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DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #8!!!!!!!!!
What’s up, Special Ed?! We fucked up. We really try to get at least one post up on this blog every month during the off-season, and we know that doing four super-sized posts for MARCH MADNESS does not excuse us from writing anything in April. Our bad, you guys. But, as the true scholars will have surely noticed, DefendYourMoves.com has not been idle this past month. We replaced the old STAR WARS tab up on the top of the page with the new MISS CLEO page. That page will be home to all our CLEO videos and our on-going FANTASY TAROT CARD project. Bet you guys thought we were fuckin around when we said we were making a tarot deck last month but we were NOT!!!!! Of course our custom 2021 fantasy football tarot deck can’t be finalized until training camps open and the trade rumors quiet down. Once the dust settles for the 2021 season we’ll start rolling out the deck in a series of posts on this here weblog. As of today we have 76 of the 78 cards displayed at defendyourmoves.com/miss-cleo but that page is gonna be a living document, we’ve been chipping away at it since early march so we’ve already had to make a few personnel changes during free agency and the draft: ... much more to come later this summer. IT'S A NEW DAY!!! There was one major piece of NFL news this past month which is tangentially related to our tarot project - and we’re not talking about the SEVENTEEN game season - THERE’S NEW JERSEY NUMBER RULES!!!!!! “The expanded [rules] will allow running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs and wide receivers to wear numbers 1-49 and 80-89; defensive backs can choose from 1-49; linebackers 1-59 and 90-99; offensive linemen 50-79; and defensive linemen 50-79 and 90-99. QBs, kickers and punters will remain in 1-19.” Our own Buffalo Bills have already signed their first two single digit receivers: Emmanuel Sanders, taking over the old-fast-guy role from Smokey Brown will wear #1; and the stunningly named rookie Olaijah Griffin, son of rap superstar Warren G, will wear #2. The funniest part about this is that Mitch Trubisky was already on the team and he was gonna be #8. It looks like when they changed the number rules he just went ahead and demoted himself to double digits, and we applaud him. That’s a team player right there. He knows that a 2021 Super Bowl contender can’t let those single digits go to waste on the sidelines. Way to go, Mitchell! We never thought we’d see receivers with single digit numbers in the NFL so this is a qualified miracle in our book. This jersey number reorganization is the most socially conscious thing the NFL has done since they reinstated touchdown dancing. As labor advocates, this is huge for us - cool jersey numbers will go a long way toward NFL wideouts’ goal of making half as much money as NBA role-players. But more importantly, DYM is among the internet’s thought leaders on the subject of NFL jersey number aesthetics. Almost three years ago we wrote the definitive positional jersey number coolness rankings - a document that has become a touchpoint reference for bloggers, fans, and (hopefully) young NFL players. We are very much looking forward to re-writing these rankings, but we’re going to have to see them in action to properly ascertain how cool the new numbers really look. For now, we know QBs and kicking specialists will keep the same options they had, so we probably won’t change those ranks much. Except that we’re most likely going to move 17 up the list a bit since we’ve been seeing so much heptadecaphobia creeping in around the league this off-season. Off the top of our head here’s where we'd rank the new jersey number options for skill position players: 1 7 2 3 5 8 9 6 4 10 11 12 17 19 13 14 15 16 18 23 21 22 25 27 Our 2018 rankings had 12 as the best available number for WRs because it denotes an alpha status usually reserved for the field-general QB. But for 2021 there’s so much hype around single-digit numbers that we feel like for RBs, LBs and DBs changing numbers this year the rule is gonna be “the lower the number the better.” Therefore number 1 is now #1, followed by all other single digits in order of typographic complexity, beginning with the prime numbers. Then when we get into the double digits we’re ranking 10 as the tenth best, and 11 as the eleventh best overall number for WRs, RBs, DBs, and LBs. Then 12, then 17, then 19 (the last prime under 20), then the rest of the teens. Then we’re thinking 24, 26 and anything over 27 is still gonna be ugly. FILONI DID IT AGAIN!!! The new Clone Wars spin-off The Bad Batch premiered on Disney+ this week and it is EXCELLENT. Dave Filoni is making a case for himself as the #1 all-time best Star Wars writer. We’re starting to think we like his take on The Galaxy even more than George Lucas’s. We’re talking about a spin-off of a retread of series from a decade and a half ago but it was perhaps the most visually stunning Star Wars animation ever and they managed to introduce a new character that REALLY made us think. And that’s amazing, because we like to think we know everything about Star Wars that’s important to know, but now we’ve got QUESTIONS!!! Of course The Mandalorian was thought provoking in its own right, but for us the Mando-Grogu relationship mostly made us reflect on our own life and the journey of parenthood - but this new clone Omega made us really ask ourselves some big-time Star Warsy questions, ya know? AND she’s got a New Zealand accent!!!! It’s the best. So the question is - Omega seems to have been the Kaminoan’s attempt to manufacture a Jedi. What ability/feature did they try to amplify to get to that? At first we thought it was a heightened emotional intelligence, so like she’s super empathetic and stoic. But then she has that Anakin-esque facility with machines too... We saw a theory that she has a sort-of photographic memory and impossibly high IQ, so like she can learn to do something just by watching, and without really thinking about it. But that still leaves a very big psychological/philosophical question - one we hope isn’t too big for a Star Wars cartoon - What is intuition? Elsewhere, as you would expect, the episode is jam-packed with call backs to the old Star Wars movies, like when Tech tells Echo that he’s “more machine now than man” and Saw Guerrera tells Hunter he may “die, along with the past”. We’re fuckin stupid for that shit. We just eat it up. Our DYM EXCLUSIVE easter egg for this episode is that the Bad Batch’s ship bears a striking resemblance to the Imperial shuttles used by Vader and The Emperor, but ALSO to the “saber dart” that Jango Fett shot Zam Wessel with in Episode II. And just like Dax said, “it’s the funny little markings on the side that give it away”: In a deleted scene from the original Bad Batch arc from Clone Wars Season 7, Anakin sees a World War II-style pinup of his secret wife Padme painted on the ship’s hull. HAVE ANOTHER GREAT STAR WARS, EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #7 - FANTASY BASEBALL!!!!!!!
What’s up Special Ed?! We are just one month away from the NFL draft, so we’re transitioning back to the classic Fantasy League content that you all crave. But since this week is also the Grand Finale of DYM’s March Madness Celebration we did something really weird - something we never thought we would ever do - a FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT!!!!! THAT'S RIGHT! FANTASY BASEBALL!!! We got the COVID vax last Friday which had us passed out for most of the weekend. We briefly woke up early Saturday afternoon and got a text from DOUGY TACOS! He said somebody dropped out of his Fantasy Baseball league and they needed a replacement. And the draft is in 6 hours. Fuck it. Say no more, we’re in. We did one mock draft then went back to sleep and sweated for four more hours. Doug tried to reassure us with platitudes like “Dude, I did ZERO research this year!” Which was nice but surely we couldn’t tell him at this point that not only have we never played fantasy baseball before, and never done an auction draft before, but we have hardly even WATCHED any baseball since 2018. Couldn't tell him that. We just laughed and wrote off any missteps as being due to the COVID-brain and edibles. There’s no way Doug truly understood the depths of our discomfort. For decades, the DYM staff has privately derided the entire institution of Fantasy Baseball. DYM Readers will have noticed that Fantasy Baseball has never been mentioned on this blog which, of course, is the greatest insult we could ever give it. We have never fucked with Fantasy Baseball in part because it seems way more complicated than Fantasy Football; plus it seems like mostly nerds and weirdos are into it; and most importantly - because it involves following BASEBALL, which just seems like the worst way to spend your summer. Let us know if you guys start a Fantasy Going to the Beach League. BASEBALL IS FUCKING BORING AS SHIT We like the Mets, but we really don’t like baseball at all. Don’t like watchin it, and don’t like playin it - and not for lack of trying. To be honest we've spend a lot more time around baseball than anything else we enjoy as little. Like we’re DONE with golf right now. Haven’t set foot on a course in at least two or three years, but for some reason we keep giving baseball another chance. As a kid, we played little league for 6 years and hated every one of them. In high school we did a bit of Little League umpiring, which was even worse. Then from 2010-15 we were the fourth outfielder on the worst men’s softball team in Union County NJ. Every summer we watch the first dozen or so Mets games, then we tune out once they hit a losing streak and turn the page to football season. Over the last 7 years or so we’ve basically only watched games that Yoenis Cespedes played in. In 2014 and '15 we actually did watch a lot of baseball, but almost none since. Nevertheless we were pretty psyched for this fantasy draft. When we get a couple gummy bears in us we feel like we can draft just about anything. So we hopped on that ESPN Fantasy App and got it poppin. First we established a solid poker face by drafting the first three guys who we had heard of and we know are good. Then we saw Doug bidding up Kris Bryant, who we’re not entirely familiar with, so we put an extra dollar on him. At that point some people mighta thought we knew what we were doing, which meant it was high time for a little MARCH MADNESS!!! TEBOW TIME BABY!!! We’re not sure if we won this draft but we definitely had a huge early lead. We would need it too - cause the draft got real dicey over the next couple rounds. The pool of non-Mets-that-we’ve-heard-of dried up completely after our 11th pick (of 23). We had to make some tough calls that mighta been a lot easier if we’d familiarized ourselves a little more with MLB player personnel: We wanted to have heard of at least 50% of our team, which forced us to draft the Ultimate Metsy Homer Squad - as it stands now, we're gonna start at least 5 Mets on opening day. We only got 1 of Fox News' Mike Tobin's sleeper picks (Ty France - $1). Trey Mancini was popular but in retrospect we shoulda paid up for him cause we ended up with a few dollars left at the end. We knew that one of the Astros middle infielders was good in 2018 (mighta been AL MVP?) but we couldn’t remember if it was Correa or Altuve. We ended up getting both just to be safe, but the fact that both combined cost less than Kris Bryant was a little unsettling. We drafted Mike Yastrzemski, cause for just a second we thought he was in the Hall of Fame already. Although we're pretty happy with DeGrom and Tatis (who is NOT injured 🙉. No no no no no he is NOT!!!), if we had had a day to think about it we woulda just spent that first $100 on Shohei Ohtani. Needless to say we've got a lot to learn over the next few weeks. We're trying to dig into some research but it's not been fun so far. We've already read more articles in USA Today than we're really comfortable with, and we still haven't found a baseball podcast that's less boring than baseball itself. Right now we're just making a list of "baseball terminology" and a few questions that we need to google sometime before next Thursday: “Low BABIP-against” “Quality starts” “Orioles” “Exit velocity” “Hitter’s league” "Juiced ball" + Where do the Blue Jays play? + Is Cleveland just the "Cleveland Baseball Team" now? + Is there a DH in the National League this year? One might say that we're "The Abby" of this league, but that would be pretty unfair to Abby. We have NO CLUE what we're doing!!! But if nothing else at least we'll be able to get into some more DYM-Classic-Style content for the baseball league throughout summer. Our first MOVE is already in the books - dropped Tebow for some guy named Yoshi. Pretty cool. To kick things off, we put together Pre-Season Power Rankings, based strictly on how many players we've heard of on each squad: ! 100mg THC - 16 <--- DYM Section 104 - 12 Team Buhler - 10 Team armstrong - 9 Team MVP Pidich - 9 Team Ramirez - 8 Respec yo Dougs - 7 <--- Tacos! Lindor Mi Amor - 7 Bowman Baseball Team - 6 Team Verrastro - 4 Schmeck Deck - 3 Uncle Stevie - 3 HAVE A GREAT OPENING DAY EVERYBODY!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #6 - MISS CLEO'S TOURNEY PICKS!!!!!!
What's up, Special Ed?! We watched almost NO college hoops this year. So we called up the old Psychic Hotline for some help filling out our brackets. Enjoy! HAVE A GREAT MARCH MADNESS EVERYBODY!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #5 - CUM JESUS UPDATE!!!!!
WOKE WEDNESDAYS WITH KYRIE IRVING!!! Aw man, big shout out to DYM!! They CRUSHED the new Star Wars theory. I gave it a read during warmups on Thursday afternoon, and that shit got me HYPED!!!! I was tellin’ Blake and Jay about it and they were like “Word?” And I was like “No doubt.” Then I dropped 40 on those snake-ass Celtics. Of course y’all remember how I BURIED their asses on Christmas day (37/8/6), this second burial means we OWN their asses now. I was still feelin that energy the whole way home too tho’. So I wrote a bunch more notes for the Cum Jesus story. I think DYM touched on a couple things in that essay that are a lot like what I’m trying to do with CJ. I like how he retraced all that history of mythology, 'cause the story I wanna tell for CJ is kinda supposed to be like the opposite of the Judeo-Christian myth. Like how CJ is immortal - so his story is all about not being afraid of death. So one of the ideas I had was to have CJ, in his early days, be led on a bunch of misadventures that will all symbolize reincarnation. Like he kinda keeps going home instead of leaving home, and like the adventure makes something change but it keeps going anyway. Which, now that I say it like that, is pretty much what the Odyssey was. So, shout out to DYM!! Anyway. One of the major plot points I came up with a while back is a dream that CJ has where he sees the future, which is the year 2020 as we knew it. That’s how he gets all the disciples to buy in on global utopia and all that shit. (Also the dream will help him know all about Star Wars and what’s gonna happen in fantasy football, which will be important later.) Then I thought maybe I could use CJ's dreams to start introducing a lot of the reincarnation symbolism. And since the disciples bought in on the first dream, maybe they start thinking all of CJ's dreams are really important. Maybe that’s even where he could have his misadventures too. Check it out: CJs DREAM JOURNAL: Dream #1: Jesus has a dream where he’s on a boat all by himself in the middle of the ocean. Just floating. Its real quiet, no land in sight, no clouds in the sky, and no wind. He looks behind him and there’s a giant tiger in the back of the boat. He screams and wakes up. Dream #2: Jesus has a dream where he’s a cow. Just eatin that grass all day long. Takes a nap under a tree, gets up, moos at another cow, eats some more grass. Later in the day he comes back to the tree and notices a little flower growing out of the trunk. He’d never noticed it before. He looks at it real close. Then a tiger jumps out of the tree and he wakes up. Dream #3: Jesus has another dream where he’s on a boat all by himself in the middle of the ocean. He immediately checks for tigers. All clear. The boat is empty except for the ropes and rigging. He sees a little island in the distance and turns the sail around to the starboard side to head towards it. He’s picking up speed, but when he looks up the island looks like it’s off the starboard side again, so he turns the sail again. But the island is still off to the side. A few more turns and he still can’t line it up. He checks the sails and the hoists. Then he sees a line that got wrapped around the mast in all the turning. So he picks up the line and passes it around the mast four times to uncoil it. As soon as it’s all straightened out it starts raining. Pouring rain, he can’t see shit, the island is gone. Now he’s real upset, starts praying for a tiger to come eat him. Then a giant seahorse comes up out of the water. CJ’s like wtf for real. Seahorse is holding a wine glass in one fin and a cigarette in the other. He takes a big sip of the wine, finishes the glass and places it on the deck of CJs boat. Seahorse looks around, seems a bit lost. He says “Hey pal ya gotta light?” CJ’s like “What?” Seahorse says “A match? A light... Ah you don’t smoke. Just check that Emergency Kit in the bow,” the seahorse points down with his other fin “should be a flare gun in there or something.” CJ looks down, he didn’t remember there being a kit in the bow, but there it is. He opens it up and a blinding light comes pouring out. CJ struggles to open his eyes, it’s like looking straight into the sun. Vaguely, through his eyelids he sees the silhouette of the flare gun. He pulls it out and closes the lid of the kit as fast as he can. “Um, here ya go, friend...” CJ says as he hands the gun to the seahorse, “...and thank you, I think.” Seahorse says “Yea, no sweat, you can keep it. Got all kindsa good shit in there.” Seahorse fires the flare and it explodes high overhead in a huge shower of golden sparks. Seahorse continues - “Sorry to bother you on your cruise, pal. I can’t ever keep a pack of matches dry down there.” CJ looks confused, he says “How did you keep the cigarette dry?” The seahorse takes a drag, looks at the cigarette, exhales the smoke and says “Ya know, I never thought of it that way. Huh.” He pauses and drags it again. “Wow. Man, this is gonna be huge. Listen, you've been a big help, kid, but I gotta split. Anything else I can do for you?” CJ says “Well, I could use some food, and if you could help me get to that island out there it’d be tight.” Seahorse yells excitedly, “Ah HA! Now, food we can do.” Seahorse reaches down into the water and pulls out a fish. “Sushi?” He asks as he displays the fish to CJ. CJ nods, he’s cautiously optimistic. Seahorse puts the fish on the deck next to the wine glass and carves off a filet with the edge of his giant fin and hands it to CJ. “Thanks.” CJ says warily. Then the seahorse waves his big, spread-out fin over the wounded fish. When he moves the fin away there are two tiny fishes where the one near-dead one had been. Seahorse drops the baby fish into the water and they swim away. “Woah.” CJ is amazed. The seahorse drags his smoke again and coughs out a laugh, “Heh! They better watch out for that tiger, right buddy?” The seahorse elbows CJ with a curled fin and chuckles at his own joke. CJ forces out a nervous laugh as well. Seahorse sits down on the edge of the boat to eat the sashimi with CJ. He reaches into the water again and pulls out a wine bottle. He goes to pour into his glass but nothing comes out. “Damn. Hey, go back in the kit for me and grab another bottle, we’re all out.” CJ reaches for the kit and opens it, very slowly this time - trying to avoid being blinded again. “Go ahead, nothing to be scared of.” Seahorse says “They won’t mind. I’m here, so it’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.” CJ is not reassured. He looks at Seahorse skeptically. Seahorse waves his fin at CJ imploring him to go on. CJ opens the kit and right away he can make out the silhouette of a bottle and a cup, he pulls them both out quickly and slams the box closed. Seahorse opens the bottle and pours them each a glass. They eat and drink and it might be the first time that Seashorse had stopped talking since he showed up. For a moment there was no sound at all and they could hear every raindrop plink off the ocean’s flat surface. The silence is broken by a bang and another flare whistling up into the sky. CJ looks up and Seahorse is tucking a cigarette box under his fin. He stops, pulls the box back out and points it at CJ. “Oh right, you don’t smoke, sorry, bud.” Then he tucks the box away and stands up on his tail. “OK, kid. The sushi’s on me. And I can help you get to the island. But you gotta come back down here with me first. We gotta tell the guys about your idea.” … After that I'm thinkin they probably get sidetracked on their way back to wherever Seahorse was tryna go. They’ll have to do some other weird shit underwater, and I might not have CJ find out what “his idea” actually is for a long time if ever. Maybe he’ll wake up and have to revisit this dream a few times to get the island. Eventually he finds out that the island isn’t actually an island, it’s the head of a giant snake (which is why it was moving at the start of the dream). The snake, as he’ll eventually learn, is coiled up deep under the ocean and the coils actually are the core of the earth, and all the water and land is piled up on top of it. LETS GOOO!!!!! "It's sea-weed, baby!" HAVE A GREAT MARCH MADNESS EVERYBODY!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #4 - DYM STAR WARS THEORY RETURNS!!!!!!
What’s up Special Ed?!?! It’s March which means we’re just about a month away from 2021 MOCK DRAFT SEASON!!! We know the real diehards out there are already rocking mocks and best ball drafts in March, but we usually wait 'til after the NFL Draft before we start mocking the upcoming season. Right now we’re still enjoying our off-season, which is great cause there’s a lotta good streaming TV on right now. We just finished WandaVision and we dug it. All these magic spells and shit got us thinkin’ tho... There still might be a way for a Grand Champion such as ourselves to take our game to the whole ‘nother level: In 2019 DYM brought you Fantasy Mythopoeia - this year it’s FANTASY DIVINATION!!! We just thought of it last night and haven’t looked into it too much yet. But we can’t imagine we’re the first person that ever thought to use hexes and chaos magic in fantasy sports or gambling. It actually seems kinda obvious now that we’re thinking about it. Anyways, for now we’re working on this Fantasy Football Tarot Deck. We figure it should be useful for draft prep even if we can’t get all the incantations figured out. Here’s a little preview: Needless to say, we're already plotting the return of Miss Cleo for 2021. PLUS, March means we got Aussie Football coming up soon, and the NCAA hoops tourney (we think?). Kyrie's gonna stop by for more coverage of the 2021 NBA Champion Nets, and the Mets are gonna be good too so we're gonna be watchin' baseball again, AND there's OLYMPICS this year!! It's gonna be a HOT summer!!!!! So before we return to our regularly scheduled DYM programming, we gotta finish off the long overdue conclusion of THE DYM ULTIMATE STAR WARS THEORY!!! LETS GO!!! When we first wrote it 2 years ago, DYM Scholars surely recognized the irony of the "Ultimate" Star Wars Theory being concocted before the release of the last Star Wars movie. Let's be honest - we had no fucking clue what was gonna happen in Episode IX. We actually thought broom boy was gonna be a thing. But really the joke of the original USWT was the same one we always do - if we say we're gonna talk about something next week it'll likely never be mentioned again, and if we say this is the last word on a subject it most certainly is not. Which means we will never be filling in those blacked out [IX] boxes on the Hero's Journey breakdown. Never. The first edition of the DYM Ultimate Star Wars Theory was actually neither "ultimate" nor an entirely consistent "theory." Hopefully this post will be at least one of those things. DYM ULTIMATE STAR WARS THEORY PART II: THE LAST WORD ON EPISODE IX A lot of things happened in Episode IX. Most of the time when someone asks us about it that's what we say. "It was a lot of things". The movie moves so fast - characters talk over each other, scenes cut frenetically between way too many different planets - it could easily have been 45 minutes longer without adding one line of dialogue. The first time we saw it, it was like a fever dream of a Star Wars movie. We recognized most of the characters and the scenes, but as we left the theater we felt like half the story was rapidly evaporating from our memory. But also like a dream, although we easily forgot the details, a few peculiar images persisted. Things we had never seen in Star Wars before, or never this intimately: A burial, a snake, and a woman in a gold helmet. And like a dream, we now believe those strange and persistent images are keys to the deeper meaning behind the story - the reason why it was told. GOLD HELMETS There have only been two gold helmets in Star Wars cannon and both of them first appeared in 2019. Our theory is that Zorii Bliss and The Mandalorian Armorer both represent the same mythic archetype - namely the Greek goddess Athena. Athena is the guardian of heroes, she visits them on their quests, or appears to them in her temple, to bestow knowledge and gifts that they will need to complete their journey. Precisely same role that Zorii and The Armorer play in Star Wars. She is also the most powerful war goddess. She was born with a shield and spear in her hands. She killed giants in defense of Olympus. In the Iliad she fought alongside Achilles in the final battle and helped kill Hector to aide Achilles' escape, and even defeated Ares himself. Perseus kills Medusa and brings the head back to Athena. She uses the head to make a shield and suit of armour. She is a leader and voice of reason to the journeying hero - calming Achilles' rage when he threatens to kill his own men. She is also a virgin goddess. The "Parthenon", which translates to "temple of the virgin goddess", was named for her. When Medusa was beheaded blood poured out of her neck, and from the stream sprang the winged horse Pegasus. Athena was then the original keeper of Pegasus and it is said she invented the first bridle, saddle, and chariot. This is the etymological source of her epithet Hippia (Ἵππια "of the horses"), and the temple mentioned by Pausinias called the temple of Athena Chalinitis ("the bridler"). (Yes, Babu Frik is Hera. We'll do that one next month.) Lest one think we're grasping straws with this rather opaque jumping off point of "a woman in a gold helmet", allow us to dwell on the minutiae of the aesthetic similarities as well: Zorii's helmet has a crest extending above and behind her head, similar to the feathered crest of Athena's helmet (or perhaps reminiscent of the Pharoic crowns of Lower Egypt - more on that below). Later images of "Pallas Athena" show the goddess with a more complex helmet design. Instead of the single crest, there are usually with five points along the top of the helmet. The name Pallas Athena refers to her role in the war of "Gigantomachy" where the gods of Olympus battled for ten years against the ancient race of "Gigantes". There Athena killed the giant called Pallas, then skinned the giant and dressed herself in it's skin to make herself stronger. That's one weird trick she'd employ habitually throughout the tales of Greek heroes. The Pallas Athena in the statue pictured above has since afixed the face and hair of Medusa to the front of her robes. The Armorer is the only Mandalorian we've ever seen (since the Clone Wars scenes on the planet Mandalor) that wears anything other than Mando armor. She appears to have at least two layers of armor and an animal skin on top. As of yet we don't have a cannon origin story for the Armorer's pelt, but we bet it's gonna be a trip. The five "points" on Athena's helmet, as one can clearly see above, are actually a series of miniature figures: a sphinx, flanked by two griffins, and the wings on either side denote this as Hades' cap of invisibility (which she wore to battle Ares in the Illiad). The three figures in the center are interchangeable in Attic art and later antiquity: Sometimes it's a sphinx, sometimes it's an eagle, sometimes it's the dogs of hell - Cerberus and Orthrus, sometimes it's a hydra or sea monster. She most often is shown wearing images of the serpentine beasts her heroes have slain. Athena continued to be depicted in this attire for the majority of the late classical period and throughout Rome (as Minerva). That's significant, especially considering the history of these gods' relationship with snakes. SNAKES OF THE UNDERWORLD Snakes, serpents and dragons are found in the mythology and religion of cultures across the world dating back to the late paleolithic era. For as long as human beings have been writing, they've been writing about snakes. Given the near complete ubiquity of mythic snakes one could say there are just two types of religions in the world: those who worship snakes, and those who fear snakes. Interestingly both sides tend to describe snakes the same way - Snakes come from the ground, and while in the ground they commune with the dead. When dead people are buried, the snakes know the way to the afterlife. Loosely interpreted, this image of the snake was part of the founding myths of native cultures of Bali, China, India, Syria, Greece, Egypt, Scotland, Norway, North and South America, and many many others. Snakes are always the keepers of the underworld, whether or not one worships them depends entirely on who is buried in the ground. Joseph Campbell argued that settled, pastoral cultures have tended to have maternalistic myths where the serpent is more likely to be a helper or protagonist, and nomadic cultures tend to be paternalistic and anti-snake. Jung and Freud both discussed burial rites in classical mythology as being akinto a "solemn marriage" (legal marriage ceremony) between a people and the land on which they live. Once a people have settled in an area they lay a claim to the plot of earth by burying their dead along with sacrifices to their mother goddess. That piece of earth is then their earth, and only then are the snakes friendly to them. Campbell further demonstrated that for both types of culture there is a distinction between the gods of the "chthonic or under-earth, and the telluric or upper-earth, of which we think when we think of Mother Earth. These are the two aspects of the Goddess, appearing as two goddesses." Campbell had not finished writing Goddesses when he died in 1987, but since then contemporary discoveries in archeology, linguistics, genealogy, and studies of the history of mythological syncretism in the Near East have continued to support his hypotheses. In 2018 archeologists discovered the region's earliest known snake sculptures in the Ukraine at Kamyana Mohyla. The figures were carbon-dated to about 8000 bc - at least 4000 years before the Sumerians recorded the first written language. This site, like Çatalhöyük in Turkey, is believed to have been a post-hunter-gatherer society. They were a long-settled, pastoral, and matriarchal culture. Findings at the site indicate they buried their dead in their own homes, even under their own beds, and they seem to have invoked snakes in their burial rites (see wall carving image above). Historians today trace the roots of written Indo-European languages back to the mid-4th millennium bc when the nomadic Yamnaya warriors raided those pastoral natives and settled briefly in the river deltas north of the Black Sea. Archeologically, the defining characteristic of the Yamna was their burial rituals - the word "Yamnaya" in Russian and Ukrainian means "related to pits." In some of the world's largest neolithic burial sites, The Yamnaya are believed to have built underground tombs out in the hills away from their towns. These "kurgans" (burial mounds), unlike the private at-home burials of Kamyana Mohyla, appear to have been reserved for the elite warrior class. Notably, kurgans have been found to contain both human and animal remains, and graves are covered with giant tombstones cut in the shape of a person. They were also amongst the first people of Europe to record their religious fear of snakes. Historians believe the Yamna conquered the pastoral nations of the region, destroying most records of their ancient goddess religions. Campbell retells the era in Godesses: Archaeological research proved that the Indo-Europeans’ arrival was a comparatively late development; the modern dating of ancient Sumer and of Egypt, along with what we now know of Old Europe before these people came in—all this has changed the picture considerably. We now see that the Indo-Europeans came in as warrior-ravagers and that in each region they knocked down the civilization that was already there. Then they absorbed the influence of the earlier civilization and out of that synthesis came the high golden period of Greece. The earlier civilizations belonged to the goddess; the later to the gods. There is a perfect parallel in Southwest Asia, with the Semites arriving in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and so forth, as they had as their principal interest a kind of rough nomadic warcraft. Archeologists and other folks much smarter than us have undertook thorough analyses of the opaque ancient iconography of the early these neolithic and bronze age tribes (check your local library!). Though we think for our purposes it will suffice to say that the Yamnaya, a culture of nomadic herders and warrior kings, did not feel the same kinship with this particular plot of earth as their predecessors had - and so the snakes they found in the Black Sea were not their snakes. The Yamna split up and began to migrate across Europe and Southern Asia beginning around 3000 bc. This ancient nomadic culture is the earliest known ancestor of the Slavic, Celtic, Balkan, Germanic, Persian, Vedic, and Hellenic peoples. Hence, there are direct cultural and linguistic ties between the classical myths of all these cultures and the story now known as the Chaoskampf. This is a primordial mythic tale, shared in some form by all post-Yamnaya cultures where the national hero or god battles against the agents of chaos, in the shape of a giant snake or dragon. Around 1000 bc Classical Greek culture as we know it was established. Their founding myth, the tale of Zeus claiming the throne on Mount Olympus, is a battle between he and a giant snake called Typhon. In this story, the snake was, or course, born from Gaia (the Earth) herself. Zeus slays the beast and buries it under the mountains. Classical sources describe those mountains being in Africa (as the vision of most nomadic myths are oriented westward), but they also may be a reference to their ancestor's kurgans, where they buried their dragons in the hills far away from their cities. Interestingly, in later Greek sources, we find another version of Typhon's birth where he is the rival of the Greeks national tutelary goddess, Athena. HELM OF SNAKES In 1903 archeologist Arthur Evans discovered the remains of the Pre-Hellenic Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. Until this time western history had no knowledge of the native people of the islands before the first millenium bc. Evans believes that they, like the Turkish and Ukranian natives, were a pastoral maternalistic culture. In their capital Knossos (once called Europe's oldest city) he discovered statues of a Mother Goddess - she is always standing with a small animal on her head and a snake in each hand. Very little is known for sure about the role of this goddess, besides that she was very popular (at least 5 statues and several paintings were recovered from the Knossos site), and that she bears a striking resemblance to even older Syrian snake goddess and some older statues found in Mesopotamia. It's a reasonable assumption that this image, or the Neolithic image on that inspired it, helped shape the image of the Greek's saviour goddess as well. Athena was the protector of the Greek nation, their national god. So as the protector of "heroes" she was first and foremost the protector of Greek armies and kings. Her sidekick is Nike the goddess of victory so, as a warrior goddess she was undefeated. The beautiful pure Athena, the greek goddess of wisdom, was actually military a tactician. She was born with a spear and shield in her hands. The story goes that Zeus gave birth to Athena alone - without Hera (which we guess is sort of a virgin birth in a way) - and she was born fully grown and equally powerful as Zeus himself. Hera was insulted so she went to make a child for herself who would also be as strong as Zeus and also be evil. In this version of the story Typhon is a bane on the world of man (not the gods). Typhon married the sea monster Echidna and their children became a rogues gallery for all greek heroes and their patron, Athena. In our hasty wikipedia browsing over the past week we confirmed that all twelve of Typhon and Echidna descendants were killed (or as Cerberus, captured) by one of Athena's favored heroes. We also found iconic antique renderings of Athena showing her wearing each of the monsters on her hat (the only exceptions being the Nameian Lion who became Heracles' favorite coat, The Calydonian Boar who was sacrificed in Athena's temple, and Cerberus who of course was not killed, merely captured, by Heracles): You might have noticed there are a lot of snakes, dragons, and sea serpents in Typhon's family tree, and coincidentally the least serpentine among them - the lion, dog and boar (all ancient totem animals representing death, same as the snake) - were given away or sacrificed after they were slain. She takes the images of the monsters - specifically the serpents - and reclaims them, she makes them a part of her. Herodotus tells us that when he was a boy Athenians thought their goddess to be incarnated as a snake: "They have a great snake which guards the Acropolis and to which each month offerings of honey cake are made, and graciously received. But at the time of the Persian invasion, the snake refused to eat the offering. And when the priestess announced this, the Athenians deserted the city the more readily because the Goddess herself had deserted the Acropolis." In Jungian psychological terms, their corresponding virginal births clearly make Typhon the animus of Athena, and she is his anima. They are two sides of the same personality. One side conscious, the other subconscious - the rejected, suppressed shadow side. Athena's journey is a recollection of the images of her own subconscious, which is the subconscious of the very zeitgeist of the Greek people. As much as they hate and try to destroy the image of the serpent, deep in their hearts they know it is a part of them; perhaps the most vital original part of them. The image of the snake represents the beginning and end of their earthly lives, the long lost home that the Yamnic nomads left behind, and also the new one that they still seek. The most popular academic method of interpreting classical myths is by way of political history. The gods and heroes represent the nation that wrote the story, and the monsters represent foreigners. This is another useful metaphor to apply to the images of Athena during Herodotus' day. By 500 bc the Greeks' roots were firm in the Hellenic islands but the journeying nomadic spirit of their Yamnic forefathers begged them to voyage outward once again. Artifacts from this time from across the Middle East and southern Europe show strong Greek cultural influences. At this time pre-Socratic philosophers often made note of the similarities between their own pantheon and those of the neighboring nations with whom they were becoming more closely acquainted. Perhaps a bit proudly, they most often compared themselves to the Egyptians. These sorts of comparisons are far easier for us today, with this 10,000 foot view of ancient history. It's unlikely any ancient Greek thinkers recognized the depth of irony in the fact that their people had left the steppe land 3,000 years earlier, after vanquishing the lands' serpent demons and leaving monumental tombs in the hills, only to arrive at the shores of the Mediterranean and find such similar tombs - filled with both animals and men, but reserved for kings - built by people who for the last 3,000 years had been telling a remarkably similar story to their own. Greek thinkers adored the Egyptians and learned all they could from them - The Egyptians and Ethiopians of the 3rd-1st centuries bc were among the most advanced on earth in mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and other proto-sciences. The great doctors, politicians and philosophers of Greece all studied in the kingdoms of eastern Africa. They learned about Egyptian religion too, and found it quite comprehensible through the framework of their own Pantheon. By the time of Alexander the Great and the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, the only real difference between the Greeks and the Egyptians was the Egyptians weren't afraid of snakes. But comparative mythology, was not just an academic curiosity for the likes of Herodotus, Pseudo-Apollodorus, and the later Pythagoreans. It was a political necessity as well. International relations had both greatly enriched and gravely threatened Greek life by the mid-first century bc. At the same time as they mingled with the Egyptians, the Greek kings tried to maintain an uneasy peace with the growing Persian empire to their east. But under Cyrus The Great, the powerful Persian empires would expand to overtake all of Greece. Fortunately, Cyrus famously allowed all his subjects to continue practicing their own religions. This allowed another generation to retell the ancient war stories of the Gods and Titans. Those later Greek poets must have felt that those stories had become more important for their nation than they had ever been before. By then, all those snakes adorning Pallas Athena's gown and helmet came to symbolize what they had learned from the Egyptians and the Persians, as well as the protection they would need to begin their next journey. When the the Persians sacked Athens in 480 bc Herodotus - one of our greatest extant sources on Attic Greek mythology - was just 4 years old. It's no wonder why his version of Athena would feel like she needed a few extra skins for protection. A couple hundred years later, Alexander the Great would revive the Greek empire and installed Ptolemy as the first Greek Pharaoh of Egypt. Alexander re-conquered all the land from the Mediterranean to what is now Kabul, Afghanistan in the name of Greece. There they became reacquainted with the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The warrior goddess born from the blood of her castrated father's testicles - just like their own Aphrodite - who was depicted so similarly to their beloved Athena. The cultures blended, and many obscure syncretic cults emerged throughout Greece. Some of these cults even worshipped long-forgotten goddesses of their ancestors on the near-eastern steppe - like Cybele from Çatalhöyük, and Bendis from Thracia. By the time Athens fell, The Roman Empire was already on the rise. As we all know, Roman religious texts and rites were borrowed entirely from the Greek Pantheon. No deep allegorical analysis needed to compare these two - the Romans changed very little in the Greek narratives besides renaming the gods in Latin. And the prescriptive message that the myths spoke to the Roman people was, of course, the same as it had been since long before Greece was Greek. The motivating cultural force inspired by the nomadic monomyth has always been, and will always be, providential westward expansion. MANIFEST DESTINY The phrase “manifest destiny” was first used in 1845 by American journalist John L. O’Sullivan: “A manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.” It is the meaning of the Latin phrase that appears on the back of the US $1 bill: Annuit Cœptis - “God has favored our endeavors.” The latin phrasing comes from a scene in Rome's founding myth the Aeneid. The future king Ascanius asks Jupiter for his help in fighting the war against the native Italians so they can found a nation in Italy. "Iuppiter omnipotens, audacibus adnue coeptis" “Jupiter Almighty, favour [my] bold undertakings.” Jupiter did bless Ascanius and every Roman Emperor after him inherited the blessing. Just like their Yamnic ancestors, the Roman Empire conquered every nation north and west of their homeland, until they - like the eventual Greeks - reached the sea. Time passes. The Roman Empire falls and is replaced by the Roman Catholic Church. By this time, The Church had exceeded the Greeks, and even Cyrus the Great, in their adeptness at appropriating pagan rites and gods by way of syncretism. Their imaginative reinterpretation of Judeo-Christian myth would enable The Church to maintain a stronghold on every continent. So much so that even after the French Revolution ushered in the Age of Enlightenment, Napoleon could not truly rule Paris, let alone the rest of his empire without a pact with Rome. Meanwhile, across the great sea, a “New World” had been discovered and the flame of providential western expansion had already been sparked anew. Europeans ventured to America and became nomads once again. ... George Lucas has stated repeatedly that his intent in making Star Wars was to create a mythology for 21st century America. But of course, 20th century America already had well-established national myths. Lucas grew up watching Westerns, which largely conjure the 19th century American rallying cry of Manifest Destiny. Andrew Jackson's bloody subjugation of Native American peoples, and of the very land of the continent itself, was glorified in the heroic adventures of cowboys on film and television. My parents' generation grew up idolizing Zorro and The Lone Ranger. Iconic actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood became synonymous with the genre so even when they appeared in other types of films the audience fully understood that Sgt. Stryker (in Sands of Iwo Jima) and Dirty Harry have both come to lay down the law (and slay the proverbial chaos) - they're still the sheriff in this here town. So it's easy to see how the archetypes and values of the quintessentially American genre - Westerns - naturally persisted into war movies, urban dramas, romances, and sports movies even as the popularity of Westerns themselves waned in the later 20th century. The pivotal scene in the Hero's Journey of the American West was Davy Crockett joining the battle at The Alamo. The stories of the heroes of The Alamo were largely popularized on screen in the 1950's by Walt Disney. Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier first aired in 1955, the same year that they built their first monumental castle on the continent's westernmost shore. Disney had then performed their "solemn marriage" with the American continent. Our collective millenia of westward exploration had come to an end, and Disney had become the keepers and guardians of the American Myth. That year George Lucas was 9 years old. That image of The Alamo - the ragtag group of rebels facing impossible odds - must have left an indelible mark on the imagination of a young George Lucas. The argument for the cinematic influence of Westerns on Star Wars is quite straightforward, and is already very well-treaded ground in the world of film analysis. Moreover, we would not be the first to compare the frontiersman, particularly Davy Crockett, Achilles and Odysseus; Nor would we be the first to draw the parallels between Crockett joining up at the Alamo and Luke Skywalker joining the battle against the Death Star. But now that the Skywalker Saga is complete, and Star Wars approaches 50 years of residency in the American imagination, we can bring Star Wars into the fold of American Mythology in much more interesting ways. By the 1950s America had solidified its own version of the ancient chaoskampf in TV cowboys representing the myth of Manifest Destiny: Tales of rugged individuals braving new frontiers, imbued with divine righteousness, fending off ancient and powerful enemy forces. It was instrumental in the zeitgeist of early 20th century America, and to its children, the story still begged to be retold. The spirit of the Yamnaya would live on for another generation. But as Lucas explains, American politics in the 1960s left him and many other young Americans disillusioned with their parents' righteous image of “America”. The cold utilitarianism of the Nixon administration seemed antithetical to the honesty and honor they ascribed to Lincoln, and to the forthright bravery of Roosevelt. By the 1970s America herself had become the great tyrannical serpent that it once fought against. With Star Wars, Lucas undertook to remove the American myth from the harsh realities of the America he knew. He wanted to retell the myths of his childhood but with new heroes - timeless heroes - as to appeal to contemporary, and even future, audiences. He also sought to make an American myth that itself had a greater sense of history than the starkly nomadic westerns. This is accomplished directly in the text of Episode IV (“For a thousand generations the Jedi were the guardians of peace...”) and thematically by incorporating cinematic tropes of golden age Hollywood and classical music. It was praised and beloved. Between 1978 and 2005 (the Lucas Star Wars era) Star Wars became engrained in American culture to the point of ubiquity. It arguably became one of the tutelary myths of millennial American culture. The original Star Wars was seen at the time as a huge departure from many of the era's established movie-making tropes. Many of these departures were received scornfully by the film industry. Lucas' written narrative introduction appeared on screen where there should have been production credits. He used an original operatic soundtrack of classical music, eschewing modern popular music. These were seen as a slap-in-the-face to the movie-making establishment. But those choices, along with all the very intentional references to classic mythology, were made to both stylistically separate Star Wars from its contemporaries and also to open up the audience's imagination by harkening back to some long forgotten cinematic traditions. But try as it might to rebel, Star Wars is inescapably American. So clearly it's heroes must be nomads. Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie have all lost their homes, and throughout the series they are rousted out of every hideout they find. The fact that the heroes are homeless gives a textual explanation for why the beloved dead are always burned in Star Wars movies (I, II, III, IV, VI), and adds an incredible depth of symbolism to the fact that almost nothing* is ever buried until the last scene of Episode IX. The song John Williams wrote for that scene is called A New Home. For Star Wars, that new home is Disney. The cultural rise of Star Wars (and comic books, and other serialized heroic adventures) did nothing to dissuade Disney from claiming the serpent covered helm of Athena. For nearly 100 years now Disney has remained the foremost American myth maker. They are still the protector of American heroes. They built another monument on our continent's eastern shore, just like Alexander returning to ancestral Mesopotamia; and then they reconstructed their monument all around the globe, which reminds us of the Roman-Celtic sanctuaries to Sulis-Minerva (the Latin Athena) found at the northwesternmost corner of the Roman Empire. Disney never stopped telling myths. She communes with the snakes of America's forefathers, and she travels the world collecting all the snakes of the world's cultures. By 2012 Disney had become the awesome and fearsome Pallas Athena wearing the skins of giants, her robes threaded with snake scales, and on top of her helmet sat a mysterious sphinx, flanked by the hounds of Hades. George Lucas’ myth may have sought to embrace the archetypal Mother Serpent of the underworld when he thought he had rejected and suppressed the anima he felt in Disney’s nomadic myths. But now Disney, as the conquering warrior goddess Athena, is the serpent. And so, now that we see the goddess covered head-to-toe in snake scale she begins to appear less like the terrible serpent of Yamnic chaos she slayed, and more like the heroic Egyptian goddess Wadjet - guardian of the Nile river kingdom. 5,000 years ago our cultural ancestors - the nomadic Yamna people - left behind a land of unfriendly ghosts and serpent demons, only to settle at the seaside next to Egypt - a land protected by great serpents. And of course, as Campbell has shown us, The Hero always returns to the place where they started - so we now understand why even today the most fearsome gods of our nation appear to us in the form of a snake. ... Well, folks, that’s what Episode IX is about. Zorii Bliss is Athena, and Athena is Disney. Rey descending to the underground lair and healing the giant snake, and then burying the lightsabers is a perfect inverse (reflection) of Zeus's foundational victory - Typhon ascended to the heavens where Zeus slayed him with his thunderbolts and then buried the great snake under the mountains. The buried lightsabers are Star Wars' sacrifice to Disney-Athena, now Star Wars may consummate it's sacred marriage with the American Myth. So if one had been asked to pick just one Greek god to appear in Episode IX, Athena would've been a very good answer. But a better answer would have been Dionysus, because Dionysus always brings the PARTY FAVORS!!! THE FESTIVAL So far this argument may seem like an apologia for Episode IX. When we gave the elevator pitch of Ultimate Star Wars Theory Part 2 to the wife she asked "So you're coming around? You like Episode IX now?" And we said "Well, insofar as it's a fever dream, yea, I suppose... I mean, I've had nightmares that are useful. So I guess that's what Episode IX was like. A productive nightmare." To keep it 100 with the true DYM Scholars who've made it this far, despite the plethora of problems with Episode IX that we've talked about over the last year, we gotta admit the thing we're still the most salty about is our ONE miss out of ten predictions we made for Episode IX back in the summer of 2019. To recap, those predictions were: 1) The first scene would feature a hooded figure entering a circular doorway. 2) A hologram appears EXACTLY nine minutes into the film (in Episode IX the first hologram appears at 7:00, not 9. We're still counting it. Fuck you, JJ. More on that below) 3) The heroes encounter a giant, slimy overlord. 4) A primitive army helps the heroes against a technologically advanced adversary. 5) An epic chase scene ensues. 6) A tearful "goodbye" is had amongst the hero and their family. 7) The hero pilots a new ship. 8) The hero hides from troopers in a hallway. 9) A spy is revealed. and the only one we got wrong - 10) The heroes' non-human companion gets them in trouble by trying to steal a bite to eat. You gotta admit that was impressive ("most impressive"). But the more we think about it, we're coming to realize that that one miss might have been the most important archetype in all of Star Wars. The Rise of Skywalker was the longest of the 9 Skywalker Saga movies (155 min) but not one character has so much as a sip of refreshment, which might be the reason why it was among the least enjoyable Star Wars movies. Our "predictions" were all just things that had also happened in Episodes I, VI, and VII - The episodes that we presumed IX would have the most in common with. But food should have been the easy one. Lucas' heroes either eat something, or are eaten, in EVERY Star War except for Episode III, which was once widely considered the least enjoyable Star War of the Lucas era (66% audience approved on rotten tomatoes). Interestingly Episode VIII was also widely panned by a certain segment of Star Wars fandom (ie: people who are wrong), and it was the only Star War besides Episode III in which the heroes were NOT eaten (or threatened to be eaten) by a monster. Campbell explains that as archetypes of sacramental tradition the image of a hero eating and being eaten are synonymous. Just as Jesus told his disciples at the last supper - He will become the food and they will eat of him. Combine this with the deeper spiritual knowledge that the divine image is actually an image of ourselves, and we too become the food we eat. We understand that the animal being sacrificed is a part of ourselves, so the very act of eating and drinking is tied to the mysteries of death and birth - the realm of the Mother Goddess. So what we eat is a killed deity, whether it’s an animal we’re killing and eating or a plant we’re picking. The sense of saying grace before meals has been reduced to thanking God for giving you the food, but the real grace should be thanking God for being the food. That’s the sense of the communion in the Christian Church, where what you eat is God—Jesus, who gave his life that we might live. In classical mythology the most tumultuous or emotional part of the hero's journey is often punctuated by a surprising or comedic scene. Campbell refers to it as the festival scene: Demeter had scoured the Earth looking for her lost daughter Persephone. As she sat down, tearful and distraught, the princesses she was staying with drank wine and regaled her with jokes. They were able to coerce some laughter from the goddess, and she is then able to refocus and complete the most difficult part of her journey - the descent into Hades. The intent is that the audience would laugh as well, and shake them from the stressful emotion of the gripping epic tale. This allows them to open the playful, creative, and imaginative part of their minds, making them more receptive to the fantastic divine mystery that the story would soon reveal. Most Star Wars movies have deftly employed this narrative device: In Episode I, Qui Gon leads his party through the market and into the Skywalkers' home where they sit down for a meal. There he would reveal that he is a Jedi, and Anakin may be as well. In Episode IV, Han sits down with a drink and a soup bowl to watch Luke take his first steps into a larger world. In Episode VIII, Chewbacca sacrifices a porg and blesses it in the flames just before Rey makes contact with Kylo through their force-bond. ... and many, many more. We honestly believe that the reason why Episode III is so off-putting is because there are way too many mystical secrets revealed and not nearly enough snacks. Sure, everybody complains about the acting in Episodes II and III, especially the awkward interactions between Anakin and Padme, but you know you loved that floating fruit scene in Episode II. The reason we still rank Episode IX as the least enjoyable Star War is because the novelization of Episode III is by far the best of the entire series. The accounts of Anakin and Obi-Wan's inner monologues are strikingly poetic. And, more importantly, there are three deleted scenes in which our heroes are either eatin' or eaten: About mid-way through, C-3PO serves the senators drinks as they discuss a plan to establish the Rebel Alliance. Then after Order-66 a sea monster tries to eat Obi-Wan but causes a commotion that allows him to escape. The scene cuts to Yoda making his way through the clone army lines to escape Kashyyk. To disguise himself, Yoda covers his head and body with mud and pretends to eat a dead wookie as the clones pass by (tbh that one was pretty weird even for us, maybe it's for the best it didn't make the final cut). Credit where credit's due: Episode IX had a pivotal scene where the heroes stumble upon a literal festival on the desert planet Pasaana. That scene was immediately followed by the archetypal Magic Flight scene, and then a literal descent into the underworld where they encountered a giant snake who tried to eat them (the second of two giant snakes who try to eat the heroes of Episode IX). Somehow, through all that the only creature who we see actually having a nosh are these little guys called the Oki-Poki, if you blinked you mighta missed it. What really bothers us about this is that the writer(s) clearly knew what they were doing with the symbolism in these scenes. They're deeply ironic: There are so many winking, tongue in cheek comments and images that ought to have been foreshadowing but didn't pay off. We've been saying for years that Star Wars writers must be reading DYM, but this time it really felt like they were personally fucking with us. (The kites were colorful, but the delectability of the sweets is very much in doubt.) While inside the festival Rey is stopped by a girl who wants to give her something. "This is it," we thought, "lunch time!" But no. The kid gave Rey a stupid fucking necklace instead 'cause JJ Abrams is a fucking hack that couldn't think of a better way to demonstrate Kylo's increasing power than to have him snatch a chain off Rey's neck like like he's Aqib fuckin' Talib. Among the other HIGHLY symbolic images that distracted Rey at the festival but foreshadowed NOTHING were: A group of young children laughing innocently (Rey does NOT have a child in this movie), and several effigies and mock funeral pyres (There are no funeral pyres for Leia or Ben). Even the first time we saw it, everything about that scene was eyebrow-raising. A few minutes later, when they enter the serpent's lair, 3PO really starts to lay it on thick. But at this point our stomach was growling and we were not in the mood for jokes anymore. Just after the crew falls through the roof of the Vexis’ lair C-3PO wanders about the cavern muttering to himself: “Is this the afterlife?” He wonders aloud, “Are droids allowed here?” A moment later Poe shudders at the sight of Ochi’s decayed skeleton. 3PO comments: “Bones, never a good sign.” Then, just in case anyone missed it, when Poe becomes outraged at 3PO‘s inability to say the only thing they want him to, the droid muses: “Yes, irony, sir.” OK, so they're having fun. We're not here to begrudge anybody a good laugh, that's what the festival is supposed to be for. But c'mon!!! Lando showed up to the party, and even he didn't get a drink!! Fuck Pasaana, yo. If we were Finn we woulda took Ochi's ship straight back to Canto Bight. Zorii and Poe woulda loved that place. (SMGDH, indeed.) * As it turns out, there was one (1) other burial in a Star Wars movie before 2019 - Shmi Skywalker. Anakin buried her in Episode II, RIGHT AFTER Padme offers him a bite to eat. We coulda swore the saber burial was the first ever burial in any Star War, but our brother Syd was dubious so we took a closer look. We were slightly disappointed, to be honest, but we don't think this really disproves the present thesis. HAVE A GREAT STAR WARS EVERYBODY!!!! REFERENCES:
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #3!!!
WOKE WEDNESDAYS WITH KYRIE IRVING What's up, Special Ed? I know you guys were hoping for more Cum Jesus this month. It's coming along, but I'm still in the ideation phase to be honest. That’s ok, though, since I got a lotta work to do at the job right now. This could be a banner year in my non-basketball-playing career. We’re 30 games into the season now and me and KD have each only played about 20. KD has the sweet setup this year 'cause of that clutch achilles surgery. I think he’s not playing any back-to-backs OR road games, it’s the best! I tried to get that schedule too but Coach Steve wasn’t tryina hear it. So, instead, I decided to just play the first month then take a month off to party for my sister’s birthday. I needed that break, and KD and ‘em held it down too! They went 6-2 while I was gone, but old man Nash couldn't just let me chill. Blowin' up my phone everyday. So now I’m like - “Damn. I really don’t feel like goin' back to work anyway but now I KNOW when I get there Nash's gonna be all in my face tryin' to talk about “point guard” shit. Fuck that!” So that’s when I had the GENIUS idea. Man, that shit could not have worked out better. It was too fuckin easy. Everybody knew that our guy James fuckin' hated playing with Russ’ try-hard ass in Houston. He used to tell us that shit all the time. Any time he saw Russ play he'd say some shit like - “It is too damn hot in Texas for a man to be runnin' around like that.” HAHAHA!! Fuck Russ, yo!!! Jay loves playin' with us. We don;t give a fuck, we're gonna let him take all the damn shots he wants, and we’re NEVER gonna tell him to hustle. He's happy as a clam! His first 8 games here we let him get 3 triple doubles and 7 double doubles. Then I got one of my boys to start talking to him about breaking J-Kidd’s records and shit, next thing you know HE’S the fuckin' point guard!!! We played that motherfucker like Huckleberry fuckin' Finn. Classic. Me and KD are gonna sit out this whole west coast road trip. Straight chillin. Kev said: "If Jay wanted to get outta Houston so bad, let him deal with the fuckin' jet lag." HA!! DYM is kinda busy too, I guess. They wanted me to come through this month cause they said they’re "trying to do more reading than writing these days." 🤷♂️ Ever since they won that SESB with Josh Allen they’ve been obsessed with the number 17. “Hero’s Journey blah blah blah...” They won't shut up about it. Last month the Research Dept guys got into reading about Pythagoras. They said they’re tryin' to figure out why people are afraid of prime numbers, or something. I never totally got it. But, then - once they found out there was gonna be a “Big 3” in Brooklyn and the three of us all picked new jersey numbers and they’re 7, 11, and 13 - the whole Home Office kinda lost it. It's fuckin' nutso if you ask me. I can’t even get em to read the new Star Wars novel. They’re down in the Home Office Basement flipping those old ass, sepia lookin' book pages, gettin' all those paper cuts, and the new SW is just sitting there on their kindle. Idk. I might have to take over the DYM Off-Season for another few months, but at least I don’t have to run Mike D'Antoni's fuckin' offense any more. DYM hasn’t gone off the deep end just yet, but they’re right near the edge. Even I don’t know where they’re going with all this Ancient Greek shit. Fuckin' white devil Pythagoras stole all that shit from the Egyptians anyway. I keep tryina tell 'em. They're gonna come around tho. We’re excited honestly, 'cause DYM’s big off-season think pieces are some of my favorite shits on the internets. One of their most controversial, and my personal favorite, is DYMOS 2019 #1: "Aliens aren't real. But if Earth is the only planet with life, then it’s also the only planet with GHOSTS." That take was right in my wheelhouse. As an environmentalist, I'm not too concerned with space travel and shit like that. We got big enough problems on this planet. I just can't be bothered with aliens anymore. Anyways. Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday, which got me thinkin' about ghosts again. Most people these days spend a lot more time thinking about aliens than ghosts, and they got it all wrong! WOKE WEDNESDAYS WITH KYRIE PRESENTS: ALIENS vs. GHOSTS Pt. 2!! ALIENS STILL AREN'T REAL I used to be into aliens and shit when I was a kid. It's fun to think about, but once you learn a little bit about the true nature of the universe the whole theory falls apart pretty quickly. I think DYM did a nice job demonstrating that. But still, these days, it seems like EVERYBODY believes this ET/UFO garbage. Back in my day the whole point of believing in aliens was because the government told us NOT to. Now we got regular squares out here thinkin' aliens are real cause the "Navy" released some "pictures". SMGDH. But it's not just the herbs gettin' scammed nowadays, even the heartiest denizens of the internets are falling for this "UFO" propaganda. From what I understand, a big part of the QAnon theory is that the Democrats are supposed to be some sorta reptilian aliens. And that they drink kids' blood so they can live forever. Something like that. That's the elevator pitch. I don't fuck with QAnon much 'cause I heard this podcast where the guy really broke it all down and it totally opened my eyes: "First of all, there are no aliens. They're fallen angels. And if you do any research into it you know that that's true. What are known as "benevolent aliens," according to UFO culture, are Nordics who have Scadinavian characteristics. Many people equate them with good angels..." but they're not. Obama and Pelosi and 'em are neither alien, nor reptilian, nor angel. They're human, but they're genetically engineered hybrids of ancient royal bloodlines. Makes a lot more sense when you think about it. The really crazy part to me isn't the Q theory itself - on paper it's pretty standard fare - I just can't believe people followed that shit for so long! It's the most obvious false flag psy-op of the last 20 years... I mean Biden won, the Ds won the Senate, AND they got like 1,000 proud boys to tell on themselves on twitter so they could arrest 'em later. Isn't it obvious who's benefiting from this campaign? It's so transparent. You ever noticed how easy it is to find out all about Q? How it seems like it's everywhere? The REAL conspiracy theorists I fuck with are gettin' canceled into oblivion, and Anderson Cooper's talking about UFOs and Q right there on goddamn CNN!!! They WANT you to talk about aliens! Just like they wanted those "insurrectionists" to talk about Q. It's a set up. There’s a lot of theories out there about fake conspiracies, but Q is a fake conspiracy theory. I BELIEVE IN GHOSTS AND YOU SHOULD TOO The nature of the afterlife is, by definition, unknowable. Yet mankind has always vainly craved the opportunity to see behind the veil, if only just to know what lies there, and then return to life. This is the apple that Adam was told not to eat, and it’s now our curse. As a sociological construct, the basic function of organized religion, is just that: to organize. It groups people around that one singular common interest, and then places the new community into a hierarchical power structure. The vehicle that uniquely enables this function for a religion is the supposition that the elders of the faith hold some mysterious knowledge (eg knowledge of the afterlife) and provide a path for their adherents to enter the mysteries as well. From an economic perspective, the literal unknowability of the mysteries is what makes them infinitely valuable. But the modern era changed the way people interacted with their religious rites and scriptures. Pre-modern people had been told that the truth lay in the scripture, and until then the scripture was only found in the temple. The advent of the printing press and translation of the bible took the scripture out of the church and into the hands and homes of the people. Suddenly the church elders were not the sole keepers of the mystery knowledge, and people began to build their own paths. Today there are over 30,000 separate denominations of Christianity and the most popular churches in the US are just called "churches". It's safe to say that democracy and liberal education have severely diluted the social capital of organized religion in the western world. But anyone familiar with this country's history of Conspiracy FACTS is well aware that the eroding of religious institutions did not ever really leave a sociological power vacuum. Our communities are not defined along the same lines they once were, but they still reside within the same hierarchical power structures; and our leaders still control the symbols of the mysteries. Once again, as in times of old, the elders themselves are also a mystery. Today our leaders live in the shadow of a far off hilltop, and the common people have never seen their secret scripture. Just as our forefathers cowered under the primordial power of life and death, we are painfully aware of what the levers of power are, although we may never see who pulls them. Education and the democratization of political and economic opportunity - once the forces that disrupted oppressive power structures - have now become the means by which we are oppressed. Money, status, and legal protection have effectively replaced food, shelter, and clothing as our most basic needs. These tokens of sustenance are then meted out in a strategically unequal manner such that opportunity itself becomes the goal for the majority of the population. The old adedge "the only sure things in life are death and taxes" is a testament to the fact that the levers of social power are literally as ubiquitous to us as our own life and death. Thereby the people's entire worldview and their very sense of self do not extend beyond the realms controlled by our new world elders. Few are chosen for admission to the mysteries of capitalism, so in order to keep the rest of us rapt they send disciples who acknowledge the mysteries even if only to beg us not to talk about them. This is why every red blooded, freedom loving patriot MUST believe in ghosts. Because they have sanctioned UFO talk we must now refuse it. If they refuse to talk about ghosts we must demand it!!! If there is any true power to be had in this world it is self determination. Believing in ghosts is a declaration of your own independence!!! Given that our modes of interaction with the scriptures have transformed yet again, just during our lifetimes, we might expect the ways the mysteries present themselves to us in the 21st century to be novel as well. Rush Limbaugh's immortal soul now resides among the stars of the night sky. Although, it's still entirely likely that an apparition of Rush could appear before us here on Earth. If the elders of our culture were to appropriate Rush Limbaugh's visage as a symbol of the great mystery, what form would they choose? Certainly not terrestrial radio. Listeners who tuned in to Rush's daily radio show on Thursday heard a touching obituary and selected inspirational clips from the late host. BUT for listeners of the Rush Limbaugh Podcast, the host still lives on. The Thursday podcast episode was, much like the Weds. and Tues. episodes, a raucous lambasting of California "Governor" Gavin Newsom. It's a truly eerie listen. But there are plenty of possible explanations: Maybe he always pre-recorded and queued the podcasts a few days in advance. Maybe iHeart made a robot AI with his voice. Or maybe it's something else... It could be the actual ghost of Rush still trashing democrat governors from beyond the grave. Or perhaps a radio host only truly dies in the terrestrial plane -- but their RSS feeds are immortal. HAVE A GREAT SNOW DAY EVERYBODY!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #2!!
WHATS UP SPECIAL ED?!?! We love re-reading old DYM Off-Season posts in our free time. We might be one of our top 5 favorite authors. One of our all-time favs is the one from June 2018. That was the week Trump pressured the NFL to make a rule banning players from kneeling during the national anthem, which is exactly what DYM's fake Trump had done just 3 weeks prior. This was just the first in an increasingly disturbing series of events that seemed to have been toungue-in-cheekedly predicated in the previous month's DYM. If only we had known then that the Trumps would go on to ruin all three of our most treasured past-times: NFL football, Star Wars and election-time conspiracy theories. Who knows? Maybe we would have done things differently. But the REALLY ominous shit that fucked our heads up for real back in 2018, was that we had a rough draft going for the June '18 DYMOS that was prefaced with fake Trump inviting Justify (the horse) to the White House to celebrate his Triple Crown (at the time, most championship teams were rejecting the offer). We were on vacation in the Adirondacks at the time, so we weren't planning to publish until at least a few days later. That left the door open for these time-criminals like "Sheriff" David Clarke to steal our fucking joke before we even wrote it. And it just so happened that later that night the wife and ourselves got a tarot card reading that was spooky at the time, and has become more and more prescient over the last year-and-a-half. Needless to say that week was an eye-opener for us; our perspective on a lot of things changed forever that week. And we haven't gone on a vacation since. Sooth-saying is, itself, one of the many things we used to joke about before it actually became a part of our newly dystopian reality. Long-time readers know that as much as we love making fun of the news and pretending to write mock epic poetry, we really hang our hats on our (fake) powers of PROGNOSTICATION: WhosHotStradamus is one of the True OG DYM characters - going all the way back to the message board lost tapes era - and we recently introduced you all to WhosHotStradamus's new kayfabe animus, Miss Cleo. Perhaps subconsciously, the Miss Cleo character is an acknowledgement, and reminder to ourselves, that the majority of our most accurate predictions do not inform any actionable advice. We've come to realize that we're NOT really the Nostradamus of Special Ed, but more-so the Cassandra of the Group Text: Cursed to utter accurate and calamitous prophecies that none are wont to believe. We only bring this all up because it was really striking to read the first paragraph of that June '18 post which says "This is the absolute weirdest time to be alive. The news is getting more and more surreal every day." And, well, here we are. Going forward, we're gonna refrain from earnest social commentary as much as possible lest we invoke another Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. We do have a lot of notes on the buddy comedy about these two Greek gods who get incarnated on earth, and their quest for a warm buttery waffle which eventually leads them to the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Not that our mythopoaeia posts are any safer from Zule's minions, but at least they're a lot more fun to write. DYM OFF-SEASON NEWS UPDATE!! Our top story of the day was passed along on the group text by none other than the Commish Emeritus. We promptly Cassandra'd the fuck out of it: It looks like our monkey paw is still in effect, cause we recorded all four late-night talk shows on Monday and Seth Meyers WAS in fact the only one to mention the Belichick story; although he missed the VERY VERY obvious joke that the comedy gods had teed up for him. That fucking guy never fails to disappoint. The Seth Meyers show has always leaned toward a dry dead-pan humor which has become very awkward now that there's no audible laughter after any of the jokes. Even if the jokes are funny it sounds like a comedian DYING on stage. It's soooo weird. They gotta bring in a laugh-track or something. It's not dishonest if you're not trying to fool anybody, and everybody knows theres no audience, why do this to yourself? Anyways, what he surely meant to have said was something more like this: You're welcome, Seth. Fallon had Bill Burr on (which was hilarious) and they're both actual Pats fans, so he's not touching it, and Colbert and Kimmel had much more heartfelt takes on the real news things from last week. They were fine, but we're pretty saturated with News Takes right now. After a truly apocalyptic event like this, we get our most fire intellectual takes from the "think pieces" in Slate and The Atlantic and 'em. This morning we came across two such articles that were both extremely in our wheelhouse - talking about low-and-outside-fastballs to the Yoenis Cespedes that is our imagination. The first, from Vanity Fair, details the wide swath of unflattering rumors about Melania Trump that have all been sourced from this one "friend" of hers. Apparently, the problem for Melly Mel is, this person is literally her only "friend." We think this is a problem that a lot people can relate to right now - Certainly anybody that decided to just hang out with just one friend during COVID, then made that friend resent you by waxing them in the fantasy football league that they used to be the Commissioner of. Lord knows we been there. Last but not least, to bring it all full-circle, we've got a piece from The Atlantic that's really our shit, and we WISH we could say we thought of it first cause - damn. This is some real grad-school-sociology-type writing, and we are HERE FOR IT!! Check this out: The fashionability of raw pelts originally derived from an ancient belief that the wearer might inherit some of the traits of the animal—an instinct that has persisted from the Stone Age to modern Fifth Avenue. Goddamn. We might be in love!! We wish we could take that sentence home and live with it forever. Kiss it and tell it we love it before work every morning. "In anthropology, this is known as the fetish, and fetish is also the root word for fashion,” Barnard said. It’s significant, then, that one of the most prominent symbols adopted by the far right is the Gadsden flag—the Revolutionary-era banner emblazoned with a hissing rattlesnake and the words don’t tread on me—which was nearly ubiquitous on Wednesday. “Again, the use of animal imagery to suggest anti-government values and beliefs,” Barnard said. Perhaps Angeli and Mostofsky were attempting to cut the same figure: virile, in touch with their manhood, everything that those debilitated liberals are not. The so-called real America, finally taking back its supposed authority. So good. Man. We have no more comment, these quotes are PERFECT!! The far right has a long history of adopting Nordic imagery, taken as many of its members are with the fiction of a marauding all-white ethnostate terrorizing Europe. “It conveys white-nationalist sentiments of the ‘proper’ origins of white people,” says Katalin Medvedev, a fashion scholar at the University of Georgia. “Their perceived entitlement, and false claims to the ownership and leadership of the U.S. nation.” (It should also be noted that this reactionary fantasy is entirely ahistorical. Vikings were a multicultural people, and they never wore those famous spiked helmets. In fact, a modern Germanic pagan group, the Troth, published a statement condemning those like the QAnon Shaman for sparking violence.) The world is a beautiful place, you guys. HAVE A GREAT OFF-SEASON EVERYBODY!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES OFF-SEASON 2021 #1 - 2020 SEASON RECAP!
What’s up Special Ed?!?!?! 2020 is fuckin' OVER!!!!! Now we love New Years, but we’re not gonna be all “Bye Felicia” on the year 2020 just yet. We’re old enough to remember how everybody thought 2016 was the worst year ever cause Prince and Carrie Fisher and Gene Wilder died. Then 2017 was ostensibly much “worse”, and 2018 was “worse” still. Let's say we’re cautiously optimistic, at best, vis a vis New Years 2021. As it turns out, with all the talk about what a CRAZY football season this was, the Fantasy Playoffs could have gone off without a hitch!!! We were outright shocked that the “Commish” would play games with our prize money. No disrespect to the Other Commishes but this was definitely an “Other League” kinda move. Never thought we’d see these types of high-grade shenanigans here in The Great Special Ed League. smgdh The Commish’s professionalism has been above reproach for the past decade. It’s one thing we always cite when we say “Special Ed Is The Best Fantasy League In The World”. So, it was wild to see our favorite Commish abdicate all his official responsibilities during Super Bowl Week, but we’re not going to deride him one iota here on this blog. No one saw it coming, but this sort of thing is really quite natural - in fact, it is the exact premise of Cum Jesus: A timeless parable about the imperfections that are necessary to the human condition. People say they want a peaceful life, they say they avoid stress, but human beings are simply not built for peace. There’s a certain amount of peacefulness that becomes psychologically unacceptable to the human mind. Call it a self destructive tendency or maybe it’s just boredom, but one way or another chaos always reigns in the world of man. As we wrote last off-season: “So even though things seem perfect, some people just won’t accept it.” - even if we could have a True Utopia, mortal men will always destroy it if given the chance. 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨SPOILER ALERT🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 In fact, we probably just figured out the surprise twist ending for Chapter 16 of The Greatest Story Not Yet Told. There could be like a wise old King who befriends Cum Jesus early on and helps him through a bunch of the trials. By Chapter 15, The King is respected by all his people, and is CJ’s most trusted confidant. He has sworn to rule his kingdom as CJ would, and to spread His Good News. But then, just when CJ’s eternal kingdom of peace is nearly at hand, The King smashes his crown and renounces CJ’s teachings. The people love the King, so they begin to turn their backs on CJ once again and, for just a moment, all seems lost. ....... Anyways. Much more to come on that this summer, STAY TUNED!!!!! For now, we’ve got one last piece of official Special Ed business for 2020: ✨🔮MISS CLEO’S 2020 SPECIAL ED SEASON RECAP!!!!!!!!!!🔮✨ Enjoy!!! HAVE A GREAT OFFSEASON EVERYBODY!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Merry X-MAS Special Ed!!!!!!!!!! LETS GOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! The SESB hype feels pretty subdued this year, which is a shame for PHP. They came a long way this season; It could be the greatest Cinderella Story this league's ever seen!!!! LETS GET IT GOIN!!!!!! WE WANNA SEE ALL THE NAMES CHENGED TO "LETS GO PHP" THIS WEEK!!! or better yet maybe use a reference to the Vermont State Motto - "Freedom and Unity" - which which is all the more aprospos now what with the new planetary alignments. Bart's already got the PS5 money banked heading into the SESB. Maybe you guys are kinda hoping he doesn't get the extra cash to spring for the new Madden too - that 11-year-old fantasy brain-trust might be unstoppable next year. Speaking of next year, we hope you guys are ready for a lot more of Miss Cleo. We had too much fun making that video. We even snuggled up with the wife last night and rewatched all the out-take videos where we fucked up the accent even worse, and we just laughed and laughed and laughed. Check it out!! It's great holiday family fun!!!!! FOOD BEEF V: CHINESE FOOD THE X-MAS CHINESE FOOD SUPERBOWL SMORGASBORD!!!!! THE X-MAS CHINESE FOOD SUPERBOWL SMORGASBORD was a true family affair here at the DYM Home Office, as for the first time ever we invited the Official Parents of DYM, Jill & Dave to sit in as guest judges. Their sage input was invaluable in such an expansive competition, as they are both unparralleled connoisseurs of the local Chinese food scene. REGULAR SEASON CHINESE FOOD RANKINGS: 1 - *Sunny Kitchen - 8.75 2 - *China Chalet - 8.33 3 - *Madison Wok - 8.33 4 - *Bean Curd Restaurant - 8.3 For the Chinese Food Super Bowl Competition we ordered 4 items from each of our 4 finalists: Hot & Sour Soup Dumplings Vegetable Lo Mein Chicken Wings (or ribs w/ a 1 point deduction) None of us had never been to Sunny Kitchen before we embarked on the Food Beef V Chinese Food Tour (It's on Ridgedale Ave; 1 mile north of rt. 10), and they still don't deliver. So, as the longest underdog in the competition, we slated them with the unenviable task of being the Tour's first stop. After 8 long weeks of venturing for Chinese Food, Sunny Kitchen finished the regular season as the #1 seed. It was an incredible accomplishment. Our Official Dad stated the nature of the disadvantage that comes with going first in this sort of competition quite well tonight: "We're like gymnastics judges, the first one sets the standard then they go up or down from there. If you give the first one a 7 then maybe nobody gets a 10 but it's all relative so it's fair." He really liked that analogy so tonight whoever went first every round got a 7 from Dad. That created some statistical anomalies that made the final scores a lot closer than we would have expected but, like the man said, it was fair. FINAL SCORES: SOUP: Chalet - 7.5 Bean Curd - 8.8 Mad Wok - 6.8 Sunny - 9.2 DUMPLINGS: Chalet - 8.3 Bean Curd - 6.0 Mad Wok - 6.7 Sunny - 6.6 NOODLES: Chalet - 6.0 Bean Curd - 7.8 Mad Wok - 8.4 Sunny - 7.4 WINGS: Chalet - 6.1 (no wings) Bean Curd - 6.3 (no wings) Mad Wok - 7.2 Sunny - 7.8 TOTAL SCORES: CHINA CHALET: 27.9 BEAN CURD HOUSE: 28.9 MADISON WOK: 29.1 SUNNY KITCHEN: 31 CONGRATULATIONS SUNNY KITCHEN - THE FOOD BEEF V CHAMPION!!!!! AMERICAS GAMES OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!! THE 3RD PLACE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs. PAULS AWESOME TEAM We had a good feeling where both Semi-Finals matchups were headed after the Saturday games, but they both ended up unexpectedly close on Sunday Night. PAT has been among the league's top scoring teams for the past few years, but they have a bad habit of letting their roster stagnate late in the season. PHP pulled a lot of the wrong strings in week 15 - like Hines over Gordon, or Cousins over Any Other QB - but PAT just didn't have the juice. A lot of people mighta thought PAT was cruising after PHP left a 20 Melvin Gordon on the bench Saturday afternoon. But Aaron Rodgers came through later that night and quietly put up his 2nd worst game of the season, setting the tone for the rest of the squad to follow on Sunday. Rodgers is a reigning DYM Award Winner, and the lone veteran leader in the PAT locker room. Rodgers is about 10 years older than any other player on PAT, and it's clear those kids really look up to him. The Rippers should've been toast after DYM got 80 points from three guys on Saturday. But their early game Sunday players were absolute BEASTS!!! 373 and 2 TDs for Watson, and a combined 450 and 3 TDs from DJ, Ridley, and D-Mont. They were only down by 30 at 4:30pm Sunday with Chubb, Butker, and Rams D left to go. Seemed to us like Rams D shoulda got all 30 themselves against the Jets, so we went out sledding with the boy. When we checked the score around dinner time we were pumped to see we still had most of that 30 pt lead, but we knew we had no choice but to go to bed early and NOT WATCH Chubb vs the Giants. Sorry, Rippers, you're the only team we wanted to see win SESB X (besides ourselves, of course). We would start you a gofundme or something, but you know we only have like 5 or 6 readers this time of year. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!!!!!! AMERICAS GAMES OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!! THE CONSTELLATION TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!! ZOMBIE PATERNOS vs. PICKLE RICKS!! Dougy Tacos and Randall Cummingham are sad sack losers who lack the self respect to compete for a 7th place Championship. They both stubbornly refused to set a proper lineup and allowed the league's two lowest scoring teams to advance to the Constellation Championship Game. Since the season's wrapping up this week we took a quick look at the Yahoo! Record Book this morning. Pickle Ricks was the Fantasy God's Favorite Team just 13 months ago, but they've seen a tumultuous fall from grace since then. They were not only the lowest scoring team in the league this year but also had one of the All-Time bad games back in week 7 against The Rippers. Not sure how this slipped under our radar, to be honest. They only scored 49 points - 22 of those were from the Kicker and D/ST. The whole offense was healthy and active (including Pat Mahomes and DK Metcalf) and they totaled 27 points. Good lord that's astoundingly ugly. We kinda feel partially responsible, though, and we're not proud of this. Pickle Ricks took a VERY unfair trade from us back in week 3. We wanted to send him an RB in exchange for Stefon Diggs. To get the ball rolling we gave him the option of David Johnson or Darrell Henderson. Maybe neither of them would have helped much in the long run, they've both scored 119 fantasy points this year, and Diggs is at 235. But at least DJ would have got them over 50 back in week 7. That 49-point stinker drags PR's season scoring average down a good four points, so they might not be as bad as they seem on paper. They've scored over 120 five times and still have Pat Mahomes on the squad, so we think they get it done here. PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A MERRY X-MAS EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!
SPECIAL ED SUPERBOWL X PREVIEW!!!!!!!!!!
LETS GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! WHATS UP SPECIAL ED?!?!?!?!?! They said it couldn't be done! We have finally reached the finish line of this miserable fantasy marathon. There were times this year when we really didn't feel like being bothered with fantasy football, but in retrospect we can't imagine what these past few months would've been like without it. Back in the fall, after the first COVID wave, there seemed to be some cogent arguments for the NFL to not have gone through with this season. Most people agreed, and still do, that the safest way to have any professional sports season is in an isolated environment - The NBA Bubble being the gold standard. The NFL eschewed most recommended precautions to start the season, and had several players testing positive every week. As the season wore on, the league increased their safety regulations, but found difficulty enforcing them outside the team facilities, and are still facing team-wide outbreaks. What we've come to realize in the last few weeks is that as unsafe as it may seem to play football amid the airborne viral pandemic, everyday life is not much safer. If there weren't football would all these players just be staying home? Not hugging their parents? Not opening restaurants? Of course they wouldn't!!! Sure lots of NFL players got the cooties this season, but fuckin' everybody's got it now so why the fuck not play football! Viva la Distraction!!! So, now that the asterisk has been removed from our fare season, we can move on with a clear conscious to - SPECIAL ED SUPER BOWL X!!!!!!!!!! THE GREAT CONJUNCTION In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the king of the sky - the God of Gods. He rules the heavenly order, and is the father of all the lesser Gods who, in turn, created and ruled over the lives of men on Earth. Saturn, the God of time, is Jupiter's father and long ago Jupiter once yearned to be free of his father's strictures and commandments just as all young men do today. There was a prophecy that Saturn's child would one day overthrow him, so he tried to destroy all of his children in their infancy, and only Jupiter escaped. But Jupiter was not able to realize his destiny alone. First he would have to free his siblings, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, Juno, and Vesta - and join forces with them to take control of the heavenly realm. And so it would be for many years in the first age of Jupiter - it was the age of the sky, the age of air - a time when all the powers of the Gods were bound together and strove for a common good. Together they would create the world of man as we have come to know it, but the passage of time would continue on forever after the death of Saturn. The passage of time is also the force of change in our world, so the glorious age of Jupiter could not last forever. Most of the Gods took new homes among the stars and now they simply watch over us as their power shines down from the sky for a 12th part of every year. Even Saturn gets to have his day. "The Great Conjunction" - when Jupiter and Saturn meet every twenty years or so - is aways a harbinger of change. The combined powers of the God of time and the God of heaven brings mysterious and irresistibly disruptive forces into the human realm. But this year's conjunction is especially powerful because it is the most complete conjunction in the last 800 years. Also because it ushers in a new astronomical age - For the past two hundred years The Great Conjunction had been occurring within the Earth sign constellations - Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, this will be the first of ten Great Conjunctions that will occur within the Air sign constellations - Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. When the Great Conjunction occurs in air signs it increases Jupiter's influence, and individuals born under the Air signs - like Polk High Panthers - will feel the most turbulent changes in their lives. “This is not a new start that you're going to get done in a month, this is going to unravel over years, so whatever direction you are moving toward in 2021 will continue over your life for the next two decades.” What better time than this for Polk High Panthers' to reach their FIRST Special Ed Super Bowl!!!!!!!!!! PHP has finished as high as 3rd twice (2012 and 2015) and they've made the playoffs 4 times in 9 years, but not since 2015. This may be the season of destiny for the Aquarian Sky God. He nailed the first three picks in the draft with Kamara, Julio, and Kelce. Kamara and Kelce balled out of control all year long and they managed to flip Julio at the exact moment he stopped ballin'. They also have four other mid round draft picks still on the roster, and have managed to start the same defense 14 out of 15 weeks so far this year. Just like Commissioner Goodell, they ignored all criticism and advice from outside sources, and stuck to the exact same plan they've had the past few years. This is the third consecutive year that PHP has drafted a Tight End in the third round or sooner. Despite not making the playoffs and not even winning more than 4 games in 2018 or '19 - AND despite league rules specifically made to further de-value the TE - PHP persisted in 2020. After finally freeing himself from the shackles of the Saturnian Auto-Draft, he dove head long back into the abyss of the TE heavy draft, taking the top 2 TEs completely of his own volition. Kittle only played six games this year, and hit IR after week 8. We fully believe this was a true addition-by-subtraction for PHP as the single-TE roster spared him a great deal of ridicule from his Special Ed League peers and found him favor in the eyes of the Fantasy Gods. But PHP is not the only prophesied king-in-waiting in SESB X. Josh Allen has been a member of the Special Ed Super Bowl Champion team every year of his NFL career but this will be his first Special Ed Super Bowl start. The last two years, Josh has been on the bench of Team DYM - Like the Steve Young of Special Ed, he spent two years waiting in the wings and studying behind one of the true legends of the game. He did appear in week 15 of 2018, when we spent the entire season streaming various rookie QBs. In 2019 he settled in to the back-up role as Lamar put together an all-time great fantasy season. Clearly the early competition was an incredible motivator, and Josh did not put any of his time on the bench to waste, tirelessly studying Lamar's then-superior downfield throwing and also learning from his teammate's mistakes as a runner and a passer. Defend Your Moves are Virgos, an Earth sign. So we've got a chance to maintain some semblance of normalcy through this Conjunction season. Our time to shine was back in August when our ruling planet, Mercury, happened to pass through Virgo on our born day. Mercury was also in Virgo on the actual night of our birth, 8/28/1981, so this past August was a hugely powerful time for us. We were firing on all cylinders by draft time. The Commish was pretty sick of hearing about it but he had to admit our draft plan was extra EXTRA on point this year. Our first three picks - the powerhouse stable of Henry, Taylor, and Carson - are still our top starting RBs. We had to take advantage of the Mercury energy early in the season, so we pulled off our two game-changing trades within the first month. Not many people thought trading Lamar for Josh STRAIGHT UP in week 4 was a good idea, but the comeuppance have now been had, as Josh and Stefon are having the best statistical season of any Buffalo Bills QB/WR duo in franchise history. SPECIAL ED SUPER BOWL X PREDICTION: DEFEND YOUR MOVES - 154.32 POLK HIGH PANTHERS - 123.45 Now more than ever, Special Ed League is the only league that matters, but The Great Conjunction could also be great news for Special Ed The Team. In the other league SETT has been harangued endlessly for employing two team managers. This new astronomical age will favor air sign energies, and as such it will empower the spirit of communal cooperation, allowing co-managed fantasy teams to realize the strengths of both managers to their fullest: This conjunction ushers in a new societal ethos, slowly moves away from materialism and toward universalism and new ideologies. “Aquarius is the sign of teamwork, it’s the sign of society, it’s very progressive and it’s very humanitarian,” HAVE A GREAT SUPER BOWL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!! Miss Cleo Outtakes!!!!!
THE 7th ANNUAL DEFEND YOUR MOVES AWARDS!!!!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2020 DYM AWARD WINNERS!!!!!!! This is the first DYM Award for all three of this year's recipients. FOOD BEEF HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!!!! Some of the key Food Beef judges have declared themselves "tired of Chinese food" this week, so we're pushing the Playoff Smorgasbord back a week. Christmas is next Friday, so that'll also allow us to uphold the ancient Jewish tradition of Christmas Day Chinese Food. The Bills are playing today so of course we've got wings on the Home Office menu, but since we're also getting into the dog-days of the Holiday Season, we busted out an old family favorite - THE TRIPLE POPCORN BUCKET This year's bucket features white cheddar, which was a pleasant surprise and huge improvement over the usual orange cheese style. The orange cheese popcorn is always is our least favorite, but white cheddar is really not bad. Food Beef's official Holiday Popcorn Ranking for 2020: 1 - REGULAR BUTTER POPCORN 2 - WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN 3 - CARAMEL POPCORN HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What's up Special Ed?!?!?!? We went on twitter today and saw "The Rise of Skywalker" trending. We clicked on it to find out why and all the top posts are like "Why tf is TROS trending? Now I need therapy again." or "TROS is trending rn because 2020". Fuckin hate that shit. Twitter's been doing a better job lately of curating their "Trending Moments", but that "Whats Happening" pane is still full of fuckin landmines. So we had to scroll through that palaver for like 5 minutes before we found out that ILM had just released a portfolio of concept art from the film's pre-production. You can check it out here, and we highly recommend it. These images are spellbinding. Pure Star Wars magic. Takes us right back to the old days, back when we thought Star Wars was good. Like, all the way back to spring 2019. The trailers for TROS last year were fucking mind-blowing. They had us geared up for an all-time great Star War, and these pics capture that same sublime potentiality. Goosebumps. We've seen TROS about a dozen times at this point and it didn't ever get better. We're acutely aware of everything that went wrong with this movie; but still, even now, these images are stirring. They're meticulously detailed and intensely evocative of all the symbolism that has come to define Star Wars. It really makes us appreciate what a spectacular failure TROS was. Like, how did they fuck this up? A lot of movies are just bad. Most bad movies are cheap and sloppy and unimaginitive. The Rise of Skywalker was not any of those things. Sure TROS is bad in many ways - the dialogue sucks, the character treatments are unsatisfying, the actors mail it in, even the visual effects production feels rushed. But, at least at first, there was a lot of good shit here, so it's like, it didn't have to be bad, ya know? Fucking Abrams had it right there on a fucking tee and he whiffed. All he had to do was not fuck it up. THE 3rd ANNUAL BYE WEEK DFS SHOWDOWN!!! DYM -168.42 / PAT -140.00 Can you fucking believe this guy started Kirk Cousins? smgdh. We would never. The Showdown is all about pitting the league's best against one another. It's an opportunity to test your mettle against the toughest competition, and see how ready you are for the championship run. As the league's 2nd place finisher, the opportunity to take down the #1 team really fires you up, even in a friendly exhibition match. PAT outscored us by about 15 pts per game this year, so this win was extremely heartening as we prepare for the Special Ed Playoffs. These aren't crazy big scores, but they do portend well for our respective playoff runs.The most important thing for both teams is just staying sharp over the bye week. This was a successful showdown for us both, because we both kept our wits about us and managed not to play any total duds. PAT only chose one player from his Special Ed roster in this contest - Brandon Aiyuk, who came through with 10 catches for an even 100 yds. Conversely, DYM, might be feelin themselves a little too much right now. Rolling out 4 guys from our Special Ed team took a lot of chutzpah, but they all wrecked shop. Let's hope they saved some of those points for this week too. WHOS HOT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Tobin & The Rippers came through week 14 with a HUGE statement win. They put an incredible 100 point beatdown on The Commish, and officially put the league ON NOTICE. Bring It On Home entered week 14 FLAMING HOT with the 2nd highest per game average. Now with two sub-100 pt games in the last three weeks, they exit the playoffs ICE COLD. The Rippers look like world-beaters right now, but the two bye week teams quietly put up the 2nd and 3rd highest scores of the week without setting their lineups. PAT remains the league's highest scoring team; and DYM is flying up the Heat Index rankings, moving all the way up from from #9 last week to #2 this week. The top two highest scorers from last week are also the two HOTTEST teams in the league. Rippers vs DYM is shaping up to be a heavyweight slobber-knocker. PAT and PHP are both trying to stay warm here in late December, but both have scored over 150 within the last three weeks so they're both still very dangerous. THE CONSTELLATION TOURNAMENT: Where Everybody Is A Star!!!! The Constellation Tournament Championship is the 3rd most prestigious honor in all of Special Ed. America loves second chances, and there's nothing more American than naming the 8th place team "Champion". So, GET FIRED UP, Special Ed!!!! This is your time to shine!!! ZOMBIE PATERNOS vs. SHARON ERTZ These two teams were bitterly snubbed from the running for the top 2 most prestigious Special Ed honors, so they'll both be hungry for the Constellation chip. Early in the season we considered Zombie Paternos among the strongest DYM MVP contenders. We love the new team name, and the homer draft was hilarious. But the real surprise was how they came out like gangbusters on the group text after 9 years of near-total radio silence. At some point we're going to put together an oral history of Cousin Mike's dramatic exit from the original group text, but the new guys'll have to wait til the offseason to hear that story. Sharon Ertz technically finished the regular season with fewer points than The Commish, but we still feel like Sharon was the more worthy Playoff squad. They've got something to prove this post-season, and Lamar is stepping it up just in the knick of time. There were about 40 something points on Sharon's bench last week, so if he can get around to benching Taysom and Antonio, they'll be on their way to REDEMPTION in the Constellation Tournament. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!! PICKLE RICKS!! vs. DOUGY TACOS Just so you guys know, Pickle Ricks finished the regular season in first place in Eugene's New league. They went 10-3 with 136 pts per game, and are the only Special Ed team in The New League Playoffs. Pickle Ricks were running roughshod over that league up until Tony Gibson got hurt. They don't really have shit on the bench, but there's a few choice RBs coming off waivers later tonight. If we were them we'd think about prioritizing Devin Singletary, since they've been getting shit from Zack Moss for the last 9 weeks. But with only 3 other teams out there, it may be better to just let the waivers run - Jeff Wilson, Tony Pollard, and Latavius Murray are there too and all have a chance to be serviceable this week. PICKLE RICKS!! WINS!!!! SPECIAL ED SEMI-FINALS!!!!!!!!!! POLK HIGH PANTHERS vs. PAULS AWESOME TEAM Polk High has some FIRE greenlight matchups - Woods at home vs The Jets, Hines at home vs Houston. The only guy with a bad matchup is Kirk vs Chicago, but it's pretty obvious that Matt's gonna drop Cousins for Carr or Goff (Friday night waiver). There's a chance Brees could play this week but we know Matt's NOT thinking about starting him. We're sure Matt realizes that Drew Brees is the same age as him. Matt's back probably kinda hurts right now and he doesn't really know why. And he knows that Drew Brees has 17 broken ribs. If Brees plays, he won't play well. And he's only getting 25 attempts, tops: They're gonna run the ball a ton trying to slow down KC anyway; and Taysom Hill was already taking 4-5 snaps a game when Brees was "healthy", so 10-12 snaps for Taysom in Brees' first week back is not out of the question. And that's the game script that favors Kamara anyway, so he's not gonna limit his upside by playing the QB and RB from the same team. PAT has the sneaky good matchups. Akers and Cook don't have greenlights on paper, but Dalvin went for 114 yards last time he played Chicago, and you have to like Akers vs The Jets better than Woods. Conner is not looking likely to play, but we assume they were gonna start Dobbins in the total smash spot vs Jacksonville anyway. If they pull the right strings, we could be looking at 300 combined points from these two teams. POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs. DEFEND YOUR MOVES HOW THE FUCK IM GONNA LOSE TO A TEAM WITH 2 (TWO) CHICAGO BEARS??? DAVID MONTGOMERY IS THEIR BEST PLAYER!!!!! David. Montgomery. You guys. Look at this. This guy was clocking a 4.6+ 40, 15 bench reps, and a 13th percentile SPARQ score. And that was before he got groined and concussed this season. Anyway, he's gonna get 150 and 2 TDs and it's bullshit. Fortunately Al Rob is still in a Reverse Revenge situation, and is destined to NOT score a TD this week. The other potential bombers on this squad are Chubb and Ridley, two long-time members of Special Ed The Team. Over in the other league we drafted Chubb as rookie keeper and he was smokin hot fire for us from October 2018 til December 2019. Ridley was a guy we coveted in trades throughout '18 and '19, and drafted this year in the 4th round as our WR1. We've been burned by this kind of prediction before, but we feel like Chubb and Ridley are our guys, and we were always cool with them, so we don't think they'll flex on us. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We'll be back later in the week for FOOD BEEF PLAYOFFS and THE DYM AWARDS!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WILDCARD PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!!
THERE'S STILL TIME TO VOTE FOR THE DYM AWARDS!!! CLICK HERE!!!!!!! WHO'S HOT?!?!?!?!?!?!?! In an auspicious sign for the playoffs, Week 13 was the highest scoring week in Special Ed since early October. That helped create the unprecedented scenario we have here this week. In the history of WHOS HOT we have never had as many as 7 teams finish the season HOT. Last week 5 of the 6 playoff teams outscored their season average (all but PAT). We could be in for some fireworks this week as the top two teams in the Heat Index both got off to a hot starts and are both projected for 120+ coming into Sunday. Polk High Panthers' 151.71 was the highest score of week 13 but after a paltry 74.88 in week 12, their three game average only came out to 116, leaving them just luke-warm entering the playoffs. The Commish's 115 in week 13 was the second lowest of any playoff team. But it was also that squad's best score since week 7, so technically they end the season on a high note as well. FOOD BEEF V: CHINESE FOOD!!!!! Madison Wok, Madison, NJ Madison Wok came in as a late entry to the Tour. We had Ashia of Parippany slated for this week, but it turns out the Home Office is outside their delivery radius. Madison Wok came through in the clutch for a fine compliment to our Hannukah latkes. The Wok turned out to be not only a serviceable replacement but a surprise top contender. Not too greasy or over seasoned, just the uncomplicated, solid Chinese Food we've been looking for. There's no distinctive flavor like Sunny Kitchen or China Chalet, and we're not sure if there's any particular specialty dish, but everything was pretty good. Chicken Wings - 9 Pork Fried Rice - 8.75 The chicken wing-pork fried rice combo is one of our old favorites. Really takes us back. MW's wings are crispy outside and juicy inside. Four Seasons - 8.5 Another classic dish. Meaty with a subtle hoisin sauce, made just the way we like it. Hot & Sour - 7.5 Soup was OK. Good broth but more sour than hot. Dumplings - 8.25 Egg Rolls - 7.5 MADISON WOK TOTAL SCORE: 8.33 REGULAR SEASON CHINESE FOOD STANDINGS: 1 - *Sunny Kitchen - 8.75 2 - *China Chalet - 8.33 3 - *Madison Wok - 8.33 4 - *Bean Curd Restaurant - 8.3 5 - Cottage 2 - 7.7 6 - Hunan Wok - 7.6 7 - Lin's place - 5 8 - Ming II - (NA) Over the next week we'll sample select dishes from Sunny Kitchen, China Chalet, Madison Wok, and Bean Curd Restaurant. Eat restaurant will submit an order of Dumplings, Wings (or ribs with a 1 pt deduction), Soup, and Fried Rice. Due to our compressed schedule this year, we'll be holding a smorgasbord-style tournament where each dish will be re-adjudicated individually and the restaurant with the highest total playoff score will be named CHINESE FOOD CHAMPION!!!!! AMERICAS GAMES OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs. THE COMMISH The presumptive DYM MVP jumped out to a HUGE lead on Thursday night. The Rams put a whooping on the Patriots that was extremely satisfying to watch.
NFC West defenses have amazing playoff schedules cause they all get to playing NFC East, AFC East, and/or the Niners. (SF doesn't play themselves, but they are still available, FYI). The Commish‘s squad has a lot of great matchups but they don’t all feel as good as they look on paper. To get this win they‘ll need Keenan Allen and Justin Jefferson to carry them. Keenan is dependent on a rookie QB and Justin is a rookie so both could flop even against a green light matchup. There's no way The Commish feels good about starting Tannehill in the playoffs, but we have to admit he has been very good against the green lights so far this year. Yesterday the Falcons announced Julio Jones is OUT for week 14. That probably crushed any chance the Commish had for a comeback. Fortunately Gurley is active, otherwise they would have had to hit the dumpster for a last minute starter. The Rippers are also scraping the bottom of the barrel lineup-wise. Myles Gaskins and David Johnson both hit the COVID list this weekend. Fortunately Zeke, who had been limited all week with a calf, will be active. The late scratches could be a blessing in disguise as it'll force Mike Davis into the lineup. The last time we saw Davis he was in an extended slump, but we think he'll be ready for this one. After getting a week off in real life, Mike D is gonna come out fired up for a Fantasy Playoff REVENGE Game against the Commish. The winner will move on to face the Defending Champs in the Semi-Finals. So you guys already know who we're rooting for here. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMERICAS GAMES OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRING IT ON HOME vs. POLK HIGH PANTHERS You would think the matchup between last week's two highest scorers would be the marquee matchup of the Wildcard Playoffs. But we still can't get excited about either of these teams. Davante Adams is gonna get 150 yds, and Mike Evans will score 3 TDs on 2 catches somehow, and we will take a nap. PHP has another QB who is ostensibly hot right now, and has a great matchup on paper, but we would never feel good about starting in week 14. The fact is Kirk Cousins has over 25 pts in each of the last three games, and Tampa has allowed at least 20 to the last 3 QBs they've faced. But still, Kirk Cousins, man, Kirk fuckin Cousins. BIOH might have the the opposite issue at QB - the guy you really want to start against a sneaky good defense. In the last six weeks the Giants D has forced 8 turnovers and allowed only 7 TDs to quarterbacks; the also have 17 (SEVENTEEN!!!) sacks in that span including 5 on Russell last week. The game to watch in this one is Packers-Lions at 4. Davante and Marvin Jones could see 30 targets combined, if Marv can keep pace with BIOH's superstar PHP could be right back in it with Jarvis Landry as the Monday Night hammer. The winner will move on to face PAT in the Semi-Finals. POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! THE 3RD ANNUAL BYE WEEK DFS SHOWDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!! PAULS AWESOME TEAM vs. DEFEND YOUR MOVES Getting the playoff bye is always huge. This year it must be especially tough to get a team geared up for week 14 after such dramatic finishes on Monday and Tuesday. This week both playoff matchups have guys going Thursday, Sunday and Monday. That sounds tiring, so we’re more than happy to sit this one out. But us football guys know there’s a thin line between REST and RUST. Which is why we started this Bye Week DFS Showdown to help bye week teams keep their swords sharp as they await the other games‘ results. We usually put a small bet on it, to make it interesting as they say (two digit, not like those other league psychos). The only change this year is we've moved from the Yahoo! DFS platform to DraftKings, since we know both PAT and ourselves usually have other action on that app anyway. So far it’s worked out great: Every year that the bye week showdown has been played, both teams have advanced to the Special Ed Superbowl. Both these teams will still have to keep a watchful eye on their Special Ed rosters, with more players hitting IR this year than ever before. DYM will have to seriously consider which, if any, of their Panther WRs will be useful going forward. Samuel is active, but Moore is still on COVID IR and we’re not convinced his ankle is healed yet either. Paul’s Awesome Team would have been at full strength this week, but we can only wonder if they would had started Harris over Akers in a live playoff match. We both have some big decisions (and perhaps some moves) left to make before week 15. DEFEND YOU MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DONT FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE DYM AWARDS!!! CLICK HERE!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE 7th ANNUAL DEFEND YOUR MOVES AWARDS NOMINEES!!!!!!!!!!
VOTE NOW Once again it's time to nominate our favorite characters from this year's Special Ed season for our our highest honor - THE DYM AWARDS!!! Polls are now open at this link. Winners will be announced next week. As always, we nominate NFL Players for the BEST DRAFT VALUE and BEST PICKUP awards, and nominate one of YOU, the hearty Special Ed League competitors, as the DYM MVP. Surprisingly, despite the steeper learning curve this year, there are 4 NFL rookies nominated for DYM Awards (none of the one's we drafted, of course). Overall, the nominations are more consolidated than usual this year: 3 of the 4 best draft picks came within 6 picks of each other in round 9. 2 of the 4 were made by Sharon Ertz, and he was able to pick up another of them early in the season. The Commish was #2 in moves this season with 43. He used them wisely and managed to snag 3 of the top 4 Pick Ups of the year. Will it be enough to merit a DYM MVP nomination??? BEST DRAFT VALUE Aaron Rodgers - Rd 9 pick 6 - Pauls Awesome Team (23.87 ppg) #3 QB in Special Ed this year. #1 over the last 4 weeks... but c'mon it's Aaron Rodgers. Josh Allen - Rd 9 pick 8 - Defend Your Moves (22.66 ppg) #5 QB in Special Ed this year. #2 over the last 4 weeks. Possibly greatest QB of all time. Will Fuller V - Rd 8 pick 6 - Sharon Ertz (14.76 ppg) The Full House was BACK this year!! The DYM Hall of Famer was remarkably consistent, scoring over 10 ppg in 10 of 11 games he played this year. He went over 100 yds 5 times and scored a TD in 7 games. Antonio Gibson - Rd 9 pick 5 - Sharon Ertz (13.93 ppg) The rookie started out slow this year, as many did. Clocking 65 combined yds per game and 3 TDs over the first 6 weeks. That was productive enough to keep him in the mix until the game slowed down for him in week 7. Since putting up 128 yds on the Cowboys, Tony's been averaging 97.6 yds per game and scored 8 times. He was the #2 non-PPR RB in the 4 weeks before his injury. BEST PICKUP Chase Claypool - WR - Pauls Awesome Team The first rookie to break out this season. Made everybody think Juju was trash up until week 5. Justin Jefferson - WR - Commish #4 WR in Special Ed this season. Has at least 100 yards or a TD on 7 of the last 10 games. James Robinson - RB - Commish We never heard of this guy until September 14. Since then, he's gone for 100 yds or a TD 7 times and is the #4 RB in the Special Ed League. Mike Davis - RB - Commish/Rippers Filled in admirably for C-Mac, averaging 12.48 ppg from weeks 2-12. Much like Claypool, he looked like he was gonna be the shit in about week 5 but then put up several mid-season clunkers. He's now been re-acquired by The Rippers, and C-Mac is OUT again for week 14. So there's still a chance for Mike D to put wow voters this week in the playoffs. DEFEND YOUR MOVES MVP Fox News' Mike Tobin We kid, but Dr. T is a real life cardiologist. He has 4.9/5 ratings on HealthGrades.com and Vitals.com and US News & World Report rates his patients' experience as "Excellent." In this, the most fucked up of all Special Ed seasons, we must digress from our traditionally tongue-in-cheek analyses and give a true, heart-felt, BIG shout out to the good doctor. This guy is on the front lines of the fucking pandemic and is still a top DYM Reader and Scholar. He made the playoffs and averaged over 2 roster moves per week, and he crushes you guys on the group text. There's no competition for that. There can be only one nominee for this year's 2020 DYM MVP. So, from us here at DYM, to Tobin and the entire Rippers family: THANK YOU!!! And GOOD LUCK IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!! VOTE NOW
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 13 MONDAY NIGHT SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
🚨🚨🚨BARNBURNER ALERT!!!!!🚨🚨🚨 For some reason there’s still THREE (3) NFL games left to be played in week 13. Only one Special Ed Matchup has a final score, and only 2 playoff seeds are set. The Commish will stay in 6th place even if Dougy Tacos can pull off the spoiler upset. Commish had a 70pt lead over ZP coming into the week, and ZP doesn’t seem likely to put up 180 this week. Polk High Panthers have won and punched their postseason ticket at 7-6. They will be locked into the 5th seed this year. They have a 50pt lead over the Commish, and outscored him this week, so they won’t move down to 6th even if Commish wins. Bring it on Home is currently a game ahead of them in 4th, and has all but wrapped up their 8th win. It just so happens that the only contended matchups left in Special Ed for the extended week 13 are the two that will decide the Regular Season Championship and playoff byes. Sharon Ertz is still hanging in against Paul's Awesome Team, and there's a lot of action left. If Sharon pulls off the upset here it would ensure DYM a top 2 finish. PAT is at 96.6 with Claypool and Dobbins left. Sharon trails by 31 with Hollywood Brown, Killer Beas, and the powerhouse Football Team combo of Scary Terry and Tony Gibson. Yahoo still has PAT as the 64% favorite but it seems closer to us. We're confidently sticking with our original pick. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! BIOH’s dismantling of The Paternos won’t technically end until late Tuesday night, but it’s been over. ZP will need 92 points from Ben, Dionte, a Kicker, and a D. That 1% chance on Yahoo seems about right. That’s alright, though. ZP’s had fun this year, and we’re still a good six weeks away from the Steelers heartbreaking playoff loss to the Titans. With their win, BIOH could move up to 3rd if The Defending Champs can hand Fox News’ Mike Tobin their 5th loss. Bills-Niners is the regular Monday night game tonight, and fortunately we just found out last night that my old trick of “not watching for good luck” doesn’t actually work anymore, so we're gonna be LOCKED IN. At 8:00 last night we were still knee deep in Ikea shelving, and we were taking a beating in every fantasy league, so we just let the wife have her way with the remote control. We got the appurtenances stood up by 11 and checked the Special Ed scoreboard. Then we went and cleaned our glasses and checked it again. Same thing. 5 field goals. FIVE FIELD GOALS?!?!?!?! The fuck, yo? We looked exactly like that Kramer gif right there; kept looking back at it over and over and it was shocking every time. Gotta tell you guys, we're feeling the heat right now. We want this bye EXTRA bad now cause both DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel just hit the COVID list. Dr. T has a 51 point lead right now, and we just have our two Bills left. We'd really prefer to get the win and finish in 1st place, we think that would put Paul and Tobin in the same side of the playoff bracket, so we wouldn't have to see them until the Super Bowl. But as you all know, we only technically need 23 point something to secure our +28 spread and stay in 2nd. We went ahead and looked up Josh and Stefon's game logs, and found some mildly reassuring info. In 8 of 11 games this year those two have combined for at least 23. We found 3 games this year where they've combined for 51 or more, but also 3 games where they combined for less than 23. So this is one is still TOO CLOSE TO CALL!!!!!!!!!! It's a Playoff atmosphere already over here at the DYM Home Office. We've been tailgating since 7am, Mafia style. It's getting a little out of hand. Good thing we stocked up on tables at Ikea yesterday. LETS GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 13!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GOING TO IKEA!!! NICE LITTLE SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!! After Memorial Day we bought a big umbrella for the Home Office backyard. We got this nice one from Ikea.com but it was just way too big for our patio table. So we went to send it back, but Ikea was like "Oh no. We can't come pickup a return item from your home. We care about the safety of our people, so you're going to have to come to the store in person to return it." We were like, "Dog. For real?" In those days we were already heavy into online shopping and were successfully avoiding almost all public indoor spaces. The liquor store was the only store we were going into in person at that point. Talkin bout drive-through Starbucks, curb-side groceries, all that shit. FUCK going to into that Ikea labyrinth, no thanks. So we just stuck that big ass shit in the basement and charged it to the game. After that we stayed home for another 6-months straight so, naturally, our indoor furniture started getting a bit of wear and tear. We were shopping around the other day when we remembered that we have the world's largest Ikea gift card down there in the basement. But it's only redeemable IN STORE. The Bills have primetime games the next few weeks so, knowing we had some free afternoons, the wife was emphatic that we get this housework shit done sooner than later. You see, guys, every husband and father has to make sacrifices and tough decisions, and sometimes your family needs a new entertainment center right fucking now. So, sometimes, you just gotta strap up the double mask, Bill Belichick style, and go to fucking Ikea. Now it just so happens that this past week was the worst week ever for COVID infections in NJ, and this Ikea just happens to be in one of the most heavily infected parts of our fare state. Our anxiety also hit an all time high when we saw that the parking lot was PACKED. You know that fucking 1/4 mile long parking lot they got at Ikea? It was FULL. We were a little upset about that. So we found a spot and hot boxed the car to get mentally prepared. On the way in we started telling ourselves reassuring platitudes like how Coronavirus is so obviously not real because nobody even knows what the symptoms are. Like, hey, we can't breathe that good right now, but that's because we're having a panic attack, not cause we got Corona, and who's not having a panic attack right now? Ya know? They tell everybody to stay home, knowing we're gonna eat the same microwave dinner everyday, and when we can't fucking taste it anymore we gotta get a Rona test. Fucking nonsense. Yea, we got ugly toes too, so what? It's not a disease!! We felt a little better after that pep talk but we were still ultra vigilant once we got inside. We were making moves in that place like a young Lev'eon Bell. Just walkin real real slow, wait for the hole to open up, and BANG we're running right past em. They had arrows on the floor too, but fuck that, we were on a mission, and not nobody in that Ikea could touch our footwork today. We were jukin em, then hit em with the spin move like what. Fuck with me!!!! Since we knew we'd be writing about this later we decided to count how many people we got closer than 6 ft to, and we got to 108. Not many were in my zone for more than a second or two, and all wore masks. Still, despite our best efforts, with an active COVID rate of about 5.5% in that part of NJ, there were probably 5 or 6 Rona cases breathing our air today. Pretty sure the NFL would consider that "low-risk contact" so we're just gonna keep it movin for now. OH SHIT, WE FORGOT ABOUT WHOS HOT!?!?!?!?!?!?! We were supposed to have started WHOS HOT?!? five weeks ago, but we just plum forgot, it's the darndest thing. To keep it 100, it’s been a little harder for us to focus on fantasy football this year on account of the sense of impending doom. Plus, obviously, there's been a lotta changes to our weekly routine around the DYM Home Office. Working from home was the shit at first - no commute, flexible schedule. But in the early days when there was no sports, we came up with a bunch of busy body activities to distract us from the apocalypse. By September our schedule was actutally a lot fuller than it would have normally been. Now we gotta work, teach kindergarten, fix up the house, barnstorm all the Pokemon gyms in Madison, win a PGA Tour championship on the Switch, and try to salvage a fucking stupid Saquon+Ekeler team in the new league. Something was bound to fall through the cracks. Now, at the end of the day, we really have no one to blame but ourselves, but to be honest we're a little disappointed that none of y'all ever asked about it. ITS SPOILER WEEK IN THE SPECIAL ED LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERY GAME MATTERS in the final week of the regular season because NONE of the playoff seeds are set. Three teams are already eliminated from the playoffs, but each of them has the chance to RUIN someone's playoff dreams. Bring it on Home is the only team that knows for sure they're playing next week. The Rippers, PAT, and DYM are all contending for the week 14 bye, any of them could finish in first place. Polk High, THE White Jesus Poison, and Zombie Paternos are all tied at 6-6 so they are all on the brink of elimination, but could finish as high as 4th. But first they'll have to pass the final crucible of the 2020 season: THE SPOILER GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most intriguing spoiler matchup is Sharon vs PAT, the #2 HOTTEST team in the league vs the #2 team in the standings. Paul's Awesome Team has been pretty awesome all year long, but Sharon has also put up over 125 twice in the last three weeks. They always show up against PAT - When these two last met Sharon posted their highest score of the year, 137.76. And of course, Special Ed historians will never forget their 2017 Playoff matchup where Sharon trounced the 3-time champ 164.02 - 88.34. Pickle Ricks!! also holds a Heat Index advantage over his playoff-contending opponent - Polk High Panthers. When they met in week 4 The Panthers put up their highest score of this season, and second highest score of their career, 163.42. But entering this season The Ricks had beaten PHP 5 straight times dating back to 2015. They'll be thirsty for revenge this week. AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES vs. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGoTW Prediction Record: 5-6 GENTLE REMINDER: If we win, we will be hosting the 3rd Annual Bye Week DFS Showdown. PAT are the reigning champs of The Showdown, and it's always a lotta fun, so if Tobin gets this win we highly encourage him to test his mettle against the our guy Paul next week. As The Commish so kindly pointed out on the group chat, The Rippers will need to win this game by 28 or more to ensure a Week 14 bye. A big win and a PAT win would send DYM down to 3rd. We would then face one of the 6-6 teams (Polk High, The White Jesus Poison, or Zombie Paternos). A more modest Rippers win could still move them into second if PAT loses to Sharon. If PAT wins and DYM loses by less than 28 then PAT goes up to first, DYM goes to 2nd, and Tobin stays in 3rd. We gotta admit, The Rippers have some dynamite matchups, and our squad really doesn't, so there's a good chance they pull off this big BIG win. Plus they have a rare fantasy revenge game opportunity this week: We tried to trade for Al Rob a couple weeks ago, but Tobin denied us. According to the ancient rules of Fantasy Revenge, whenever we have a trade offer rebuffed, the player we wanted will usually play like shit against us the next time we see him; That's what you call an "anti-revenge game". It's a key part of our fantasy defense strategy. Unfortunately for us Robinson is now questionable after a late week practice injury (always the worst) making this now a Reverse Anti-Revenge Game in Tobin's favor. Once every twenty years Jupiter and Saturn come into alignment in the sky above the northern hemisphere. So it's no surprise that, as the planets near their generational alignment this month, David Johnson would be activated for a revenge game against DYM. We drafted DJ in the 4th round, but dropped him when he went to IR last month. If Tobin were to bench Allen Robinson and start David Johnson it would complete this league's first ever Revenge Game-Reverse Anti-Revenge Game convergence. It's possibly unstoppable. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! PAULS AWESOME TEAM vs. SHARON ERTZ On the way back from Ikea we heard a guy call in to a radio show and ask if he should start Tony Gibson over Zeke. The host hemmed and hawed as we screamed at the radio "YES!!!! START GIBSON!!!" Predictably they told the caller he "can't bench his #1 pick at this point." Jeez Louise, you guys, big smgdh. Antonio Gibson has SEVEN (7) touchdowns in the last 4 weeks, and he's the #2 RB in our league over that span (#1 in non-PPR). We're not gonna air out this radio guy here, but we will tell you we happen to know that this guy was PAT's go-to when they had XM. We were really hoping to hear PAT call in and ask this clown if he likes Damien Harris or Amari this week. We just know he's gonna blow it. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE WHITE JESUS POISON vs MAKE IT DEEP Tacos has the only non-playoff team that's less HOT than their SPOILER opponent. The Commish is running luke warm at 104.90 over the last three weeks. Meanwhile Tacos is averaging a paltry 94.83 over the last 3, the second lowest in the league. In fact they're averaging just 102.55 since week 4, also second lowest in the league, and they've only won 2 games in the last 9 weeks. It's sad, tho. That team was gangbusters for the first two or three weeks. In week 1 they had the league high score at 159.04. After week 3 they still led the league in points with 137.27 per game, but the wheels had actually already fallen off a week before. In week 2 this team lost three of their DYM Hall of Famers: C-Mac, Smokey Brown, and Raheem "The Most" Mostert. They should have been toast after week two, but Russell and Hopkins kept them afloat in week 3 before losing each of the next two games by less than 1 point. If Julio and Josh Kelley coulda dropped one more pass, or got injured just one play sooner, then Dougy Tacos could've been 6-6 and competing for a playoff spot right now, but alas. THE WHITE JESUS POISON WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRING IT ON HOME vs. ZOMBIE PATERNOS ZP is about 70 points behind the rest of the 6-6 teams. So if both PHP and The Commish win, then ZP is gonna be assed out no matter what happens here. There was some late breaking news on Saturday that could be relevant to this game: Tua was activated late in the afternoon. He's listed as Q but the Dolphins haven't "named a starter" yet. If Miami benches FItz, then Devonte Parker has to hit the ZP's bench too. We know he's itching to start Hamler anyway, it must be killing him to start a guy that played football in the Big East. ZOMBIE PATERNOS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! PICKLE RICKS vs. POLK HIGH PANTHERS How the fuck is Jarvis Landry still on a team? Well, guess that makes him a keeper candidate for PHP. In fact, PHP has an incredible FOUR (4) players still on the roster that he drafted after round 7. Hopefully this was by design, since they've only made 14 moves this year (smgdh). The Ricks haven't been much more active, only 16 moves in 12 weeks, but only have one potential keeper (Darius Slayton). And that's the way it should be this year, you guys. We were kinda thinking we should just not do keepers this year so we don't have to think about 2020 anymore after it's over. Pretty sure Rob will hate this idea but what do the rest of you guys think? PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! This being the last week of the regular season, we ought to give you all an update on the keeper candidacy across the league. We perused the draft results and came up with this list below. Let us know if we missed anybody and we'll update it here for reference: Commish - Matt Ryan (8) Pickle Ricks!! - Slayton (8) PAT - Tyler Boyd (8), Aaron Rodgers (9) Zombie Paternos - Diontae Johnson (9), PIT D/ST (10), Ben (11) PHP - Jarvis Landry (8), Mike Williams (9), KC D/ST (12), CeeDee Lamb (14) Sharon Ertz - Will Fuller V (8), Tony Gibson(!!!!) (9) BIOH - Chase Edmonds (10), Robby Anderson (14) Rippers - Christian Kirk (10) HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 12!!!!!!!!!!!!
STUNTIN ON MY FAMILY PART 2 We kicked off our holiday weekend with wall-to-wall College Basketball action on Wednesday. The other-league text chain was extra hyped and everybody had early game LOCKS. The consensus in that group was to generally look for Unders and Underdog-Covers since some of these teams hadn't really been practicing yet. We were inclined to follow along, since one of these guys played Div. 1 hoops in college, and one of them is currently a college basketball coach so they might know something we don't. We put in first half under bets on the first four games, just to test it out. Only one hit and the Overs were going WAAAAY over. So we switched gears real fast and emptied out the rest of our FD and DK accounts on Overs. Altogether we threw in on at least 30 games including parlays for every time slot for the rest of the day. Swear to God we only saw about 5 Unders all day. IT WAS NUTS!!! We cleaned up. So much so that we even told our Old Lady about it. See, we never talk to her about gambling, and this is exactly why. We told her we had just cashed out several hundred dollars and the first thing she says is "You bet on how many games?? Baby, do you think you might have a problem?" And that really made us think, ya know. Maybe we do have a problem. The PROBLEM is we need some new fucking sneakers. BLAOW!!!! This Nike Zoom UNVRS is a unisex basketball shoe sponsored by non-playing superstar Elena Della Donne. EDD famously opted out of the 2020 bubble season, so you know this shoe is gonna be just as functional on the couch as it is on the court.
It has the soft cushiony upper you need in a winter-time house shoe, and the bold flashy design that lets your whole family know that your game is unfuckwitable. The Zoom sole is, in our opinion, Nike’s most comfortable platform. Much lighter and softer than any Air Max. Now, one might think that a mid-top basketball shoe wouldn’t be the ideal style for around-the-house wear, but Nike’s new laceless “FlyEase” technology lets you slide your foot in like a loafer, and can easily be worn with the strap loosened for a baggy, Kevin Durant style fit. We cannot wait to kick these bad boys up on the coffee table, right in the wife and kid’s faces. FOOD BEEF V: CHINESE FOOD Ming II, Morristown, NJ We ordered from Ming II on Thanksgiving Day and it was SLAMMIN. The only problem is that it might be too good for this competition. There's a place right near the home office called Blossom Asian Bistro which was excluded from the Tour despite having some of the highest quality food in town. That’s because we’re looking for regular “Chinese Food” spots - not “Asian Cuisine.” We're not writing Food Beef just to tell you guys that good restaurants are good. Just like we're not gonna compliment anybody for drafting Aaron Rodgers, we're not gonna go out of our way to review a restaurant that's actually good. Ming II sounds like the name of a regular-ass Chinese place, and the menu has all the usual fare: Kung Po Chicken, Fried Rice, Dim Sum; And it wasn't all that expensive either. But the tell-tale sign of an “Asian Cuisine“ restaurant is they never have chicken wings on the menu. Fried Chicken Wings are a must-have for the Chinese Food Tour Playoffs, so Ming II will be awarded an honorary Food Beef Seal of Approval, but will not be competing for the title of BEST CHINESE FOOD. To pair with this fine Thanksgiving's Day Feast, we picked up a couple bottles of Snoop Dogg’s signature vintage - 19 Crimes California Red. We fully expected it to taste like shit and it did not disappoint!!! This wine is like half Carlo Rossi and half Grape-flavor Mad Dog 20/20. We didn’t finish a glass but we're still satisfied with the purchase. Gotta support the culture, you guys. AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES vs THE WHITE JESUS POISON AGoTW Prediction Record: 4-6 We still have two Ravens on the DYM roster, and we're pretty sure we won't use be using them this week. TWENTY (20) Ravens players have COVID right now, including two QBs and their top two Centers. They will be activating their ENTIRE practice squad and they still aren't going to have 53 players. If this game does get played it's gonna be uuuugly. League officials are gonna have to keep a close eye on the Saints-Broncos game, where Denver will be bringing up a practice squad WR to play quarterback this week. Seriously. Kendall Hinton started 4 games at QB for Wake Forest in 2015 and '16 before getting injured, suspended, and then converting to WR. If the Broncos can't put a decent football product on the field on Sunday, then we don't think they let RGIII go out there with no offensive line and no backups. The league has preempively shut down all team facilities next Monday and Tuesday. They got their finger on the button right now, they're this close to shutting the whole thing down and giving everybody an extra bye in week 13. The league already approved this plan a few weeks ago. The first contingency is to push everything back a week and cancel the Pro Bowl. If any playoff contending teams won't be able to play every game by week 18 then they shut it all down and go to a 16 team playoff tournament. 8 teams from each conference bracket up with no bye weeks. The funny thing about that plan is there's only 6 NFC teams over .500 right now. People have been clowning the NFC East all year, but the Packers are the only NFC North team over .500 and it feels like that team could collapse at any moment. The Ravens REEEAAALLLLY don't want to forfeit a game right now because if that 16-team tourney had started this week they'd be the 8-seed in the AFC. If they forfeit to the Steelers and the Raiders win this week they'd move down to 9th. It's gonna be VERY INTERESTING, so even in a week without football, there'll be plenty of DYM content on deck. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs BRING IT ON HOME The 16-team playoff would be fun, we'd love it, but we're still kinda hoping football gets canceled altogether so we can start writing Cum Jesus. Chapter one is about the woefully under-funded Jerusalem police department. Frankincense and myrrh dealers control the western district and the police are at a loss as to how to stem the violence of the ongoing gang wars. They manage to arrest the leader of the westside's most powerful gang. But this only leaves a power vacuum which allows lower level dealers to step in to control portions of the district. Some are more capable, and more dangerous, than others. Avon doesn't really know who he can trust on the outside, so he calls in The Wise Men to clean up his streets for him. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! PICKLE RICKS vs ZOMBIE PATERNOS The ZPs have two Steelers in the lineup as of now and they don't have great options on the bench either. Hamler is a no-go with a High School QB throwing to him. That leaves just Singletary or Josh Kelley, both of whom scored less than 2 points last week. Probably his best move would be to drop both of them for a Defense and an Eagle WR so he can at least wait until tomorrow to decide whether to bench Dionte. PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! 🧑🏻🎄HOS IN THIS HOUSE🎄vs SHARON ERTZ Yet another of WhosHotStradamus' predictions came to pass this week on The Mandalorian. Back in 2018 we predicted that Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars would one day be brought to life in a live-action feature. Season 2 of Mandalorian is crushing it. Mando's mission this season is to find a Jedi to take care of Baby Yoda. That Jedi was revealed this week to be the prodigal Ahsoka. We're very much looking forward to the Ahsoka series that they're spinning off here. Baby Yoda is 50 years old, so he's gonna need GENERATIONS of babysitters. Ahsoka can rock with him for a couple seasons, then maybe dump him off on a young Poe and BB-8 or maybe Ezra will show up again, maybe bring back broom boy, who know?!?! The possibilities are endless!! There was one very curious scene this week, tho. When Ahsoka read Baby Yoda's mind, she said he'd been raised in the Jedi Temple and that she had "only ever known one being like him". One? ONE??!?!?!?! WHAT ABOUT YADDLE??? In Episode I there were two Yodas - Yoda and Yaddle, the lady Yoda. We always had hoped to find out that Baby Yoda (real name "Grogu", btw) was Yaddle and Yoda's kid. Now it appears they're trying to erase our old girl. FUCK THAT!!! If they don't bring back Yaddle we're fucking DONE with Star Wars. For real this time. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! PAULS AWESOME TEAM vs POLK HIGH PANTHERS lets go. PAULS AWESOME TEAM WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 11!!!!!!!!!!!
WHATS UP SPECIAL ED?!?!?! We hope you guys all made the most of that Thursday Nighter, cause it’s gonna be the only interesting game of the week. Just look at all these stinkers we got on tap for today. Is this the ugliest slate of games you guys have ever seen? We can’t really imagine it being any worse. There is not a single watchable game on today. NONE!!! Seriously, are you guys even a little interested in ANY of these games? These are all objectively terrible games. Plus G-men and Bills are on bye, the Steelers get a free win, and none of the Falcons’ games matter anymore. ATL-New Orleans is the only divisional game today, and they might both be tanking. 8 teams this week are on their (at least) second QB of the year. Indy-Green Bay is the only o/u over 50, and we’re starting Indy defense in the other league, so we’d really prefer an under in that one. Maybe Rob might still be tuning in as long as the Eagles are in playoff* contention; and Cousin Mike probably has a G on Steelers -10.5, but that's about it right? There’s only one more month til the NBA starts up again and, man, we cannot wait. NBAtv Channel ought to fire up a special presentation of Shaqtin’ a Fool for this week’s NFL games. The choicest bad games of the week for us are Eagles-Browns, Bengals-Washington, and Dolphins-Broncos. 5 of the 6 QBs in these games are Special Ed free agents, and DYM is STREAMING QBs THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! Normally we relish the opportunity to stream QBs. We love scouring the bad games for under-the-radar exploitable matchups. In fact, just a week ago we were pretty psyched to stream this week. Because two of our VERY FAVORITE players that most of y'all have never heard of had been penciled in as week 11 NFL starters: Garrett Gilbert and PJ Walker!!!!!!!!!! WHO? Long-time readers will remember that the whole DYM staff were once very big fans of the now defunct Alliance of American Football. The AAF was meant to be a true Minor League for the NFL. Thy recruited the very best undrafted college players, and NFL practice squaders to compete under a national spotlight. It gave hundreds of players an unofficial audition for the Big Leagues. It was a beautiful dream; a bud that sprouted in an October indian-summer, that hadn't time to bloom before November's first frost. Despite critical acclaim from its small cult following, the league was not financially viable and declared bankruptcy after 8 weeks. The following year Vince McMahon resurrected the previous best attempt at an NFL minor league - the XFL. After 3 years of planning, and a failed merger with the AAF, the XFL began play just 5 weeks before the national sports shut-down in mid-march. But despite their ostensible operational failure, both leagues may have accomplished their human resources goal of matriculating players into the NFL. The top QBs from both league's entered this year on NFL benches: Garrett Gilbert was AAF's top QB, and captain of the unofficial AAF Champion Orlando Apollos. Gilbert entered the season as the 3rd string QB for the Cowboys. He started week 10 with both Dak and Andy Dalton injured, and was not wholly unsuccessful. A week 11 matchup with the shitty, shitty Vikings was VERY appealing on paper. The pride of Elizabeth NJ - PJ Walker - was the #1 QB in the XFL. Leading the immaculately named Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 record. This would be PJ SkyWalker's first NFL start, but did you know that he is the Temple Owls all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, attempts, total yards, total touchdowns, and wins for a QB?? AND did you know that his college coach, Matt Rhule, is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers???? This pair of VERY EXCITING potentialities has been all but dashed in the last few days as Dalton has regained the wherewithal to suit up this week and Teddy Two-Gloves is planning to "test the knee" during pregame warm ups. So fuck me, right? But streaming still ought not to be too hard in this 10-team league, there's still a few other veteran journeyman making a spot start against a league-worst D. The Saints have not one but TWO bench veterans going up against the league's worst defense but, jesus christ, we know those crazy fucks are gonna play both of them for like 30 snaps each and they're both gonna throw two picks. We just fucking know it. Then there's also Joe Flacco in a similar spot against the Clippers. But that might be another double-tank game, and we absolutely can't fuck with any Jets until Adam Gase gets fired. Which brings us back to our SPOTLIGHT STINKERS of the week. Our best streaming candidates now are probably Burrow (@ was), Wentz (@ cle), or Lock (vs miami). YUCK 🤮. All three of those defenses are just not-bad enough to be annoying for a QB streamer, and Lock is the only one at home but also the one we trust the least in a vacuum. Fuck, man. We're gonna lose. NO CHINESE FOOD THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! We're gonna be a week behind on the Chinese Food Tour 'cause, to be honest, we needed a week to recover from Lin's Palace. That was brutal. For Week 11, Food Beef would like to send a very special breakfast shout-out top the animus Bring It On Home. They clued us in to a secret menu item at out favorite bagel spot. Bagel Cafe in New Providence is still the #1 bagel in our area; Chatham Bagel (the 2019 Food Beef Champ) is more than acceptable but to be honest we still prefer to make the trek back to Bagel Cafe. The cool thing there is you can get a McDonalds-style hash brown patty on your bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich and MAAAAAAN, we gotta tell ya, there's nothing better. Might be our favorite sandwich anywhere in the world. THANKS FOR THE TIP, BIOH!!!!!!!!!!! AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! PAULS AWESOME TEAM vs PICKLE RICKS!! AGoTW Prediction Record: 4-5 These two are both Giants fans, and they have five players each in late games, so they can treat themselves to a 1:00 nap this week!!!!!!!!!!! Yahoo is predicting a solid PAT victory, but we think it'll be a lot closer. PAT has Dalvin Cook with a ++ matchup against Dallas, but we also like Mahomes matchup at Oakland a lot better than Rodgers at the Colts. We think the deciding factor will be the Packers' and Colts' respective game plans vis-a-vis Aaron Jones. When it looked like Davante Adams was gonna be out we figured it would be a 20+ carry day for Jones, but the Colts would likely not have a hard time stopping that one-dimensional attack. Now, if Davante the Savante is actually decoying this week he could distract enough defensive attention to open up some lanes for Jones at least early on. But the fact that everybody's gassing up Nyheim Hines and Mike Pittman might suggest a higher scoring affair (and maybe we should stream Phil Rivers? ... Nah.) Darrell Henderson is still an x-factor in the Monday Night capper, but The Ricks will certainly hope they've already got a lead by then. Close one. PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES vs SHARON ERTZ 60 minutes til Kickoff and we still don't have a QB. But Ekeler is not back so Sharon is starting La'Mical Perine. If Perine weren't a Jet he'd be a very sexy under-the-radar guy for DYM. Perine was like the 4th most NFL ready player on an OK 2019 Gators team, and he's Samaje Perine's brother (not necessarily an endorsement). But, fuck that, no way we lose to a team with a Jet on it. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!!! THE WHITE JESUS POISON vs BRING IT ON HOME Man that breakfast sandwich was soooo good, you guys. We were even almost gonna pick BIOH this week as an act of good will. But he's still starting Leveon Bell and two white WRs in the flexes. Just can't do it. Great sandwich tho. THE WHITE JESUS POISON WINS!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMBIE PATERNOS vs TOBIN & THE RIPPERS Tobin lost last week when Chubb went out of bounds instead of scoring a TD with :53 remaining. In the previous two weeks Penn State and the Falcons had RBs score when they shouldn't have (with their team up 1 or two points) and thus allowed the opponent enough time to come back and win. But that was NOT the case here!!!! The Browns were up by 3, so a Chubb TD would have put them up by 9 points at minimum. When you're just one hail-mary away from losing, you don't wanna give Deshaun Watson that shot (and, btw, a Deshaun hail-mary would have also won it for Tobin). But 9 points in less than :50 seconds would necessitate multiple miracles that Cleveland should have been confident in averting. Very unfortunate for The Rippers. TOBIN & THE RIPPER WINS!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOWS PANDEMICS vs POLK HIGH PANTHERS Fun Fact: Our Guy Russell was averaging 32 points per game through week 8. But in that week 8 game against San Francisco the Seahawks had 3 offensive lineman and 2 running backs go down to injury. Since that time Russell has been sacked at least 3 times per game, has 7 total turnovers, and has not scored more than 21 fantasy points in Special Ed.
DeAndre Hopkins also played on Thursday and had his 4th inexplicably unimpressive game. Kylo got pretty banged up but we're sure he'll shake it off like he always does. POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!!!!!!!! LIVE UPDATE 12:15pm - IT LOOKS LIKE PJ WALKER IS STARTING!!!! LETS GOOO!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 10!!!!!!!!!!
SPECIAL ED 10th* ANNIVERSARY WEEK 10 SPECIAL!!!!!!!!! What's up Special Ed?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! This the tenth week of the tenth season of this ten-team fantasy league. It's an auspicious occasion. So much so, that it's got us a bit verklempt. We’ve just been having a hard time putting the pen to the paper this week. It feels like we're writing a wedding toast right now. Not that there's any shortage of potential "content" out here, but none of it feels right for such a momentous week. So like the drunk, best men that we are, we'll just grab this mic here and kick off this league's 10th anniversary celebration with - The Other League Update!!!!! We know you're all here for Special Ed content, but trust us. You guys are gonna love this story. The last couple weeks in the Saw Jaw Stumble XIV have been a doosey unlike any other. This is my brother's league where we co-manage a team with the Commish. A lot of you guys know the guys in this league (team names only below, we'll decode it for y'all in the text chain), so you won't be surprised there's always a very high-key energy in those guys' text chain. But last week Special Ed The Team threw a propane tank on that smoldering tire-fire of a league. We know the whole zeitgeist is triggered when Sox busts out the old Hitler meme videos: It's LIT right now, as the kids would say. But how did we get here? Well, it really all goes back to draft night: Doc Leeds TANKED the draft. We know he was paid off, not 100% sure by whom, but we have theories. The draft tank was subtle, just decent enough to seem reasonable. But it did not escape the eagle-eyed gaze of Special Ed The Team. Apologies to any of you guys who drafted these players, but these were ALL the wrong picks. We knew it at the time, and it's obviously true now. Just for context - Doc Leeds is very good at fantasy football. He makes the playoffs every year. He won B2B chips in 2016 and '17, followed by a 3rd place finish in 2018. But then last year, out of nowhere, he lost to the perennially worst player in the league in the playoffs, which everybody was already kinda looking at sideways. Plus the fact that he bullied half of this league back in High School gave our little conspiracy theory a built-in audience. So we called him out, and everybody had a good laugh. Ever since then, The Commish has been relentlessly harassing Doc. Talkin bout daily, unprompted shit talk. For weeks everybody in that league woke up to our dear Commish's 4:00am ball busting. It even wore us down after a while, to be honest. As luck would have it, we weren't matched up Doc until week 9, so we're talking about a 2 month long marathon MARATHON of shit talking. Doc's last nerve snapped around 9:00am last Monday morning. We sent a screen-cap of a $36 DraftKings win from the week before and he says: Love how this is "a gentleman's bet". Goddamn maniacs. As we all know, The Commish has a tendency to go completely nocturnal if he doesn't have much to do during the day. The problem is our squad's got a bunch of injuries, so the afternoon practice reports were extra crucial. So we (I) get up in there and start banging moves all day Wednesday, and Commish isn't answering any of my texts. Which is fine, we don't mind doing it, but Doc had Aaron Rodgers on Thursday night (4 TDs 👍), so we were a little perturbed when Commish slept through the WHOLE FUCKING GAME too. See that's the difference between a co-manager and a TEAMMATE. That motherfucker left us to fend for ourselves in that fucking Thursday night snake pit. Unreal. So. It was a tough weekend - we lashed out at our love-ones and refused to let ourselves enjoy our other two fantasy wins, nor the Bills drubbing of the Seahawks - all because we lost to that GODDAMN Leeds. Of course the story doesn't quite end there. -- The Commish tried to apologize on Monday and we said something to the effect of "We woulda won if we had Diggs." See, back in September we had a deal in place with the most maniacal of all this league's maniacs, Murder Ink (Sox's brother). We had agreed to trade Stephon Diggs for Ekeler, like two days before he got hurt, but Chris vetoed it. We had never gotten over that; thought about it almost every day, actually. That is until this past Tuesday, just when we were about DONE talking to The Commish, we heard that hotline phone ringing off the hook. Guess who was on the line -- That's right, the prodigal Diggs Owner himself, Murder Ink. As he often does on a Tuesday afternoon, Murder was calling around the whole league trying to find some blow. (Again, goddamn maniacs.) At first we were like "nah. Can't help ya." But then he goes "c'moooon man, hook me up, I'll trade you Dalvin Cook." And we said "WORD?" But also - It ended up being a pretty cromulent deal. We gave Ink our 2 favorite guys, DK Metcalf and Johnathan Taylor, for Dalvin Cook and Tee Higgins. We told Ink that Commish was gonna piss himself if we gave away DK - and we were right, he did piss himself pretty bad - but no veto this time - and we got it done. Goddamn what a week. I keep saying that being in 3 leagues feels like too much. But sometimes, The Saw Jaw is just too much all on it's own. We had wanted to say that we just had "the most crazy week of fantasy football ever", but that really doesn't do it justice. The epilogue is we did actually jump back in to their text chain yesterday to tell 'em about how the Ghost of Kobe is gonna help the Rams win the Super Bowl. We realized right away we should have been saving those kinds of screwball takes for DYM, but it went over surprisingly well over there as well. TRADE DEADLINE!!!!!!!!!! TICK TICK TICK!!!!! One weird deal got done right at the deadline last night, but overall this has been a very slow year for fantasy trades, and we think we understand why. The fact is, we are in the midst of the highest scoring NFL season of all time, and there just are waaay too many guys that seem to be getting it done every week. That sounds like it'd be good for the game of fantasy football, but it's problematic for the true fantasy game theorists. The problem arises not just from there being too many good players, but also not enough BAD players. Everybody thinks about trades in terms of who they're targeting. Who's available and can make my team better? So we could point out (and we will below) that there are hardly any dominant every-week-Superstars in the NFL this year, but we think the bigger problem is that there's not enough scrubs. Big moves and trades can only happen when the grass looks distinctly greener on the other side of at least some teams' fences. So when there's not anybody actively shitting the bed on your team, AND no Superstars available, it becomes hard to motivate yourself to make marginal improvements. We believe this happened somewhat by design. The lack of training camp and practices forced many NFL teams to enter this season with a slightly different approach to roster management. Rookies and younger players will necessarily have a longer learning curve this year. To mitigate this, some NFL teams avoided drafting skill position players this year even though there were obvious needs (Packers). And most every teams loaded their benches and practice squads with veteran role-players who all inevitably "earned" their spots by "outplaying" their younger counterparts. Old ass RBs like Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, Jerrick McKinnon and JD McKissic, who should all rightfully be out of the league by now, are seen by the NFL as "more reliable" options in the year 2020*. If it weren't for COVID we kinda doubt Keelan Cole or Corey Davis or Mike Williams would be on our radar. And seriously, who the fuck is Travis Fulgham? And Jordan Wilkins? Really? GTFOH with that. The interesting thing is that there are WAY more points being scored int the NFL overall this year (25.3 points per game per team; +2 ppg over 2018), but almost every team (besides maybe the Packers and Vikings) have managed to distribute the surplus amongst these pseudo-scubs instead of letting established Superstars feast. Sometimes it's just weird though, we can't think of any good reason why Deandre Hopkins is under 15pts per game. Same for Joe Mixon; and the Bengals even have a rookie QB but he's distributing the ball with the utmost magnanimity. If we did DYM Power Rankings again this week they'd look very different than they did in week 4. Back then we saw fit to deem NINE (9) RB/WRs as 2020 Fantasy Superstars. Another 30 were named LEGIT STARTERS at the season quarter pole. Right now we would argue that there are only two Superstars, maybe four, tops. Dalvin Cook and Davante Adams are each scoring a full 5 points per game more than the #2 player at their positions. Those #2's - Kamara and DK Metcalf - are each about 3 points per game better than the next highest scorers. After that there's 3 more guys at each position you could say are "Legit Good" (RBs: Aaron Jones, James Rob, and Henry; WR's: Hill, Lockett, and Ridley). And that's it, period. Ten guys, tops, that were really worth trading for. As it stands today, Only BIOTH (Kyler Murray & Davante), PAT (Aaron Rodgers & Cook) and maybe Pickle Rick (Patty Mahomes & Aaron Jones) have more than one SuperStar. After those top 10 dudes, everybody is pretty much the same. There are THIRTY RBs and THIRTY-FIVE WRs averaging between 10 and 15 points per game. All those together are about enough to fill every Special Ed starting lineup, so that's it. There's only 3 real contenders in this league, the rest of us just gotta get our little 105 every week and keep our fingers crossed. FOOD BEED V: CHINESE FOOD!!!!! Lin's Palace, Morristown NJ 🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑🗑🚮🗑🚮🗑 Holy shit this place is bad. Like, wow. Really bad. Did not see it coming either. It looks like a totally legit Chinese spot. Apparently the restauranteurs are from Taiwan. There's a separate menu of Taiwanese dishes, but we opted for the standard American-Chinese fare. Unfortunately we're not likely to EVER go back to try the Taiwainese because the Chinese was absolute GAR-BAGE. The overarching theme at Lin's is almost everything is EXTREMELY oily and has no flavor. That's pretty much the perfect storm of bad Chinese food - it tastes bad going down, and you don't forget how bad it was for several hours after. Just the worst. HOT & SOUR SOUP - 0/10 - This was neither "hot" nor "sour," it may or may not have been a soup. HOME STYLE TOFU - 6/10 - The wife says: "They managed to make tofu taste unhealthy." It was spicy tho! PU PU PLATTER - 5/10 - The beef satay was edible but no clue what the flavor was supposed to be, it tasted like ashes and sweet n' low. DUMPLINGS - 5/10 - These were burned real bad, so it's hard to say, but we think the meat inside mighta actually been kinda good. But the wrapper is the very worst you'll find anywhere. Might have actually been meat wrapped in paper. CHICKEN WINGS - 7/10 - We think wings are gonna be a required playoff order. In general we LOOOVE Chinese wings. So crispy!! But if they serve these wingettes like fucking TGIFridays it's gonna be an automatic 1-point deduction. REAL American-Chinese food distributors only sling FULL WINGS. Everybody knows this. PORK FRIED RICE - 7/10 - Edible. Matter fact, this and the wings were the only things we didn't throw out. TOTAL SCORE: 5/10 AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!! SHARON ERTZ vs BRING IT ON HOME AGoTW Prediction Record 3-5 Alright, so we're putting the nemesis BIOTH on primetime two weeks in a row. You guys all know we're never gonna pick him. That's our mandate. But we really wanted to shout out the Sharon Ertz squad this week. He's getting Tony Gibson and Michael Thomas in the lineup again this week, and next week 🤞 should be Ekeler week. So watch out, you guys. If SE comes through with this win, they could turn it on down the stretch. Longtime readers will recall that we once thought it was impossible for an 8 loss team to make the Special Ed Playoffs but back in 2017 we were proven WRONG!!!!!!!! That year Tacos snuck in with a 5-8 record, and was summarily dismissed from the first round of the postseason by none other than SHARON ERTZ himself!!!!!!!! LETS GO!!!!! To be fair the 'Pros have BIOTH as #1 in weekly power ranks and, like we said above, they are among the few teams with a clear path to the Chip (on paper); and they're starting a Ram at home vs Seattle (Rams undefeated at home FYI); but still. Can't do it. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES vs POLK HIGH PANTHERS We'd be remiss if we didn't expound on the tidbit we dropped in the text chain earlier this week: Last week SOMEONE in Washington DC clicked through on this weblog, again. Couple days later, someone who's last name that rhymes with "chump" did our schtick in real life AGAIN. It's fucked up. In general, we try to write about things that most people aren't talking about; and that's kinda the point - No one wants to read a blog about our fantasy league!!! That's THE JOKE!!! Likewise, no one SHOULD want to read a blog full of anarchist conspiracy theories and unpopular Star Wars takes; but, again, that's kinda the point of this whole enterprise. Ultimately this is just another item in the long list of things the Trump family does that you all ought not to do -- You don't want to bring up the content of this blog in public, you guys. Trust us, we've alienated several close friends and family members with these takes. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!!! PAUL'S AWESOME TEAM vs ZOMBIE PATERNOS We had an idea for the other day. We came up with a pretty elegant way to get rid of Kickers and D's in this league. Long-story-short, we'd replace them with the average of the best two guys on your bench (aka the "bench score"). We crunched a lotta numbers and wrote a persuasive 900 words about how it would work and how it might change some strategic elements. But then we realized the whole thing wasn't really possible in Yahoo so we put a pin in that for now. PAT WINS!!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs THE WHITE JESUS POISON Man, we almost forgot to write up this game. It's very unexciting. This one's got 105-106 written all over it. Woulda been cool if Tobin hadn't started Tannehill. We can't kill him too bad for it though, cause we were just as dumb for starting JT. Now he's untradable AND gets us no fucking points. Sweet. Shout out to Tobin for working those trade phones HARD yesterday tho. Chubb was probably the only guy on his roster with realistic upside, and they managed to keep him and scored a high quality QB. GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!!!!!! PICKLE RICKS vs I KNOWS PANDEMICS Just thought we should tell you guys that Tua is our streamer QB this week in Eugene's league. Yep. 1,500 years ago everyone KNEW the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago everyone KNEW the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago you KNEW that DYM would never start a Dolphin. Imagine what you'll KNOW tomorrow. PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 9!!!!!!!!!
What's up Special Ed?!? It's Thursday afternoon and America's Olympic future still hangs in the balance!!!!!!!!! There's a whole bunch of announcements scheduled to be made in the next few hours here so we ordered up our weekly Chinese food and we're getting ready to do it LIVE right here on Defend Your Moves!!!!!!!!! We MIGHT have NFL practice injury reports!!! Thursday Night inactives!!!! A Chinese food delivery!!!!! And -MAAAAYYBE - a brand new President of the United States!!!!!! Here's where we're at with the election right now (2:53pm) : The funny thing is the Associated Press, Google, and Fox News have all been calling AZ for Biden since last night. Only CNN and MSNBC still have a tally of 253-213, and they've been talking about GA and PA all day. Everybody else has 264-213, which would mean Biden only needs NV to win it all. But hey, Tapper and em are the pros. They know how to tell a story. ...AND THE CHINESE FOOD HAS ARRIVED!!! We'll take a sampling here while we write this next section - THE OTHER LEAGUE UPDATE A few members of the Special Ed League are taking part in a fledgling ancillary league consisting entirely of SHS Class of '99 Alumni. The DYM squad over there got the #2 pick so we took Saquan, like an idiot. Then Ekeler in the 2nd, cause both those guys were absolute locks in a .5 PPR, so dependable. The worst part is this league has those archaic Tuesday waiver rules, so when you get fucked by injuries there's usually not that much you can do about it. We're 1-7 now and in sole possession of last place after losing to none other than the venerable Special Ed Player Emeritus - JEFF ERTZ. smgdh, indeed. That's our boy Pickle Ricks!! in 1st place btw. Anyways, we really just wanted to mention that waiver issue here for a couple reasons. First of all - shout out to all you guys. Special Ed is still THE BEST fantasy league on the world. Second - check out those MOVE counts. ⬆️ That's 251 Moves league-wide in 8 weeks, WITH NO MOVES ON SUNDAYS!!! Our fair Special Ed League is sitting at a paltry 176 Moves as of 3:55pm Thursday. C'mon now, guys. We can do better. AND WE'VE GOT ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Jonathan Taylor's fake ankle injury is all healed up. Good as new. We gotta choose between him and Dexter Williams before the end of this article, so this could be big. FOOD BEEF V: CHINESE FOOD BEAN CURD RESTAURANT, Chatham, NJ Bean Curd House is the current go-to in the DYM household. We considered it the #1 seed entering the Tour. Everything you get here just tastes like higher-quality grub than most other Chinese spots. It's not too greasy; almost never over-cooked; got the big-sliced veggies and meat. Just a solid, solid Chinese place. The only real problem is they don't deliver and they're "conveniently" located in the middle of downtown Chatham. Right next to the train station on Main St. We went down there to pick up just now and the traffic was still slow as shit (Did we mention it's Thursday afternoon right now?) Still tho, everything we ate just now really hit the mark, as usual. DUMPLINGS - 8.5 - Flawless but not exceptional: Dough was tender, not too thick, and the meat was soft too. Flavor doesn't blow you away tho. BEEF STICK - 7.5 - We really enjoyed this, but it was sweet, not hot curry like the ones we got at the last few places. Once again, it was good but, also unexciting. SESAME CHICKEN - 10 - Delicious and cooked to PERFECTION! Probably the most tender deep fried meat we've had anywhere on this tour. HOT & SOUR SOUP - 7.5 - Another technically good dish, with a distinct lack of pizzaz. good broth consistency, good veggie size. But not hot enough. Order it extra spicy next time. UDON NOODLE SOUP - 8 - This is a Japanese soup on paper, but Bean Curd's take on it tastes VERY Chinese. Think hot & sour soup, with shredded chicken - but it's not sour, just very HOT - and then it's got those big udon noodles that everybody loves. TOTAL SCORE: 8.3 DYM LIVE TIME UPDATE: 4:56 PM Looks like Aaron Jones is gonna be active tonight. That's bad news for DYM The Team. Looks like Pickle Ricks is gonna start both Thursday Night RBs against us here. This is gonna be an EXTRA tilting Thursday night, you guys. Good thing weed is legal in NJ now, we're about to go eat an edible for dessert. hold on. ... OK, we're back. Still no official inactives for tonight. And we coulda swore there was gonna be a Nevada announcement around 5pm Eastern, but CNN is still in Philly for whatever reason. Nothing to see here. AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!! BRING IT ON HOME vs POLK HIGH PANTHERS AGoTW Prediction Record: 3-4 So Amazon is letting you choose "Alternative Commentary" on tonight's game when you watch online. It says here you can have the classic Buck-Aikman booth; Ladies' Night with Hannah Storm and Andrea Kramer; or the British stylings of Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth. That's amazing, btw, "Derek Rae" and "Tommy Smith" are like the Deejay Dallas of British names. We're 90% sure those were both names of characters from Lock Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels. Gotta be made up. We are 100% watching the British version tonight. We LOVE funny accents. We even found a couple fantasy football podcasts (American football) with British hosts. They're the BEST. Such a pleasure to listen to. Colm Kelly of Rotoviz @OvertimeIreland is a personal favourite. Check out his show on Pandora, or wherever you get your Podcasts!!! POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES 🦏 vs PICKLE RICKS!! The Mandolorian Season 2 started last week, and we are happy to a say it's STILL the best Star Wars. The Season 2 Premier was another full-on western style episode, directed by John Farveau. The Western-ness was so unapologetic this time they even got the guy from Justified to play a sheriff in Tattooine. The coolest thing for us was how they went back to Tattooine, but there were more visual references to The Phantom Menace than to A New Hope. Check out Justified's bike up there, it's half of a pod racer!! But the thing that makes it quintessentially STAR WARS is the cyclical self-references. The opening scene of Season 1 Ep 1 featured a very scary monster, who lives under ground, that Mando dispatches with unworried ease, establishing him as a hero more who's powerful and also more mysteriously foreboding than the subterranean dwelling beast. This episode also introduces an underground monster with big teeth in the first scene. But this is Season 2!! This time we are well aware of Mando's capability, so he'll have to spend a good 40 minutes looking at Justified sexy face and speaking sign language to Sand People to impress us. FIVE STARS DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!!!!! THE WHITE JESUS POISON vs ZOMBIE PATERNOS The ZP's have one at least one more week to wait before they get their real starting RBs back. Hunt and Sanders are both hurt still, but on bye, so they got a good shot for week 10. Even with the depleted roster, we were surprised to see ZP pickup Josh Kelley now that he's on the text chain this year. If Tobin dropped Montgomery too we're not sure we'd go pick him up. They got the official text chain curse. THE WHITE JESUS POISON WINS!!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs SHARON ERTZ It has been rough out here for Sharon Ertz this year. They're averaging 109 per game and still have 0 wins. Incredibly, teams have scored 1,022 points against Sharon in eight games. That's 127.75 per game, if you don't have a calculator handy. This week they face The Rippers who have been treated to just 104 per game by his opponents. We don't think Calvin plays, and Zeke has been playing like shit, so this could be SE's week. SHARON EERTZ WINS!!!!!!!!! I KNOWS PANDEMICS 👾 vs PAULS AWESOME TEAM 🚨🚨🚨C-MAC ALERT🚨🚨🚨 You guys. Watch out. IKP has two all time GOATS on the squad right now. They might not lose another game this year, for real. Doug, Russell Wilson and Christian McCaffrey are all 2-time Special Ed Champions. Nobody knows better what it takes to climb that mountaintop. I KNOWS PANDEMICS 👾 WINS!!!!!!!!! OK, guys. it's 6:39 pm, still no official inacitves, and the Pres is about to make a speech. We'll see yall on the text chain!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 - ELECTION DAY SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This election really snuck up on us. We had no clue there was still an election this year. NOBODY’S TALKING ABOUT IT!!!!!! It’s all very confusing. After they canceled the Olympics, we just kinda assumed the election was canceled too. At DYM we base most of our political opinions on how well Team USA did in the last Summer Olympics. Team USA is averaging about 45 Gold Medals per Summer Games over the last 100 years. So, as a general rule, if we bring home 45 or more Gold Medals then we’ll vote for the incumbent President; If we get less than 45 then, obviously, it’s time for a change so we vote for the new guy. There is one contingency, which fortunately hasn't come into play yet in DYM's 20 year voting career: If the Team USA Men's Basketball team does NOT get the Gold, we'll vote for the challenger regardless of the other sports. Syndey 2000 - 37 Golds - George W. Bush In the year 2000 we were very excited to cast our first presidential ballots. We stayed up late and woke up early every day in August to catch all the Olympic Action live from Sydney. Vince Carter tea-bagged that French guy, and we thought for sure we were gonna vote for Al Gore. But Team USA would not fare as well in the individual sports: 18-year old Australian Ian Thorpe called a recount and checked all the hanging chads when he took the swimming world by storm with 3 Golds in his maiden Olympic games. Our greatest medal hopeful in 2000 was Michael Johnson, who had entered the 2000 summer with the title of "World's Fastest Man" but left Sydney with only one Gold - in the 400. (Team USA won Gold in the 4x400m but had the medal stripped when 2 members of the team tested positive for steroids.) Later that week Johnson missed his opportunity to defend his 200m world records when he pulled his hamstring in the 200m prelims. Maurice Greene won the 100m and anchored the 4x100 relay, but those would be our only other Gold medals in Men’s track that year. The first and last time we voted for a Republican. Athens 2004 - 36 Golds (Bronze in Men's Basketball) - John Kerry Can you guys believe Stephon Marbury was on an Olympic Team? Crazy. Back in the early 2000's a lot of people used to say it seemed like George W. Bush didn't even want to be President. Especially after 9/11, the guy was in way over his head. We're pretty sure that's why he tanked the Olympic Basketball tournament in 2004. Team USA had run roughshod though the 2003 FIBA Tournament of the Americas but inexplicably overhauled the roster before the Olympic Games. Larry Brown has Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan locked in as his team captains. And in case that team chemistry wasn't toxic enough they added Marbury, Carmelo and 4 other players under age 22, none of whom had made the 2004 All-Star Game. It was a total fucking embarrassment, but in the end we were more than happy not to vote for Bush again. Beijing 2008 "THE REDEEM TEAM" - 36 Golds - Barack Obama Entering 2008, the USA had won more gold medals than any other country in every Olympics of the past 20 years. A HUGE stink had been made about the USSR's success in the '88 games; Allegations of cheating, drug use, corrupt judges and other improprieties ran rampant. But as today's political aficionados know, China is WAY more ruthlessly corrupt than Russia ever was, and nobody's gonna do shit about it. So when China hosted the 2008 games, there was a general lack of surprise at the fact that they won fucking everything. China's 48 golds in 2008 were the most by any country since the USSR's 55 golds in 1988. But the STARS of the '08 games were all dressed in Red, White & Blue: The GOAT Nastia Lukin ended the former Soviet nations' reign over Women's Gymnastics by becoming just the 3rd American to ever win the Women's Individual All-Around (a feat that would become far more common in the 2010's). The GOAT Carmelo Anthony (all-time highest scoring Olympic basketball player) won his first of 3 Golds in his second games. Anthony, Lebron, and Dwyane Wade were the only returning players from the 2004 team. The GOAT Michael Phelps won the Gold in all eight of his events (including 7 World Records and 1 Olympic record). 2008 also marked the emergence of the GOAT of all Non-American Olympic GOATS - Usain Bolt. The USA would sweep the Medals the Men's 400m and 400m hurdles, but Jamaica dominated the Men's and Women's sprinting events, leaving the USA with only 3 track Golds. Bolt was incredibly popular, and much like his Chinese hosts, had for some time risen above any allegations of performance enhancing drug use. Jamaican Track was basically the McGuire/Sosa of the 2000's. EVERYBODY knew they were juicing but it was sooo fun to watch, so honestly nobody cared. FUN FACT: Barack Obama was, as it turns out, born in the USA. But 4x Gold Medalist Sanya Richard-Ross was NOT! Sanya was born in Kingston Jamaica and became a naturalized citizen of the USA in 2002. She won Golds in the 4x400m relay in '04 '08 and '12 and the individual 400m in 2012. She's also married to former Giants CB Aaron Ross. We voted for Obama. London 2012 - 46 Golds - Barack Obama Team USA was a powerhouse in 2012. Fortunately Obama was our favorite President of our adult lives, so we couldn't have been happier with the medal count results. The 2012 USA Men's Basketball team was a motley group, but gelled together seamlessly under Coach K's leadership. The squad somehow featured 6 players over age 28 and two members of the 2012 Knicks. Jamaican Men Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake dominated the prime-time track events. But USA's Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross defeated the Jamaicans in the 200m, 400m, and both relays. Brittney Reese won the Women's Long Jump for USA's 7th Track & Field Gold of 2012. Our pride and joy in 2012 was the Women's Gymnastics team, who followed up a strong, but underwhelming, 2012 summer with 4 Golds in 2016: Aly Raisman (best Jewish Athlete of the 2000's) won the Floor Exercise, Gabby Douglas won the Individual All-Around, and Team USA won the Women's Team All-Around Championships. FOUR MORE YEARS!!!! FOUR MORE YEARS!!!! Rio 2016 - 46 Golds - Hillary Clinton CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!!!! Maybe not everybody thinks Obama was the greatest President, but it's hard to deny he was the best campaigning candidate of our generation. Team USA won 92 Gold medals during the Obama Administration. Only Ronald Reagan (119) and Theodore Roosevelt (101) led this country to more Golds, but the 1904 and 1984 games were both held in the US, so there's a small asterisk next to those totals. 2008 is often remembered as the breeding ground of the Miami Heat super-team that would form 3 years later. Similarly, 2016 may one day be remembered as the nadir of the Brooklyn Nets Dynasty. Kevin Durant averaged 19.4 pts per game in the 2016 Olympics, and Kyrie started all 8 games at PG and led the team in assists. 2012 individual champions Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman returned to lead the Women's Gymnastics squad to a second straight Team All-Around Gold. And Simone Biles emerged as the worlds best gymnast with 3 individual Golds including the Individual All-Around. 2016 would be the Olympic swan song for Michael Phelps. The all-time greatest Olympic Champion brought home another 5 swimming Golds at age 31. But 19 year old Katie Ledecky became USA's next swimming superstar, as the first swimmer since 1968 to win the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle at the same Olympics. 2016 was the shit, so like the majority of Americans, we voted for the Democrat again. Tokyo 2020 - 0 Golds - Joe Biden Now for this year's "election," the choice is pretty clear. Team USA has won ZERO (0) Gold Medals during the Trump administration. Jimmy Carter is the ONLY other President of the modern Olympic era who failed to bring home a single Gold Medal, and he paid dearly for it at the polls in November 1980. The American people DEMAND Olympic excellence, and Ronald Reagan was just the man to deliver it. 1980 was one of the biggest blow-out elections in US history. Reagan carried 44 states, and won the electoral college vote 489-49. Of course, as we all know, Reagan would go on to become the Most Decorated US Olympic President of all time with 119 Gold Medals. Always in motion is the future is. Difficult to see. But the only things we know for sure are that everybody's voting for Biden, and that Team USA is gonna OWN the 2024 Games. HAVE A GREAT ELECTION EVERYBODY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 8!!!!!!!!
What’s up Special Ed?!?!? It's getting cold out there, folks. Just in time for - SKI MASK SZN!!! LETS GOOOOO!!!!!!!! DUMPSTER DIVER OF THE WEEK: SHARON ERTZ!!!!!!! (Sharon Ertz: 8 Moves. Total Moves this Week: 26) Sharon lost Odell last week, and responded with flurry of moves including adding SEVEN (7) starters for week 8. Incredible. This week Sharon Ertz will only start one player that they drafted this year (Josh Jacobs). Their week 8 QB was acquired in a trade, and the ENTIRE rest of the roster was picked up this week. It's a masterful feat. A truly sublime work of roster-shuffling. Most of these guys aren't even really garbage: Jason Sanders (D-VT) is the #3 fantasy kicker in the league this year AJ Green has 24 target over the last two weeks Agholor is legit now. We think he was still a free agent because most people didn't know he's not an Eagle anymore Beasley, at age 31, is still the best rapper in the NFL and La'Mical Perine is a sneaky funny name AND former Gator Great Job!!!!!!!! PICKUP OF THE WEEK: Deejay Dallas Speaking of under-rated funny names, we may be on the verge of the Deejay Dallas breakout game. There's not a whole lot of chatter out here about how exciting it would be to have a star RB with a name as convoluted as Deejay Dallas. To be honest this is another guy who we had not even heard of until about 3 weeks ago. And he still seems to not be on the radar for most of the football watching world, which made him somewhat difficult to gather information on this week. We think the reason people aren't more excited about Double D is mostly cause CeeDee Lamb was here first. We made a real big deal about CeeDee a couple months ago - and we weren't the only ones! People went crazy for CeeDee pre-season. Now this new guy comes around with the same phoneticized initials act, and folks are like "psshhh, nah. Been there, done that." It's like on Looney Tunes when Spike the dog does a trick and gets a treat, then Sylvester does the same trick and the old lady beats his head with a hammer. On paper, Deejay Dallas has everything you could want from a funny name: It’s easy to spell, and not bad looking written down; Rolls off the tongue too - Deejay Dallas is a very easy name to pronounce and it sounds great when you say it out loud. That alliteration gives the name a certain rhythm that you can bounce to a little bit; Makes you wanna hit those first syllables real hard like Martin Lawrence. But there's something about it that's just not quite as funny as CeeDee Lamb. It sorta seems more like a funny baseball name than a funny football name - at least not an RB, like, it’s a little too cute for an RB. Maybe a punter, there could see a punter named Deejay Dallas and nobody would bat an eye. We'll probably end up ranking "Deejay Dallas" pretty closely to "Jack Doyle" cause they both just sound sounds made up. It sounds like a character from a bad action movie. Could be Matthew McConaughey as a Myrtle Beach bar tender, who rides a motorcycle and he's getting a divorce... Or maybe they could replace Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 10 with a guy named Deejay Dallas, if they weren't already committed to filling that cast with only pro wrestlers. But, then again, Deejay Dallas could even be a good name for a pro wrestler too, tho. AMERICA GAME OF THE WEEK: DEFEND YOUR MOVES vs PAULS AWESOME TEAM!!!!!!!! AGoTW Prediction Record: 3-3 Don't let the Yahoo! score projections fool you. We are NOT 20 point underdogs in this matchup. NO. FUCKING. WAY. First of all, like we said up top, IT'S COLD OUT TODAY!!!!!!!! And that means it is OFFICIALLY Derrick Henry Szn. You know those clocks just fell backward, and the trees are getting bare cause DK is heavily shading the OVER on Henry o/u 99.5 rushing yards. LETS GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Obviously, our roster isn't yet complete. We're waiting til THE LAST MINUTE this week, just to make sure Chris Carson doesn't show up. We all know Carson loves to start his Sunday morning with a hot cup of HGH, so ya never really can tell how long he's gonna be injured for. One more reason Deejay Dallas is still such an unknown half-way through his rookie year, is he never played RB until 3 years ago. ITS TRUE. He was recruited out of high school as a "position-less athlete", thought to be best suited for WR or DB. But a season-ending injury to Mark Walton left the Miami Hurricanes with precious little depth at the RB position. So they converted Double D to RB, and the rest was history. He scored his first two rushing TDs against Notre Dame in week 10 of 2017, and would finish each of the next 3 seasons averaging over 5 yds per rushing attempt, on about 100 carries per year. This is all EXTREMELY on brand for us. "Positionless Athlete" is the IDEAL description for a player on DYM the Team. We have a dream, that one day ALL Fantasy Players, regardless of their age, speed or size, will be able to stand side by side as Positionless Athletes. We have a dream that our children and their children's children will not be judged by where they line up on the field, but only by their TDs and Yds per Attempt alone!!!!!!!! On the other side, Paul's got no players on bye or injured this week (although Connor and Cook are always just one play away). Which means they have tougher than usual choices to make at the Flex positions. Perfectly viable players like Chase Claypool and Amari Cooper will likely stay on the bench. Also, they're gonna hope KC doesn't blow out the jets in the first half and bench Tyreek again. DEFEND YOUR MOVED WINS!!!!!!!! THE WHITE JESUS POISON vs SHARON ERTZ The Commish had a lot of guys in the Thursday Night Under-Fest, so they're down about 10pts from their Yahoo! projection right now. They've still got some serious firepower left with Clyde, Keenan, and Aiyuk; but we're just so proud of Sharon for scrapping this lineup together, we gotta pick them. SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs POLK HIGH PANTHERS The Rippers are gonna be in trouble if the Cowboys can't figure out how to run the offense through Zeke effectively. This being cold weather RB season, we're going with the team that's got Melvin Gordon at home and Kamara @ Chicago. POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!!!!! BRING IT ON HOME vs PICKLE RICKS!!!!!!!! Come on now. Andy's really starting Lev Bell this week? He's just fucking with us now isn't he? PICKLE RICKS!! WINS!!!!!!! ZOMBO PETRINOS vs IKNOWS PANDEMICS The Paternos made a late play for Pick Up of the Week, snagging Devin Singletary this morning. Very smooth move. But we're still much more excited about the Dual Higginses on the IKP team. I KNOWS PANDEMICS WINS!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 7, LATE EDITION!!!!!!!
NOSTRA CULPA, SPECIAL ED!!!!!!! We had meant to put off writing your Week 7 DYM until Saturday, mostly because we had a whole shindig planned for the Food Beef crew. We had the Commish and the whole Maulbeck fam over to the Backyard Mancave around lunchtime. We got a huge haul from China Chalet, carved up some jack-o-lanterns and watched some B1G Football action. Everything was going great until about 4:45. We promised the Maulbecks we’d write the Food Beef Review on Saturday night “no matter how drunk [we] get”, but as it turns out we had greatly underestimated our capacity for Yuengling once the Nittany Lions took us on that fucking ROLLERCOASTER of a 4th quarter. Imagine having the Penn State moneyline AND -6.5. We lost it all, won it back, and lost it all again in the span of about 20 minutes, fucking nuts. So, yea, that sucked. Plus our neighbors (also Penn State fans) were having a party too, cause we all thought there was a UFC on Saturday night. For some reason the fights were actually Saturday MORNING. By about 6:30pm all we had left was a bunch of pissed off dudes and a lot of beer, so we got hammered instead of writing. We’re on hangover day 2 right now, but we gotta power through this Food Beef and a couple other hot Special Ed News items to wrap up WEEK SEVEN. DYM WINTER FASHION SPECIAL!!!!!!! Earlier today we decided we’re gonna rock baklava ski masks this winter. Should be an especially functional look this year since it’s like a built in chin diaper mask too. We picked out a few different styles on amazon, all the while picturing ourselves rolling out the crib like this: But check out amazon’s “Products Related to [Our] Purchases”: The goggles - sure; And the flag and the chain are funny, but we get it. But the gaming chair makes us think that Amazon has a different demographic in mind here- We’ll let yall know when we get our Proud Boys Newsletter in the mail next month. 2020 HALL OF SHAME!!!!!!! Not setting your lineup is SHAMEFUL. But, if you didn’t outscore the guy who didn’t set a lineup, you officially SUCK. We don’t want to put any of you guys in the Hall of Shame. We don’t like doing it. We don’t like when somebody doesn’t set their lineup, because it makes us ALL look bad. It’s a black eye on the league - an asterisk week. But if the guy who didn’t set his lineup is NOT the lowest scoring team of the week, then whomever they outscore MUST be entered in the HALL OF SHAME!!!!!!! Last week The Polk High Panthers appeared close to entering an incomplete lineup, acquiring the requisite RBs (at DYM’s behest) less than 24 hours before Sunday kickoff. The 21 pts they got out of old ass Peterson and Gore were enough to take down Sharon Ertz. This week Sharon thought maybe they could recapture that magic with a 2pm QB swap. They were understandably excited to pickup Perine after he scored 100% of the TD's in the Jets/Bills game (1 TD). But they had to work fast to shore up the roster mid-game. They’re looking for 34 points from the Rams D to pull out a win. But the MOST SHAMEFUL player of the year thus far was this week’s PickleRicks!!. PR ignored three days of reports that Aaron Jones had been injured in practice, and just sleepwalked through Sunday without picking up any backup RB. The Ricks now need a pretty big game tonight from Darrell Henderson, and pretty small games from Tobin & The 3 Bears to send this league’s first place team to the 2020 Hall of Shame. FOOD BEEF V: CHINESE FOOD!!!!! CHINA CHALET of Florham Park!!!!!!! We’ve got a new contender here folks!!! China Chalet brought the motherfuckin HEAT this weekend. We considered Chalet to be a middle-of-the-road place like Hunan Wok. And it may well be, but this is why we post the entire Food Beef Tour schedules online. Sometimes we know these guys are expecting us and they make sure to bring their A Game that week. Like how we never expected Coppola’s to reach the Pizza Super Bowl but every time we called their number they stepped right up to the plate and knocked it out the park. We can’t point to any one item, or any one aspect of China Chalet that made this lunch so delicious. But everything was above average, and nothing was bad. And we got a HUGE selection this week: Sichuan Steamed Pork Buns - 9 Dough was just thick enough and very moist. Held up well as a cold leftover. Pao-Pao Platter - 8.5 We LOVED the chicken satay and shrimp toast, ribs were kinda dry. Hot & Sour Soup - 9.5 Nice spiciness, and we love the finely shedded "angel hair style" meats. House Fried Rice - 8.5 Pork Fried Rice - 8 Home Style Tofu with Black Mushroom - 9 Spicy AND delicious!!! General Tso’s Chicken- 8.5 Beef & Three Vegetables - 7 Scallion Pancakes - 7 Total score: 8.33 HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 6!!!!!!
What's up, Special Ed? It’s Week 6 Saturday, and we're still mad!!!!!! The Bills got fucking hosed last week. Like BIG time hosed, talkin' about Iowa Caucus level HOSED. The League pulled out all the stops: changed the date of the game, let all the Titans players off COVID IR, the refs were in the bag and the announcers too. It was a weird thing to watch. We'd love to say “this would never happen in the NBA” - but we all know it would. To be fair, in retrospect, Gooddell and ‘em didn’t have much choice but to fix that game for the Titans. Much like our old boy Donny, the NFL abdicated all responsibility really early in the pandemic response process, which, at the time, probably seemed like wise moves for each of them. Neither Trump nor Goodell is anywhere near capable of dealing with this shit. Not that anybody really is, but these two were already STRESSED THE FUCK OUT back in like 2017. Neither of them has any interest in managing a fucking pandemic, nor a revolution in the streets. The President checked out in about early June, he jumped on twitter like “Who the fuck is the Mayor of this town?? How’d they let this happen??? SMGDH”. And he BOUNCED. State's Rights, son, peace. Goodell sees that shit, and he sees baseball not do a damn thing and still finish the season, and he gets himself an idea. He draws up some quick PROS and CONS columns and writes a lotta sad, scary things in the CONS. Then he writes “I DO NOTHING” real big in the PROS column and circles that shit with a highlighter. Then he hands that motherfuckin' paper to his secretary and tells her to schedule a press conference. Deuces. Summer of Rog, baby!!! Of course the NFL now has a league-wide COVID testing and return-to-play protocol. But they just wrote that shit last week. Back in August, every team had to write their own “Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan” and all the stadiums and facilities were told to operate in accordance with their own State’s COVID laws. Back then, SOME PEOPLE were real quick to point out the potential for competitive disadvantages in this ad hoc setup. Smart ass motherfucker probably shoulda kept his mouth shut, cause as it turns out this is a fairly nuanced situation. Or like they say down in SEC-Country: “Freedom Ain’t Free” - cause a lotta the teams with the “home field advantages” are also now at a far higher risk of catching this second wave of the 'rona and getting their whole shit shut down entirely. Just look who’s shut down this week: Atlanta, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Jacksonville... All these fucking southern-midwest college towns never shoulda had NFL teams in the first place!! Now look at 'em. We think canceling several Titans games might, theoretically, not be that big a deal. Nobody’d really miss em. Roger would just sweep Tennessee under the rug and move on if he had too. Wouldn’t take much. Could get that Toronto expansion poppin' again. But when the Patriots sat out week 5 too, people started asking questions. Sean McVay and 'em out here telling people they wanna shut it down and bubble up for nine games of whatever. Fuck that. See, that’s the one thing about Goodell’s COVID Non-Plan™️, he’s NOT trying to be in charge of this shit at all. The Bubble would just be everybody that works for him all in one place, talking to him everyday, and making him do shit. Fucking Nightmare. Rog is not tryina hear that ANY of this bubble shit. He couldn’t let those stupid Titans miss another game, it’d fuck everything up. He had to put some lipstick on this pile of dog shit and get her ready for Tuesday Night Primetime TV. He had to put on a show. They sold 10,000 tickets to this clown rodeo, and guess who’s coming to town? That loud mouth Sean McDermott. Motherfucker had a lot to say about Rog’s Non-Plan this summer, huh? Think there’s a competitive disadvantage in MY LEAGUE? Huh? Yea, ok, watch this, motherfucker. First, he calls up ANOTHER press conference. Just to let y’all know, officially, that Roger Goodell ain't doin' SHIT this year. Nada. There will be NO punishments for COVID Protocol for anybody, but especially not the Titans. And furthermore, all previously positive-tested Titans are now returned to the active roster, just in time for tonight’s completely normal Tuesday Night Football game: “Congratulations, Tennessee. You did it. You beat coronavirus. This whole ordeal just goes to show how healthful 60 Minutes of vigorous outside play everyday can be for young people. As we speak, scientists around the world are working to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. But the NFL’s PLAY60 Initiative is still the most effective known cure for Coronavirus.” - Roger Goodell After that, fixing the game for Tennessee was actually the easiest part of all. Nobody thought this game was gonna happen, so all the regular refs had already worked this week. They were back at home doing fucking Zoom Kindergarten and shit, 'cause it was Tuesday for fuck sake. Rog had to bring back some of those scab refs from the 2012 Ref Strike. Those sad-sack motherfuckers probly got booed out of their own homes after that shit. Ain't had a job in 8 years. They got Rog’s back 1000%. Just say the word. Then just to grease the skids a bit, they got CBS’s Westminster Dog Show commentators in the booth for this game. Those guys had no fucking clue what was going on, they were gonna say anything the league PR rep put in front of ‘em. Dude was like - “Ryan Tannehill is immune to COVID now, at least that’s what the doctors tell him anyway. Some of the greatest doctors in the world are a part of this Tennessee Titans training staff. Not a lot of people know that, but they're brilliant. Absolute miracle workers.” Fucking ridiculous. FOOD BEEF V - CHINESE FOOD!!!!! COTTAGE II of Morristown!!!!! Cottage II one of the standard, middle of the road Chinese spots that we've been to a million times because it's conveniently located. It's on South St. in Morristown, about two block off the green, right near Dublin Pub. We ordered this spread just now for Saturday lunch, Overall we'd say it hit the spot. All the meat dishes were excellent, but the rice, soups and fried dishes left something to be desired. Unfortunately, unlike our first two competitors, Cottage won't get left-overs factored into their scores. HUNAN STYLE BEEF - 9 - This was surprisingly good. Very hot and spicy and not too oily. Didn't need any extra sauces, just perfectly seasoned. Served over lo mein noodles. SOUPS: Wonton Soup & House Special Soup - 6 - Both of these soups had the same problem as Hunan Wok's egg drop - just way too thick for our taste. We prefer a much more viscus soup. The House Special was like a chowder broth with undercooked veggies. Not good. PUPU PLATTER - 9 - It's got Shrimp pancakes, spring rolls, ribs, curry chicken, and curry beef. The deep fried stuff was OK, but the meats on this platter were the real stars of this whole meal. We could have had a main course of just those chicken and beef sticks. The deep curry flavor is outstanding. Not overpowering with heat, but the spices cleared out our sinuses big time. We can still smell it. DANK. CRAB RANGOON - 7.5 - It was alright. We generally prefer the hamentashen shaped ones better. HOUSE FRIED RICE - 7 - Rice was also undercooked, but the meats save it from being a total disaster. COTTAGE 2 TOTAL SCORE: 7.7 AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK!!!!!! AGotW Prediction Record: 2-3 Tobin & The Rippers VS. Paul’s Awesome Team The #1 and #2 teams from just two weeks ago are both badly depleted heading into week six. Tobin lost their Superstar QB, but they managed to get COVID Cam off waivers. If he plays he should be a serviceable replacement. PAT struggled mightily last week without Aaron Rodgers at the helm. This week could be even worse as their only Superstar RB nurses his groin. They'll roll the dice with either Damien Harris or Dev Singletary, both low ceiling/low floor options. Pick-up of the week Chase Claypool fills in for Lockett (bye). Claypool gets Cleveland this week, a much tougher matchup than he had in the breakout week 5. In fact, it looks like everybody on PAT (except Amari) have worse matchups this week than last. Aaron Rodgers gotta put this team on his back if they wanna break 100 this week. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!!! DEFEND YOUR MOVES 🥡 VS. Zombie Paternos The ZPs are getting healthy this week and have some tasty matchups in week six. They could keep it close against the defending Champs. Our beloved Port Magpies lost to Richmond yesterday in the AFL semi-finals. Tough game for the fellas, it was poring rain and they just could not catch the ball for about 3 quarters. Still had a shot at a go-ahead goal with 4 minutes left, though. Anyway, the funny thing about these Aussie rules playoff games is they spent the entire season in bubbles, with no fans most of the year, but the playoffs came and AFL just said "fuck it". They got home games, packed stands, no fuckin' masks. Don't give a fuck, like what. Really hope Goodell doesn't see this. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!!! THE WhiteJesusPoison VS. Pickle Ricks!! If we were The Commish we wouldn't start Julio this week. Julio is one of the league's all-time great Decoy WRs. This game has Julio Decoy written all over it. PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!!! Bring It On Home VS. I knows pandemics 👾 Big shoutout to the Madison Mario Kart Club. Andy smoked our ass in Mario Kart Rivalry Week, so we’re even for now.
The MMKC has been super fun, it’s still the best free iPhone game ever, but this week we’re getting an absolute fucking GAME CHANGER delivered to the DYM home office: 😲HO😲LY😲SHIT😲 You guys gotta get Nintendo Switches. It's gonna be a HOT winter!!!!! BRING IT ON HOME WINS!!!!!! Polk High Panthers VS. Sharon Ertz Sharon has their three best players on bye this week, which normally would be a Free Win scenario. But, we‘re 24 hours from kickoff right now and PHP has ZERO active RBs on the roster.
We got a feeling PHP's non-plan for this week isn't gonna work out as well as Goodell’s. We guess they’re just counting on the NFL being cancelled entirely. That’s not a bad bet, in our opinion, but it’s pretty unsportsmanlike for a fantasy league player. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, ABBY!!!!!! SHARON ERTZ WINS!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK, EVERYBODY!!!!!!
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 2020 WEEK 5!!!!!
Can you fucking believe these motherfuckers, man?? What the fuck, you guys!? This shit would NEVER happen in the NBA. Lou Williams broke the Bubble Protocols to go to a strip club in Atlanta. These fucking dorks went to work overtime at a fucking high school. At least Cam had enough self-respect to catch that shit out at a restaurant with his friends. At least he had a good time. But these Titans. What the FUCK?!? Fucking Titans go 3-0 and all of a sudden they're fucking overachievers? FUCK YOU!! What, they think they're going to the fucking Super Bowl if they get these extra practices in?? Well, guess what? NOW THERE'S NOT GONNA BE A SUPER BOWL, YOU STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!!! Man, we JUST got Sunday Ticket hooked up for the Backyard Man-Cave last week!!!! Then the week 4 cancelations bumped the Bills/Raiders game onto national TV, now this week we’re gonna get the COVID bye, then probably the whole fucking season's gonna get canceled. And even if the league's not shut down, my Henry/Jonnu fantasy teams are gonna stay fucked for at least a few more weeks. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK seriously DYM PRESENTS: FOOD BEEF V WEEK 5 - HUNAN WOK of Morristown!!!!! Hunan Wok came highly recommended by our esteemed guest judges. Both Angelo and Maulbeck declared it their "go-to" during the scheduling process. Our experience at the DYM household has been more muted. We got Hunan once or twice and were not overly impressed. It was regular to us, so we generally opt for Bean Curd house (because it's better) or even the non-competing Good Taste (because it's closer). Overall we'd say all the judges felt the Hunan selection was hit-or-miss. We all found something we liked a lot, and some things that really dissappointed. MAULBECK & MB DISH SCORES: General Tso’s Chicken- 6.5 Beef & Broccoli - 7 Scallion pancakes - 8 Fried rice - 8.5 DYM HOUSEHOLD DISH SCORES: Honey Chicken - 9 Dumplings - 7.5 Pork & Snow Peas - 8.5 Tofu - 8 Egg Drop Wonton Soup - 5.5 The Honey Chicken was the best think we had. It was basically sweet-and-sour style chicken nuggets with thicker breading and covered in honey sauce. It was pretty much everything you could ask for from a chicken nugget. The nuggs were meaty and juicy and the sauce was just sweet enough, not overpowering. Amari and Marta, the Official DYM Mother-in-Law, were both unenthused when we placed the order but, surprisingly, they both LOVED the chicken. The Pork & Snow Peas was pretty regular but they get bonus points for extra veggies. A lot of places will make this dish with ONLY pork and snow peas, nothing else. And we get that that’s what we ordered, but it’s always boring. These guys threw in some watercress, carrots, and baby corn that really livened things up. The Soup was not good. The broth was very, very thick. Like they just put the cooked eggs in a bowl of uncooked eggs. Not appealing. The dumplings were somewhat unimpressive for dinner, but much better the next day for breakfast. HUNAN WOK TOTAL SCORE: 7.6 AMERICAS GAMES OF THE WEEK!!!!! AGoTW Prediction Record: 1-2 We missed last week's Special Ed Matchups due to technical difficulties, so we're going to pick TWO AGoTWs this week. And that's just fine by us cause there's two prime time matchups this week between Special Ed League RIVALS. That's right, it's... RIVALRY MATCHUP #1:
DEFEND YOUR MOVES 🥡 vs BRING IT ON HOME Somehow, BIOH and DYM are dead even statistically so far this season. We're both 3-1. DYM has scored about 3-4 points more per game, as have their opponents, not enough to swing any of either team's games. For this week, we should both have Yahoo! score predictions of about 115 by Sunday morning, but we both have moves to make before then. Mike Evans is very Questionable for tonights game against the Bucs. BIOH has 2 WRs in the flex spots, so most likely one of them moves up and Waller gets the start @KC. Not a bad situation actually. The bigger potential problem for them is having 3 players (QB and 2 RBs) in the Cardinals@NYJ game (o/u 47.5). We still have Kylo in the other league so we'll be praying the MetLife Turf Monster doesn't get a hold of him. Drake and Le'veon might be in trouble tho. Our biggest bugaboo this week is those fucking goddamn Tennessee Titans. The Titans Bills game is probably not gonna happen so we're gonna have to bench Henry and Diggs and start Viska @HOU. This would also force BIOH to go shopping for a D/ST this weekend as well. Our other RBs are still gonna get it done so we think we keep it close but, to be honest, but this doesn't feel great. DEFEND YOUR MOVES WINS!!!!! RIVALRY MATCHUP #2: WHITE JESUS POISON vs PAULS AWESOME TEAM Up until last year The Commish held the title of Official Rival of DYM. But this year we've re-dedicated ourselves to the success of Special Ed The Team (3-1 in the other league), and now we hate Andy's team. So it's high time that we recognize the deep-seated animosity between The Commish and Golden Richards: No one roots agains Paul as loudly as Chris, and no one laughs at Chris's failures as heartily as Paul. Always have, always will. PAT has Devin Singletary in the starting lineup but he's probly not playing because the Titans just fucking love practice so goddamn much. jesus christ. Anyway, that'll put Tyler Boyd in the flex which is pretty much a lateral move in our opinion. Aaron Rodgers gets a traditional bye in week 5, so they still need to pickup a QB. We're thinking they probably go with one of the rookies. That'd be a big drop-off from Aaron Rodgers but there's a good chance both those kids outscore Matt Ryan. The Commish's team is only missing Julio Jones, but Chark came back strong last week so they could be OK there. Their RB stable is looking very strong since the additions of Mike Davis and James Robinson. Those guys are very Legit Starters, forcing the Commish to send the much funnier named Todd Gurley to the bench. This should be another very close contest, we think if Matt Ryan shows up then The Commish can get it done. But we're not counting on that. PAULS AWESOME TEAM WINS!!!!! TOBIN & THE RIPPERS vs I KNOWS PANDEMICS 👾 If Mostert really comes back this week, IKP could conceivably start both SF RBs since they're playing at home vs MIA. We definitely like the second SF RB this week better than Devonta Freeman @ Dallas. But WR2 is a big issue for IKP this week, Tee Higgins is the only option on the roster right now. They might wanna make a quick dumpster dive for Keelan Cole or David Moore. TOBIN & THE RIPPERS WINS!!!!! PICKLE RICKS!! vs SHARON ERTZ We're seriously considering trading Lamar to Rob for Josh Allen. Probly have to get one of those rookie QBs for this week too, but fuck it. Honestly, we don't even know if Rob would accept it tho. His team should be pretty good, but they're floundering at 0-4. Maybe he wants to shake thing up. why not right? PICKLE RICKS WINS!!!!! POLK HIGH PANTHERS vs ZOMBIE PATERNOS Hope the Paterno's weren't looking forward to AJ Brown coming back this week. He won't be playing this Sunday because he's such a fucking hard worker at practice. fucking piece of shit, goddamn it. Fuck. POLK HIGH PANTHERS WINS!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!!!