Thursday Thoughts: Playing fantasy and living in a fantasy are two different things

It’s another Thursday Thoughts, and I have a confession to make. After swearing off fantasy sports a few years ago I have been once again been tempted by the demons of my past successes and could not resist the urge any longer, and have jumped back into the game. That lowlife scoundrel and occasional podcast guest Matt Medoff started a NASCAR fantasy league, and like a heartless bastard waving a Kit Kat bar at a fat guy on a diet, tempted me to the point where I could not resist any longer. I feel another tumble to rock bottom is in my future.

OK, perhaps that’s being a touch overdramatic.

In reality, he asked expecting me to decline, which I did pretty quickly. But then I asked him what does one have to do in a NASCAR fantasy league, and since it’s just picking five drivers (and a spare) plus a few other things, and essentially doesn’t require more than two minutes of my attention per week, I figured I’d give it a shot. Plus Matty named the league after our podcast, which is dirty pool if you ask me.

The reason I gave up fantasy sports to begin with wasn’t the massive amount of time I spent on it per week, although that was certainly a consideration. It was that I found myself rooting against my favorite teams and players. I couldn’t enjoy the games anymore. I want to root for my teams and my guys, and fantasy sports was taking away from that. So I decided to go cold turkey and just stopped playing them.

But that isn’t an issue in NASCAR fantasy. I’m a casual fan, and while I have a few drivers I pay more attention to than others, I don’t really have a favorite that I could potentially be rooting against. Plus I don’t expect to do well. I don’t know enough about the drivers to have to spend time comparing them, I don’t know who drives what kind of car, nor who are teammates with each other. I’m literally just picking names.

That kind of worked out for the Daytona 500, where I managed to pick the winner Michael McDowell. But most everything else I picked ended up wrong and I ended up fourth out of the five in our league, but I’m OK with that.

The funny thing is the league leader is podcast co-host Hokey, who doesn’t know much more about NASCAR than I do. So it is possible to do well week to week just kind of winging it. Plus after one race the guy in last place actually goes to races. So even though it’s just one week, I get to laugh at an “expert”. I’m pretty sure when this is all over he’ll have the last laugh.

And I’m OK with that too.

Local Collegiate Results
The Holy Cross Women’s hockey team fell to the University of Connecticut 1-0 Friday evening at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Connecticut. Jada Brenon made 38 saves on the night, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Huskies would score the game’s only goal with 14 minutes to play in the contest. In Men’s hockey, Anna Maria opened their season at Hanaway Rink on the campus of Plymouth State (NH) and scored the first goal of the game but still dropped a 4-1 contest.

Saturday saw the rematch of the two Friday contests, this time with Plymouth State visiting Horgan Arena in Auburn to face the AMCATS, and Anna Maria goaltender Julius Huset made 44 saves but got no help from his offense in a 2-0 loss to the Panthers. The two squads are scheduled to play another pair of games next weekend. The Holy Cross women’s hockey team lost to the University of Connecticut 4-2 Saturday evening at the Hart Center. The Crusaders would take the lead early in the first before the Huskies scored twice in the second to claim a 2-1 advantage. Bryn Saarela’s goal late in the second would tie things up heading into the final frame, but UConn had just a bit too much firepower as Natalie Snodgrass would net the game-winner three and a half minutes into the period. The Huskies would add another for a little insurance which led to the 4-2 victory.

In college basketball on Saturday, the Holy Cross women’s basketball team pulled away in the second half to defeat Colgate 61-40 at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, NY. Four Crusaders finished in double figures, led by freshman Bronagh Power-Cassidy, who had 13 points to go with five rebounds and four assists. Junior Avery LaBarbera had 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Junior Oluchi Ezemma had 10 points and nine rebounds, along with two blocks and two steals, and junior Madison Demski finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Austin Butler posted his 10th career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, as the Holy Cross Men’s basketball team recorded an 82-65 victory over Boston University at the Hart Center. Junior forward Gerrale Gates finished the day with 13 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Sophomore guard Ryan Wade added 13 points and three rebounds, while senior forward Matt Faw chipped in with 10 points. Butler hit the 20-point mark for the second time this season, with both of those games coming against Boston University. Gates has now scored in double-figures in all 11 games he has played in a Holy Cross uniform.

In Men’s basketball on Sunday, Junior forward Gerrale Gates put up 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Crusaders were defeated by the Terriers 86-68 at Case Gymnasium on the campus of Boston University. Senior guard Austin Butler chipped in 12 points and two rebounds, while freshman guard R.J. Johnson added 12 points and two assists. In Women’s hockey, a high-scoring third period that featured two ties and two lead changes finished in favor of the University of Southern Maine Huskies thanks to a late goal by Huskies freshman Georgie Snow as USM defeated the Becker College Hawks on Sunday night 5-3. Shrewsbury’s Kylian Kelly had an assist in the loss for Becker.

Boston Teams This Week
New Jersey @ Bruins, 7pm
Atlanta @ Celtics, 7:30pm
Philadelphia @ Bruins, 3pm
Celtics @ New Orleans, 3:30pm
Celtics @ Dallas, 7:30pm
Celtics @ Altanta, 7:30pm

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Thursday Joe Pavelski goal

Thursday Tomas Hertl two goals

Friday Patrick McNally goal

Saturday Patrick McNally OT goal

Saturday Tomas Hertl goal

Saturday Barclay Goodrow goal

Saturday Joe Pavelski goal

Sunday Brodie Reid goal

Monday Lane Scheidl goal

Monday Logan Couture goal

Wednesday Nic Pierog two goals

An apology? I don’t think so.
In case people thought otherwise, my intent was to pay exactly no attention at all to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl victory parade. The fact it was held on the waterfront in boats didn’t pique my interest one iota because, well, been there, done that. I was a bit amused at the video of an obviously drunk Tom Brady tossing the Lombardi Trophy over to a teammate in another boat, but to be honest I never really gave it a second thought.

That was until Lorraine Grohs stepped to the microphone.

It seems Grohs is the daughter of Greg Grohs, a silversmith at Tiffany and Co. who made the first Lombardi Trophy. And she was not happy about it being tossed from one boat to another. “It takes a lot of work, a lot of hard work,” she told Tampa Bay’s ABC Action News. “A lot of hours go into it. It just really upset me that this trophy was disgraced and disrespected being thrown as if it was a real football. I didn’t sleep for the past two nights because of this, I was that upset. Because I know the passion that goes into this trophy and how my dad and all his silversmiths are so proud to make this. I personally would like an apology, not just to me and my family and the other silversmiths, but to the fans.”

Now I suppose if her father asked for an apology, then maybe that might be something legitimate. But her? She has no actual connection to the trophy. Her father made a sports trophy, not a monument. And it’s hardly the first time the Lombardi Trophy was tossed around. I also seem to recall Rob Gronkowski causing a Patriots’ Lombardi Trophy to be dented while he used it as a bat. What I don’t recall was Grohs demanding an apology for the trophy actually being damaged.

Funny that, eh?

At least the Buccaneers seem to understand how silly the request was, with general manager Jason Licht responding to the video on Twitter telling Grohs to “lighten up” using a Sgt. Hulka meme taken from the movie “Stripes”. And that seems to be one the most polite reply she’s gotten so far. I looked for a few moments to see if I could find anyone with any sort of connection to the NFL, or sports in general, that agreed with her. It won’t be much of a spoiler for me to say I couldn’t find a single one.

I’m guessing that in her head Lorraine Grohs thought what she was saying was important. Heck, we’re all guilty of saying things that we think are profound but turn out to be incredibly silly. And I’m sure at some level she really is upset about a couple of drunk ball players tossing around a trophy her dad had helped make years ago. But sometimes before you speak you need to think, and it fairly obvious she didn’t think at all about what the reaction would be to her coming out and asking for an apology.

And besides, in comparison to what’s happened to the Stanley Cup over the years, the Lombardi Trophy being tossed around doesn’t seem like anything to worry about.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Former Worcester hockey pros: where are they playing now, 2021 edition
The International’s new ownership sets high prices for membership
Nothing But Shenanigans Podcast: The Shenanigans of making bad trades and left turns

Not so big finish
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