Frankenstorm: The Presidential Election's October Surprise?

My photo, dated 10/29/2012-Copse of trees near my residence
Looking at the weather reports, this storm ( a mixture of a hurricane and a nor'easter) will be a monster.  Experts have dubbed it the Frankenstorm and suggest that it might cause more than a billion dollars in damage.  The storm is massive.  My locality (Roanoke, Va.) is nowhere near the storm's epicenter; it will receive a good dose of wind and rain nonetheless.  Some authorities in and around Roanoke are already preparing for the worst.  Could a storm this vast and powerful impact the presidential election?  Could it be the oft discussed October surprise?

Once the storm passes, several states will require federal aid and assistance--perhaps a great deal of assistance.  Unfortunately, the storm will also likely cause some human fatalities; storms of this nature usually do.  The nation will be watching to see how FEMA and other government agencies respond to the tragedies.    If the public feels that the federal government doesn't respond forcefully enough; they may blame President Barack Obama.  The president's Katrina moment will be enough to sink his election chances.  By contrast, if the populace is happy with the government response, Obama might gain some votes.

What do you all think about this one?  Will the Frankenstorm influence the election.  Is it the October surprise that many pundits have been waiting for?


Three Key Takeways from 2012 Fantasy Football Season

Going into Week 7's Sunday games, my three fantasy football teams are 1st (out of 10), 1st (out of 10) and 10th (out of 12).  My last team (in a 12 team keeper league) is an uninspiring 2-4.  Hopefully, I can keep the good times rolling for two of my teams and somehow find a way to get something rolling for the under performing squad.  As for fantasy football, I've learned some things (or at least, I keep getting reminded of some things) during the first seven weeks.  Here are three of my key takeaways from the first half of the 2012 fantasy football season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lineup against the Tennessee Titans during the 2008 season. Citation at bottom of post.

Number 1: One Fantasy Player Can Make or Break Your Day

Fantasy football might be a team effort (the owner and his/her fantasy players).  However, one player can make or break a team's week.  As a case in point, one of my fantasy teams was up by almost 40 points a couple of weeks ago (Week 4 to be exact).  The other team had Dez Bryant and the Chicago defense.  Dez was good but not great; he didn't beat my team.  The Chicago defense on the other hand--well, let's just say it was painful to watch.  The Chicago d. amassed 25.00 points (which is about 5 times more than defenses usually score in this league)--more points than anyone else on his team.  He went on to beat me by 5 points.

Number 2: Dream Match-ups Don't Always Pan Out

I was stoked for the Thursday, Oct. 11 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans.  For one thing, I'm a Steelers fan, and I assumed that my team, which was 2-2 and had just beaten the Philadelphia Eagles, would trounce the hapless Titans, who were 1-4.  At the same time, all three of my fantasy football teams featured wide receiver Antonio Brown.  How could Brown not put up huge numbers against one of the worst pass defenses in the league?  Well, Brown finished the day with 4 catches for 20 yards, and the Steelers lost.  Ouch!

Number 3: One or Two Plays Make All the Difference

It would make life a lot easier (for me anyway) if players accumulated fantasy points in predictable fashion.  However, my fantasy players (and those of my opponents as well) tend to get most of their weekly points in one or two big plays.  For instance, a running back's first 10 carries might go for 40 yards.  He then proceeds to break free for a 40 yard touchdown scamper.  His fantasy point total immediately goes from 4 to 14 (in Yahoo Sports non-ppr, default scoring leagues anyway).

Ok, maybe I lied :).  Those breakout plays make football (and especially fantasy football) exciting.  At the same time, it is frustrating (well, when the big scoring play goes against me anyway).

Photo courtesy of Andy (via Wikimedia Commons-Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license) and located on Flickr profile, Tiny Steelers?


A Little Baseball & A Little Fantasy Football

Courtesy of Microsoft Office
I thought I would touch on a little baseball and a little fantasy football in this blog post.  In the first part, I have included a link to a recent freelance article I wrote highlighting some of Chipper Jones' most memorable home runs.  Some of you might find the article interesting, especially given that Jones will be hanging up his cleats after 19 seasons (or 20 seasons if you count one season he didn't pay because of injury).  The second part of the blog post will provide you with an update on my fantasy football teams.

Baseball: Chipper Jones' Memorable Home Runs

As I mentioned previously, Chipper Jones, who plays third base for the Atlanta Braves, is retiring at the end of this postseason.  He was a great batter and hit a lot of homers during his tenure with the Braves.  In honor of that fact, I wrote a freelance article highlighting some of his most memorable home runs.  You can find it below:

Chipper Jones' 10 Most Memorable Home Runs   -- No longer available at that site

Fantasy Football: How My Teams Are Doing...

Courtesy of Microsoft Office
In regards to fantasy football, I am doing okay overall.  I am 4-0 in one of my 10-team snake draft, non-ppr leagues and 3-1 in the other snake draft, non-ppr league.  Sadly, I am only 2-2 in my 12 team, auction, keeper league (which is also ppr).  My snake draft leagues have been winning in large part due to Matt Ryan, Victor Cruz, and Antonio Brown.  Matt Ryan, the QB for the Atlanta Falcons, seems to step up with a big game every week. Cruz and Brown have had big games when my team has needed them most.  Each of those teams have other key pieces as well.  I have Ray Rice (RB for the Baltimore Ravens) and Marshawn Lynch (RB for the Seattle Seahawks), and Jimmy Graham (TE for the New Orleans Saints) on one team and Trent Richardson (RB for the Cleveland Browns), Julio Jones (WR for the Atlanta Falcons), and Aaron Rogers (you can start two QB's in this league--one in the flex).  My keeper league team has a dearth of talent apart from Eli Manning, Reggie Bush (who is oft injured), and Antonio Brown, and it shows in the 2-2 start.

Fantasy Football: What Surprises Me Most about This Season

What surprises me most about the season so far is the lack of players who get a chance due to injury and become year long superstars.  Heck, for that matter, IMO, there haven't been any sleepers to superstars yet.  Alfred Morris (one of the my preseason players to watch--see a previous post) is doing well; however, he certainly is not this year's running back equivalent of Victor Cruz.  Brian Hartline (WR Miami) might be turn out to be that guy; however, so far, he has been up and down.  Literally!  Great week followed by a sub-par week followed by a great week.  Let's see how Hartline performs this week in Cincinnati.  In thinking about it, perhaps some people would consider Robert Griffin III to be a sleeper hit; however, I never saw him as a sleeper in the first place.

Ok, that is all for now.  Enjoy the game tonight!