What if Nephi Played in the NFL?............

Monday, December 29, 2008

(Warning: This post was rated a 94 out of 100 for "Fantasy Sports Geekiness" by the Surgeon General. If you do not care about fantasy sports, please stop reading right now. Seriously. Stop. I hope the six people who make it to the end of this post enjoy it. If nothing else, I had a good time writing it.)

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. Bitter because the fantasy football season ended. Sweet because 


We had a good season this year in our 12-team league that consisted of me, the Normal Mormon Wife, several of my ward members, a couple of old friends and a few guys I have met over my blog. My team finished in first place in the regular season standings and then swept through the playoffs, making this by far the best fantasy season I have ever had. 

The semi finals came down to me against my friend who manages a team called Comfortable in Wranglers (I heard his employer gave him a bonus for the free publicity.) He is also our Ward Mission Leader and I had secretly vowed to never feed the missionaries again if his team beat mine. The outcome of our game was decided when Jon Kasay missed a 50-yard field goal in the Sunday night Panther-Giants game. If he makes the field goal, I lose. Fortunately for me, he missed I was Super Bowl bound. 

I squared off in the Super Bowl against my high school buddy and BYU roommate who has a team called Takes A Man to Make A Man. I thought I was going to lose when Steven Jackson rushed for 161 yards and 2 TD while also catching 4 passes for 54 yards. Fortunately for me I had picked up Seneca Wallace, Tony Scheffler and Cedric Benson for their Week 17 match-ups and they led me to a narrow 154-148 victory. 

My sincere thanks go to Brian Westbrook and Anquan Boldin who were my MVP's when they were healthy. If the NMW and I ever have another son, I am going to name him Anquan Westbrook. Steve Slaton and Lance Moore were my free agent pickups who delivered big numbers all year. Dallas Clark was my TE who I picked up off of the waver wire and had a solid season.

Braylon Edwards and Ben Roethlisburger - you stink! You guys frustrated me every week since the draft ended. I will never draft either of the two of you again. Good riddance.  

Enough about my team. I always like to hear other people's fantasy football stories, so PLEASE POST COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR TEAM AND THE PLAYERS YOU LOVED, HATED, SURPRISED YOU, ETC. 

Now that the fantasy season is over, I proudly present to you the 2008 Normal Mormon Husband fantasy awards. Since this is an LDS-themed blog, I decided to put a Book of Mormon reference in every one of the categories to help spice things up a little bit.  

The Nephi Award (MVP) - Nephi is one of the stalwarts in the Book of Mormon who does whatever it takes to get the job done. Whether he is being asked to return to Jerusalem, get the brass plates, build a ship, kill dinner, cross the ocean, build a temple or lead his people, Nephi never lets you down. Week after week, Nephi just delivers. Nephi is an MVP. 
  • Winner - Drew Brees. Led our league in total points with 360. Every time you faced the Irritable Bowels team with Brees as its QB you were terrified that he would go for 400 yards and 4 TD's. 
  • Runners Up - Andre Johnson (323 points), DeAngelo Williams (309).
The Corianton Award (Biggest Disappointment)
Corianton is the son of the prophet Alma who boasts in his own strength and wisdom, forsakes his ministry and chases after a woman of ill repute (as do most NFL players, but anyway....) Alma probably experienced many frustrating weeks where he was deeply disappointed in the behavior of his wayward son. Fantasy owners can relate to being disappointed after having huge expectations for a high draft pick. While Corianton eventually turned his life around, some people never get it right. For instance...
  • Winner (Loser?) - Joseph Addai. The Colts RB had rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and scored 15 TD's in 2007. Addai was set to have a big season in 2008 and was drafted 7th overall in our league draft. No Go Joe played in only 12 games and contributed a measly 140 points on 544 yards (3.5 ypc) and 5 touchdowns. Boy am I glad I picked sixth in our draft...
  • Runners Up - Ryan Grant (drafted 17th -173 points), Braylon Edwards (19th-168).
City of Gid Award (Biggest Surprise)
In Alma 55 we read about the Lamanites taking control of the City of Gid and taking the city's inhabitants as prisoners. During the night time the Lamanite guards get wasted (as do most NFL players, but anyway...) and Moroni casts weapons over the city walls to arm the captive prisoners. When the Lamanites wake up the following morning they find Gid surrounded by Moroni's army on the outside and - SURPRISE! - all of the prisoners inside the city are armed. Kind of like Plaxico Burress. Needless to say, the Lamanite soldiers surrendered. Kind of like the Detroit Lions. Surprises happened this year in fantasy football as well.  
  • Winner - Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers had completed a total of 26 passes in two years as Brett Favre's backup in Green Bay.  Nobody really knew how well Rodgers would do as a starter and he was ultimately selected in the 14th round of our league's draft. Rodgers surprised everybody by finishing the season 5th overall with 314 points. 
  • Runners Up - DeAngelo Williams was an 11th round pick and finished 7th overall with 309 points. Kurt Warner was drafted in our 10th round and finished 10th overall with 295 points. 
Curelom and Cumom Award (Never Heard Of Him Before)
I had never heard of a curelom or a cumom before reading the Book of Ether. (Does anybody know what type of animals those are? Do they have horns? Can they fly? Breathe fire? Grant wishes? If anybody knows, please enlighten me.) A number of players rose from obscurity in 2008 to deliver solid fantasy numbers to their owners. 
  • Winner: Steve Breaston. As a rookie WR in 2007 for the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Breaston had a total of 8 catches for 92 yards. This year he went for 77 receptions, 1,006 and 3 TD's plus 900 return yards. Breaston finished 32nd overall with 243 points. 
  • Runners up: Matt Cassell (241), Lance Moore (236)
Faith of Ammaron Award (Best Rookie)
Toward the end of the Book of Mormon Ammaron gives the records to a 10-year-old boy named Mormon because he was "sober child" and "quick to observe." Sometimes we have to trust in young, unproven people to get the job done. In fantasy football we call them rookies. 
  • Winner - Matt Forte. The Bears rookie RB finished the year with 307 points, placing him in the top-10 overall for the season. Like Mormon, Forte was "quick", but I'm not so sure about "sober."
  • Runners Up - Steve Slaton - 17th overall, Eddie Royal (20th)
King Lamoni Award (Did He Stink or Not Stink?)
After King Lamoni had been caught up in the Spirit for two days and two night, many people in the kingdom believed he had died and had begun to....well...reek. His wife, however, said, "Others say that he is dead and that he stinketh...but as for myself, to me he doth not stink." There are a number of NFL players who either stunk or did not stink this year depending upon how you see things. PLEASE VOTE ON THESE FOUR PLAYERS because I need your help sorting out which ones stunk and which ones did not.
  • LaDanian Tomlinson. LDT has been a fantasy juggernaut over the past several years and went 1st overall in our league draft. In 2006 LDT was 1st overall with an amazing 485 points and then finished 4th overall in 2007 with 371 points. LaDanian finished this year 13th overall with 278 points, which for most players is an outstanding year but rather lame for LDT. Stink? Didn't stink? You tell me. 
  • Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD finished 9th overall with 298 points but had too many horrible games (e.g. being held to 50 or fewer total yards in five games) to be a consistent performer. 
  • Adrian Peterson. He led the league with 1760 rushing yards, but finished as the 9th overall RB with 266 points. Again, 266 points are great, but AP was supposed to be the most dominant RB this year.
  • Randy Moss. Expectations for Moss were huge after last year's offensive explosion, but Brady's injury in Week 1 killed any hopes for a monster season. Moss finished the season with over 1,000 yards and 11 TD's, placing him 14th among receivers in fantasy points. But between weeks 2-11 he only topped 100 yards twice and scored only four TD's.  
Well, my thoroughly enjoyable 2008 fantasy football season has come to an end. Now begins the long, boring stretch of the year we call the NFL off season. 

Post your comments about the highs and lows of your fantasy season. Hopefully next year I will have has many highs as I had in 2008. And who knows, maybe ten years from now I will be telling my son, Anquan Westbrook, every detail about the glorious year when I won the Super Bowl. 

(P.S. - There is one additional Book of Mormon themed category called "The All-Gadianton Robbers Team" that consists only of players who have had brushes with the law. This post was already too long so I will come out with the AGRT in a few days.)


Andymann said...

Shouldn't you have an award for "King Noah" for the worst coach/owner who did the worst job and deserves to be burnt alive? Marinelli, Wade Phillips, or Mangini?

10:09 PM
carmar76 said...

Your posts are never too long! They're always very enjoyable. Even when I don't know anything about fantasy football, still a fun read! Loved the Scripture correlations! : )

10:30 PM
Braden said...

MJD and Randy Moss lean more toward the stink, though Moss deserves a little bit of a pass (pun intended) because he was catching second-string lobs all year. Even given that, he ended up over 1000 yards including at least one pass per game of more than 20 yards.

As for Jones-Drew, he keeps getting worse and worse as the years go by, kind of like the Nephites toward the end of the reign of the judges. This year he was held to under 3.5 yards per carry 7 times and only totaled more than 100 yards rushing twice and more than 75 yards 4 times. If you add receiving into the mix, then he had 8 games, but that is still a lot lower than I would like from a player going at such a high position. He needs to listen to Samuel the Lamanite and repent ye repent ye.

I don't know how you can lead the league in rushing yards and still be in the "stink" question. Ease up on AP. He is lower in points totals because of the low number of touchdowns, but he finished 7 games with over 100 yards rushing and only 1 with less than 76. I think number of touchdowns for any position is way overrated, because a lot of it depends on how well your team is setting you up for touchdowns. Remember that the Vikings entire offense only scored 15 rushing touchdowns. I think when you run for the better part of 2000 yards and score 2/3 of your team's rushing touchdowns and help your team to the playoffs, you should be safe from the list-o-stinkethness.

As for LDT, his rushing wasn't as stellar as we might expect, but if you consider all-purpose yards, he ended up over 1500 with 8 games over 100 all-purpose yards. In a season where he ended up in the top 10 in rushing, scored 12 touchdowns, and helped his team (squeak in)to the postseason, I think that he should squeak off of the stink list as well.

11:26 PM
Brandon said...

I was a close second in my league's standings going into the playoffs, thanks in part to Brees' comsistency. Made it to the championship for the third time in four years. After three losses in said Superbowl, one by .06 points, I hoped to take home the prize this time around.

Sadly, AP and Thomas Jones, my running backs, failed to record a single touchdown, while my opponent relied on D'Angelo Williams' throwback-to-Barry-Sanders-in-his-prime 4 touchdown week to lead his team to victory.


As to who stunk the most, AP shared carries with Chester a lot, while Moss was indeed missing Brady. I'm going with LT, who had zero reason to destroy countless fantasy teams this season.

11:52 PM
normal mormon wife said...

Thanks for letting me crash the party and join the NMH FFL. I had a lot of fun, even though my team tanked after a sweet 4-0 start.

My personal MVP: Michael "The Burner" Turner. He's my new professional athlete crush. I hate to tell ya, but if we aren't done having kids yet, Michael is at the top of the boy name list WAY ahead of Anquan.

1:12 AM
pigbook1 said...

I don't play FF, but I watch as many games as possible so here are my opinions on that last category. Also for full disclosure I am a Patriots fan and a Philip Rivers worshiper

LT- stinks, he is overrated and honestly doesn't perform as he should. I could say that about the whole SD team, but since I am madly in love with the QB I won't :-)
Randy Moss - pretty much falls in the same category. I realize his BFF Brady was out after 10 minutes of the season, but if he was that AMAZING he would have helped out Cassel and they could have made many more spectacular plays and he could have ended up in the top 10 (maybe even top 5)
MJD- Has potential, but you are right he is WAY too inconsistent to invest in the first round
Adrian Peterson - I don't think he stinks, in fact I had a more realistic expectation for him and he pretty much preformed as expected which is more than I can say for the other 3

5:37 AM
Melanie said...

I have no idea about anything football. As for cureloms and cumoms...I think they are probably mastodons or mammoths.

8:10 AM
Jeremy said...

I had my season riding on Tom Brady and Reggie Bush, who put up huge numbers. They got hurt and then other top players got hurt and players like Willie Parker never produced. This was my worst season ever hands down. But thanks for letting me join the league.

9:47 AM
Melisa said...

Hilarious. Applying the BOM to Fanstasy Football. Love it!

9:50 AM

I have two additional awards to submit:

The Laman and Lemuel Award
You always knew Laman and Lemuel would be the bad guys but they had enough moments where they seemed to genuinely repent, that you thought they might turn out okay. This is the award for the player who did just enough to make you think he would get you the points when you needed them and then proceeded to completely collapse at the worst possible moment.

Winner: T.J. Houshmanzadeh (W.R. Bengals) he had just enough points to warrant a starting spot but in the last game of the year, the Super Bowl no less, he proceeds to go without 1 single catch. Yes in the game you lose by 2 stinking points this guy can't bring in one simple catch.

The Amalickiah: Amalickiah rose to the top by killing off the king.

Winner: Drew Brees. When I found out I was going to be going up against Drew Brees in the SuperBowl, I must confess, I contemplated for one moment driving out to New Orleans and going Nancy Kerrigan on his knee caps. Luckily I resisted the temptation, but it is only a matter of time before some NFL player is knocked out in the last week by some crazed Fantasy Football fan who can't contemplate losing to him. In retrospect, considering I lost by two points, taking out Drews kneecaps would not have been such a bad idea.

Not that I am bitter or anything.

3:09 PM
Chris said...

Most of the words in the Book of Mormon were translated by Joseph Smith into English. A few words, including Curelom and Cumom, were left untranslated. Many LDS scholars have assumed that these words were left untranslated because there were no English words that were equivalent at the time of the translation. They are probably correct, although, there is no way to know for sure.

There are a few possibilities for Curelom and Cumom that are summarized fairly well in this wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curelom). The two most likely explanations are:

First, Curelom and Cumom are some sort of Ice Age mammals that are now extinct, that were fairly unknown during Joseph's day. Orson Pratt apparently believed that cureloms were mammoths (Journal of Discourses 12:339-340).

Second, Curelom and Cumom refer to a now-known indigenous animal that had no English name in Joseph's day (llama, alpaca, tapir, etc.).

I personally think that the latter possibility is the most likely. Be careful what you read about this, as there has been some pretty crazy stuff written about this issue from the apologist crowd. Some of it is ok, but a lot of it is nuts.


The Normal Mormon Archaeologist

Now, back to the football talk...

7:37 AM