Day 48 – Fantasy baseball dreams come true

I am currently the commissioner of two fantasy sports leagues.

That’s one of those sentences that I never thought I would ever say.

I honestly never paid much attention to professional sports growing up. It’s not surprising, I guess, being from Nebraska. I always watched Husker sports, but that was about the extent of it. My Grandpa Wayne was a diehard Cubs fan, so I guess I probably watched more Cubs baseball than anything. And Dad was an on-again off-again Broncos fan, so I remember him often commandeering the TV after church on Sundays to watch the Broncos or PGA golf.

It wasn’t until I became friends with Foerth and Stevie that I was baptized into the world of professional sports fandom. Anyone who has ever been around Foerth and Stevie together knows that you can learn all sorts of random sports trivia, history, rules, strategy, and little known facts during the course of just about any conversation–since every conversation (no matter the original topic) will eventually turn to sports.

In 2008, I got suckered into joining the boys’ fantasy baseball league. Basically, they needed another team to round out the league and they knew I wouldn’t turn them down. They probably also counted on the fact that I wouldn’t really know what I was doing. Two years later, I won the league (with a repeat championship in 2014).

A few years after that, I somehow became commissioner of both the baseball and football leagues–which honestly resulted from both Stevie and Foerth both just getting tired of running the leagues and putting up with the constant harassment from our buddies whenever they didn’t like one of the rules or ended up losing. By that point, I was enjoying the leagues so much that I didn’t want to see them go away, so I took it on and it has honestly been fun.

There’s no real strategy behind my league settings or scoring, other than the fact that I like to experiment and shake things up every now and then. For instance, I think it’s ridiculous that most football leagues don’t include individual defensive players, so I created a system where it is more than possible (and quite likely) that your team could lose each week if you pay no attention to the rock stars on defense (why thank you Lavonte David for earning me an average of 20+ points each week!).

The past couple years, though, we’ve been noticing a ridiculous trend in our baseball league after a few of our managers took advantage of the switch to unlimited moves and inflated points in pitching categories by simply adding the best available players who were pitching that day and then dropping them immediately after the game to pick up the best available pitchers starting the next day. And they did this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I mean, come on people, that’s not even baseball anymore. How is fantasy sports even fun when there’s no real strategy involved?

And now we’re officially counting down the days to the new season. Foerth has been emailing and texting me for weeks now to please, please, please, please, pretty please renew the league so he can start plotting his strategy for another new season, which usually involves trying to draft the one player that he thinks Stevie will be obsessed with just so he can use him as trade bait. For a few years, that player was Barry Zito (who Stevie and his Uncle Paul claim is a distant cousin). More recently that player was Jacob DeGrom (who is now on my roster as a Keeper after I traded Foerth for Paul Goldschmidt).

This year, Foerth is threatening to draft Tim Tebow. Keep your fingers crossed for that one, folks, because I’d honestly like to see how that would play out.

And just because the one real rule in this league has always been that all is fair as long as we beat Foerth, I found the perfect photo to use as our fantasy profile pic this year…

Play ball!

Happy Feet

I’m a few days overdue for another blast of soccer photos. Forgive me. It’s been a little busy around here. We had our weekly Dinner and Walking Dead Watch Party with this beauty on the Traeger…

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We had our air conditioner replaced, a sleepless night thanks to Henry’s latest round of teething. Stevie is planning his next trip out to NY to start cleaning out his parents’ house. And I’ve been writing nonstop any free moment I get during the day between Henry’s naps and picking up Miss C from school.

I finally got around to uploading the photos from Miss C’s latest game tonight, and had to share. It’s amazing to me how far these kids have come already, after just three games. C played the indoor winter league, and that was her first introduction to soccer outside her PE class at school. It’s so much fun watching her and her teammates from the sidelines and seeing them “get” it. Sure, there is still a whole lot of bunching up in a tight group and kicking aimlessly, but as the weeks go on, we’re starting to see the kids spread out, make deliberate passes, and dribble down the field with more finesse.

This week, Cadence had a goal, an awesome assist, and several breakaways. The Chipmunks were totally fired up, and it was awesome to see the kids having so much fun and using the skills they are learning during the game. They played tough–getting back up when they fell down, and shaking off the sting of taking a ball to the face and chest. And best of all, they congratulated each other and came together for a big heartfelt “WE LOVE SOCCER!” cheer in the middle of the field when the game was done.

Sports will only get more cutthroat and competitive from here, but if Cadence can continue having as much fun playing them as she did this week, she’ll do all right.

Go Chipmunks!

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Soccer & Sibling Day

At some point, people are probably going to get tired of seeing photos of Cadence playing soccer, but I don’t care. My blog. My rules. Right? But seriously, Stevie and I just have too much fun at Miss C’s games, and it’s a blast to take photos because Cadence is out there having so much fun. Today the Chipmunks were playing awesome, and Miss C even managed to score two goals to help her team get the win. And even better, C’s godmother, Tammy, joined us.

It was a bit windy, but the sun was shining, and Henry was having a blast watching his big sister play (though this week he was trying his hardest to crawl right out on the field to help her). Cadence could hear him hollering from the sideline, so she even managed to sneak in a few good luck kisses during one of the water breaks.

Go Chipmunks!

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And in honor of national sibling day, I want to give a shout out to my siblings–Lindy, Kassie, Kolter, Eddie, Beau, Whitney, Collin, Nicole, Janna, Garrett, Tanner, Richard, Jeremy, Michele, Mike, Keith, John, and Heo. Love you all!

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Soccer Mom

Hi, my name is Lori, and I’m a soccer mom. I don’t know how that term ever earned a negative connotation (obviously it was thrown around by people who don’t know how awesome soccer is). Either way, I’m a soccer mom, and I’m proud.

Miss C started her spring league today, and it couldn’t have been better. Sunny, 80 degrees, and absolutely beautiful. Cadence played hard and had a couple awesome breakaways, but just couldn’t seen to get the ball in the goal. We’ll work on kicking accuracy later. But for now, we’ll take it. We were proud. Coach Ahmed was proud. And you know Henry was proud (and itching to get out there on the field himself).

Great game. Go Chipmunks!

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Soccer

I was always a really active kid. Through the years, I played softball, basketball, volleyball. I ran track (though I hated running and signed up for events like high jump, long jump, and discus instead). I was on swim team for several years, and practically lived in the pool in the summer. Outside of school, I was always riding my bike or putting miles on my rollerblades. I didn’t compete in sports after my sophomore year in high school though. When it came right down to it, my writing and music ended up trumping athletics, so I put away my jerseys and knee pads and kept busy with band and writing camps and a few different part-time jobs.

One sport I always enjoyed watching, but never had the opportunity to play was soccer. In college, I loved heading across the street to the soccer field for home games. And Stevie and I enjoy watching the World Cup every couple years, cheering on the US Men’s and Women’s teams. Cadence had been asking us to play soccer since last spring, but we told her she had to wait until she had a few swimming lessons under her belt. She watched the US Women’s team with enthusiasm, and was thrilled when Grandma Jayne and Papa Duane surprised her with soccer lessons for Christmas.

We’ve been counting the days.

Just after the new year, Cadence found out that she was going to be on the Cubs team with a few of her friends from school, and this afternoon they had their very first practice and game.

C had a BLAST! She played hard and learned a lot. And it seems she has a serious interest in being a goalie (just call her Cadence “Hope Solo” Romano). She was a little bummed that she didn’t score a goal, but she’s already excited for the next practice and has informed me that she wants to play more soccer.

I don’t think I ever imagined I’d one day be a Soccer Mom, but after watching my baby girl play today, I think I’m ready to wear that badge proudly.

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Project Life 365 – Day 112 – Eyes

If she can just learn to consistently keep her eyes open when she hits, the kid is going to be one helluva ball player.
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