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Your nightmare is my fantasy football
Let me make sure I have this straight. The NFL players need to take a nearly 20 percent pay cut and add two regular-season games so the NFL owners will have enough money to keep building state-of-the-art football palaces like Cowboys Stadium, where the players can then play their longer season at their new, reduced rate.
Wonder if this is how it works for the owners' gardeners too. "Hey, old pal, I'm gonna need you to take a little haircut up front so I can buy a more expansive estate, which — don't you worry — you'll get to tend, though you'll have to work longer hours for less pay."
Since their ludicrous demands haven't been met, the owners have locked out the players. This, of course, means they are also prepared to lock out the ticket takers, vendors, ushers, valet parkers, security personnel and, oh yeah, the fans.
That means you, innocent owner of multiple fantasy football teams.
But just because the world's greatest athletes are barred from working by the world's greediest men doesn't have to mean no fantasy football. No actual games will just necessitate some tweaks to the scoring system.
Points will be awarded or deducted based on good or bad behavior, so the key to your auction draft will be not ending up with any of the league’s All-Pro recidivists. But since no one is going to bid on Pacman Jones, here’s how he ends up on a team: the top bidder on Pacman (or Braylon Edwards or Ben Roethlisberger, et al.) gets to assign him to a competitor’s roster. The only way to guarantee not having a guy is being the top bidder on him.
The top bidder on serial good Samaritan Drew Brees, of course, will keep him.
Here’s a sample scoring system, your league rules can vary.
Volunteering at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, +6
Volunteering at the Girls, Girls, Girls Clubs of America, -6
Is America ready for a bored Pacman Jones with nothing to do? I've always argued that the NFL does society a disservice when it suspends miscreants. Trust me, society wants these guys at the facility 16 hours a day, exhausting themselves. Now the NFL is essentially threatening to suspend the whole league and turn the players loose on society. Do we really want Pacman not having to set an alarm? Isn’t this when the trouble starts?
Texting to charity, +6
Sexting a pic of your penis, -6
Technology has made giving as easy as the click of a button. But then there’s the click of a buffoon. One guy makes a donation to earthquake relief, the next inadvertently donates millions to Deadspin.
Volunteering for the ASPCA, +3
Buying shots for all your bitches, -3
The lockout could be a great test of the strength of the personal transformations of Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger. Why do I think Vick is the safer pick in this fantasy league?
Shooting a Public Service Announcement to stay in school, +3
Shooting yourself in the leg, -10
Though my one-man Free Plaxico Burress campaign failed miserably, the man who taught us sweatpants and firearms don’t mix is scheduled to be released in June. From locked in to locked out, this dude just cannot catch a break.
Giving glory to God, +3
Giving glory to yourself by humbly bragging how tight you are with God, -6
Cam Newton should spend the summer reading and memorizing Tim Tebow transcripts.
Worshipping your wife from head to toe, +3
Videotaping said adoration, -3
Belittling opponent's sexual predilection, -6
That's right, one other awesome element of this fantasy league: coaches are eligible!
Saving Tila Tequila from driving drunk, +3
Hanging out with Tila Tequila, -6
If the owners do indeed turn the lights out, the pain for Shawne Merriman will be mitigated somewhat by already having been banished to Buffalo.
Appearing on Entourage, +1
Refusing to appear on Entourage, +2
Still trying to figure out what Turtle's beef with Tom Brady was. To recap: There is zero rivalry between the Giants and Patriots and the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. And Turtle is pissed at Brady why? True story from Adrian Peterson's appearance: After a take, the director says, "Adrian, that was a little wooden." Peterson promises he can do better, forcing the director to clarify that he was talking to Adrian Grenier. (OK, not true.)
Serving Thanksgiving dinner at the mission, +6
Berating the guy carving the prime rib, -6
Can't even give Randy Moss points for kindness to animals since he swore he wouldn't feed that prime rib to his dog.
Giving generously to your local high school, +3
Giving generously to your local high schooler, -3
While Drew Brees' Dream Foundation raises money for George Washington Carver High School and its 9th Ward Field of Dreams, Mark Sanchez believes in taking a more one-on-one approach when it comes to local high school students. Not that there's anything illegal about that.
Appearing on Dancing with the Stars, -1
Winning Dancing with the Stars, +6
It's simple for Hines Ward: Don’t be like Mike. Michael Irvin was a heavy-footed disappointment on DWTS after fellow Cowboy Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith set the bar too high for the Playmaker by taking the title.
Paternity test negative, +6
Paternity test positive, -6
Watch your back, Travis Henry, NFLPA-basher Antonio Cromartie is looking at some down time and eyeing your unofficial record.
Taking a cab, +1
If Braylon Edwards didn't want to take advantage of the league-provided Limousines for Lushes service, what are the odds he'll pony up for cab fare when money gets tight?
You get the gist. Half the fun will be making the rules. I mean, if one of your guys obstructs justice in a double-murder investigation maybe your team is automatically eliminated from playoff contention.
And any doubts as to whether there will be enough malfeasance to keep this league fun should be assuaged by this week's Sports Illustrated cover story. According to S.I., more than 200 players from its preseason top 25 ran into some kind of trouble with the law.
Talk about a strong draft class.