Don’t be a twit
I’ve been called it since I was a kid.
My grandfather, Grandad, died a decade ago Tuesday.
As I pondered that anniversary, I found myself reminiscing about some of our conversations growing up.
Grandad was one of my greatest mentors and had a big influence in shaping the man I have become. Still 10 years later, the man continues to influence me in ways I never could have imagined.
He used to warn against being a twit.
I didn’t listen.
A week ago, I became a twit. Or for those who are unfamiliar with the term, I joined Twitter. (@KorteClarkKent)
It’s something I’ve debated doing for the last couple of years but held off for a number of reasons.
For those who have read me for any length of time know that brevity is not my strong suit (see attached column). 140 characters? It takes 140 characters just to begin to set up my lede to a story. I can’t say hello on the phone in 140 characters or less. My texts to people take two or three messages before I get to the point.
Secondly, I didn’t want to publicly acknowledge that I was a twit.
But thankfully I’m not alone in the twit department.
This last week I was reminded of that in three different instances.
Let’s start with the officials at the Wisconsin-Arizona State football game. For those who didn’t see it, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave attempted to kneel in the middle of the field at the ASU 15 to set up the Badgers for a potential game-winning field goal. He stumbled in an attempt to kneel the ball down in the middle of the field and set the ball down. ASU players, despite there being whistles saying otherwise, piled on the ball. The officials then acted like my daughter Hope when we’re trying to go somewhere: no sense of urgency. Since it was a “run” play, the clock is designed to run. And it ran while the pile was cleared and the officials set the ball. When it was said and done, Wisconsin couldn’t get the snap off to try to spike the ball and the game ended.
The Pac-12 didn’t call them twits but alluded to as much, with commissioner Larry Scott saying the officials “fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed.”
The second twit that came to mind was Bo Pelini. This week, an audio recording of the Nebraska coach came out where he used some not-exactly Sunday School words to tell off the Nebraska faithful. Granted the recording was 2 years old and came after a come-from-behind victory against Ohio State, but in this day and age, you can’t say such things.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with former Wynford boys basketball coach Rob Sheldon this spring at the Wyandot Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
“Had social media been around when I was coaching, I would have been fired a hundred times,” he said to me.
To say Sheldon was intense in his coaching style is as obvious as saying as Michigan didn’t play very well last week against Akron.
Sheldon would often rant for a few minutes about things after a loss before giving us official comments for the paper. But he never once said anything negative about his fan base, at least to this reporter.
In the day and age of social media and instant access to everything, you can’t say things like Pelini did two years ago.
And if you believe his apology he released Monday, then you are a twit too.
The last twit came to mind after I had finished this column. And that would go to the Browns’ Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and the collective Browns upper management.
Trent Richardson was dealt to the Colts Wednesday for a first round pick because as Banner said “Right now, based on how we’re building this team for sustainable success, we’re going to be aggressive and do what it takes to assemble a team that consistently wins.”
Never mind the fact this guy is just in his second year in the league. This is not a Hershel Walker trade at the end of his career. This is a potential All-Pro the team just traded away. A guy who was a No. 3 pick in the draft last year, for a first round pick next year that at best will be in the late teens because Indy will be in the hunt for the playoffs all year, if they don’t make it. With the Richardson add, it could push them over the top.
I’m not a Browns fan, but I feel for the fans and the bunch of twits they have running their beloved team.
So that leads into the fantasy discussion. If Richardson is on your fantasy team, you have to be stoked because the Colts have far more weapons and a better quarterback that will take the pressure off Richardson to carry the offense. Defenses can’t just stack the box like they did with the Browns, daring Weeden to beat them.
So Richardson’s value should increase.
His replacement stands to potentially be Willis McGahee, who was in Cleveland Wednesday night to take a physical. The 31-year-old back was passed over by the Giants last week when they signed Brandon Jacobs instead. McGahee will be the starter over Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey, the only other backs on the Browns roster. While he won’t produce at the level Richardson did, he did have some solid numbers the last two years for the Broncos. Last year, in 10 games he rushed for 731 yards and caught 26 passes for 221 yards. He had four scores before he was injured for the remainder of the year.
In 2011, he had 1,199 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving with five scores. He doesn’t have the mileage of most 31-year-old backs, but he won’t replicate those numbers with the Browns. But, he should be more solid than other starting backs out there who are in time shares. McGahee won’t be doing a lot of sharing time. But he’ll run into the same issue that Richardson did.
Stephen Jackson, Ray Rice, Eddie Lacy and Reggie Bush all suffered injuries this past weekend.
Jackson has already been ruled out for the Falcons this week, and possibly another 1-3 weeks, leaving the chore to Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. Rodgers had 11 carries for 17 yards and another 28 yards on four catches. Snelling had 60 yards on six touches but he scored a touchdown. Rodgers was getting more of the work with Snelling getting the carry in the red zone. We’ve been here before with these two when Michael Turner was hurt in years past. Rodgers is the guy you want of the two, but really only as a flex option at this point.
The other three backs: Rice, Lacy and Bush all are up in the air at this point if they’ll play or not this weekend.
Bush is no stranger to missing games, having played 16 games only twice in his seven-year career. If the knee injury he has holds him out, Joique Bell is a real interesting option. In his limited work, he’s amassed 164 yards on 24 touches and two TDs. Even if Bush plays, his workload might reduce a bit and if it does, Bell stands to prosper. The Lions have shown a liking to throwing to the backs out of the backfield already, similar to how the Saints deploy Darren Sproles. The Lions play the Redskins this week and the ‘Skins just gave up 132 yards rushing and a score to James Starks, who is not as good as either of those Lions’ backs.
The reason Starks got the work is because Lacy left his game Sunday after one play, a 10-yard gain, with a concussion. These injuries are tough to judge as to when a player will return, but in his place, Starks proved, at least for a game, that he can do the job. This week’s foe, the Bengals, will be a little more stout defensively than the Redskins as Cincy has yielded just over 62 yards rushing a game through two weeks. He’s worth the handcuff, but not sure how long he’ll be needed.
Rice has a hip injury and Bernard Pierce is ready to go if Rice can’t this week against the Texans. Coach John Harbaugh has already said the team will use Pierce like it uses Rice if the star back can’t play this weekend. As a Rice owner, you should already own Pierce, particularly in a keeper league. The Ravens are one of the few teams that don’t really employ a time-share strategy in the backfield so Pierce has little worry for competition if he gets the call.
A couple other pickups of note: Eddie Royal and DeAndre Hopkins. Royal has returned to fantasy relevance, at least in the first two weeks, for the Chargers. He’s had 10 catches for 114 yards and five touchdowns. A twit would tell you he’s on pace to score 40 TDs this year. A realist would tell you he might score three more the rest of the year. But something else to remember is that the Chargers have been searching for a consistent No. 1 receiver since Vincent Jackson left. Royal just might be that guy.
Hopkins was a trendy sleeper in the preseason and last week he showed why. He had seven catches for 117 yards and a score. With Andre Johnson’s status for the week unknown due to a concussion, Hopkins could have those high numbers again. If he’s still available in your league, he’s definitely worth picking up.
Don’t be a twit and miss out on some of these guys.
Aaron Korte is the fantasy football writer for the A-T.
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You can follow him on Twitter @KorteClarkKent.