Fantasy Land: Here’s what ‘Pickles’ has going on

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First Posted: 10/28/2014

So “Pickles” likes the column.

“Pickles,” a/k/a Ricky McDaniels, is in the Colonel’s Fantasy League in Plymouth. He picked 12th (last) in the draft and managed to put together a formidable team. He is leading his division.

This means that Fantasy success is not always predicated upon high draft picks. It depends on your astute ability to select the best available players when it’s your turn to choose. And it’s also important — perhaps even more important — to be in a league where some of the other franchise holders don’t know what they’re doing.

Not that this is the case in the Colonel’s League. These 12 franchise holders appear to be of reasonable intelligence, despite the fact that they all were raised in the same general area.

Some of the guys study real hard and it doesn’t do them much good. Others just react when it’s their turn to pick a player.

As someone told me at our newsroom draft, “You have a real good team if this was 2009.”

That comment hurt, especially when I sincerely believed I had the best team after the draft ended. Turns out, I was wrong. The league guru was correct, evidenced by my dismal 1-7 record despite having Peyton Manning as my QB.

Balance, I have found, is the key.

Picking players who you may have never heard of is another.

Actually researching stats and things like targets, touches, yardage gained, and completion percentages really does matter. I never realized just how much until halfway through the 2014 season.

So getting back to “Pickles” and his liking of this column. I appreciate that. He made a point to educate everybody in the Colonel’s League about it and perhaps they have managed to search Weekender to find it and read it. But it’s far more likely they would get distracted by several other features encountered along the way.

I am humbled by “Pickles” taking the time to tell all that he really enjoys reading this column. It means a lot when people you have known all your life respect what you do. And “Pickles” is the life of the league, offering poignant, informative and hysterical comments during our weekly strategy sessions.

It’s guys like “Pickles” that make the Fantasy experience fun. We have other characters in the league and each brings to the table their very own brand of Fantasy logic and planning. And it takes place in Old Shawnee, our hometown.

We compete each week against each other, but we aren’t all that concerned about who finishes first. Oops, that was a slight misstatement. We really do care. We all want to win. After all, we’re competing against each other and have been most of our lives, from Little League fields, to basketball courts to gridirons. And now it’s the Fantasy arena.

It gives each of us one more chance to get the best of the other guy. And along the way, we have fun, just like we did in the good old days.

In Plymouth, Pennsylvania, red and black were the colors we let fly. “Shawnee Against the World” was the town slogan. We all have that hometown pride branded on our hearts.

That’s why it’s always good to get back to the homeland. To see the guys and make our weekly changes.

It’s called Fantasy Football, but in this league, it’s a ritual in our hometown.

A bunch of Shawnee Indians still playing a game, competing still.