Training Camp Uppers and Downers

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Training Camp Uppers and Downers

It’s almost football season. Training camp battles are starting, Favre is reinstated and back as an active player (which means he is thinking about retiring), and coins are flipping in Chicago to decide who will throw the rock for 2008.

Smell that fresh air? Behind that freshness, the little taint of grass and sweat means it's football season, baby!

I had to change my shirt last night after watching the Hall of Fame game because my drool of anticipation for fantasy football had completely soaked it. It wasn’t pretty, but now that I’ve stocked up on paper towels, let’s talk fantasy football.

It’s this time of year that I like to sit down and write out some nice text messages to the NFL studs and duds for the upcoming season. I let each player know which of them is bringing me down or raising their stock, and everyone communicates through text messages these days.

NFL players don’t even take phone calls anymore. Well, at least, none of them return my phone calls. In fact, they may have even blocked my text messages. For that reason, I’ll post them here just in case. I know eventually they will read them and hit me back.

 

Brandon Marshall - WR - UPPER

Normally, I’d say a suspension was a downer, but you somehow made it out of the grasp of Roger Goodell with just a three-game suspension. You can even reduce that down to two games if you put some time in with the counselors. That’s like a celebrity jail sentence.

You still have to earn back my trust, but I have faith that ‘Baby T.O.’ is going to grow up this year and show his skills. If I can get you near the end of the top 20 receivers, I’ll take that.

Now we just need to figure out a look for you that says “I just caught the ball, and I’m a badass.” The one you have now is pretty garbage.

Denver Broncos Training Camp

 

Brett Favre - QB - DOWNER

It’s a downer that you are all over my TV every day. Anyone who makes Paris Hilton and the celebrity drinking team go away is not making strides to win me over.

Anyway, just wanted to see how you were doing now that no one really seems to want you around. You got reinstated, but now you are just causing more of a fuss for a team that doesn’t want to give you a job. It’s not you, Brett. It’s me…and Green Bay.

I just think that Green Bay is going a different direction. You’re two different people. Someday she might realize that you guys had a good thing going there, but hey, you had your chance. Let someone else take a spin.

If Aaron Rodgers drops the ball, maybe you can get a shot later in the season. If you’re around late in a draft, I’ll take you, Brett, but right now, it seems like you don’t know where you’re going (if anywhere) any more than we do.

 

LaMont Jordan - RB - UPPER

The dark side. I can’t believe you did it. I mean, you were only out of Oakland for 12 hours before you were signed. I bet you were planning your escape all along. Although, to tell you the truth, I have a hard time figuring out whether the dark side is Al Davis or Bill Belichick.

I almost like you better than Laurence Maroney this year. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because you’re cheap, my friend. I can take you in almost the last round and (possibly) have the workhorse back on TDs for the Patriots this year. From what I hear, they score a lot of those.

 

Steve Smith - WR - DOWNER

Your mom says you got in a fight at school, I mean, training camp the other day. Wait, seriously, you beat up your own teammate? What did he say? Was it “Stop being the only reason we win games this season, dude. You’re totally cramping my style?” Real mature on your part. I don’t believe you.

Now you’re sitting out the first two games of the regular season, but some fool is just going to gloss over that fact and take you way early. I’m fine with that. I’ll just offer him up a trade in week 3 when you look a little rusty, and he’s hurting for help at WR.

 

Ryan Grant - RB - UPPER

Ryan, Ryan, Ryan…you had me so scared there for a while. I had you rated as a potential top-five back to end the 2008 season. Did you know that? I bet you didn’t.

Unfortunately, you had to play all Javon Walker with the Green Bay management this year and hold out for a new contract. I hope you’re happy with the $30 million, four-year contract you signed this weekend.

You had me thinking Brandon Jackson might have a chance of taking some carries from you by the time you got back to camp. Don’t ever scare me like that again.

 

Terry Glenn - WR - DOWNER

It’s rough to see you let go, Glenn. I thought you might be a decent fantasy third WR that no one would take until the very last rounds of the draft, but you decided to play hardball with Jerry Jones.

You know who plays hardball with Jerry Jones? No one, that’s who. That bum knee of yours must really be serious if you were so insistent upon keeping your money if it went out on you again.

Now you might find a home in Miami with good ol’ Papa Parcells, but until the Dolphin’s have a quarterback, you’re value is almost nil. Re-order some business cards that say ‘Glorified Wide Receiver Coach’ and look into installing a bionic knee.

 

Willis McGahee - RB - UPPER

So Cam Cameron thinks you can play three downs? That’s great news. If he can keep you on the field longer and make you look like Ronnie Brown this year, it would be a gift for all mankind.

People forget that you’re around with that Cammy upside in fantasy drafts this year. Sometimes you don’t even go in the second round. Don’t feel bad though. If you’re around and a few other guys are off the board, I’ll take you there.

 

Kenny Irons - RB - DOWNER

I think your legs might be made of glass, Kenny. Did anyone ever check? You just can’t stay healthy since that 2007 preseason game where you blew your ACL. For your own sake, I hope you get that looked at and really rehab this year.

If you get hurt again, I don’t think another team is going to kick you out, take you in, and wait for you to put all the pieces of Humpty Dumpty back together again. You weren’t really on my fantasy radar for this year, but you could be someday…maybe…possibly.

I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you.

 

Devin Hester - KR/WR - UPPER

Good move, Hester. You know when to get into camp, and it paid off for you. Did you text Ryan Grant for me like I asked? Thanks.

Now that you’re in camp with your nice, shiny new deal, you can start learning to be a wide receiver so that late round snag looks like a smart move on my part, okay?

Route running is a little more than just bolting off the line, but you are really good at making people miss. If Chicago can fit a uniform over a ball machine and sneak it into a game at QB, you just might have a chance of taking a few to the house this year.

If Rex Grossman ends up your QB, well…good luck with that one, bud.

 

Javon Walker - WR - DOWNER

Sorry I didn’t get back to you when you left that really depressing voicemail. You were ruining my buzz. What? You tried to retire last week? I mean, I knew you were torn up that night I bumped into you in Vegas and stole your wallet, but come on, retire?

Well, I hope the fact that I was planning on avoiding you in my fantasy drafts doesn’t push you over the edge. You have some issues that need working out. Why don’t you relax a bit? Take it slow. Get a massage or something? Just DO NOT go back to Vegas…without me.

 

Justin Gage and Justin McCareins - WR - UPPER

Is it cool if I just copy/paste the same message for you guys? I mean, you’re both named Justin.

Well, look at you two. On any other team, you might not see the field more than a couple of times each game, but in Tennessee, you are the starters. Vince Young is going to need some decent targets, and hopefully, you guys have the hands to do it for him this year.

While I wouldn’t trust either of you to be much more than a backup or low-end third WR for fantasy this year, someone else might if they really can’t get a WR. I’m one of the faithful who thinks that Vince has a phenomenal NFL season in him somewhere. If you give it to him, we’ll be cool for life.

 

Andre Johnson - WR - DOWNER

I thought you were all healed up. What’s this about a groin injury? Just a tweak? That’s no good, man. I was planning on taking you early, but now I keep having these horrible flashbacks to your injury last season.

Are you going to leave me hanging Harrison-style? I’ll keep you as a top 10, potential top five WR, but just so you know, you’re scaring me.

 

Todd Heap - TE - DOWNER

Please talk to Kenny Irons. You guys might have the same doctors. This calf injury does not exactly inspire confidence, Todd. Give me a sign that you’re actually going to stay healthy this year.

I’m tired of hearing all this talk that you are one of the top fantasy TEs when I never see you on the field. If you don’t show up this season, I am going to get creative with your last name on the signs I make at Baltimore games. You know where I’ll go with it.

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