anyway.)

I'm tired of seeing the Chiefs aim for their best chance at sustaining mediocrity. I want them to make their bold move. I'm not crazy about Geno Smith, but take a damn chance on him! Shit, draft anybody! Give Nick Foles a shot. Or Ryan Mallett. Or Chase Daniel. Anybody who I don't already know to be average.

This (lack of) aggression will not stand, man.

His Dirkness

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013 Senior Bowl Coverage

Dirkness has journeyed down to Mobile, Alabama to cover the 2013 Senior Bowl because, well, this is what covering the Kansas City Chiefs has come down to.

Anyways, Ryan Scott Hall and myself have been recording Amateur Hour podcasts with thoughts and insights following each practice (two per day, one from each team). Here's links to all of our work so far...

2013 Senior Bowl Preview

(Amateur Hour misses Day 1, chalks it up to being amateurs.)

Day 2: North A.M. Practice

Day 2: South P.M. Practice

Day 3: North A.M. Practice

Day 3: South P.M. Practice

His Dirkness