"I think Kiefer Sutherland could narrate me taking a dump and it’d be epic."
I’ve become slightly more salty on Twitter of late, especially when it comes to the nickname of one Washington DC football franchise. I’m ready for it to be gone forever, and I’d be perfectly fine with all Native American-themed team name being replaced with something a little more sensitive to humanity. So, like Braveheart without the brave part and the Mel Gibson crazy face, I went to pick a fight with one Fantasy Acumen. We’re going to start like usual with the normal interview questions and segue into a hangout later this week, night depending on how drunk I am after the next U.S. World Cup match.
Before we get started, are you a cleverly-designed alias for Daniel Snyder? Haha, no. My roommate at grad school at William & Mary was a huge DC fan (see, I’m playing nice) and he HATED Snyder. As an Eagles (the now-iconic bald American mascot) fan, I hope Snyder NEVER dies. [Zach note: There are people who still “like” Jerry Jones, but nobody’s on Daniel Snyder’s side anymore.]
I didn’t think so. What’s the story behind the Fantasy Acumen “brand”? Do you have a fantasy football writing background? As of today, I’ve never published an article. I was “pursued” by a site last year but it was bad timing on my part. I received an email from Skyllzone a few days ago (as I assume all users of the site did) looking for a few writers. For me, that would be a dream job. Writing about drafting all season long? Sign me up! And if you don’t know about Skyllzone, look it up now. Completely free and also completely free. And their checks cash at the bank:) You’re welcome.
Is Chip Kelly your permanent man crush? What can the Eagles do in 2014? Like most Eagles fans I made more than my fair share of “I hate fat Andy Reid “ comments. But in truth, I knew he was a solid coach for the most part. However,, Chip understands that he has one of the better RBs in the league (yeah Adrian, he’s better than you *today*) and knows he should use him often. Also, if your system can make Saint Nick a pro-bowler, then you get a big thumbs up from me for year one. Of course , as an Eagles fan, I reserve the right to boo Chip, Santa and (insert Deity name here).
Is it hard to find an Eagles bar in Elizabeth City, NC? Are there some quality breweries in your area? Not sure how far EC is from Asheville but it’s not like NC is huge. Elizabeth City is a quiet small town (named a city) about 45 minutes south of Norfolk, VA and 45 minutes west of the OBX. No Eagles bars and truthfully only one quality bar in the place. We do have an organic grocery store that sells Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale. I’ll splurge for a sixer for our hangout. [Zach note: Get the good stuff.]
Is there a fantasy league you’re in that you want to win the most? Sadly, my work league from Ernst & Young (started in ‘03) folded. I never won that league. NEVER. I made at least the semi’s every year but one (Don’t drink and drive or you might not be able to draft/manage your team for a while). I won at baseball and hockey in those work leagues, and I know quite little in comparison to football fantasy wise. I am cursed:)
What’s your day job? As I type this I am a “retired” tax accountant. I worked for E&Y and, to be honest, had a mental breakdown. After a couple years of getting my stuff together, I joined PricewaterhouseCoopers. In my first year there (NYC), I was mugged and woke up in the ER. Needless to say, that didn’t end the way I’d have liked. Mental health issues are something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. Anxiety and depression suck. But if I’m being truthful, given I smoke a pack and a half a day, the Big C would be worse.
OK, the Washington Redskins: What’s behind your assertion that most people are getting in a tizzy over the name because of the “word police”? My thought was that most people in NC (and probably the US) hear Redskins and don’t think anything about it. I believe that most people have felt that way for years. Only recently , after non-Native Americans, have pushed the name changed has this become an issue. First, my stance is NOT: a) the term isn’t racist b) they shouldn’t change the name or c) screw Native Americans. After discussing this with my mom, I think you’ll be interested to hear my stance/reasons today. [Zach note: We will discuss this topic and I dearly hope a lot more in this week’s upcoming Google + Hangout. Stay tuned.]
Do you plan to get involved in DFS this year? Did you play any last year? I’ve been playing DFS for a couple years now. I’m a very small time player cash wise but I love it. I’m playing baseball right now. Rotogrinders is my info site because unlike football, I *really* need the help with baseball. But with their info, I’ve been able to make a few hundred this season. Doesn’t sound like much but given I’ve only deposited $20 it’s actually quite solid. I think that if I had a higher bankroll I’d be successful.
The spouse question: Does your wife/sig other/girlfriend have any issues with your football obsession I was engaged earlier in life. No current girlfriends. I’d assume that any lady would be stupid to put up with my obsession. And you’re right, it is an obsession. [Zach note: If this interview doesn’t get you groupies, nothing will.]
Football or sex: Which do you think of more? Ah, the question we all see in your interviews and think “damn that’s a toughie.” My first thought was “Will JMac step up? Can Ri-Ri improve? What about our rookie from Vandy?” I guess that answers the question. [Zach note: Your dedication is admirable.]
What’s your usual Sunday football tradition? I wake up early (for me). I always watch Fantasy Football Now on ESPN. I’m on my laptop the whole time. Come 1pm it’s on. I watch every minute I can. If my Eagles are on, I don’t switch the channel even during commercials. I used to pay for Sunday Ticket on DirecTV. Given my current cash inflow problem, I had to give it up. But there’s nothing better (other than maybe sex) than flipping the channel to see a Jamaal Charles TD run from mid-field.
Which football writers are on your must-read list? Obviously the majors. With the exception of Nate Zegura (and one I’m sure I’m blanking on) I don’t like to read the CBS guys. I need to give a shout out (I’m too old to type that) to Matthew Berry. I’m normally not an asskisser but if not for him, I wouldn’t have named myself Acumen. I mean “Talented Mr. Roto?” You’ve got to have big ones to name yourself that. I may be lacking in other departments, but I’ve got two really big ones. Hence, Acumen.
As for twitter guys I read/follow…Matt Rittle, The Artist formerly know as Fantasytrade411, Josh from 4for4, Dexter and his entire Library, The Street Free Agent Brian, JKerwin, etc. Too many guys (and wonderful women) to list.
Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football. Right now I’m watching Friday Night Lights on netflix. [Zach note: I’m jealous.] I know that’s still football but wow. I don’t know how I missed this show. Episode 11 Season 1 is playing. Seriously, wow. Given my unemployment, I watch a lot of TV. If you haven’t seen Tatianna Maslany’s tour de’ force on Orphan Black these past two seasons, do so. If you missed Fargo or The Americans this past spring, fix that.
Is there anything I failed to ask that you’d like to address? Ladd Davies and his kid. I think we should recognize when people give their hard earned money for a good cause. I stopped doing twitter for a few months. I was too addicted. So, if there’s something I missed with Madi, please let me know Zach.
Let me know about any sites/podcasts/contests that you’d like to ‘plug’. Read every interview Zach’s done. Somehow he’s interviewed the best in the business. [Zach note: So sweet, this one.] And we’ll close with clear eyes and open hearts. Oh, and E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Follow Fantasy Acumen, because like Nuke LaLoosh, even he doesn’t know where it’s going.