Fantasy Curling: Yes, Really

I’m sure many of you fantasy junkies are trying to get by with NFL playoff games, hockey, or basketball- or even starting to brush up on your SABERmetrics. But the hardcore of you know it’s never enough; we all need more reasons to talk smack to our buddies and waste time at work. Well what if I told you I had another option for you during the fantasy nuclear holocaust that is the winter and it involved the greatest sport that can be watched at any bar? That’s right, Fantasy Olympic Curling can and will exist on this great planet of ours.

Cause how often do you get to post a picture with matching pants like these?

Some background on curling: Two teams alternate curling stones towards the other end of an ice sheet. Teams win when they have the most points after 10 ends, or win in extra ends [much like extra innings in baseball], or the other team forfeits. The team throwing second in the end is said to have the ‘hammer,’ and is typically most likely to win the end and earn points. ‘Stealing an End’ happens when the team going first scores in the end. The game is best enjoyed with a BAC above 0.10 at the bar.

The mechanics of it are pretty simple albeit different from normal fantasy games. As many of you curling enthusiasts know, there are no individual stats in curling. So here’s how it breaks down for February’s Curling in Sochi:

There are 10 teams for each gender, making a total of 20 teams. After relearning how to add and multiply, I found the best way to do a fantasy league (really more like mini-game) was to allow a maximum of 10 teams in a league with each team picking two teams from either gender. Teams are drafted one at a time in a serpentine draft order (or for people who really don’t care, randomly). And if you can keep track of the following numbers, I found this was the best way to ensure a fair league no matter the draft spot.

Scoring is a bit more interesting. Without individual stats, all points are based on team performance. I personally use the stats of: Wins (3 points), Extra Ends Loss (1 point) [equivalent to an OT loss in hockey], Points (1 point per point), Stolen Ends (1 point per stolen end), and Forced Forfeit Ends (1 point per end forfeited by opposing team. ex: team A forfeits after 8 ends to team B. Team B’s owner earns 2 points). You sum the points from both your teams in the Olympics up until the medal rounds. Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage of both your teams..

Another kicker to the league is in the olympics curling is played in draws of 8 teams per gender, with multiple draws played per day. So head-to-head is out. But I think that’s a good thing in this case; the league lasts all of a week, so a Roto league works pretty well with still tons of chances to yell at your buddies while falling out of a bar stool.

If you followed all that (or didn’t) here’s a summary:
-Maximum of 10 people per league, each gets two teams, picked in a serpentine draft or randomly.
-Roto league with 3 points per Win, 1 point per Extra Ends Loss, 1 point per Point scored, 1 point per Stolen End, 1 point per Forced Forfeit Ends. Points summed for both teams.
-Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage for both teams.

And the best part of all this: I have a pre-built Excel sheet here for anyone to use to keep track of it all and modify for curling or other sports. All you have to do is enter the numbers in. Or you could be lazy and check in on our site for my daily point updates per team and just remember what Far North teams are yours.

Lakers-Warriors: A Retro Diary

 

Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen

The time I stayed in on a Friday night to watch a Lakers-Warriors game, then proceeded to reevaluate my life in its entirety.

As you may or may not know, I was a little overly excited for the Lakers season (pre-Kobe) this year. Thanks to that, I decided to watch an entire Lakers’ game while documenting said excrement.[1] Excuse me, excitement.

10:32 pm – Quick injury report from the folks at ESPN – Kobe isn’t playing tonight, in case anyone was wondering. In case you have been living under a rock.

10:43 pm – Sweet deal! We’ve got Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy in the booth commentating, and Mark Jackson’s coaching Golden State to boot – the gang’s all here.

Mike Breen lets us know that Steph Curry is out tonight after suffering a concussion two games ago. He then informs us that Kobe Bryant will not play tonight, but reported it in the same vein as someone reporting breaking news. Here’s some breaking news: it’s not breaking news.

In case you weren’t already enamored with him, Jeff Van Gundy attempts to sit down while on camera, not realizing he’s still being filmed. He’s the best.

10:45 pm – As we tip-off, the Lakers’ starters tonight are Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake and Wesley Johnson. I didn’t see Shawne Williams’ name there, so I’m fine with this lineup.

Unlike Jeff Van Gundy, Steve Blake is not the most attractive person in the world. I’m sorry if you feel otherwise.

10:47 pm – Mike Breen: “So how’s Golden State different without Steph Curry?”

Hmm… worse?

10:54 pm – ESPN telecast shows the replay of Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury last season, while also informing us, again, that he won’t be playing tonight. At this point, I still have one lingering question: “What’s Kobe’s status for tonight?”

The replay of his injury brings up some forgettable memories from last year. Like the team’s injury woes, Mike D’Antoni’s coaching, and Dwight Howard’s everything.

10:55 pm – Finally, we get a camera close-up of Mike D’Antoni’s mustache.

10:56 pm – Shawne Williams and Nick Young check into the game. I think it’s time to knock out a few levels of Candy Crush.

10:59 pm – Andrew Bogut fouls Pau Gasol, leading Mike Breen to say, “That’s two fouls on Boguts.”

I’ll let it slide this once, but people who add an unnecessary “s” to the end of a word fall under the same category as people who use the phrase “amazeballs”. I’m looking at you, guy who says Barnes and “Nobles”. Nails on a chalkboard. Get it together, Breen.

11:02 pm – Nick Young, playing hard defense, gets a steal and hustles down the court in time to catch a Jordan Farmar alley-oop. I didn’t know “Nick Young” and “hustle” could be used in the same sentence unless Rick Ross was rapping. Mike Breen shares my surprise at the sight of Nick Young not doing Nick Young Things.[2]

11:08 pm – While Googling “Marreese Speights thing on head” I almost miss Jordan Farmar hitting a three to end the 1st quarter.

After one, Lakers up 22-21 on the Warriors. Kobe Bryant has yet to play.

11:12 pm – J.A. Adande’s between-quarters interview goes a little something like this: “How does Steph Curry being out hurt your team?” to which Mark Jackson answers “Well he’s our best player” – riveting television. Adande knows how to ask the tough questions.

11:20 pm – Xavier Henry attempts an alley-oop pass, but instead throws the ball straight out of bounds – I had literally just finished writing the sentence “I’m oddly okay with Xavier Henry.” Awesome.

11:26 pm – If it weren’t for these Reebok commercials, I would’ve forgotten that the Cavaliers selected Nerlens Noel with the #1 pick in this year’s NBA draft. (Checking…) Wait, they didn’t? Who’s Anthony Bennett?

Oh right, he’s the guy with almost as many fouls as points this season. Who was drafting for the Cavs, Isiah Thomas?

11:30 pm –Pau Gasol schools Andrew Bogut with a beautiful up and under move. Take that, Boguts.

Gasol’s playing well tonight, touting a stellar line of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists with less than 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.  He must know I’m watching.

11:41 pm – At the half, it’s Lakers 55, Warriors 46.

Things I learned during the 1st Half

  • Marreese Speights has a bizarre scar on the top of his head
  • Pau Gasol is donating $1,000 to Typhoon Haiyan relief for every point he scores tonight
  • Marreese Speights does not like heavyset women

12:08-12:20 am – To begin the 2nd half, Steve Nash joins Breen and Van Gundy courtside. Breen explains that Nash is suffering through a nerve root irritation injury, which I’m pretty sure is just another way of saying he’s really old. A few of the highlights from the interview:

  • Mike Breen to Steve Nash, “Doesn’t Mike D’Antoni deserve a lot of credit?”

I missed Nash’s answer, because I had to leave the room and throw up.

  • Shawne Williams air balling a three-pointer, followed by complete silence from the booth.
  • Breen to Nash – “So when’s Kobe coming back?” Wish I was making this up.
  • Xavier Henry dribbles the ball off his foot out of bounds. Or maybe it was Wesley Johnson. Or Nick Young. It’s all just one big blob of awful.[3]
  • Breen finishing off the interview with, “Great looking suit, but I’d rather see you in orange and gold.” It could just be me, but I always thought the Lakers wore purple and gold.

Mike Breen must’ve hit the bar at halftime. Speaking of which, I think it’s time I crack open a beer myself.

12:26 am – Trailer for “A Madea Christmas”. Can’t. Look. Away.

After this, I’m pretty sure the 4th quarter happened. Maybe it didn’t, I don’t remember. A quick look at the progression of my Google search history is a good microcosm of the way the game went.

My Google searches, in order, from 10:30 pm-12:45 am:

  • Steve Blake
  • Marreese Speights weird thing on head
  • Marreese Speights head scar
  • Marreese Speights jersey
  • Derrick Rose knee
  • Tyler Perry
  • Number of Madea movies
  • Jennifer Lawrence single
  • Candy Crush cheats
  • Vanessa Bryant

#Journalism

Glad I stayed in on Friday night to watch this hilarious travesty of a game.

12:57am – Final Score: Lakers 102, Warriors 95, Rory Goulding 0.

The Art of Kickball

I’m in a kickball league with my girlfriend. We play in the “what the hell is kickball, I wanna get to happy hour” tier of the league. Basically I kick a ball, get really sore cause I don’t exercise, then drink and watch the Pack at a bar nearby.

Besides the fact we played a bunch of dicks who took the game seriously today, here’s my takeaway for anyone looking to play kickball and have no idea how to do it:

1) The rules are like baseball. Don’t like baseball? Don’t continue reading any of my posts.
2) Throwing is tough unless you can palm it. From the outfield: punt it in from the outfield (like in football). In or near the infield, take a big step and either throw it like a baseball and watch it go 20 feet, or toss it with two hands. Either way, it’s tough. This makes number 3 make more sense.
3) Getting an out at first base is a virtual no-go. Unless you have people with guns for arms and can palm the ball, consider it impossible to get an out there. Let a man get on, unless they bunt and you can peg them, and worry about the outs at 2nd and 3rd.
4)Kicking is rather simple. Take a big step up to the ball just before it gets to you, get your foot just a bit under it, and hit it with the top of your foot, not your shin. Aim for where people arn’t, obviously.

And that’s about it. Get out there, have fun, and then get drunk after. Much like your elementary school self wish they could.