Smoke ‘Em, Pass ‘Em – Week 12
Editor’s Note: As always, Ken’s work features occasionally colorful and crass language. I hope we can all laugh and wince through it together like any other family gathering, but his flavorful word gravy may not be for everyone. If you prefer your mashed potatoes plain and your turkey dry, consider skipping this post.
This week I signed a lease to build a 40-acre solar garden on the family farm. It was a decision my wife and I didn’t take lightly. We talked to people. I asked the farmer and family friend who has been renting our land whether we should do it. He told me I’d be crazy not to.
In the end I’d be lying if I said one of the major reasons wasn’t purely financial. But, as is often the case, there’s more to that story. When I took over the finances of the 110-acre farm in 2014, a complete mess fell in my lap. There was IRS trouble, a foreclosure looming, and unpaid property taxes. These troubles led to several liens on the property. It was like a John Cougar Mellencamp song come to life. I have no idea if the solar gardens are the best option long term, but short term there was no choice but to sign the contract. This is probably what Washington thought when it signed Alex Smith.
Our other option was to sell land off the back-half in order to clear the books. This thought kept me up at nights. I had been given this, passed down generations from 1940, when my great grandfather settled here. My grandparents, who grew up during the depression, had worked the land as farmers. My father worked as a farmer. And here we are squandering it due to mismanagement brought on by selfishness, which is sometimes just another word for stupidity.
I won’t delve into the concept of privilege and the ridiculous luck of being born with a lottery ticket in my lap. People get touchy when you suggest they might’ve been born on third base.
But it’s a wild coincidence to me that during Thanksgiving week I signed this lease. If I were a person who believed things happen for a reason—and I am—I’d be so full of gratitude I’d scarcely be able to see the screen for the tears in my eyes. Excuse me while I gather myself.
Enough of reality, let’s see what we have to be thankful for in Week 12 of fantasy life.
JAMEIS WINSTON vs. SF
Crab Legs have been added to the menu. Melt the butter and get the latex gloves, sweetheart. San Francisco has been middle of the pack against the pass. They’ve managed to beat the Raiders, Lions, and Cowboys, which is as meaningful as beating Mike McCarthy in checkers. Winston has a cushy schedule in front of him the rest of the way. It’s like he’s been giving this incredible opportunity and should cherish it and not cavalierly throw it away. Good for him, history proves even if he squanders it, he’ll get plenty more opportunities.
GUS EDWARDS vs. OAK
Who the fuck is Gus Edwards? *Reads this*
“He often answers questions with the brevity of a tweet—140 characters or less.”
Hold the overpriced cell-phone. He speaks in tweets? Give me all the mashed potatoes. All the pumpkin pie. And all the Gus Edwards.
“Celebrate?” Edwards said. “Nah, it’s just one game. We’re in the season. We don’t have time to celebrate.”
He is so grounded. And the low man always wins.
John Harbaugh said: “It wasn’t like this happened in the last week or two, it’s been probably two months that he’s been doing it.”
Why didn’t anyone bother to tell me when I had FAAB?
KENYAN DRAKE at MIA
It’s Thanksgiving. It’s a season of hope despite knowing the journey was full of hardship. It’s a season of compassion. Of forgiveness. Of knowing that if you have endured, you shall be rewarded. You reap what you sow, as the Pilgrim said kindly to the native when he handed him a blanket. We have to believe in it—collectively. It has taken everything in my power to not lede with “Frank Gore’s parents were actual Pilgrims.”
DJ MOORE vs. SEA
Was this the breakout we were waiting for? Were Moore’s eight targets from game flow or a sign of the times? Why does this team always fail to stay consistently good? They lost to Detroit. That’s sadder than spending Thanksgiving with Jason Witten. Witten probably doesn’t like deviled eggs. And he eats his Cool Whip with pumpkin pie. Keep your Cool Whip away from my pumpkin pie, Jason, you oafish invalid. Anyway, I don’t care if Carolina is consistent, just throw to DJ more. These puns were written in the same stars that guided the Pilgrims over the Atlantic.
TYLER BOYD vs. CLE
Without AJ Green, the Red Rocket has been brutal. But Cleveland has given up the third-most yards in the league through the air. And Boyd got 11 targets last week, though his line disappointed (4-71). Marv Lewis is the most thankful dude on the planet. 2003-2018. 16 years. Seven winning ones. Or, as I see it, 7-9.
AUSTIN HOOPER at NO
He’s had double-digit targets in three of six. And this game has catchup all over it like a Patrick Mahomes steak. I didn’t really want to do that joke. I need a weed break. And I’m back. My wife told me to read this article. I’ll save you a click by telling you scientists believe they have narrowed down the worst year ever on earth for humans. It was 536, when a volcanic explosion caused a worldwide blackout of the sun. Six years later the fucking plague showed up. Quit bitching that OJ Howard has ruined your fantasy season. Imagine having a puss sore on your dick one day and dying a week later covered in them while staring upward into an ashy, sunless abyss, clutching your dead wife’s cold, skeletal hand in yours. Happy Thanksgiving.
New Orleans Saints D/ST vs. ATL
Traditionally these have been shootouts. And I suppose that would be the safe play. But New Orleans has been balling out on defense for four straight weeks. They have seven picks in their last four. And Matt Ryan is that annoying person hanging Christmas lights in mid-October because he’s just so generous. Here’s hoping he brings some gifts.
MATTHEW STAFFORD vs. CHI
Trubisky Business not playing worries me, but my faith in Stafford tanking outweighs any extraneous circumstances. Kerryon Johnson is also likely to sit. This means Blount, who’s more like a Roach at this point in his career, and Theo Riddick Bowe (“Before and After for $2,000, Alex”), will be headlining. I’ll take Mack, who plays like his head is on fire and he sweats gasoline, to get this underachieving Fat Bro on the run. Frat Bro? No. I know what I said.
PEYTON BARBER vs. SF
I just won’t believe in his Week 11 line of 18-106-1. I choose a different adventure, please. Barber is ruining games like Cool Whip ruins pies. What’s more gross? Having to roster and play Barber or giving Jerry Jones his gravy and mashed potato bath after the Thanksgiving game?
ITO SMITH at NO
This team might be well-served to try something else. This McCarthyism they’ve subscribed to is not serving them well. Just try something new. How bad could it be? They’ve lost to the Cowboys and Browns. This franchise should hire Marv Lewis in 2032 when Cincinnati finally fires him. Hopefully Marv continues to throw to Julio, though.
DONTE MONCRIEF at BUF
It was a nice little run. It’s time to let go. That’s the thing about life. Sometimes you have to leave things behind you. Don’t look back. What’s behind you cannot help you now. You know what you need from back there. Take it with you and surge forward. The whole world is waiting for you. I tell you this weed some Chief ‘Crief shit.
KENNY GOLLADAY vs. CHI
I want no part of this game unless I got the Bears’ defense or maybe their running backs. I definitely don’t want Chase Daniel. Jay Cutler don’t care if he’s played in Nagy’s offense or not. If Daniel is any good, we can find out afterward. Hint: he won’t be. And I definitely don’t want Trey Burton. More like Zero Burton.
JEFF HUERMANN vs. DEN
This was never a thing. And it’s not gonna be a thing. Stop it. The only thing you should ever be searching for are pure moments, as Chris Wesseling tweeted during the Rams-Chiefs game. And that’s what you should be in search of this week. Seriously, I know I fuck around a lot, but I mean it when I say we are all in this together. Be thankful for your family and friends. And respect each and every person who is striving everyday to just survive. Be kind. Enjoy yourself when you can. And be very thankful volcanic ash hasn’t blacked out the sun and your neighbors aren’t dead in their huts from a fucking plague.