Running diaries are, honestly, among my favorite things. There's a lot of reasons for that - it lends itself to surprisingly easy comedy, for one. It gives a really nice "snapshot of a moment"-type thing. Also, it really makes it funny for the readers when the author makes some sort of bold prediction or claim early, and the reader knows immediately that prediction is set to be wrong, and then it's just the fun of waiting for the author to find out how wrong I ... er, I mean he ... was.
Not that I, you know, made any bold claims or anything. Pay no attention to my 1:16 p.m. post; ignore everything in here about Tom Brady. Thank you.
Anyway, this is Flights of Fantasy. Through the early games each week, I'm keeping track of my thoughts - both fantasy and not-fantasy. Then I put it on the internet, where you find it. That's the business arrangement we have here, guys. Don't go rocking the boat.
12:55 p.m. - I'll have less "Heath is my brother" talk today, as I'm watching at my own house. On the other hand, I'll have more "Jeremy is my brother" talk today, as my house is also Jeremy's house. On the other other hand, Jeremy hates football, so the Jeremy talk will most be him complaining that I'm not helping him with kitchen renovation today. Sunday!
12:58 p.m. - I didn't realize there were only six 1 p.m. games. I guess it makes sense, since there are like twenty teams on a bye, but it makes for a different Sunday style.
1:01 p.m. - I don't have Sunday Ticket on my TV at home, but I do have it on my phone. It's nice, but the phone includes an extra eight seconds or so of delay, so I see a lot of things on the computer just before I see it happen on the phone. It's ... different.
1:04 p.m. - Right at kickoffs of all the games, Jeremy came into my room to tell me about plowing the garden, to close vents, to complain about life, all that stuff. When I didn't pay enough attention to him - you know, because football - he got all huffy. My brothers are very different, y'all.
1:06 p.m. - First play of the game, Thad Lewis gets hurt, looks like Jeff Tuel is coming in. Whatever value Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, and Scott Chandler had left basically leaves with Lewis. Fred Jackson's day ought to look a lot like Adrian Peterson's on Monday, with four hundred dudes right in front of him.
1:08 p.m. - If I were a color guy on NFL games, I would start singing every single time the play-by-play guy called "under pressure!" On a related note, it's probably for the best that I'm not a color guy on NFL games.
1:09 p.m. - How many "suck up" jokes do you think Ryan Succop has heard in his life?
1:10 p.m. - Like, I want to complain about the delay on my Sunday Ticket, but right now I'm watching a game played across an ocean, and I'm watching it on my telephone, and I'm upset about an eight-second delay. I really don't have it in me to whine about that.
1:12 p.m. - The 49ers ran it on 4th-and-1 to keep a drive alive, then had Frank Gore run in a 19-yard touchdown. Can they pull the starters now? Geez, Jacksonville.
1:14 p.m. - Touchdown Brandon Gibson, which is extra hilarious when you realize I'm actually starting him in one league. (That team is also starting Harry Douglas, Stephen Hill, and Jacquizz Rodgers and Steven Jackson. Somehow I'm 3-4 when I should be 0-7. Nope, doesn't make any sense.)
1:16 p.m. - Nothing new developing here, I just caught glimpse of the Patriots game. Am I right that this is the first game this year with both Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola? It is, isn't it? So, like, Tom Brady is in line for his biggest game of the year? He kind of has to be, doesn't he?
1:19 p.m. - Jeremy time! He wanted to talk about tires now.
1:23 p.m. - Thursday night, I had DeAngelo Williams and Greg Olsen play for me on one roster, and they combined for 22.23 points. That was fun. We're now 23 minutes into the Sunday games, and I'm still at 22.23. Granted, four of my players are playing later, but where ya at, Rueben Randle, Aaron Dobson, and Dan Bailey?
1:24 p.m. - I just realized I was expecting big production out of Rueben Randle, Aaron Dobson, and Dan Bailey. Maybe I should say something more like "Where ya at, Daniel's fantasy skills?"
1:26 p.m. - Thad Lewis came back in, re-turned the ball over. Poor dude.
1:29 p.m. - In the last couple minutes, Jason Campbell has completed a pass, Peyton Hillis has run for a few yards, and Morten Andersen has kicked a field goal. Only one of those is a lie.
1:30 p.m. - Andrew Siciliano on Red Zone Channel just sounded all sad when there was no action and they had to cut it to a kickoff, and then the ball got blown off the tee. I've never heard a sadder announcer than Siciliano in that moment.
1:32 p.m. - Calvin Johnson just caught an 87-yard pass, only to get tackled inside the 5. It's the exact problem the team had last year - inability to finish, somehow - and I can't remotely explain it.
1:34 p.m. - And now Brandon Gibson is hurt. Serves me right for bragging early.
1:34 p.m. - Calvin Johnson ultimately gets the score for Detroit, which is only fair and proper.
1:36 p.m. - I'm still at 22.23, by the way.
1:37 p.m. - There's an Omaha team in the Arena League, isn't there? Do the quarterbacks say "Omaha" there, too? Or does that get confusing?
1:37 p.m. - Long completion for Calvin Johnson! Not really, I just wanted to pretend my delay is still bothering me.
1:39 p.m. - Seeing guys like Thad Lewis, Jason Campbell, and Matt Cassel start games this year (plus, you know, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, and so on and so forth) makes me wonder why Kyle Orton is still just the Dallas backup. He isn't the best, no, but Orton is definitely one of the, what, thirty best quarterbacks in the NFL? At worst? How many teams could he start for? Oh, Kyle, I miss you, buddy.
1:41 p.m. - Funniest part about the fact that I am (yes, still) at 22.23 points? I'm winning. Greg's roster - Mike Williams Thursday, plus Cecil Shorts III, Josh Gordon, Tashard Choice, Vernon Davis, Phil Dawson, and the Eagles defense so far - is only at 16.96. Our league is so, so sad.
1:45 p.m. - Another great Andrew Siciliano moment: "Hakeem Nicks no! Mario Manningham no! Jerrel Jernigan is who they go to! ... Mario Manningham is injured ... and a Niner."
1:52 p.m. - Ha! Choice just got Greg 2.5 points, but then the Eagles lost 3, so I went further ahead, despite (STILL) being at 22.23. This is shaping up as the fantasy equivalent of a mythical Buccaneers-Jaguars game.
1:58 p.m. - Aw, the Vernon Davis touchdown puts Greg ahead of me 23.59-22.23. "22.23" is officially going to haunt my dreams.
2:03 p.m. - Apparently the Pats' Sebastian Vollmer just got carted off. The last 24 hours are like the bizarre version of that Sunday a couple weeks ago when Tom Brady threw the late score then David Ortiz hit the grand slam. Everything is going wrong.
2:05 p.m. - Worth nothing that I was at a Halloween party last night until like 3 in the morning, and various "don't know what time it is" friends starting texting me at 7 this morning. I hope I can make sense all day long, but no promises.
2:08 p.m. - Two months ago, if I had said "Thad Lewis hands off to Tashard Choice," how many guesses would it taken you to guess what team that was? Ten? More?
2:09 p.m. - Oh good, Vernon Davis and Josh Gordon have woken up for Greg, and he's at 39.73 now. Me? Twenty. Two. Point. Two. Three.
2:11 p.m. - Dan Bailey kicked a field goal! Dan Bailey kicked a field goal! We get bonus points for long attempts, so I'm at ... twenty-nine point two-three! Don't call it a comeback!
2:12 p.m. - Greg's over 40 now. Don't call it a comeback ... because it isn't one.
2:13 p.m. - That Bills lead over the Saints lasted three minutes, as Kenny Stills just went for a 69-yard score.
2:14 p.m. - Long completion for Calvin Johnson! (Still that earlier one.)
2:21 p.m. - Matt Barkley in for the Eagles, drives down field, turns the ball over. In four career drives, four career turnovers. That's ... wow.
2:27 p.m. - Didn't realize how much delay my TV (muted on Dallas-Detroit) was on as well. Looked at Yahoo! StarTracker, saw that Dez Bryant caught a touchdown. Looked up at my TV, saw it happen "live." Looked down at my phone, then typed this, now literally typing as the Dez touchdown happens. It's like I'm in multiple different, but very close, time zones.
2:29 p.m. - At halftime of his game, Tom Brady has completed six passes for 25 yards and an interception. I know his receiving corps isn't what it has been in the past, but that's nigh-on inconceivable. I have no idea what to make of Brady at this point. Except that I predicted earlier a huge game for him, and I'm feeling not quite at my most confident.
2:48 p.m.-Nineteen minutes without a comment! It's almost like I had real halftime-update work to do. Anyway, in case you were really worried about it, I'm still right at 30 points.
2:49 p.m. - Holy crap! As I wrote that, Aaron Dobson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass. All is not lost!
2:53 p.m. - POSSIBLE SCIENCE PROJECT: I want to spend a Sunday monitoring nothing about the NFL except for the trending topics on Twitter and see what I think happened that day. Today, I'd wonder if Lou Reed was some forgotten running back on Miami or something.
2:57 p.m. - Since my halftime worries, Tom Brady has completed 4-of-6 passes for 45 yards and a score, and it's gone from 17-3 Dolphins to 17-17. Maybe I worried too early?
3:09 p.m. - Noon today: "Jimmy Graham unlikely to play." 1 p.m. today: "Jimmy Graham will play, but it's hard to expect much out of him." 3:09 p.m. today: "Jimmy Graham has two touchdown catches." Stop trying, all of us. We don't know anything.
3:12 p.m. - I just noticed that my 38.16 points so far is still ahead of four different teams in my league, and within a handful of points of several others. Thanks, NFL, for putting all the good players in the night games.
3:14 p.m. - Did Eli Manning and Rueben Randle have a fight this week? :(
3:18 p.m. - Four different games are in the red zone. Andrew Siciliano must dream about this, but my StarTracker is full of little red boxes and I'm alternately excited and scared.
3:20 p.m. - The red boxes are all gone and I literally don't think anyone on either of our teams scored there, other than Greg getting an extra point out of Phil Dawson. That was anti-climactic.
3:22 p.m. - If you look only at the passing half of the game (i.e., no rushing totals), Jason Campbell right now is pretty comfortably the No. 2 quarterback in the league today. Because of course he is.
3:28 p.m. - New England just pulled in a tip drill interception that was just beautiful. Prettiest play of the day.
3:28 p.m. - Jeremy came downstairs and offered me grilled burgers and hot dogs with him, his girlfriend, and her kids. So I've gone upstairs with my laptop and cell phone and am trying to work and be social simultaneously. If you were watching us, you would find it very silly, but these are the redeeming parts of my brother, to be sure.
3:32 p.m. - Aaron Dobson has 14 points. Rueben Randle has zero. If you had told me they'd average seven today, I'd have been totally okay with it, but...c'mon, Rueben.
3:37 p.m. - Terrance Williams with the 60-yard score. My Ticker has actually been reasonably good this year, but my "Not buying" of him was ... not my best moment. Consider this my official mea culpa.
3:46 p.m. - The early games are almost over, my kicker is my leading scorer, and, because I have Aaron Rodgers and A.J. Green yet to go, this isn't a bad fantasy day. (Also, because Dan Bailey has 16 points.)
3:47 p.m. - I was literally about to write about how Thaddeus Lewis deserves some props for actually providing decent performance through all his sacks and quasi-injuries, and then he threw an interception. Thanks, Thad.
3:57 p.m. - Games are ending, I now have real work to do, so I shall bid you adieu. Until another Sunday.
3:58 p.m. - Long completion for Calvin Johnson! (That was going to be my closing joke as another callback to the earlier one, but after the game he's had, I don't even know anymore. Thanks for ruining my joke, Megatron.)