Start, Sit & Black Sheep
“Start, Sit & Seth” is the original column of In-Between Media, bridging feel-good lifestyle advice with redraft fantasy football analysis. Consistently following Seth Woolcock’s journey as a young creator, this series is now in its fifth season. Join him this week as he shares the story of Crystal Scuor and his start/sit selections for Week 4.
In a world full of influencers and follower counts, it’s as difficult as ever to just “do you.” Not giving a sh*t about the outside noise becomes increasingly onerous the older we get.
But when we do find that courage to take our own – less traveled – path, we unlock a part of ourselves we always sought.
This is one of those stories.
It takes us 4000-plus miles across the world to the charming lakeside town of Arona, Italy.
Get to Know Crystal Scuor
While life might seem like a fine Italian wine for her today, the road to getting here has been anything but smooth.
Crys grew up in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, just over 16 miles east of Vancouver, nestled along the north shore of the confluence between the Fraser and Pitt Rivers. Her parents were Italian immigrants who had moved to Canada before having Crys’s older brother and sister.
By high school, Crys was like a lot of us – wearing whatever hat was needed at the time. Yet, she had a way of being everyone at once. She was a cheerleader in the car mechanic class, a thespian Monday through Friday and a reveler on the weekends.
Crys joined the yearbook staff her junior year, partially exploring her interest in writing, but also hoping to help craft her senior book around her friends and their stories. She book opened with a quote from Kenny Chesney’s 2005 song, “Summertime,” setting the scene for her final year of high school.
Following high school, she enrolled at Douglas College in their legal secretary program. Her time there confirmed her passion for writing, but more through a creative lens than a legal one.
One With the Waves
Crys left college after one semester, hoping to discover herself outside what she had always known.
“I’ve always kind of been the black sheep of the family,” Crys said in a Sept. 19 interview.
By the time Crys left college, both her parents and siblings worked at Telus Communications Inc., a Canadian telecommunications company. Wanting to find her own path, she began saving up money by working multiple jobs at a restaurant, grocery store and tuxedo shop.
“I knew they were all doing their thing,” Crys said. “He [her boyfriend] really wanted to go to Australia at the time to experience surfing and just this different lifestyle than anything I’ve ever done before.”
So that’s what they did. In 2011, Crys and her boyfriend received their visas and set out for the down under.
Once there, the couple crashed in Sydney and began making their way up the coast toward Darwin on the north shore of the continent. However, things changed when they came across the town city of Byron Bay.
“It was just this little hippie town, unlike anyone I’ve ever lived in before,” Crys said. “…I fell in love with this place, Byron Bay, and we ended up extending the trip for eight months.”
It was almost as if overnight Cry’s life had changed from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver to journaling on the beach and learning to surf.
“I lived a very different lifestyle – I saw you don’t need much to be happy,” she said. “When I went to Australia, it really opened my mind up that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing in life. You can go a different path, and maybe those experiences don’t work for someone else. But maybe that’s just what you needed to find out who you really are.”
Crys returned home in late 2011. While her time in Australia was over, she took home new-found lessons learned from the stories she wrote of her encounters on the beach.
Now confident that she wanted to share other people’s stories, Crys enrolled in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s journalism program. At this time, she and her high school boyfriend split ways as she headed towards higher education and he went south for the waves of California.
Crys took to campus ambitious, with the dream of becoming the next Vancouver Canucks sideline reporter.
One night at the bar where she worked in college, Crys met a guy who had come in to watch the San Francisco 49ers game. She revealed that she was more of a hockey fan. Determined to show her the game’s beauty, he took her through Patrick Willis’ highlights tape.
The 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot that injured 140 people, including nine police officers, somewhat soured professional hockey for Crys. So she began to fall in love with football, as she did with the man who introduced her to it.
Together they enjoyed the 49ers’ run to the 2012 Super Bowl, a game in Candlestick Park in 2013 and hosting countless watch parties.
“I finally felt like I was part of this bigger community,” Crys said. “…It was this whole new experience. Everything was so fast-paced and so exciting. It was more different than anything I could have imagined my life to be.”
Putting in the Work
While at school, Crys also committed to getting hands-on experience while still learning. She took her first internship position with 604 Now, a digital media company covering metro Vancouver.
“If you want to set yourself apart from somebody else, you make the time,” Crys said. “If this is something you really want to excel and be good at, you make sure you have the time to do it.”
She wrote her first piece in 2015, “The Bandwagoner’s Guide to Super Bowl XLIX.” The staff was so pleased they brought her on as a foods and events editor with a flavor of sports.
While on duty covering the NBA Canada Series in 2016, she was approached by a producer from Delta TV, a small broadcast television company. The producer offered her another internship, doing their “Hockey Night” program, covering the Delta Ice Hawks, a junior “B” ice hockey team.
Red Flags & Red Brake Lights
As her college career began taking off, her relationship with her boyfriend took a turn for the worst.
“You don’t see the red flags when you’re so excited about where something can go,” Crys said.
Though it took some time to realize it, during their four-and-a-half-year relationship, Crys suffered emotional and physical abuse. It escalated from treating her rudely at work to smashing her phone and locking her in rooms while shouting disrespectful names.
Even after the abuse became physical, Crys did her best to hide it from friends and family. Following a fight, her boyfriend would play the proverbial apologetic card, buying her anything from flowers to her dog, Ruxin.
“I think you get so used to it – you just think this is normal,” she said.
The on-again, off-again relationship hit rock bottom when an overwhelmed Crys drove off a road at 75 miles per hour (mph), narrowly escaping death, landing in a cornfield.
“Thank God it didn’t turn out the other way,” she said. “I was at such a low that I didn’t want to be alive anymore. And after that moment, I knew I needed to be done [with him]…”
Crys took her near-death experience as a sign that she needed to keep going and focus on herself. Somehow, laying there in that cornfield, she put the first piece of herself and her heart back together.
“It was a situation that I needed to get out of. It was either I chose myself, or I choose to be miserable with him.”
While taking her first steps to recover from the traumatic stress of her relationship, Crys found inspiration in her favorite 49er, Patrick Willis, who recently opened up about the abuse he had suffered from his father.
“I remember thinking, ‘if this guy [Willis] can get through this and get to the NFL, I can get through what I’m going through right now,” she said. “I will get to that other side.”
What was on that other side was peace, self-forgiveness and a new appreciation for her own unique story.
“I look back [today]… and I feel like maybe I needed to go through it in order to get through some of the other things that were going to come down the road in life, to show me how strong I can be.”
After graduating from college, Crys worked for BC Sports Hub, a news outlet covering British Colombia and Canadian sports. Covering human interest stories, Crys became a known media member of British Colombia’s college and high school basketball scene.
In 2019, she relocated with her now-fiance, Chris Evans, to Toronto as they attended the College of Sports Media. While there, Crys found herself. Known around campus as the “Niners Girl,” she found her “football friends.”
She also found a new community of 49ers fans online where she continues to bring an optimistic and cheeky spin to her content, reaching more than 17,000 followers on Twitter.
In July 2020, Crys fulfilled a lifelong dream and interviewed Willis himself.
“I did the interview at my cabin. He was wearing his fedora at his trailer in California,” she said. “It was the most relaxing, amazing interview in my entire life.”
It reminded Crys why she went to Toronto in the first place and that she was ready to take the next step in her career.
The Black Sheep
Today, Crys is just a few days away from celebrating a year of citizenship in Italy. She is living her dream as a verified journalist as her fiance serves as the photographer and videographer for an Italian prep school basketball team.
She spends her days writing, creating short videos and doing livestreams, all while overlooking the scenic Lake Maggiore.
“I’ve been through so much in my life,” she said. “Looking at where are now, you don’t think you’d ever be somewhere where you feel this peaceful and at home. I’ve always felt like the black sheep. I’ve always been running away from situations because I never knew how to stay in one place. I don’t want to run away here.”
In addition to their work, Crys and Chris immerse themselves in the Italian landscape and culture, taking in traditions like aperitivo, a cultural pre-meal drink. One of their favorite traditions is going to a local pub, The Black Sheep (go figure), ordering massive liter beers and watching sports.
Recently, Crys announced that a new baby 49ers Faithful will be joining the Evans/Scuor family next year.
“If you ever feel like you’re not good enough,” she said. “If you feel like you can’t accomplish the dreams that others and your own securities tell you can’t. You are your own hero. You hold the torch to go down whatever path you want to in this life.”
“Yeah, some of them are going to be darker than others. Some of them will be bumpy, and some will lead to a dead end. But that’s OK… Lean on yourself, trust yourself and go after those dreams regardless of anything you’ve ever been through. You will get through it, and it will taste so much sweeter than you can ever imagine.”
The Paths We Travel
So if you’re like Crys – or me for that matter – and feel like you’re the black sheep of your family or friends, just own it. Treat those missteps and miscalculations like the sharpeners of your blade, and fight for what you want in life.
Whether you’re four weeks into a new job, your first semester of college or just the fantasy football season and feel lost, just remember, it’s all part of it. Don’t give up. There is always a path to get where you want to go. Sometimes it’s just a hell of a path to get there.
But, that’s what black sheep are made for.
Alright, and here we go.
The following start/sit selections are based on stats, trends, and film research, reflecting value in Points Per Reception (PPR) Redraft Leagues.
Quarterback I’d Start in Week 4:
Marcus Mariota (Atlanta): The Falcons might be able to put a run together as the Browns travel to Atlanta this week. At the helm for the Flacons is Marcus Mariota. The eight-year veteran comes into Week 4 as the QB13, becoming a more efficient passer each week.
He gets a Browns team that didn’t have five defensive starters practice Wednesday, including three-time All-Pro Myles Garrett. The Browns already allow the 10th most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and that’s facing Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky. Mariota has a safe floor with his rushing prowess, and upside for a lot more with Garrett possibly not coming off the edge.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 4:
Tom Brady (Tampa Bay): Despite public opinion disagreeing, I don’t think this is the week Tom Brady bounces back. He’s the QB27 on the season, largely due to the availability of his top weapons. Mike Evans will be back after his one-game suspension. However, receivers Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman all remained limited at Wednesday’s practice.
I also don’t think this Chiefs’ defense is as bad as is believed. They’ve had the third most pass attempts thrown against them (123). However, they’re middle of the road in passing yards allowed (14th). Brady will need big plays to make him worth the start in Week 4. And I’m just not sure he can get them against a bend-don’t-break Chiefs defense and receivers at less than 100 percent.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 4:
Breece Hall (New York Jets): Until Breece Hall is ranked inside the top-24 Rbs and is started in over 50 percent of ESPN leagues, I’m going to keep pounding the table to start him.
He’s finished as an RB3 or better every week and as an RB2 in back-to-back weeks. He took the edge in snap share over Michael Carter last week (51 percent to 49 percent) and once again was efficient, averaging 4.9 Yards Per Carry (YPC) and 8.8 Yards Per Reception (YPR).
The Steelers have allowed the ninth most PPR points and an average of 121 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs. Hall is currently second in targets amongst all RBs with 21, and eight in weighted opportunities. With Zach Wilson likely back under center for the Jets, I expect his target share to possibly decrease, but that he’ll see another career-high in rushing attempts.
Running Back I’d Sit in Week 4:
J.K. Dobbins (Baltimore): It was great to see J.K. Dobbins back out there in Week 3, returning from the torn ACL. However, he’s still a few weeks away from being considered for lineups.
Dobbins saw nine total touches and was mildly efficient, totaling 40 yards and six PPR points. However, he is facing the stout front of the Buffalo bills that have allowed a league-low 141 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards to opposing RBs. Expect QB Lamar Jackson to do the heavy lifting as the Ravens and Bills jockey for position in the AFC.
Wide Receiver I’d Start in Week 4:
Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco): It’s no secret that I haven’t drank the Brandon Aiyuk Kool-Aid. Yet, the former Arizona State University Sun Devil has shown consistency of late.
He’s posted back-to-back eight-target games with Jimmy Garrappolo in play. He has a respectable 24 percent target share and a 36.7 percent air yards share (11th best in the NFL). He’s getting high-leverage looks and should capitalize against a Rams’ defense that has allowed the second most receptions, yards, TDs and PPR points to opposing WRs. Aiyuk, the 49ers and their Faithful should get up for this one, being 1.5-point favorites at home.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit in Week 4:
D.J. Moore (Carolina): A theme of these Week 4 start/sit selections is don’t fit what isn’t broke. I went against consensus last week and advised readers to bench D.J. Moore. If you listened, it paid off as he had one reception for two yards and finished with just 2.5 PPR points on eight touches.
Everyone believes that this is a get-right game for Moore and QB Baker Mayfield. But keep in mind, the Cardinals have actually allowed the seventh-fewest PPR points per game to opposing WRs. They held Cooper Kupp to four receptions and 40 yards last week (in part to a big drop from Kupp). And Davante Adams reeled in two receptions for 12 yards the week prior. With how low his ceiling is and now with seemingly no floor, there’s no need for Moore in lineups.
If you have a feel-good story that you would like to share for an opportunity to be featured in an upcoming edition of “Start, Sit & Seth,” please reach out.
And for more fantasy football and uplifting content, especially start/sit advice, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.