The Pro Wrestler (A real story not the Hollywood version)

By: Mr. Holmes

I have always been “different”.  I have been big all my life, but have been able to do things athletically.  In baseball I was the fat kid, but I stole the most bases. In football I was a 300 lbs. kicker. I was never conventional.  So the first time I saw pro wrestling as a kid I was in awe.  These guys were all freaks, large men that moved gracefully telling the story of good vs evil.  I was instantly hooked. When it came time to pick a career in high school as a probable cry for attention and to get noticed by the girls I told everyone I wanted to be the next, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, HHH, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. In short I was going to be the next big thing in wrestling.  Little did I know being a pro wrestler would never and I mean ever “Jericho” help me with the ladies.  I got some attention at school and I did love pro wrestling so it was what I went with.  The funny thing is the more I thought about it the more I thought I could do it.

Well how does one become involved in pro wrestling, I was a 350lbs tub of shit at the time so it wasn’t like I was gonna run into someone at the gym.  I bought all the information I could on how to contact wrestling schools and what to ask. I remember sending one to a former WWE and WCW pro wrestler Mike Shaw aka Norman the lunatic, Bastion Booger among others characters in Marquette, MI .

Norman the Lunatic aka Mike Shaw

Bastion Booger aka Mike Shaw

He advertised a pro wrestling school where you could possibly live the dream.   I lived in Green Bay, WI at the time so it was the closest place.  The year was 1998 I was 19 yrs old waiting for a return letter from Mr Shaw that wouldn’t come.  I must of sent it to the wrong place.

I had sent out a few letters and got some reply’s, one from a school in Florida, and one from a place in Cleveland, Ohio.  I chose Cleveland, closer to my family.  What I didn’t know is that it would last all of 24 hours.

Mike Shaw 1957-2010

OHIO!

Next installment to come Soon

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Wide Receivers

Now we proceed on to the wide receiver position. This is typically considered the 3rd most important position on any fantasy football team. I would argue that this is no longer the case. I think in the pass first/running back by committee world in which we now live in wide receivers have taken a much more important role in the world of fantasy football. I think this is especially the case with the top end elite receivers. The argument can be made that  receivers are a dime a dozen and can be gotten cheap in the late rounds. True for your run of the mill average receiver, but not of the elites. In the end it might just depend on how your league is set up. In many leagues the teams start two WR and two

Starks: I’m a starting RB in the NFL that makes me more valuable than any WR in fantasy football.

RB. In this situation it may be that RBs are more important because they are typically more consistent, but in the Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football League we  start three WRs. Now I think because of this WRs are more important in our league because I could have 3 dynamic top tier receivers in my lineup especially if everyone else is going the tried and true method of running back then quarterback early on in the draft. I would put up three top tier WR against two good RBs and a middle of the road WR any day of the week. In the end it’s the team with the most points that wins. It doesn’t matter what position scored the points.

So as before to properly prep we should look at how the players panned out the year before. Below are the 2011 stats , including scoring totals based on the Pabst and Blatz FFBL scoring system. 1 point for every 25 yards receiving, 1 point

Jennings: Are you going to tell him or should I?
Rodgers: Let the kid have his moment.

for every 25 yards rushing, 6 points for every touchdown rushing, receiving or returning. Other ways receivers can score in our league are catching conversions, running in conversions, and passing touchdowns. As for the large majority these are not significant numbers I have not included them in this analysis. It is important to note that many leagues have now begun awarding points for number of receptions. If this is the case, receivers take an even more important role in the world of fantasy football. Last year’s stats:

Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron, was the class of the field last year. He was joined by, no surprise,  a Packer wideout in the top 2. The surprise was that it was Jordy Nelson and not Greg Jennings. Now we had some players that we have come to expect in the top performers like Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and  Wes Welker. There were some surprises like the afore mentioned Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, Laurent Robinson and a comeback from Steve Smith. Biggest letdowns were from Dwayne Bowe, Anquan Boldin, Mike Williams and Santonio Holmes. An argument could be made that Reggie Wayne was a big disappointment, but people should have seen that coming with the QB situation in Indy.

Now let’s take a look at some projected stats for the upcoming year. Here are some of my own devising:

The projections show 5 tiers. Tier one players should be drafted early. Now if you are doing your draft strategy old school that means take your first WR in the 3rd or 4th round. If, on the other hand, you heed my advice I would take any of the players in the 1st or 2nd round. Tier two players could be taken as high as the 3rd round, but look to pick them up in the higher mid rounds. Tier three players you could take a flyer on in the high mid rounds otherwise take them in rounds 6, 7 or 8. Tier four players should be taken in the final rounds of a draft. The one good thing about receivers is that there are a lot of them so you may find some value in rounds 13, 14 and 15. Tier 5 guys probably should not be on your roster unless your are playing a gut feeling that this could be the year. These guys can be picked up off the wire IF and when they become relevant.

Brian Hartline: Wait, wait, wait…. you are telling me that I’m not relevant!
Me: Yes
Hartline: Oh, OK

Again Calvin Johnson is projected to be the top fantasy performer at wideout. I firmly believe that there is no way in this world that he can match his yards and/or touchdown totals from the year before. Still he has been a solid performer in the past and if Matt Stafford stays upright he could have another big year. Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz are #2 and #3 on the list but take caution as both share the roster with another very good receiver that could steal some of their thunder.

Keep and eye on: Brandon Marshall could be looking at a very good year. One reason, he will have a competent QB. The second reason, the QB is the same one that used to huck the ball to him in Denver when he was fantasy relevant. In a chuck and duck offense Jay Cutler finally has some one to chuck to. Robert Meachem  could have a good year in San Diego, as well as, Darrius Heyward-Bay in Oakland.

Rookies:  Justin Blackmon might have a decent year in Jacksonville if they find someone that can throw a pass. Michael Floyd could end up the #2 in Arizona and in that case would have numbers similar to those predicted for Andre Roberts. Kendall Wright, in Tennessee, has Kenny Britt and Nate Washington ahead of him but Britt could be looking at a suspension for a little drinking and driving. In that case Wright could get a chance to establish himself and have a fine year.

Handcuffs: Handcuffing isn’t something usually done at the wideout position but in some cases, especially with pass happy teams, it is good to have the 3rd or 4th WR just in case the starter goes down. That being said who are the pass happy teams? Well they are the Packers, Saints, Lions, Patriots, Giants and Chargers. You could throw in the Falcons and Cowboys also.  The handcuffs would be James Jones and/or Randall Cobb with Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings; Lance Moore with Marques Colston; Titus Young with Calvin Johnson, Deion Branch with Wes Welker; Domenik Hixon with Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks; and Eddie Royal with Malcom Floyd.

Words of Caution: Kenny Britt is looking at a suspension in Tennessee. The “new” offense in Pittsburgh will feature lots of running and high percentage short passes.  Dez Bryant has an outside chance at facing some suspension time. Andre Johnson is coming off an injury. Santonio Holmes may have to deal with Tim Tebow as his QB at least part of the time. Sidney Rice is coming off injury. Brandon Marshall can go crazy from time to time. Last but not least Randy Moss and Chad Johnson are OLD!

TOP 10

#1 Calvin Johnson Calvin got a job! That job is destroying defensive secondaries. He is good at his job. He can only catch what is thrown to him. Matt Stafford is good at throwing to him. Matt Stafford gets hurt….A LOT!

# 2 Jordy NelsonIt must be the visor because last year Jordy had a hell of  season. Ok, ok…so Jordy Nelson does not wear a futuristic eye visor and fly around the galaxy but I am willing to bet that is what most of you thought about this guy. Expect him to be flying around the field and to catch plenty of touchdowns. It helps to have Aaron Rodgers on your team.

# 3 Roddy White Matt Ryan likes to throw the ball and someone needs to catch it. For awhile that only person to catch it was Roddy. Now there is Julio Jones. I don’t think this takes away value but adds chances that White will no longer get 100% of the pass defense game plan focused on him.

#4 Larry Fitzgerald: Even with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton throwing the ball good old Larry had a fine season. If one of these jokers ever puts it together look out. It does not look too good for that happening so expect your typical lunch pail, punch in punch out performance from Larry.

#5 Wes Welker Wes got PAID! What happens when players get paid? Typically they do NOT go out and have a career year. In fact typically they have an off year. Many times this can happen because there was a hold out situation. Wes did not hold out. That being said Tom Brady is still the QB and he loves him some Welker.

Burritos as big as your head!

#6 Victor CruzHe came out of nowhere last year to become a fantasy darling. He won a superbowl. The downside is that teams can prepare better for him now and Hakeem Nicks should be healthy. Still he should have another great season.

Hello? What? Matt Cassel is still the quarterback. Really?!

#7 Dwayne Bowe   He had a moster year in 2010. 15 touchdowns. Matt Cassel really liked to throw his way. Cassel got hurt last year and Bowe suffered. Here is the deal though Cassel is not a good quarterback so he had better be throwing all his passes to Bowe. A rebound is highly likely if the quarterback play is decent. 

#8 Greg Jennings What two players from the same team in the top 10. Why? Because Aaron Rodgers is the QB. Why not 2 from the Patriots or Saints? Rodgers doesn’t spread it around as much. As a result both Jennings and Nelson can have huge years. But as the picture shows Jennings in now in Nelson’s shadow. Whether that will be good or not only time will tell.

  #9 AJ Green Andy Dalton pretty much has one target and that is AJ Green. There is concern about a sophomore slump for both Green and Dalton, still I think Green will have a great season.

#10 Brandon Marshall Really? This guy! I remember way back when he was something but now? Well he now has a quality QB in Cutler. His yardage never went away in Miami even when there was no one else the secondary needed to worry about. He will have a very good year in Chicago.

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Runnning Backs

A wise man once said “No matter what draft a running back in the 1st round” He also said “There is nothing more delicious than 23 herbs and spices”
~The Colonel

As we continue our preparation for the upcoming 2012 Fantasy Football season we will preview the Running Back position. Typically the good old running back in fantasy gold. Everyone goes out of their way to snap up backs in the first few rounds. Conventional wisdom states that to have a successful team you MUST draft the best running back available in the first two rounds and then fill out the rest of the positions later. In the past that may have been the case, but as the NFL has become a pass first league it has become less and less the case. I remember when passing for 3000 yards in a season was

Grossman: Wait a minute… I threw for just over 3000 yards last year. Does that make me a failure?
McNabb: As someone who knows, yes that makes you a failure

considered good. Now it would be seen as a complete failure of the offense. Still there is some truth to the notion that snapping up a good back in the first round is a good idea. I would just say that sometimes it is better to have the best quarterback rf receiver than the 5th best running back. With that said lets take a look at the running back position.

As with the quarterbacks it is always a good idea to look at the stats for the year before. Below are how the running backs fared in Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football League scoring system which is 1 point for every 25 yards rushing, 1 point for every 25 yards receiving and 6 points for every touchdown. Of course players can also score by throwing touchdowns and scoring conversions but that happens so rarely it really doesn’t change much.

As it is blatantly obvious, LeSean McCoy was the standout from last year with Ray Rice coming in a close second. McCoy’s 17 rushing touchdowns is what put him over the top. This number of touchdowns I really do not see him repeating mostly because of the touchdown vulture Mick Vick poised to steal rushing TD inside the red zone.

I have a need…a need to run for touchdowns. Screw you LeSean and all your fantasy owners.

Ray Rice had a similar problem with bigger backs stealing his goal-line carries in the past. Still both scored at a level far above the competition. Arian Foster should have been the class of the field but injuries kept him from reaching the top. This year he will be spelled by an established Ben Tate so he will not get the amount of carries he has in the past. The same can be said for Michael Turner  he will be getting many more carries taken away from him. Let’s take a look at projections for the 2012 season. Here are some of my own devising:

There are 5 tiers of running backs as denoted by the colors. Tier 1 backs should be taken in the 1st round. If one of them survives to the 2nd round you have gotten yourself a steal. The tier 2 backs should be taken in the 2nd-4th rounds.  By the end of the 4th round typically any starting running back that is worth anything has been taken. The 3rd tier of backs can be taken later in the mid rounds. They are what is left of the starters, promising backups, and number two backs in running back by committee. The backs in tier 4 are to be taken only if you need depth on the bench or as a flyer/hedge against a more established back getting hurt. The backs in tier 5 should not be drafted at all. You will be able to get these backs off the waiver wire if and when they become relevant. I would advise you select better players at different positions.

The very best as predicted for next year will be Arian Foster. McCoy should come back down to Earth a bit but he will still be a premium back as will Ray Rice.  Peterson, Wells and Charles are all coming off of injuries and Michael Turner will no longer be a 300 carry back. The situation in Washington is a mess but look for Helu to come out as the starter. Detroit’s backfield is equally a mess. At this time all of the backs there may get a decent amount of carries making none of them fantasy relevant. Shonn Greene no longer has anyone sharing the backfield with him but Tebow may steal some of his yards and touchdowns.

As far as the rookies are concerned only Trent Richardson and Doug Martin are set to start right now. This of course may change. I like Richardson but he is in a situation where he is a starting rookie tailback sharing a backfield with a rookie quarterback. He should get plenty of carries but will the Browns be playing from behind to often. Martin has to worry about Blount stealing carries and touchdowns.

Do I look like a guy that would drink and drive?

Handcuffing situations: If you take Arian Foster you MUST, I repeat must take Ben Tate. If for some reason you have James Starks on your roster as a starter I suggest also taking Alex Green. Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith should be locked together. As well as Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Other handcuffs to considers are Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs, Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings, Matt Forte and Michael Bush, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, and the always popular DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart.

McDonalds Drive Thru: Welcome to McDonlds may I take your order?
Jahvid: I see four fingers coach.
McDonalds Drive Thru: What was that sir?
Jahvid: Put me in coach! I’m ready!
McDonalds Drive Thur: Does that complete your order?

Words of caution: Marshawn Lynch is looking at a suspension from the league due to a little drinking and driving, Jahvid Best is on the PUP list still from concussions from the previous year.  Maurice Jones-Drew is thinking about holding out. Beanie Wells is not 100%. No one knows who is going to start in New England. No one knows who is going to start in Washington. Green Bay’s running game looks awful.

Top 10

#1 LeSean McCoy He is the best back available and should be the first selected. Both runs and catches touchdowns. The only downside is that Mike Vick is looming to steal some of his scores.

#2 Arian FosterWould have been number one but he now has injury concerns and the real possibility of losing carries to Ben Tate. Still is is hard to deny someone that dresses that well. He could be considers 1a to McCoy’s 1.

#3 Ray Rice with other backs stealing his goal-line carries he slips a bit. Still he catches the ball well and is a dynamic threat.

#4 Chris Johnson He got PAID! and how did he reward the Titans? With a subpar year. He is set for a major rebound. He still won’t be worth what the Titans are paying him but he should make his fantasy owners happy.

#5 Darren McFadden No more Michael Bush. McFadden is on his own. This could mean his best season ever OR he will wear out and get injured much earlier than usual. IF he goes 16 games he will be an absolute stud. Prepare for him to go 13 games that way if he goes more you can be pleasantly surprised. Addition of a legitimate quarterback should help him stay health…right?

#6 Ahmad BradshawAhmad Bradshaw you just won the Superbowl what are you going to do now…. Well he should get a large amount of carries. Jacobs is gone. If he gets half of Jacobs’ 7 touchdowns added to his total we are looking at an elite back. His backup at the moment is young and inexperienced so he will not take too many carries for Bradshaw. Could be his best year ever.

#7 Maurice Jones Drew One of the premier fantasy stud running backs for years he now has the dreaded two words HOLD OUT hanging over his head. Typically any back the holds out even for a small amount of time does not have a fantasy year that they are capable of. Use caution here as he also has injury concerns. Still if he is anywhere close to last year you will love having him on your team.

#8 Adrian Peterson Turn to the left, turn to the right, one more straight ahead. If being injured wasn’t bad enough good ol’ All Day went and got himself arrested in the off-season. With the Commish loving to come down hard on players what will happen to Adrian? Probably nothing. The injury his more a concern. If he is healthy by the start of the season he should continue to be a great fantasy back.

#9 Jamaal Charles  Hi, I’m Jamaal Charles. You may remember me from my role in the 2010 fantasy football season. Well….I’m BACK! Whether or not he is ready to go is another question. The Chiefs went and picked up Peyton Hillis for insurance…you may want some insurance too.

#10 Ryan Mathews Hi, I’m Ryan Mathews. I play football for the San Diego Chargers. Anyone out there heard of me? No more Mike Tolbert should mean a better fantasy year for Mathews. Give him half of Tolbert’s eight TDs and he would have been a top 5 back last year.

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2012 Fantasy Football Prep 101: Quarterbacks

Fantasy Alert….

It is that time of the year again and for many of us we will soon begin our annual Fall tradition of scouring the net or forking over cash to buy a book to prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. Well I say nuts to that. I have shelled out the cash and read the articles and I say who better than I to prepare myself and other for the world of fantasy football.  Now as a veteran of the Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football league which is now entering its 15th year I think that I have accumulated some wisdom. Hell I used to hand score all the games and then make paper copies and deliver them to the individual teams. That was life before the inter-web.  But I digress, you are here either by complete accident or you want some fantasy football knowledge. We will first look at the quarterback position,

When preparing for the upcoming season I always like to go over the past year’s stats. Now the Pabst and Blatz Fantasy Football League has the following scoring system: Rushing TD 6 points, Passing TD 3 points, Rush Yards 1 point for every 25 yds. Pass Yards 1 point for every 50 yds. Some leagues subtract points for interceptions or reward more point for passing yards and touchdowns, but let’s be honest here the quarterback position already is overly weighted in our league and I would hate to see it given more importance.

Let’s take a quick look at last year performances.

After looking at these stats it is apparent that last years cream of the crop were Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Mathew Stafford. Not a lot of surprises here except maybe for Cam Newton. He was a steal in our league last taken in one of the last rounds. Stafford was also a bit of a surprise mostly because of the sheer number of snaps he took. (He gets hurt alot)

The most disappointing player from last year was Mike Vick as he was taken early and was outperformed by many of the quarterbacks available much later on in the draft. Of course anyone that has watched Mick Vick’s career knew the previous year, 2010,  had been a fluke and that there was no way he would repeat it.

Now it is always a good idea to take a look at preseason rankings and projections. Here are some of my own devising…

From the projections there are four tiers of players. Tier one players, in red, are the cream of the crop. Tier four players, in gray, should not be on you team under any circumstance unless you are playing in a 32 team fantasy football league.(Unlikely) We see Aaron Rodgers as the top projected QB. Drew Brees is second but I would be cautious with all the tomfoolery going on in the Big Easy.  Cam Newton is due for some regression, but still unless he completely falls apart in his sophomore slump he will be a top QB. A word of caution about Eli Manning. Last year was  a career year and he is due for a regression also. Any player in tier one I would use a 1st or 2nd round pick on. The players in the 2nd tier are late mid-round players. You should load up on position players first unless there is a run on QB and you are in serious trouble of having Christian Ponder as your starting QB.

Sad Sad Ponder

This brings us to the rookie QB. Typically I stay away from rookie QBs like the plague and anything involving Sarah Jessica Parker. Cam Newton is the reason to consider a rookie. Is he the new normal or was he a fluke? Andy Dalton also had a serviceable

Don’t get me started

year. My two cents is to get an established guy and then take a chance later that way you are not overpaying for a dud and if the guy pans out you look like a genius for stealing him late. For every Cam Newton there is a Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder out there. If I were to take a change it would have to be on RG3. His skill set and the situation he is going into make the possibility for success within the realm of reason.

Obvious handcuffs… I would say that if you take Mark Sanchez you have to take Tim Tebow. Other than that I don’t see any other obvious handcuff situations.

This guy will be stealing fantasy points from Jet running backs and quarterbacks all season, as well as, stealing my heart.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for….Normy’s top ten fantasy QBs for the 2012 season.

#1 Aaron Rodgers: Mustache nuf said! Ok so he has his entire offense coming back, drafted a bunch of defense, Donald Driver now has slick dance moves and MUSTACHE!

#2 Tom Brady: There’s no crying in football. Well for Tom we will make an exception. He is also returning to a great situation coming off one of his best seasons ever.  Should be a no-brainer.

#3 Matt Stafford: As the picture shows buyer beware. He has a tendency to get hurt and for long stretches of time. Still last year he was healthy and had a monster year. Which will it be this year?

#4 Drew Brees : Confusion, contract dispute, scandal, bounties and no head coach. Someone could get a steal if he fall too far for any of these reasons.

#5 Cam Newton Last year was amazing . There is little chance that he can repeat but even with taking a step back he will be solid.

#6 Phillip Rivers He is Philip Rivers. What else is there to say.

#7 Tony Romo See above statement replacing Philip Rivers with Tony Romo

#8 Peyton Manning All time great QB on a run first team and with a head that is being held on with bungee cords. Good luck my friend though you won’t have that horse shoe on your helmet anymore for that. Oh and stay thirsty.

#9 Matt Schaub Great when he is healthy. In the picture you can see just how healthy he was last year. Still should be back with all the weapons. 

#10 Eli Manning Won the Superbowl, had a career year. Due for a let down. Still he is better than the rest of the stiffs in the league and makes a decent looking chick. Well maybe in New York.

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