Flights of Fantasy (football) -- RedZone Channel wants your lineup to be perfect

Dilip Vishwanat

In this week's running diary, I notice a silly tendency of our favorite ADD TV channel.

Honestly, I'm not great at watching football. I keep my fantasy matchups in front of me, and I have Twitter and Facebook open. My phone makes noises and stuff. I'm all sorts of adult ADD about things, and I have historically had a lot of moments where I have just missed the start of end of a play because something else grabbed my attention.

That's part of the reason I really enjoy these running diaries. They force me to pay attention, if only so I don't go fourteen minutes between thoughts. As long as I'm trying to think of something funny or interesting to say, I'm paying attention, hoping for something to inspire said cleverness.

That probably means I'm not as good a football fan as I ought to be. I dunno. But I want to thank you all for making me pay attention.

12:43 p.m. - Watching the games at my buddy Travis' today, because I am a modern-day nomad. Two weeks ago, I watched with Heath, who is a die-hard football fan and fantasy player. Last week, Jeremy was around, and he hates the lot of it. This week, it's Travis. Big football fan, thinks fantasy is dumb. I'm versatile.

12:44 p.m. - Oh, and Travis isn't actually here yet. They do Sunday morning church, so I used their hide-a-key for entrance. I'm very trustworthy, as well.

12:45 p.m. - After giving up on my season a couple weeks ago and planning for the future, I have since made trades for A.J. Green, Danny Amendola, and Zac Stacy. Things don't always work out how you like it. And Brad lost a bunch of players to byes and injuries this week, so I could easily beat him. That would put me at 3-6. Still awful, but optimism!

12:48 p.m. - I'm wearing blue jeans and a Colts hoodie over a blue Rangers T-shirt. I have a blue rubber band on my wrist, and I'm drinking a blue Gatorade. No idea what all that means, but Eiffel 65 is running through my head now.

12:52 p.m. - I would love to watch an Anchorman-style royal rumble with the studio shows on all the different networks fighting to the death. ESPN vs. ESPN2 vs. NBC vs. FOX vs. CBS vs. NFL Network. Last four guys standing get to be streamed across all the networks forever.

12:58 p.m. - If I'm reading this right:


my Silverado will start in 1:41, right?

1:00 p.m. - Brad is starting Keenan Allen, Doug Baldwin, Kenny Stills, and the might-not-play Arian Foster. If I can't win this week, I don't deserve to have any hope.

1:06 p.m. - The Bills ran a punt all the way back for a touchdown. It was called back on a penalty, but at least they've figured out their strategy today - score points without involving Jeff Tuel. Brilliant, if successful.

1:08 p.m. - Idle thoughts: I know what a horse-collar tackle is. I recognize it, and I get why it's illegal. But why is that its name? I have grown up around horses, and I don't see the connection. Never really thought about it before. I'll have to ask Travis when he gets home. He's an equine veterinarian, so surely he'll have the necessary expertise.

1:10 p.m. - First touchdown of the day: Shonn Greene. Pretty cool that I didn't even rank him in my running back rankings this week. Pretty. Freaking. Cool.

1:12 p.m. - I love when RedZone runs weekly stats five minutes into the first game. Michael Egnew is the No. 4 tight end so far this week, in case anyone was wondering.

1:19 p.m. - Mike Tolbert with the touchdown for Carolina. He's the vulturest vulture.

1:20 p.m. - This week's RedZone announcer (not Andrew Siciliano, the other one) says "Rams" with two syllables, like a sidewalk stereotype saying "Damn" at a pretty woman. "Ray-ums."

1:26 p.m. - Dan Bailey is still my kicker, and he still regularly gets to kick the longest field goals. You'd think the Cowboys offense wouldn't have such a tough time driving deeper, but I'm totally fine getting the "long field goal" bonus.

1:27 p.m. - Jeff Tuel, touchdown pass. Okay, so I don't know everything. Sue me.

1:28 p.m. - With one yard so far, Alfred Morris is 21st among running backs in fantasy scoring this week. Wildly informative, that.

1:32 p.m. - I don't think I've ever really noticed this before, but the RedZone Channel's bottom line also includes a "perfect lineup" thing. So, as of this moment, you were "perfect" if you started Ryan Tannehill this week. "Perfect"!

1:37 p.m. - I'm watching the Chargers score a defensive touchdown against the Redskins, and my primary takeaway is that there is no point in me writing this, as everyone will have gouged out their eyeballs after seeing the uncoordinated colors of the Washington uniforms. Hideous.

1:39 p.m. - Oh, Jimmy Graham scored. Must be Sunday.

1:40 p.m. - Zac Stacy touchdown! I have something worth celebrating in fantasy! This is heretofore unheard-of territory for me!

1:43 p.m. - I guess there are only so many first-name-last-name combinations to go around, but it really isn't fair that there is a Cameron Jordan and a Jordan Cameron. Although it would be hilarious if they played the same position.

1:52 p.m. - Ultimately, who knows if Jeff Tuel will be good in the NFL. But entering this game, there is little-to-no evidence to think that. Which is why it's just adorable to see Bills fan waving "Tuel time" signs and the like. I wonder how much of the week they spent trying to talk themselves into him. Also: Who was the last successful Jeff? The Jeffs are an unspectacular people.

1:53 p.m. - Another 40-plus-yard field goal for Dan Bailey, and he's still my favorite little dude.

1:56 p.m. - With Washington's touchdown, every team is now on the board. Don't think it means anything, but I like it when everyone is happy.

1:58 p.m. - Josh Cribbs to Zach Sudfeld for a long completion. You do you, Jets. You do you.

2:01 p.m. - This whole "Ron Rivera goes for it on fourth-and-short now" thing is one of the craziest quick-changes we've ever seen, yeah? And it's been really successful so far.

2:08 p.m. - lol mark ingram is playin

2:09 p.m. - For the record, Travis still isn't home. He, wife, and newborn got caught up at the church, then newborn needed to eat. I'm just sittin' at a friend's house, typin' by myself.

2:10 p.m. - Yup, that's Jimmy Graham again. Machine.

2:11 p.m. - I guess that whole "Carolina hadn't given up a first-half touchdown" stat was impressive and all, and it sucks that they lost it in the last two minutes of the first half, but man were the announcer acting like that was Joe DiMaggio going hitless in game 57.

2:22 p.m. - Travis & Co. got home. He and Lindsey both apologized for leaving me alone for so long, as though I weren't (a) a guest, and (b) an adult. But hey, whatever, apologize to me, I'm clearly more important than feeding your newborn son.

2:33 p.m. - Guys like Jeff Tuel and Geno Smith have heard jokes about their names their whole lives, yeah? We aren't the first ones to come up with "Tuel Time" or "GeYES." I feel like we as a society really need to up our cleverness game.

2:37 p.m. - I also didn't rank C.J. Spiller this week, thinking he wouldn't be likely to be very involved in the game. He's over 100 yards. Sigh.

2:41 p.m. - Jeff Tuel throws a ball into the end zone to no one but the Chiefs. The Chiefs return it all the way for a touchdown. That's ... pretty much how that should work, I suppose.

2:46 p.m. - Travis' baby is named Owen, and he's sitting in Travis' lap for the games. Every time a player does something dumb, we tell Owen he's not allowed to grow up to be that kind of football player. Coming out of halftime of five of the six early games, a bunch of dumb stuff happened at once. Owen got a lot of life advice.

2:49 p.m. - I'm also participating in a super-early 2014 fantasy baseball mock draft as I watch football today, which is a lot of things to do at once, but it also means I'm trying to shift my brain back and forth from touchdowns to home runs and the like. Versatile, I tell ya.

2:54 p.m. - Remember when Nick Folk was so awful for the Cowboys that they got rid of him? Yeah, I don't understand kickers, either.

3:00 p.m. - Alas, I was disappointed, as Travis' best guess for why it's called a "horse-collar" tackle was a pretty awful guess. So we don't know, but we both agree that the next Budweiser Clydesdales commercial should feature a Clydesdale somehow getting horse-collared.

3:02 p.m. - Announcers just said "What's wrong with Rudolph?" referring to Kyle, but it led to a full minute of Travis and me making reindeer jokes. Good times.

3:06 p.m. - I'm watching Jamaal Charles closely the rest of the way, as he's the only player with 100+ yards in every game this season, and he's only at 51 right now. I want him to keep it going.

3:23 p.m. - Got busy writing about Kenbrell Thompkins being a healthy scratch today. I spent all preseason saying I liked Aaron Dobson more than Thompkins, and I have sort-of been correct so far. Of course, I also drafted Zach Sudfeld on a couple teams, so I'm not some super-duper perfect guy, but I still don't see why everyone liked Thompkins more than Dobson.

3:29 p.m. - Literally traded for Zac Stacy at 9 p.m. yesterday so I wouldn't have to start Bilal Powell. Stacy has 127 rushing yards, two rushing scores, and three catches for 28 yards. I've never been happier with a fantasy move.

3:30 p.m. - The Rams just scored on a pass to Jared Cook, and I had a very brief pang of "Why didn't they give it to Stacy?!" before realizing, I have absolutely no right to complain about anything involving Zac Stacy today.

3:30 p.m. - On the other hand, the Panthers just scored on a Cam Newton rush, and lord how I wish they would give DeAngelo Williams a goal-line rush someday.

3:39 p.m. - Heath criticized my Zac Stacy trade, saying he didn't buy into the kid yet. I now officially have a good piece of smack talk I can deliver to him.

3:40 p.m. - With three fantasy points, Brian Quick is tied for the 24th-best wide receiver on the week. Thanks, NFL Network!

3:43 p.m. - For a group of appearing-unspectacular early games today, these have all been really exciting. As I wrote that, Keenan Allen caught a touchdown pass to bring the Chargers within 3. Seriously, these are all good games.

3:46 p.m. - In a game with 49 combined points so far, Jake Locker and Kellen Clemens have combined for 353 passing yards and one touchdown. *Buzz* Yes? "Alex, I'll say ‘Why are Chris Johnson and Zac Stacy having huge fantasy days?'"

3:53 p.m. - All of a sudden, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Buffalo are all down by at least two scores, and Tennessee has the ball with a chance to run out the clock. In ten minutes, this went from "lots of excitingness!" to "Um, Cowboys and Chargers give us excitingness, please."

3:59 p.m. - RedZone channel is on a three-game view, which makes me once again wonder how the heck these announcers do this.

4:04 p.m. - I seriously don't understand the Tony Romo antipathy that is so common. I can't remember the last time I would blame him for a Cowboys loss. He just drove all the way down field for what will likely be a win, and I don't see him getting the love he deserves. And I don't even like Tony Romo.

4:05 p.m. - Okay, I have to go do work-work. Toodle-oo. (With 2.6 fantasy points, Scott Chandler is this week's 12th-best fantasy tight end.)

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