Bears

Random News of the Day: Living in a Fantasy Land

Random News of the Day: Living in a Fantasy Land

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010
12:11 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

"Life is just a fantasy. Can you live this fantasy life?" Aldo Nova, "Fantasy"

There is no better way to start a fantasy football column than with a song lyric from a cheesy 80s rock song. Really, there isn't. Well hey, it was that, or I could have pulled a lyric from "What's Your Fantasy" by Ludacris. And even though the Ludacris song does mention the Georgia Dome and the 50-yard line, I doubt I'd be able to print anything else associated with that song without a pink slip lurking.

Can you live the fantasy football life? Millions across America seem to be able to do it just fine. In fact, if you're one of the many fantasy football fun junkies, the last few weeks in August are ones that are meticulously spent going over statistics, projections and predictions from blowhard analysts.

A fantasy football league has its own share of comedic relief. There are many, many personalities you will encounter from draft day to your league's championship game. Usually, a fantasy 'baller will fall into one of the following personality types:

Mr. Condescending: Show me a fantasy football player with a more irritating personality. I dare you. Every draft pick you make gets criticized. Your team name isn't good enough. You haven't been in the league long enough. You haven't won enough money. You always, apparently, "steal" his guy off the waiver wire or the draft board. He's the schmuck that TYPES IN ALL-CAPS and hits "reply all" on every fantasy football vote. A complete tool. It's not all doom and gloom, though. Because you know it's just a matter of time before Mr. Condescending smashes his TV screen on a last-second FG and has to walk around in a cast for the next 6-8 weeks.

The Mail-It-Inner: Sometimes you will hear the term "mailing it in" in conjunction with everyday life (jobs, politics...etc). I define it as "doing the least amount of work possible to get the job done, regardless of the ensuing public outcry and negative perception; the epitome of laziness." On draft day, the mail-it-inner sleeps through draft day and ends up with a team anchored by Alex Smith, Beanie Wells and Nate Burleson. The team name usually sounds like something out of a Gilmore Girls episode. The final record is around 2-12. The mail-it-inner is never heard from again.

Mr. Reactionary (AKA, Johnny Waiver Wire): Let's say that superstar running back "A" goes down with a leg injury. Before this poor guy's femur is picked up off the field by the trainer, Mr. Reactionary has already scooped up the backup RB on that team. Johnny Waiver Wire strikes again! A third nickname can also be given to this person: "Mr. Flash In The Pan". You know-- the type that notices some random tight end catch a few one-yard TDs one week. By the next week he's starting on Mr. Reactionary's roster. Of course, everyone but Mr. Reactionary knows that the flash in the pan will never see the end zone again.

The Three-Ring Binder: I'm actually friends with the original "Three-Ring Binder" guy. I used to work with him at another station in town. He now works as a sports producer in another midwestern city. At one of our live drafts, he came to the meeting with (you guessed it) a three-ring binder full of statistics and notes. We all laughed of course, but there's one thing you have to respect about the Three-Ring-Binder guy: attention to detail You'd be hard-pressed to find somebody of this nature finishing in the bottom half of your league. Note: the Three-Ring-Binder guy is not related to Mr. Reactionary because of the homework done by "TRB" on draft day.

The Girl: I shouldn't rip "The Girl" because, more often than not, she absolutely torments the league she's in. If her favorite color is red, she picks every Arizona Cardinals player on the board. After she gets laughed off the planet during draft day, you notice that by week five she's in first place...thanks to Larry Fitzgerald and company. She runs off with your money and makes you look like a fool in the process.

The 55-League Guy: This czar of Internet football pays very little attention to the league you're in because, apparently, he is just "flat-out bringing it" in one of the other leagues he is in. "Oh I'm not upset that I lost 135-27 last week in your league because the 200-three-keeper-AFC-four-wide-receiver-head-to-head-16-team-assists-on-tackles-get-two-points league I'm in is a gold mine!" The 55-league guy is the same dork that goes out to the bars, buys one light beer and toggles every one of his starting lineups on his phone for the next three hours. Even on a Tuesday night.

Fantasy Football Hero, 2003 (AKA, The Al Bundy Of Fantasy Football): This is the guy that everybody laughs at --not with-- on draft day. You can almost find out the exact point when this guy got engagedmarriedhad a kid based on his wildly inept draft selections. For instance, let's say the guy got married in 2003. His 2010 fantasy football team would look like one from 2003 because he spent the last seven years trapped within the walls of Linens 'n Things or stuck watching Grey's Anatomy with his significant other. His roster includes a starting nucleus of Jake Delhomme, Clinton Portis and Martin Gramatica. He also keeps asking, "Priest Holmest didn't get picked yet...did he?"

Also, let's not forget some honorable mentions: Mr. Outrageous Trade Offer Guy, Team Collusion (two players in the same league in cahoots with one another-- shady transactions...etc), Johnny Message Board Dominator, Mr. "We-Need-A-Rule-Change" Guy and The Player Who Forgets To Set His Lineup And Then Blames The Computer.

If you end up losing a game --or worse, a championship-- by a few points to either one of these guys, you're likely to give them what Nicky Santoro got at the end of "Casino". Of course if you win, all of these people don't matter, you host the year-end pizza party with a big smile on your face and you have some extra cash for the 4am bars. Such is life.

And such is fantasy football.

Or something like that.

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.