The Mundies: Awarding Life & Fantasy Football
My name’s Scott, and I’m a recovering addict. I am also medicated for moderate+ anxiety. I realize this may seem like a strange way to kick off my first-ever article for In-Between Media in what will be a mostly comedy/positivity plus fantasy football series, but right now this is my keyboard.
I do not share this extremely personal information with any want of admiration or pity, and I do not wear this as any sort of badge of honor. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of what I have accomplished and how far I have come, and ask any recovering addict or someone with mental health obstacles, the journey is bumpy and the distance seems insurmountable at times and is truly never-ending. There is no exam to pass, no graduation; these particular struggles in my life do not have a finish line.
The reason I am beginning on this note is because I am 41 years old and there is a part of me that is just done with the tiptoeing around certain aspects of my life.
“Don’t share stuff like that on social media,” says many.
“What if a future employer sees this,” warns some.
“Why did Daddy use the F-word again,” says my daughter if she somehow has a secret Twitter account (Hi honey, if you must be here, throw me a follow).
Look, the ship carrying “me becoming President” or some other outcome where this matters has not only already sailed, but it is now the building blocks of a coral reef somewhere. My current employer already knows my situation, I opened up about it on Day Two. Frankly, if these pieces of me are what deter some future scenario from happening, then it’s for the best.
I want you to see that I’m being real with every word I type or say. I used to play the games many of us have played (and many still play), approaching every interaction from an angle. Thinking “what can I gain from this?” I am done with that as well.
When I decided to pursue this particular path, I set out with some general goals of how I wanted to exist in this community. Most importantly I want to be open and honest, and I want to be me. I want to support and help others and I want to laugh and have fun. The fantasy football part is a given, and I want to take that as far as possible, and believe me, I’ve been working my ass off behind the scenes, trying to improve that part.
Somehow in this community, there is a growing number of people who seem to be interested in what I have to say, and so, along with the humor and consistent shenanigans, and some steadily-improving fantasy football content, I am here for you. Addiction/alcoholism, mental health issues, self-confidence and self-worth issues, I am here for you.
As my platform grows (and that is definitely also part of the plan), my intention is to use it to give back in any way that I can. I have learned many lessons and developed some useful tricks and tools for dealing with daily life on life’s terms, and I want to share that with anyone who needs it. At its core, that is one of the goals of In-Between Media.
Trevor Lawrence & Trevor Lawrence’s Clone
In a nutshell, my addiction is based on the search for a holy grail, in this case the grail being constant comfort and/or complete absence of discomfort. Which is why I have always been drawn to humor. Comedy is comfortable. I can get lost in comedy. I love to laugh and make others laugh.
And let’s face it, it feels good to laugh. Laughing releases some of the same brain chemicals that are artificially produced by some no-no drugs. My addictive personality will always be with me, so I am doing my best to redirect toward comedy and other healthy endeavors.
One of my favorite things in the world is to watch something really funny, that I have already seen, with someone who has not yet seen it. The anticipation of someone else’s laughter creates a whole different level of laughter for me. I’ll admit, it’s a selfish thing, to the point where I get legitimately upset if the other person is not paying attention as the hilarity I know is coming approaches.
Me: “Can you stop talking?”
Them: “Haven’t you seen this before?”
Me: Gentle nod (they just don’t get it)
I have always been a goofball. I have accepted that I use my sense of humor as a defense mechanism in certain situations, to the point I know some become annoyed. Sorry not sorry about that, but what I have already shared should shed some light on that.
I decided to create this theme for my column series, “The Mundies,” to combine comedy and positivity with fantasy football. For me, this is essentially the Trevor Lawrence and Trevor Lawrence’s clone of pastimes rolled into one. I know plenty of hilarious people in this community, even a few comic geniuses, and I am not claiming to be the first to include some laughs and good vibes with fantasy football content.
But my purpose with this is to overtly and intentionally strive to combine these forces. And this is not to try and show you “how funny I am” or try to be the funniest person alive. Rather, I want to take something that is already fun in many ways, and add another layer of fun(ny), so, ultimately, you can have more fun.
Always Retweet Positivity
Always retweet positivity. This is a simple yet important mantra I learned from Mike Faiella (@DaddysHomeFF) when I first entered the fantasy football community. I will always support, promote, and do my best to emanate positivity. Comedy, laughter and fun go hand in hand with positivity.
It is very difficult to be upset when you are laughing and having fun – that’s just (some kind of) science. The reason why comedy is one of my go-to self-defense strategies is the same reason why more laughter is needed, especially now. Many people on this planet need to be able to take a breath, take a break from the worlding world, from fear and self-consciousness, from beating themselves up, and just take a damn break. Comedy can provide that break, however short-lived.
I will do my best to make you laugh. I will not be offended if you don’t. I am fine with that. I can take criticism as long as I don’t find out about it (“you shut your mouth when you’re talking to me”). Just know that my goal is for you to have fun and enjoy yourself when you read what I choose to write. Do not fret, there will be plenty of fantasy football insight, albeit from a slightly different angle.
I would love for you to read the entire article and not just scroll to the end for the fantasy football content, but I’d be lying if I said I never quickly scrolled to the bottom of Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate column (sorry “TMR,” only a few times, [please follow me]). We put a lot of thought into what you read and if I catch wind you are a “scroll-to-the-bottomer,” I will start hiding absolute FIRE fantasy content in-between jokes and feel-good in paragraph two (or maybe paragraph three). I am talking “win your league during the draft” levels of venom.
I posted a video back in November during which I spent 11 minutes introducing myself. In that video, I gave my 10,000-foot level overview of what fantasy analysis is to me. It is procuring information from a massive pool of data. That pool is available to everyone.
Where what we do comes in is when deciding what information to gather and how to organize and present the information in a way that makes it useful to others – ideally in an interesting way. This is where comedy and fantasy football, loosely, are connected in my eyes. I am the first to admit that much of my humor comes from a never-ending barrage of quotes from movies and TV shows I have watched an “I’ll never admit it” number of times.
But I also love playing with words, looking for pun opportunities (puntunities? [I’ll just leave]). I enjoy respectfully making fun of myself or others, and, basically, just being a sarcastic smart-ass most of the time – all of which similarly involves observing, reacting to, and gathering information. Sprinkle in some original thoughts and ideas, then organize and present in an interesting and humorous way. That may seem like a stretch, but I am counting it. I just successfully connected fantasy football analysis with comedy. Nothing will ever be the same.
With that, I present to you the first-ever installment of “The Mundies,” an ever-evolving, mostly-fantasy football awards series. At the moment I have little idea what the evolution of this series will look like, which is one of my favorite parts and why I chose to embark on this particular journey.
In the beginning, I will choose the different awards and the winners of said awards. But at some point, I think it would be very fun to base this portion of my article on reader requests, similar to some weird improv show in the basement of a library that doesn’t actually have a basement.
And here, we, go…
THE VERY FIRST MUNDIE AWARD
The Very First Mundie Award goes to my Grandma Chris. My mother’s mother, who turned 103 years old last month on Jan. 1, and is and always has been an amazing woman! Nothing says Christmas to me more than her homemade Pecan Ball cookies, and this is well known in my family. Grandma Chris now lives in a senior living facility, but she passed the recipe on to my mom who now makes sure I still get a few Pecan Balls every year.
Now let’s go inside the numbers:
- Chris, Grandma
- Pandemics survived: Two
- World Wars alive during: Two
- Great Depressions experienced: Depends on your definition. She was alive during the big one that
- was in black in white.
- COVID-19 vaccines received (as of this writing): One
- Best moms in the world produced: One*
- Body mass index (BMI): beats me (index)
- Average depth of target (aDOT): Zero
- Yards after catch (YAC): Zero
- Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 11 billion
*This number might seem low, but it’s actually the top score.
My very own Grandma Chris gets this very-first award because of what is listed above, because I am extremely biased and because I make the rules here.
THE BUSIEST BEAVER AWARD
Derrick Henry (RB, Tennessee Titans)
Derrick Henry was the bushiest beaver in the NFL in 2020, leading the league in the RB triple crown: with 378 carries for 2,027 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. I on the other hand get tired of taking the garbage out once a week, but, to be fair, my driveway is on a bit of a slope. It was Henry’s second- consecutive rushing title.
If busy equals rushing yards, Henry came up only 79 yards shy of breaking the all-time busiest record of 2,105 yards set by Eric Dickerson with the Los Angeles (first try) Rams in 1984. It seems like Henry could have gotten that record with just a touch more business.
Henry’s 378 carries tied for 19th all-time in a single season, matching that of household name George Rogers with the Saints in 1981.Do you know who holds the NFL single-season record for carries? You guessed it, former power forward for the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, Larry Johnson, who somehow also had 416 carries with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006. That doesn’t seem exactly right but I am just going to power forward with this award.
I remember slightly fading Henry prior to the 2018 season (like I said, I am improving). For some reason, my eyes could not convince my brain that Henry was fast, because how could a man that large be that fast. I thought this even after his 66-yard receiving touchdown propelled me to a Week 17 championship in 2017 (shut up).
Here are some numbers: 75, 99, 74, 94.
Those are Henry’s longest runs the last four seasons. Even during his off year with the slacker-level run of only 74 yards, he also had a 75-yard reception. You can pretty much count on at least one long home run from Henry every season. In fact, Henry clocked the fourth fastest speed in 2020 in the NFL at 21.62 MPH.
I mean, it’s no Michael Scott at the totally possible 31 MPH (“eat that Carl Lewis!”), but it is still fast. Speaking of 31, Raheem Mostert had the top two fastest runs in 2020, at 22.73 and 23.09 MPH. Please stay healthy my guy.
In my way-too-early Points Per Reception (PPR) redraft rankings, I have Henry at #4 after Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook, followed very closely by Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley.
THE WHITEST SNEAKERS AWARD
Chase Edmonds (RB, Arizona Cardinals)
For no apparent reason whatsoever, I have always quietly rooted for Chase Edmonds. Maybe it’s his cool football name, maybe it’s the articles (over and over again) that listed him as a top-RB handcuff, maybe I just like dudes named Chase. I don’t really know. My team is the Seahawks so I do not particularly like the Cardinals (except for Larry Fitzgerald [please follow me, “Fitz”]).
Regardless, I was excited when Edmonds seemed to finally get a shot in 2020 following the injury to Kenyan Drake in Week 7. In that game, Edmonds ran all over the Seahawks to the tune of 12 touches for 145 yards.
Granted, that was when the Seahawks defense was a large, non-stinging, harmless jellyfish, but Edmonds seemed poised to finally break out and potentially wrestle the starting gig away from Drake. Two weeks later after the Cardinals’ bye, facing the Dolphins, with the backfield all to himself, Edmonds largely disappointed with 25 carries for only 70 yards (2.8 YPC), and no touchdowns. The Dolphins were stingy with allowing rushing touchdowns (only one to running backs all season), but they were only middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to running backs, ironically one spot worse than the aforementioned Cnidarian* Seahawks.
*Cnidaria is the Phylum to which jellyfish belong. I majored in Biology in college, and that may be the first time I have used it. I should probably call my thesis advisor to let her know that.
Drake then returned in Week 10 and Edmonds moved back to playing second fiddle. Edmonds did not have a bad season for the role he was in or fantasy-wise as a late-round pick or waiver pick up on your team. He finished with 164 touches on the year for 850 total yards and five touchdowns, including 53 receptions – good enough for the PPR RB25.
The reason he wins The Whitest Sneakers Award is more about what could have been, or at least what I thought could have been. Sure, one meh start against the Dolphins is not a large sample size, but I am just not as excited about him as a handcuff with potential league-winning upside as I once was.
Runner up for Whitest Sneakers Award goes to the Seattle Seahawks, who played the most games on artificial turf in 2020 (12 games), where one’s sneakers can’t really get dirty.
HONORABLE MENTION: THE LONGEST ENGAGEMENT AWARD
Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints)
There is a movie called “A Very Long Engagement,” starring Audrey Tautou (my 1.01 Hollywood crush and it’s not close; “Amelie” is one of the most beautiful movies ever created). “A Very Long Engagement” was OK, I don’t remember a lot about the movie, other than the seeming dead-on accuracy of the title.
Speaking of long engagements (smooth), I wanted to give a quick shout out to Drew Brees after a phenomenal 18-year career, mostly with the New Orleans Saints.
(I realize Brees has not officially retired as of this writing, but for the sake of an article I am so close to being done with, let’s pretend he has)
Writing new and different editions of “The Mundies” will be a lot of fun, but I’d love some help. If you have ideas, hit me up, and I’ll include a shout out for any suggestions used.
And as always, find me on Twitter, talking fantasy football, joking around, posting GIFs and lending my support where it’s needed @MunderDifflinFF.