I've come across some interesting people since beginning my blog at age ten. Aldon Smith, the 49ers first round pick, once gave me an explicit set of life lessons, but one of my greatest stories came in San Francisco. It was late in August and late at night. I had snook out of my hotel room in the Westin St. Francis at midnight to type up an interview I had done the day before with Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Ben Zobrist. The Cincinnati Reds happened to be staying there the night before they were set to fly out. Brandon Phillips, a notoriously obnoxious player, walked up to me and said, "What up dawg." At midnight, half-asleep, I was still a tad star-struck. Following the trend, I went down the next day to use the WiFi and what do you know, the Arizona Diamondbacks had flown into to face the team that would go onto to win the World Series, the San Francisco Giants. I plopped down in the café area and watched Justin Upton walk by, and then his fellow outfielder, Chris Young. I was curious where they were going and then I found their destination.
Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, now an Oriole, Chris Young, and multiple personnel members gathered with their gadgets including iPad's and computers in a conference room with Nature Valley bars and fruit around them...drafting for fantasy football. The third baseman Mark Reynolds caught me spying and welcomed me in, so I found a seat next to Justin Upton, the only one there without a beer. We were looking through some of the players he was going to keep his eye on. Upton, one of baseball's best young players, had possession of the first pick overall. He was sold on drafting Titans halfback Chris Johnson, who came out with the worst rap song I've EVER heard. I decided to find out if Reynolds, who led the MLB in strikeouts in 2008, 2009, and 2010, needed any help because Justin Upton seemed to be fine and unaware if he could trust a 14 year old. Reynolds replied with one of my favorite comments of my short career, "No thanks. I need more help hitting than drafting," as he held a Budweiser. Sadly, Mark could've used my help. He finished the season batting .198.
Let's get on topic. Multiple news reports have been released saying that the NFL Lockout is coming to a close this month, as soon as this week. ESPN has said that the two parties are in "deal-making mode" and are "80-85 percent done." Good news for everyone? I think so. But if this isn't good news for you this means that you are either: