The thinking chair

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Let's get this out of the way right now, and dispense with the pleasantries: I accept your nomination to be ... the author of this column.

OK, maybe it wasn't the greatest joke, but even as a political junkie, I'm glad the conventions are over, just in time for the football season. I do wonder, though, what would have happened had the Giants-Redskins game gone long ... for all those politicos in Washington D.C. who are avid 'Skins fans, I just wonder how many would have switched away from the game to see a nomination speech. Dicey planning there, folks.

But as it turned out, perhaps some of the Redskins were actually in Minnesota at the convention. Especially their linemen, on both sides of the ball. I have "gone long" on Clinton Portis this year in the sense that I expect him to have a fantastic season, but that didn't look great. The fact that Portis looked as solid as he did is good news for Portis owners, but perhaps dreams of a 1,700-yard season are a bit unrealistic. I also wondered aloud, several times, why Brandon Jacobs was getting so little preseason fantasy love. Almost every time, I got this answer:

"You've obviously never owned him."

Which, surprisingly enough, is true. And although he does run upright (sometimes, like on Thursday night, straight through a defender like LaRon Landry), who got "poster-ized" in the modern sense -- he's already a YouTube classic for being completely owned on national TV. They say Jacobs is a huge injury risk, and frankly, he didn't hit the end zone in Week 1, so from a fantasy perspective it wasn't even that great of a game. But he looked rock solid, and those of you who grabbed him late (he went in the 4th round in a draft I was in on Tuesday) are smiling pretty wide these days.

Hey, here's something: Did you know that Ty Wigginton has hit 11 HR in the last month? I own the guy, and that number surprised me. That's tied with Miguel Cabrera for the most in the league during that time frame. Do what you will with this information.

The big news in baseball is not, surprisingly, Wigginton, but instead the advent of instant replay, which held up a home run for Alex Rodriguez (who I guess we're supposed to like again) in its first use. Now, I'm a cynic by nature, but I have to say -- what took so long? The NFL first introduced replay in 1986. What were you doing back in '86? That's 22 years ago, for those of you who can't count. Howard Jones and The Bangles were some of the most popular bands in the country, and The Cosby Show was in its prime. Since then, baseball has just thought ... what, exactly? That four umpires standing around talking about what they did or didn't see would somehow be better than actually watching the play on a video?

Perhaps the L in MLB stands for Luddite. (Look it up if you must.)

Is it time for a check-in on the Big Brother household? Since they're down to the Final Four, I think it's as good a time as any. We have the following people left in the house: Keesha, who actually spells her name that way, and is possibly the definition of a "Monet," and yes, she works at Hooters. She seems to have done some work to get here, but I can't get past the fact that she looks as if she's trying to diagram a sentence in her head most of the time. Utterly confused. We also have retiree Jerry, the ex-marine who fell into the pool this week and talks as if he's Harvey Fierstein after smoking a pack of Pall Malls. Then there's Memphis, the "mix-ologist" who wears V-neck tee shirts that plunge down dangerously close to his navel and has managed to make a deal with all of the rest of the folks in the house. That includes Dan, who has played the game as well as anyone in the house this season, and most everyone else in the history of the game. I'm not sure I'd want to hang out with Dan, but he's amusing, and he's smart -- and he's therefore almost assuredly not going to win. But no worries -- Survivor is almost here!

Back to football -- I kept seeing folks pimping out Joey Galloway for Week 1 week because he has such great success against his opponent, the Saints. I never quite get this, and although Galloway was a fine start overall, I don't get why his history against a given team makes any difference. Teams change their defensive players every year, they change their schemes almost as frequently, and if there was any advantage, it was that the Saints play on turf. I know that certain players have better records against certain teams -- but I think of that as a statistical anomaly. For the same reason, I never draft based on "strength of schedule." If I did, I would have avoided matchups against the Ravens last year -- and the Ravens turned out to be one of the WORST fantasy defenses in the entire league. You should definitely be playing matchups, but do it based on what teams are going to be on the actual field this weekend, not in years past.

And here's another thing -- I'm fortunate enough to be getting the entire slate of NFL games this year, because I married the coolest woman on the planet. But there were only three late games this Sunday. (Plus, of course, the evening game and then two games on Monday night. God, I love football.) But why is it so imbalanced? This happens all the time, when there are 10 games in the morning and three in the afternoon. (And yes, I obviously live on the West Coast.)

Look, I know it's hard to work those schedules together, but this is clearly a bias against there being too many games on at 4:00 PM on the East Coast. I know we have the sun, the clean air (I'm in NORTHERN California, mind you), and the beautiful people out here, but I need more than three afternoon football games! I deserve it!

Remember the days when you could only watch two games a day? So do I -- and I don't want to.