Five things that impressed, appalled, or otherwise held my attention for more than 15 seconds during the past week:
01 – One of my favorite things about Labor Day weekend- and one of the reasons why I tend not to want to leave town over the weekend – is the middle rounds of the U.S. Open. And the tennis has been phenomenal, especially from the men, who were looking like the weaker bracket at the beginning of the week. Two matches in particular brought the house down. One was James Blake’s win over Rafael Nadal on Saturday, which was full of so much drama, what with Blake’s backstory and Nadal’s boundless exuberance. Every single point was outstanding. Then on Sunday, I got to see the final set of the Srichapan-Sanguinetti match, which was some of the best tennis I’d seen in years. At 5-5 in the fifth, the balance of the match teetering wildly, both players stopped before a point, looked at each other . . . and smiled. And said “bring it on.” The unbridled joy of competition. Best moment ever.
02 – I don’t know if anyone caught the NBC benefit concert for the hurricane victims – I certainly didn’t – but do yourselves a favor and take a look at what went down when Kanye West was given the floor. Dude goes off-script pretty much immediately and just launches into a confused, angry, frustrated, rambling indictment that probably mirrors what a lot of people had been thinking about the consideration that was given to the poor, and largely black, gulf coast citizens. He closes it bluntly with, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It was almost funny, given the abruptness of it, and the goggling reaction it got from an in-over-his-head Mike Myers. I was never much of a Kanye fan, and I’m likely still not, but that whole thing was just incredibly awesome to witness. Check it out.
03 – More props for the Simpsons Season 6 DVDs. The episode du jour? “Bart’s Girlfriend,” which sees Bart get smitten with the hellcat daughter of Reverend Lovejoy. The thing that continues to get me about this episode is Meryl Streep as Jessica Lovejoy. You totally can’t tell it’s her, she does that good of a job donning a kid’s voice. And she does so much with it, too, crafting this little pre-adolescent demon spawn. There really isn’t anything that Meryl Streep can’t do. Comedy, drama, accents, playing old, playing young, playing drunk, playing high. It’s why she’s my favorite actress by a long shot. Oh, and Homer’s “To the little girl’s room!” is ridiculously funy.
See my Fantasy Football drafts when you click below . . .
04 and 05 – I drafted for two of my three Fantasy Football leagues this week. I’m publishing the results here. Why? Because I’m under the mistaken impression that you all care.
The first league is the money league. AKA, the one that really matters. Ten teams, fourteen rounds, I really did my homework for this one. Sadly, the results weren’t all that pretty. Still, I just barely missed the playoff last year, so I’d like to make a better showing for myself. My team:
QBs: Daunte Culpepper; Drew Brees
RBs: Corey Dillon; J.J. Arrington; Ricky Williams; Reuben Droughns
WRs: Reggie Wayne; Drew Bennett; Deion Branch; Lee Evans; Keenan McCardell; Kevin Curtis K: Matt Stover
Def.: New England
As you can seen my running backs are where my problems are at. The position I drafted in meant I was left with nothing but scraps when it came time to make my third pick. So I got stuck with the unproved rookie in Arrington, and took a flyer that Ricky Williams will return to form late this season. Droughns and Curtis were post-draft free agent pickups.
Don’t ask me when my opinion on a Randy Moss-less Culpepper turned around, but it did and I’m hoping he’ll find his new wide receivers as easily as he did Moss. But I do have something of a lucky charm in The Might of White (tm Aaron Cameron). Not one, but TWO white wide receivers? Gold.
My second draft, held with my 411Manis compatriots, was next. This crazy-ass league drafts team defense AND individual defensive players, keeps stats in, no lie, seventeen thousand different categories, and drafted for twenty-two rounds. It went thusly:
QBs: Marc Bulger; Jake Delhomme
RBs: Willis McGahee; Rudi Johnson; J.J. Arrington; Lee Suggs
WRs: Marvin Harrison; Michael Clayton; Larry Fitzgerald; Amani Toomer; David Patten; Ronald Curry; Kevin Curtis
TEs: Dallas Clark; Doug Jolley
Ks: David Akers; Jon Kasay
Def: Philadelphia; Rodney Harrison; Takeo Spikes; John Abraham; Sammy Knight
Strangely, even with a bigger league and thus a more strained talent pool, I feel better about this draft. For one thing, my second-best back in the money league is my #3 here. And my wideouts are stronger, at least at the top. Unfortunately, keeping track of my score on Sundays will require a degree in quantum mathematics, so I’ll just have to cross my fingers and pray on this one.