Home Columns Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Running for Our Lives

Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Running for Our Lives

by Jen Polvogt

Have I told you about the time that my husband, Nate, and I ran out on our check at a restaurant? It’s a good one.

We’re no thieves. Minus Nate’s affiliation with The Fantasy Thieves on Twitter. Oh, and minus that one time I got caught stealing underwear from JCPenney. But, other than that, we’re no thieves. But! We were pushed to our limits on one particular evening.

It was November of 2008 and we had just moved into our new place. We rented a duplex in a popular neighborhood in Downtown Denver and were so excited to not be living in an apartment. As you may, or may not know, I spent 14 years managing residential properties, aka, apartments. We always lived in the community I was managing, so when we finally had an opportunity to live with autonomy, it was glorious.

Built in 1912, the duplex was quaint and had original hardwoods, an upgraded bathroom, large kitchen, enclosed back porch, manageable back yard, two bedrooms and a basement for storage. It seemed serendipitous. We were driving through the historic neighborhood, saw a “for rent” sign, called the number and viewed the place within moments. We were approved within 24 hours and moved in a couple of weeks later.

Moving day was stressful, long and exhausting. The walkability score for that neighborhood was 80, so there are restaurants, coffee shops and other shopping readily available by foot. Our first night led us down the street and after a short three-block walk, we landed at a Mexican restaurant that looked hip, trendy, inviting and delicious.

Being delirious and starving, we needed food and we needed it immediately. That’s a perk with Mexican restaurants – they come with instant gratification with the warm and salty chips, accompanied by refreshing, flavorful salsa – a calming of blood sugar while you peruse the menu.

This place was not that place. So, there we were. Still starving, with no option of free chips and salsa, waiting on drinks to arrive at the table after moving all day. After waiting entirely too long, our food finally arrived. We each had two refreshing margaritas, finished our meals and were obviously ready to get back to our new place to finish unpacking.

Our waiter was an odd bird. He was very twitchy, got my order wrong, forgot our drinks, etc. We were patient because both of us have worked in restaurants and understand that things happen. No big deal. We were gracious but annoyed. Again, no big deal, but it was time to go. We needed the check.

We started out with the obvious and asked for our bill when we were done. And then we waited. And waited. He kept walking by our table but never brought the check. The next step was to put the credit card on the edge of the table. Maybe he forgot that we wanted our check? Then he disappeared. He never brought the check and never took our card. As the moments went on, I grew more and more impatient.

I tend to be an actionable person, so it was no surprise that I finally approached another waiter to ask for our check, and briefly explain that we had been waiting 20 minutes for our check. He told us that he’d track down our waiter and get this taken care of. OK, good. I was satisfied with that. Until our waiter still didn’t show up with our check and hadn’t been seen for another 10 minutes.

Further annoyed and to a point where my blood was boiling, I went to approach the hostess, or a manager, or anyone who looked competent enough to give my money to. I stood at the hostess-less hostess stand for a minute and then, there he was! Finally! Our waiter came through the doors of the kitchen and walked towards me.

I was so relieved to be able to pay our check and get home. He walked up and said, “Hi! Table for one?” My jaw dropped to the floor. He had no idea that he had waited on me for the last hour and a half. Zero recognition. His jaw was clicking and his pupils were so big that you could barely tell what his eye color was.

Unbelievable! Our waiter seemingly was in the kitchen, or the back alley, bathroom. Who knows where? But he was inebriated and unable to take care of us. The bill was $59, and we would have tipped the standard 20 percent. Instead of asking for the check, I looked at him and said, “no, I already have a table, I’m just looking for our waiter.” To which he responded, “OK, the hostess will be back shortly and can help you.”

I lept into action, sped-walked back to the table, grabbed the debit card and my purse and whispered loudly to Nate that we were leaving. His eyes questioned my behavior and I had to repeat myself to get him out of his seat. He obliged and we walked at a normal pace out the door.

To get home, we needed to take a right from the restaurant, but I grabbed his hand and we took a left. “RUN!!” I shouted. We took off down Colfax Avenue, which is the longest commercial street in the U.S., running 26.5 miles long. (Fun fact, but not relevant to this story.)

We assumed someone would come running out of the restaurant and shout at us, which only made us run faster. We zigged and zagged through the alleys, up and down neighborhood streets and finally landed back on Colfax. Out of breath, full of adrenaline and all the alcohol drained from our system, we were surprised that we landed at a place that looked fun. It was a two-story bar with flashing lights and blaring music.

We decided to go in and have a drink, because, well, we were newly sober after running a marathon. Plus, we didn’t pay for dinner, so we still had $59 burning a hole in our pockets. We had the best night. It was so out of character for us to do something like that. Nate sang every word of “Nothin’ But a G Thang” by Dr. Dre while dancing alone on the second floor of the packed bar. We drank, we sang and we walked home with a great story.

We ran for our lives that night, and we did it figuratively last week with the “Bye-Nado” that hit fantasy football lineups in Week 7 of the NFL season. It was a rough one for most of us. But, there’s hope of a new day as we head into Week 8.

Let’s take a look at a couple of characters who you should consider for the Sunday slate of games.

Jen’s Friday Night Insights

Quez Watkins (WR, Philadelphia Eagles)

Rookie wide receiver, Quez Watkins has had an up-and-down season so far, but he’s been fairly consistent. He is the WR3 behind DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor. They’ve both had up-and-down games, as well. Devonta Smith did not practice on Thursday due to a headache. No big deal. He’ll likely be starting in Sunday’s matchup against the putrid Detroit Lions, who are 0-7.

If you’re hurting for a WR, look no further. Watkins is only rostered in 3.6 percent of ESPN leagues, so he’s available for pickup. The thing with Philadelphia is that quarterback, Jalen Hurts, has been inconsistent in the passing game. He’s leaned into his role and is showing improvement, but until he’s solid, he’s going to be passing to all three of his receiving options.

Hurts has been leaning more on Watkins in the previous three weeks. On average, Watkins has 77 percent of the snap share, resulting in eight receptions over 12 targets and 129 yards, but lacks a touchdown so far this season. While those aren’t big numbers, it’s nice to have a tad of consistency if you’re hurting at the WR position. He could also be a good stash in dynasty leagues. Go and get him – he’s out there.

Phillip Lindsay (RB, Houston Texans)

Phillip Lindsay hasn’t gotten much love this year. Not surprising since he has to share the ball with David Johnson, Rex Burkhead and Mark Ingram. That will not be the case moving forward. Ingram was traded to the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, which paves the path for Lindsay to get more carries.

Throughout Lindsay’s career, he has been a stable and consistent running back. He was released from the Denver Broncos’ 53-man roster at the end of the 2020 season for some crazy reason, and the Texans signed him. In the first two seasons of his career, you could see that Lindsay was an explosive back who rushed for 1,000+ yards in his first two seasons and had 17 touchdowns. He also had 437 yards receiving during that span.

Now, let’s compare that to this season. Yes, I know we’re only seven weeks in, but it’s glaring that Lindsay is being underutilized in 2021. He has 97 yards rushing, 37 yards receiving and two touchdowns. With Ingram out of the way and Johnson’s lack of true rushing work, I’m hoping the Texans add Lindsay to the party plans and we get to see his explosiveness once again. He’s only rostered in 15.4 percent of ESPN leagues, so he would be a great RB2 or a lovely stash on your bench.

I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand and watch the 2021 NFL season unfold. Cheers! If you choose to make any of my drink recipes, I’d love to see them. Please take a picture and tag me!

Bi-Weekly Drink Recipe:

Halloween Punch

  • 1 64 oz bottle cranberry juice blend
  • 1 32 oz bottle Apple Juice or Apple Cider
  • 1 Liter Sprite or 7-Up
  • 2 cups rum
  • Add cranberry juice, apple juice and rum to a punch bowl, then add Sprite, stir, serve over ice in a glass and enjoy!

Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.

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