8-24-09: Mock Mailbag, the Second...

Hello again everybody...

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was very relaxing, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Saturday, I had my brother and nephew over for dinner, which served two purposes. First of all, it allowed me to spend some quality time with the family, which is always a good thing. And second, it forced me to clean up the bachelor pad a little bit. Sometimes it gets a touch too bachelory (I'm pretty sure I just invented that word), and it needed a solid once-over. (Okay, it probably needed a 5-times-over, but you get the idea.)

In any case, it was a good day, and I had an awesome time. Thanks Mark and Cade!

Sunday, I didn't do squat. Sometimes you just need a day to do absolutely nothing of consequence. And apparently, I need a few more of those than average. Go figure. I got some serious R&R and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Oh, and if you're not watching, "Mad Men" on AMC, you should be. Sunday nights, 9pm central time, check it out. But do yourself a favor. Google up an episode guide so you can catch up on the first two seasons, or you'll be hopelessly lost.

But I digress...

Instead of your usual notes column on a Monday, I'm bringing back a column that got a lot of positive reaction the last time I ran it. Hopefully it'll be just as entertaining this time around.

Off we go!

"The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin."
- Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856), journalist, essayist, literary critic, and one of the most significant German romantic poets

This is for my buddy Jon who likes to post a Latin "Word/Phrase of the Day" on his Facebook page. (Yes, I know some eclectic people!) But don't hold that against him, he's also a Tennessee Volunteer football fan! And anybody who loves college football is good by me!

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And speaking of football... it's time for:

Mock Mailbag, the Second

(As always, none of the following emails were conceived, written, or sent by the individuals named. They're merely figments of my questionable imagination.)

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Come on, you didn't really buy my "I just don't think I can cut it physically" bit did you?!

I don't do dorms. I'm a man. I'm 40! (copyright Mike Gundy).

And don't sweat Friday night. I'd only had 3 practices under my belt.

How good did Tarvaris look?! Nice to see the kid step up. Way to go kid, now don't forget my bags on the way to the plane.

B. Favre
Minneapolis, MN

Sorry Brett, but you suckered me in. While I allowed for the possibility that you might still come play for the Vikes, I'd resigned myself to a less interesting season.

Serves me right for not listening to my old college roommate. (Yes, David, you were right again!)

For all the people kvetching about Friday night, no, it wasn't the storybook outing that people had dreamed up. But it doesn't mean anything.

If he looks that shaky in the next two games, then there will be reason to worry. But for now? It's a nothing deal. Really.

We know nobody noticed with Favre-a-palooza going on and all. But we did just go 5-2 on our road-trip. And we shaved two games off of Detroit's lead.

Maybe not so much with the fork there Blog Boy?!

The Home Nine
Minneapolis, MN

Okay, okay, I've put the fork away for now. As Michael Corleone famously said, "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in!"

The Twins split their 4-game series in Texas and then swept the hapless Royals in KC over the weekend. And "hapless" might be an understatement for anyone who saw Josh Anderson try to play right field on Friday night. Oof.

So now the Twins sit at 61-63, which is far from impressive. But they're only 2 games behind Chicago, and 4.5 games behind Detroit with 38 games remaining. Of those 38 games, 13 are against the Tigers and White Sox. And of the other 25, only 3 are against a team with a +.500 record. Needless to say, the schedule is in their favor.

So this race is far from over. And who knows, with the spotlight cast firmly on the Vikings and #4, maybe that takes the pressure off the boys and they go on a run.

You just never know!

It's that time of year! Are you sure you don't want to join us again?

Fantasy Football Lovers
Everywhere, U.S.A.

Yes, I'm sure. And no, I don't want to join you.

I listened to a hour-long podcast the other night where all the guys did was talk fantasy football. And I didn't feel a twinge of regret for not playing this year.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I am part of a 6-team league run by a buddy of mine in Eau Claire. But I don't count that because I let the website auto-draft for me, and the only attention I'll pay it over the course of the season is to set the line-up each week.)

I quit playing seriously a couple of years back, because I realized that "luck" plays an inordinately large role in determining who wins their league. You can put hours and hours of work into researching your draft board (and I did), love your team on paper (and I did), and easily still wind up 6-8 and out of the playoffs (and I did).

So I did the only thing I could do. I got out. I hung up my preview magazines and called it a fantasy career. And I don't regret the decision a bit.

I don't mean to disparage the millions of fans who love fantasy football. If you dig it, that's great!

It just wasn't fun for me anymore. And though I miss heading over to Eau Claire and seeing the boys for the draft, my wallet thanks me for making the call that I did.

And finally...

We just want to bet on a football game legally, and make some money for our state at the same time. Is that so wrong?!

The People of Delaware
Dover, DE

For those of you unfamiliar with this story, the state of Delaware claims it is exempt from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act because it had a form of sports betting in the previous two decades.

So they want to use that exemption to begin what they're calling a "Sports Lottery". That's a euphemism for "Legalized Sports Betting".

The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL (really? who's betting on hockey?!) and NCAA have all lined up with legal challenges. The most recent of which resulted in a federal appeals court ruling that Delaware's plan did in fact violate the PASPA. So for now, recreational gamers in Delaware will have to remain under ground.

As many of you know, I'm not averse to placing the occasional wager. Though I've refrained from involving myself from sports betting. I've never liked the idea of risking more than you stand to win in any wager.

That all being said, I think laws in this regard are terribly mis-guided. I understand that gambling can be a problem for some people, and I don't make light of their addictions by any means. But I've never understood why the risk to the minority should deprive the rest of us of the opportunity to take advantage of a little late steam on a football game, should we so choose.

And why on earth would we pass up on the revenue from a source that exists whether we want to tax it or not? Conservatively, the federal appeals court just cost the citizens of Delaware $150 million per year.

That's $150 million that could have been used to close deficits, improve schools, improve roads, and keep state employees from losing their jobs.

But oh no! We can't have "dirty" gambling money helping us out!

Somehow we've convinced ourselves that we'd rather have some possibly-fictional "moral high ground", than take advantage of an obvious, and sizable revenue source. Way to go America!

Okay, okay... I'll get off the soap box now.

So there's your Mock Mailbag. I hope you enjoyed it.

I'll be back on Wednesday. Perhaps the return of another regular segment? We shall see!

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. Yeah, there's speed limit laws, too, 'cause of a minority of people who don't understand how to control a car at a high rate of speed.

  2. Yes, but if I'm speeding, and I'm in that minority, then I'm endangering other people's well-being.

    If I'm betting on the Giants too often, who am I hurting besides myself?

  3. Great post Dan. I'm so excited that you mentioned that you're not a fan of fantasy football. Now I like watching sports but I'm not going to spend hours looking over players stats. I just don't get the whole fantasy football thing.

    I do agree with you on the sports betting but that's a personal preference. I wouldn't mind making the occasional bet.

  4. Thanks Cat!

    I understand the draw of Fantasy Football. It just became not a lot of fun for me anymore. Not the first time I've burned out on a hobby. I'm sure it won't be the last. I've at least developed the ability to know when I need to hang it up and move on.

    The sports betting thing is really part of a larger Libertarian rant I have. I just don't understand why the government sees the need to create laws to prevent us from doing things which, while morally questionable to some, don't really hurt anybody else. It's my business if I want to wager on the NFL or College Football. Stay out of my business Feds!

    Oh, and don't discount the hypocrisy involved in the leagues objecting to this.

    Do you know why there's a college football game on virtually every night of the week? Ratings. Do you know why Akron v. Marshall gets ratings? Gambling.