10 April 2007

A win and a loss

Since this is my space, I’ll take a moment to brag about winning my Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey league. In the last week of the regular season, I was barely clinging to the 6th & final playoff spot, and facing the number 1 seed! Miraculously, my guys got hot just at the right time, and I knocked the #1 seed off, advancing to the 4th seed for the playoffs.

A brief note about seeding for the uninitiated: teams are seeded based on their win-loss-tie record in the final standings. The number 1 and 2 seeds get a first round bye. 3 plays 6 and 4 plays 5, so the higher your seed, theoretically the weaker the opponent you will face. The championship game is two weeks long instead of the usual one week, encompassing the final two weeks of the NHL regular season.

I managed to hang on for a 6-4 win. Only .001 separated my two goalies' goals-against-average from my opponent's which would have given us a 5-5 tie, and he would have won the tiebreaker! This year was my fourth hockey fantasy championship. I’ve been playing fantasy sports since 2000, and have won leagues in all 4 major sports. League winners get the chance to play in special winners-only leagues next year. I am in a baseball winner’s league this year because I won my league last year. In my opinion, Yahoo! has some of the easiest to use fantasy leagues around, and they are free. My only complaint is that the Yahoo! paid leagues do not award prizes to Tennessee residents.

I became a hockey fan in the mid 1990s. [my now-ex-wife] and I went with some friends to a Memphis Riverkings game in the MidSouth Coliseum. It was a one-hit-hook! The game was fast paced and exciting, the music loud, and the team put on a good show for the fans! Well, anyone who knows me knows that I rarely do anything halfway, so I set about deciding on a favorite NHL team. Since at that time we didn't have one within 300 miles, I looked around to see what jerseys were selling, figuring that only the good teams sell stuff in out of market areas. I like the colors of the Colorado Avalanche, and I've always liked the mountains, so I picked them. I later discovered that they were the defending Stanley Cup champions that year, but don't accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, I'm a lifelong Saints fan, remember! A couple of years later, we went to Nashville to see the new expansion team, the Predators, play my beloved Avs. The Avs got their hats handed to them!! Unsung goalie Mike Dunham bested the man who would retire as the winningest goalie in NHL history, Patrick Roy (pronounced "WAH," he's Canadian). The Preds also did the same thing the Riverkings did: worked hard and put on a good show for the fans. I now had a "second" favorite team; I am loyal, if nothing else! [my now-ex-wife] selected the Philadelphia Flyers as her favorite team, thus setting up the possibility of an in-house Stanley Cup matchup. That has not yet materialized, and this year, we BOTH missed the playoffs, though the Predators are the 4th seed (just like I was) and still have a shot!

Sadly, I must also note the passing of beloved “B.C.” and “Wizard of Id” cartoonist Johnny Hart, who died just two days after I made reference to him here (I had nothing to do with it, I swear!). The family says that he died of a stroke at his storyboard, and that in accordance with his wishes, the strip will go on.

Johnny Hart, 1931-2007

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