“Ear to the Ground” is a year-round column from the stylings of Bo McBrayer, blending the spice of life with fantasy football advice in the form of a dynasty trade value chart good for the next month. Join him this week as he examines changing pace and the dynasty landscape leading into the NFL Draft.
I believe in parallel dimensions. Whether you can imagine the terrifying “Upside-Down” from “Stranger Things” or something as complex as String Theory, humanity has always wondered if there is “more than what we can see.” The cosmos are infinite (and expanding), but the vibes right here on Earth are more than sufficient to occupy my mind and soul while I’m here.
For a person who gets all wrapped up in punctuality, I strive for days when time is not of the essence. To be rushed is to be exposed as unprepared. But where should I be? I’ve tried to relax my disdain for tardiness, no longer dwelling on the perceived disrespect of my time.
Relax. Time is a construct, so slow down and curl your toes in the sand.
Call Me Crazy
I talk to myself often. Many people have a mantra that realigns them in times of stress and anxiety. Mine is “slow down.” Stressors are abundant and pull at us mercilessly from all angles like a marionette. Dance! Faster!
It’s all too much, especially as a Californian. Breakneck pace isn’t just the norm; it is expected.
In my favorite alternate universe, I can teleport to one of my oases at the snap of a finger. It could be my backyard, with a perfectly rolled blunt and the sunshine glistening off the water. The star jasmine are in bloom and fill the air with their intoxicating aroma. A lone cicada is buzzing excitedly, but I hear it as soothing Brownian noise.
Slow down. Sip tea. Hum a melody. Repeat in perpetuity. California melts into Tennessee: deliberate and thoughtful. Placid and private. I blink, and I’m in the mountains inhaling the brisk night sky with a trillion stars.
I snap back into consciousness with a sneeze. Damn allergies. I’ll be back, I promise.
Time Will Tell
I’ve only been to Tennessee once, back in 2011. My wife has family just north of Nashville, Tenn., and she wanted them to meet the man she was set to marry a few months later. Some of the relatives were held in much higher esteem than the others, but I met them all.
My most profound realization from my week there was that even the busiest Tennessean lived at a pace that burned much slower than back home – same responsibilities, different mindset. It was never lost on them to rest and enjoy the trappings of life. Despite the biting flies and humidity, I wanted to stay longer.
Tennessee reminded me of ranch life growing up. My uncle was a cowboy who never took a day off, but he had that same calm about him. I see it now as resiliency. He lives this mantra every day. Ranch life has its own brand of hecticness, but at least the crops and livestock would never stab someone in the back to get ahead of them.
I get it now. Life is self-paced, and only the resilient ones can prevent their environment from rattling them off-course. Slow down. The sun will rise again and give another chance at it. Repeat in perpetuity.
Don’t Be Wasteful
Becoming a father also altered my viewpoint on time. I’ve blinked, and a decade has elapsed since we brought home our bundle of joy. Now she’s in fourth grade, learning coding and writing her own plays and songs. Where did that time go? In some respects, I feel like I missed a lot and regret not savoring those days as they went hurtling past.
I remind her daily not to be wasteful. Normally, that centers around throwing away food and blank sheets of paper. It also pertains to her time. As she develops into her own person, my wish for her is to value the time she is given and to condense it with happiness whenever possible. I wonder what her mantra will be. The world will try and speed her up. I hope she plants her roots just as deeply as she cares for her loved ones.
She’s doing better than I did. That’s another thing all parents aspire to do: for their children to surpass them and not experience the same strife. I guess that means I’m doing fine, in turn. I’m doing my job. Everything is on-time and in the moment.
Slow down. I’ve already arrived in the dimension where I’m meant to be.
Dynasty Trade Value Chart: Comers, Stayers & Goers
With as many dynasty leagues as I have, it’s as if my life is subsequently running perfectly parallel to the ebbs and flows of the NFL calendar. “Families are always rising and falling in America,” according to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The players I’m trying to flip or keep to build a dynastic championship fantasy team range from rising stars to surprises at their peak.
The ones I am looking to make a trade for, hold or trade away during and after the 2023 NFL Draft at each position are noted on a dynasty trade value chart below:
|Trey Lance (SF)
|Kyler Murray (ARI)
|Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)
|Rachaad White (TB)
|Rhamondre Stevenson (NE)
|Tyler Allgeier (ATL)
|D.K. Metcalf (SEA)
|Darnell Mooney (CHI)
|Tyreek Hill (MIA)
|Darren Waller (NYG)
|Kyle Pitts (ATL)
|Greg Dulcich (DEN)