NFL helmet with new plastic still on it

I was watching the Tennessee Titans and noticed a few of the helmets still have plastic on the top front. My guess is because it’s preseason and they’re trying to reduce any contact marks from other helmets. Wide receivers and the quarterback didn’t have the plastic, just the offensive line.

I’m so excited football is back!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Life and death, and “Skol, Vikings!”

Last week will go down as a landmark on my life’s timeline. For anyone who saw my recent post about having a gun pointed at me, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And for those that missed it, you can click this link to be caught up, or… to make a long story short, a fellow motorist driving aggressively pulled up next to me as we were moving down a Nashville road and used his gun to make his feelings known more clearly.

For a few days after that brazen encounter, I had a headache which is very out of the ordinary for me. My head hurt because the brazen encounter took time to truly sink in. This happened. I could’ve been hurt.

What was I thinking?

More questions than I have answers for continue scrolling through my mind; did he try to pull the trigger and it malfunctioned? What was he thinking in that moment? Was it a 9mm or a .22? Why was he so aggressive? I’ll never know how drastically my life would have changed if the gun had gone off and I was struck by the bullet, or something less painful like the bullet just hitting my car. As close as he was, we were maybe 15 feet from each other, the chances of him hitting his target were pretty high. What if I died that day? What if I was shot, but didn’t die? Who would I rely on for help? Who would care for my dogs?

The bottom line truth is this: even though he didn’t pull the trigger, my life has changed forever. I guess it would be presumptuous to say exactly how because only time will tell, and right now I don’t know all the ways my life will be different from this one random afternoon. I do know the way I drive will be different. God only knows what the future would’ve looked like had things turned out worse, so I’m taking this as a warning to think before I act, and a gigantic blessing that I have another chance to correct my course, if that makes sense. A do-over. A reset. A fail but with no major penalties.

So that was the first half of the week. Then I found out an acquantance of mine passed away very unexpectedly. He’s a friend and fellow filmmaker with a couple of my friends, and someone I worked with on a huge project from 2015 to 2017. The news hit my two friends hard. They were close to him, and though I didn’t know him as well as they did, my heart became heavy the instant I found out. I’m sad for his family, I’m sad for my friends. It doesn’t make sense when such a great person takes an early exit, and we who are left behind are the ones who lose because of it. It’s hard to come up with something positive in circumstances like this, because the best scenario is one where he isn’t gone, but something cool happened on Sunday that I’m believing is a silver lining, a little gift from above that is sweet in it’s own little way. This guy was the biggest Minnesota Vikings fan this side of Heaven, and yesterday the Vikings pulled off a win in the final seconds of their playoff game, and it was pretty unbelievable. I won’t give a play by play recap, but they won on a last second, 61-yard touchdown pass as the seconds ticked down to end the game. I heard on the radio that right before the play started, the Vikings had roughly a 6% chance of winning the game. It was only that high because they were down by 2 so a field goal would’ve won it. But with 10 seconds to go and no time outs, 60 yards away from the end zone, TVs were being shut off across the country. The game was over. But uh uh uh, not so fast! Hike, drop back, launch, a catch and a sprint to the end zone for the win! It was a highly improbable ending, but so, so sweet. The biggest Vikings fan on that side of Heaven was jumping up and down, I’m certain.

Now another week has already started and I’m very curious about how it’ll unfold. I wouldn’t mind a week where nothing happens, a week that is so forgettable that I already forgot it and it hasn’t even happened yet. But if it turns into a week where God teaches me something, not to mention where He might have in fact intervened to save my life and my way of life, I would count that as a win, too.

And another Minnesota win would be pretty nice, too. Skol, Vikings!

-Out of the Wilderness

Fantasy football is back!

Hard to believe another year of football has already started. Is anyone else as excited as I am? Honestly though, if I hadn’t won week 1, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post because I’d be too T.O.’d to talk about it. My team is The Billy Oceans and we’re going on our 11th year with the “Caribbean Queen” singer as our namesake.

The best I’ve ever finished was back in 2010 when I came in 2nd. Standouts on my team that year, and these names are really gonna jog your memory: Peyton Hillis, Tony Gonzalez, Mario Manningham, LaDanian Tomlinson, and of course, my quarterback Matt Ryan.

Here’s my problem, though. I usually draft with my heart, not my head. So I end up with players I like, who may not necessarily be the best players at their position. It’s why I’ve had Matt Ryan almost every year since 2010. Fortunately, he’s an elite quarterback but an example of how this can hurt me is drafting Kelvin Benjamin in the first round last year. He had a great rookie season but there was no reason to use my first round pick on him when I could have picked him up in the 3rd of 4th rounds at the earliest.

So now it’s 2017 and I was determined to draft with my head, at least for the first two rounds. Did it pay off? Well, I’m 1-0 so maybe? Here’s who I had on my roster going into the week 1 matches:

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 9.33.09 AM

I actually drafted Allen Robinson of the Jax Jaguars but dropped him in favor of Sterling Shepard before the games started Sunday. And after winning week 1, along with a handful of injuries and new players available for week 2 (because of Miami being on a bye), here’s my team going into week 2:

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 9.36.01 AM

Not many changes but I was able to pick up Kerwynn Williams who will be the Cardinals #1 RB while David Johnson is out, and Sanu added in place of Sterling Shepard. I’m hoping to get week 1 production out of Ryan, Howard, Gillislee, Bailey, and the Steelers D; added value from Ajayi’s first game of the regular season, Golladay having a good game again; and more production from Kelce and Adams.

Who was your first round pick? Anyone you have your eye on for the upcoming weeks? Feel free to share in the comments below!

-Out of the Wilderness

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a gift to comedians everywhere

It’s like the perfect storm of random elements coming together at just the right time for comedians. There’s an NFL football player named Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. haha1

And of course, there’s Hillary Clinton who’s running for president. A lot of jokes come from the fact that Ha Ha’s last name is Clinton-Dix, and Hillary is wife to Bill, who had an affair when he was president. So he’s somewhat seen as a ladies man, at least to comedians like Jimmy Fallon. So combining these two elements is almost too easy. 
And here’s another from Key & Peele, playing on the odd names we see in the NFL, even A.A. Ron Rodgers.
-Out of the Wilderness

Fantasy Football Week 4 Update

Let’s talk fantasy football, shall we? Since, oh I don’t know, about 5 games into last season I was looking ahead to this season. Why? Because my beloved Billy Oceans were still looking for their first win. It took 4 more weeks to find the W. Yeah, it pretty much ruined the entire fall season for their owner… me. I’d show up to work Mondays and Tuesdays with a chip on my shoulder. But Tuesday nights the clouds would clear because that was when players on the waiver became available! Then Thursdays Yahoo! gave their expert opinion on each player’s outlook for the upcoming week. Forgetting the previous week couldn’t happen fast enough (and often didn’t). I was desperate for a win, no doubt. I ended up with a disastrous 1-12 record. Embarrassing from any angle.

But rising from the ashes, the Billy Oceans exploded into the 2014 season with a 1-0 record. A feeling of relief when I get my second win… which hasn’t happened yet. I’m 1-2 now and the ghost of seasons past could very well be walking up the driveway. If I don’t win this week (week 4), the bone-chilling thought of a repeat season will tumble around my mind like a lone shoe in the dryer. Loud thumps I can’t ignore. But my tight end already got 20+ points from 3, yes 3, touchdowns on Thursday night. Thank you Larry Donnell! Because of you, my actual tight end is relaxing a little… till Sunday rolls around.

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

It’s taken me weeks (ok, years) to accept the fact that I stink at fantasy football. Like, really stink! The problem usually starts on draft night. This year I had the 3rd overall pick which is a prime position for picking up a stud player, even in a keeper league. I went with Matt Ryan which, if you care, was a pretty good choice. Then in round 2 everything began to unravel. I picked Shonne Green which, if you care, was a pretty bad choice. The underlying problem is that I coach The Billy Oceans with my heart and not my head! It’s propelled me to a 1-7 record that my head knows is right, and my heart is aching for it. The silver lining this football season is that the Noles are ranked in the top 5 with a chance at a National Title! If only I was part of the group that helps come up with the BCS rankings because this time, my head and my heart agree… FSU is the best team in the country.

Oh, so the reason for the title of this post… law: every time I let my heart influence fantasy football picks, I end up with a terrible record. I tried to prove that wrong this season and, well, the law won.

It’s a rebuilding year I guess,
-Out of the Wilderness

It Must Be That Time of the Month

I seem to be suffering from monthly “man stuff” today, but it’s definitely from unnatural causes—ahem, fantasy football. It’s funny and slightly disturbing that the start of the week can be so negatively affected by something this trivial—ahem, losing at fantasy football. Like, if I won this week’s matchup, all would be right in the world; I have a good job, good friends, two fun dogs, a couple of dates lined up, and an exciting week ahead. But when I lose, it’s just icing on the cake wreck; the world is falling apart, my job is difficult, my friends are lame, my dogs disobey and so do my dates, and this week’s outlook is boring with a chance of heavy disappointment. All because I didn’t start Dwayne Bowe and now—ahem, I’ve lost 4 games in a row.

This “man stuff” stinks sometimes. Period.

my life is just like this cake.