Bench Press finale: moving on, resolutions, and fantasy football

Watching the Texas-Penn State volleyball championship match Sunday night on ESPN2, I found myself wondering whether it would ever end. And then, almost as suddenly as it caught my attention, it was over. Boom, done.

I suppose life is like that: three and a half years ago, I set my nose to the grindstone at the Free Press. Now, I’ve accomplished every goal I set for my first year-round full-time job. It is time for me to move on.

I don’t have enough space to single out every single person who helped me out along the way, and it wouldn’t be fair to name a few names without running down the whole list of people who have contributed to my success during this time. Putting together a good sports section requires input from many, many people?and not only coaches, ADs, SIDs and official scorekeepers. There are also many secretaries and freelancers (and parents and fans) who deserve recognition?and more of it than I can give in this space.

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I?m not sure what I want to do next, but you can bet I?ll be writing about it on my web site,, which is basically just a blank page until New Year?s day. But if you?ve enjoyed my writing and want to keep up with whatever I end up doing, now you know how to find me in 2010 and beyond.

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I?ll pass on making New Year?s resolutions. Last time I made New Year?s resolutions, I ranted and raved about Luke Winn?s NCAA basketball rankings on Sports Illustrated?s website.

?Not only does he overrate Memphis by five or six spots, he explains the choice by pointing to the win over George?town,? I wrote. ?How does one win over one top-25 team make Memphis any better than Pittsburg or Wash?ing?ton State, let alone KU??

KU?later beat Memphis in that most-memorable overtime championship game. The moral of this story is, as always, that I?m an idiot. But thanks to Mario Chalmers, I feel fairly confident that I?m not quite as much of an idiot as Luke Winn.

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From that same New Year?s 2008 column:

?My new goal is to completely ignore all BCS games, controversies and useless adjustments to its obviously flawed rankings system….As far as I can tell, all that?s left is for people who don?t like the system to start ignoring the games. I?m pretty confident I can go at least eight years without watching even one ?championship series? game and I?m going to try for a full decade without the BCS.?

To the best of my recollection, the only time I?ve mentioned the BCS this year was in my Jan. 2, 2009 column:

?After the BCS presidents politely told Barack Obama that there would be no football playoff system, I started wondering whether anyone represents taxpayers when state-run super-universities broker huge television contracts.?

Because that was not about a rankings ?controversy? I feel pretty good about the integrity of my 10-year plan. I only watched two college football games on television this year: Ottawa vs. McKendree on Aug. 29 and Mid-Tennessee vs. Southern Miss on Sunday.

The Ottawa game was pretty entertaining, so ignoring the BCS might end up being a lot easier than I thought.

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When a friend of mine?a fellow former sports guy?invited me to join his fantasy football league, I couldn?t say no. I?ve been resisting the urge to write about how well my team has done in its first year in this league.

Gigawatt Ottawa Gig served notice with 180 points in Week 2, and scored 540 during a four-game win streak in the middle of the season. Gig has been rolling in the playoffs and is looking like a champion.

Is winning at fantasy football pure luck? Of course. Will I?take all the credit and spend the entire off-season tooting my own horn if I win the league title? Certainly. Are my teams in other leagues struggling because I spend all my time on the new one? Uh, sure, that?s probably it.

Will I stop interviewing myself now? Yes, yes I will.

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