You guys. Oh my God. The last email of this column is just… you’ll see. Just wait and see.

But before that happens, we’ve got a rare example of me actually crunching some numbers, what to do when a birthday occurs early in a relationship, reconnecting with old crushes, and more. Also, no herpes this week! Yay!

Read on:

Captain Caveman,
Football: I get to keep one of these three guys (already keeping Rodgers) and draft pick doesn’t matter: Fred Jackson, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden. Leaning Run DMC but wanted to get your thoughts/stamp of approval.

This is an interesting choice. All three are excellent running backs that you likely won’t regret keeping (unless one of them, say, rushes for 83 yards on 12 carries in two games before tearing an ACL, not that I’m talking about anyone specifically JAMAAL CHARLES). If we can acknowledge that Jackson is a lesser talent than DMC or Charles, let’s look at a head-to-head breakdown of the two younger backs. They both entered the league in 2008, and since then:

Charles:
G    GS    Rush Att    Rush Yds    Avg    Rec    Rec Yds   Avg     TDs
49   19     499            3027           6.1      117    1046        8.9      18

McFadden:
G    GS    Rush Att    Rush Yds    Avg    Rec    Rec Yds   Avg     TDs
45   32     553            2627           4.8     116     1191        10.3     20

Now listen, Charles’s injury burned me last season — probably cost me the championship in one of my leagues — so I’d love to say, “Fuck that guy.” But the truth of the matter is that Jamaal’s a singular talent who ran the ball better than anyone in the NFL for two years, but got limited touches because his coach at the time was more interested in showing everyone he was in charge than actually letting his most talented players win football games. Holy shit do I hate Todd Haley.

ANYWAY, my point is this: DMC has a habit of getting injured every year (not as bad as Charles last year, but still). Pay attention to Chiefs camp this summer: if the beat reporters talk sunnily about Charles’s explosiveness and full recovery, he might be worth keeping over McFadden. If you have to make the decision now, I’d probably lean towards McFadden.

Sex: Started seeing this girl a few weeks ago. Things are going really well (great sex, she’s actually somewhat normal, etc.) and I’m definitely interested in keeping this going. Her birthday is coming up in a couple weeks and my plan is just to take her out for a nice dinner and not buy her anything else. Is this acceptable or will she be expecting a gift of some sort? I should also point out that I’m in grad school and I’m dirt poor so, if you think I should buy her something, do you have any ideas on what the hell I should get this girl?
All help is greatly appreciated.
Chet “Rocket” Steadman

FLOWERS. A nice dinner is a wonderful gesture, but $40 on flowers goes A LOT further than $100 on dinner. Also, as my fiancee just reminded me, peony season is starting soon, and women love peonies. THANKS HONEY YES YOU’LL GET SOME SOON.

Anyway, if your meager bank account can handle it, I’d recommend both flowers and dinner. It’s a nice romantic gesture without the mental gymnastics of finding an appropriate gift.

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Dear Fathers of Fap,
Sex: I met a girl in my senior year of high school oh so many years ago. We hit things off fairly quickly, but due to my good old high school inexperienced awkwardness, things never really worked out to become a relationship. We went on one real date, followed by seeing several movies with friends, and an unsuccessful attempt to go to prom together (I asked her a week before prom night. Plenty of time right?!), which put me off enough that I tried to just forget about her and we haven’t spoken at all since graduation.

Last month, due to the wonders of social media we got in touch.

Facebook: reacquainting you with people you’d be better off forgetting since whenever you joined.

She appeared in my “People You Might Know,” accepted my friend request and initiated a conversation with me. We caught up, as best you can over a 2 hour conversation through instant messaging, and found out she is going to be coming back to our hometown in a few months, and possibly moving back as well, if she finds a job. She also included this:

“By the way, I’m sorry if our friendship in high school kind of just faded and that I might not have been the nicest about the situation…I have no better excuse then I was a stupid teenage girl.”

I told her I basically felt that I acted the same way, then left that part of the conversation alone and we moved on to other topics. Near the end of the conversation, I told her I would buy her a drink when she gets back in town and that we’ll stay in touch. Now, I’m wondering how to proceed from here. I think its pretty clear to her that I like her, and that this should be thought of as a date, but then again I’m a stupid man and don’t understand how lady brains work. Is that above message a total green light, or is that just wishful thinking on my part and I’ve been friend-zoned?

No, nothing about her message resembles a green light. It’s the kind of thing an adult human says when they look back on what a piece of shit they were when they were younger. (NOTE: this weekly mailbag exists as a sort of apology for the piece of shit I was when I was younger.) She said that she was sorry, and that she wasn’t nice, and that she was a stupid teenage girl. She said nothing about your charms, or how you deserved better than that, or how she wished she could have been with you.

People hear what they want to hear and read what they want to read. To me, it looks like she wants forgiveness and acceptance — the affirmation that you don’t resent her for sucking in high school. In turn, you see her plea for acceptance as what you want it to be: a veiled invitation to spark a romance that never happened.

Of course, it’s entirely possible she wants to jump your bones; I certainly hope you prove me wrong. But if I were you, I’d hedge my bets and lower my expectations. Better to be realistic and pleasantly surprised than optimistic and disappointed.

Fantasy: My best friend is our league’s commish, and is trying to instigate a 2 QB system for next year. On top of that, he wants to open the league to 14 people. While this sounds kind of hilarious since some people will be stuck with Matt Moore or Colt McCoy, I also think it would be a horrible idea, especially during BYE weeks, where some teams wouldn’t have a QB to play. Do you have any experience with 2 QB leagues?

No, because I don’t have any friends who are 12-year-olds with brain damage.

Am I justified in not wanting both of these moves or am I just doing that thing where I don’t like change?
Sincerely,
Delusional Chargers Fan

You are justified. A 14-team league, under certain circumstances, is not so bad. Every 2-QB league is fucking AWFUL. The whole point to fantasy football is that you start a team of players that reflects an actual football formation. And if you’re forming a rebuttal to that statement that includes the word “Wildcat,” go fuck yourself.

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Dear Patron Saints of Poon Tang,
Fantasy first, ill keep this short. Keeper league Megatron (forfeit 1st rounder) or Mccoy (forfeit 2nd rounder)? Also is it retarded that we have to have keepers in by the NFL draft?

Those are both excellent keeper options, but McCoy is the better value. Better to have a first-rounder for a second-rounder than a first-rounder for a first-rounder.

Sex(ish) time, I recently started to date a girl I went to highschool and college with (We are both now in grad school about 5 hours apart). We started to fool around at the end of college and thought it would be dumb to start dating… long story short after after a year of grad school we both have jobs in the same city for when we graduate (Spring 2013). All my buddies are telling me I’m a jackass for starting to date her now but in the times I visited her before we started dating it seemed there were a lot of guys that were interested in her. I think of the shitty year of long distance as a down payment on a great girlfriend next year. Really I’m just looking for the opinion of someone not involved in the situation.
Thanks in advance, even if you tell me I’m retarded.
-Jackass in a long distance relationship

Bully for you. I’m not against ALL long-distance relationships; I merely think that too many of them are borne of cowardice rather than love. A lot of people are happy together in the same place, then somebody needs to move, and instead of saying, “Hey, we’ve had fun, but this isn’t realistic,” they say, “We can make this work!” even though they’re not really sure the person leaving is the person they want to spend their life with.

Depending on how long you’ve been reading the mailbag, you may know that my general terms for surviving a LDR are trust, patience, and a clearly defined end for the long-distance part of the equation. You’ve got the last part already; if you’re cool with the other two, go forth and enjoy your Skype sessions.

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Longtime mailbag reader, first time I’ve actually written in, though. I’ll start with FF first.

I’ve wanted to start a league for some time now, but my core group of about 10 guy friends are either “too busy” (which is a cop-out, since we’re all busy with school, work, and for a few of us, kids), or just flat-out uninterested. Now, there’s not much I can do about that, even though the guy(s) who claim to not like fantasy football are actually huge football fans and gamblers, and would probably become totally engrossed in a money league. So I was just wondering how I could spread some interest in a fantasy league, or if I should just drop the whole thing and join an online league, or something similar to get my fantasy football rocks off?

Or (d) get friends who don’t act like they’re too busy for something that takes as little as 10 minutes a week. Fucking shit that’s frustrating to read. Some of my best friends live in D.C., San Diego, Boston, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, et cetera. I see them once a year if I’m lucky. Hell, one of my best friends lives a mile and a half from me in Brooklyn, and I didn’t seem him for six months because we’ve both been planning weddings.

My response to someone who says he’s “too busy” to play fantasy football? Welcome to life; it’s uphill from here until you die. I don’t have qualms about anyone begging out of a fantasy league if they don’t enjoy it or even, I suppose, if they’re having their first kid just before the season begins. Anything besides that and I wonder, “Why doesn’t this person want to interact with the friends he never gets to see?”

Anyway, I’d badger them and badger them and badger them until they assent. They’ll thank you for it.

As far as sex goes, my problems are fairly cut and dry. I’m a 22 year-old who’s still madly in love with his ex-fiancee. I’ve read enough of the mailbag to know I’ll catch flak for wanting to get married at such a young age, but it is what it is. My ex is also the mother of my 1 1/2 year-old daughter, which I feel helps explain my inability to let go, at least a little bit. Perhaps a bit of back story (I’ll try to keep it short)?

/sighhhhhhhh

We broke up some time ago, before our daughter was even born, but it wasn’t mutual, nor amicable, and was primarily influenced by her over-bearing family. After the break-up, we agreed to try to work things out for our future child, only for her to try and get a restraining order against me and accuse me of stalking and beating her. Once we got in front of a judge and she was under oath, however, she quickly admitted that I had never hit her, threatened to hit her, or really done any of the things she alleged, and the case was quickly thrown out. Angry as I was at the accusations, I still wanted to work things out, and continued to reach out to her.

I’ll try to put this delicately: you are a fucking idiot.

Eventually, we started acting like a couple again, dates, sex, baby planning, saying “I love you,” all the good stuff I wanted with her. Right before the pregnancy went full term, though, she changed her mind and cut off all communication with me, thoroughly convinced that I was going to hurt her and our daughter, and just incredibly pissed off at me, mainly for things I didn’t do (the aforementioned “abuse”).

Seriously, I’m amazed that you’re literate. Your spelling and grammar are impeccable given that you’re too dumb to stay away from a woman who TRIED TO SEND YOU TO PRISON. Fuck, man!

To keep a long story short, since then not much has changed. She’s still incredibly pissed off at me, though she refuses to admit it to me or to herself (claiming she would’ve moved out of state to get away from me if it weren’t for our daughter, right after saying she’s not mad at me at all, right before screaming at me and bursting into tears).

BECAUSE SHE IS INSANE.

Through it all, I’ve made it clear I still care about her

BECAUSE YOU ARE A MORON.

(never explicitly saying that I’m still in love with her, just making it known that she’s an important person in my life, for obvious reasons), and trying my best to stay calm through all of her shenanigans, accusations, assumptions, and our custody battle.

Now, I realize she’s as nutty as squirrel poop, and that I’m a sap for still caring about this girl, but I felt from the very beginning of our relationship that this was somebody I could, and wanted to, spend my life with.

No, you’re not a “sap.” A sap is someone who has a soft spot for, say, cheesy romantic comedies or old people holding hands. You’ve left sap territory and are now wandering the wilds of retardation.

Beyond her craziness, she’s really an amazing woman, smart, confident, driven, into sports, bitingly sarcastic, which I love, and beautiful.

Oh, fuck the fuck off. “Aside from constantly fighting with me and lying to the police to get a restraining order against me, she’s the perfect woman.”

Plus, natural 38DD’s on a 145 pound frame.

Oh, well in that case! Why didn’t you mention this before!?! Go for it, man! TITS!

I’ve had plenty of friends tell me to get as mean with her as she has been with me, that’s she’s crazy, that she’s still in love with me and is angry at me because it’s easier than working on our relationship, really a myriad of advice. What I was hoping from you, el Captain, is an unbiased opinion. I know I should let go of any dream of us eventually working out, but should I get dirty in our custody battle (I know plenty of secrets about her and the family she lives with to cast some serious doubt on our daughter’s safety, even though I know she’s perfectly safe there), and how should I go about finally getting over the only woman I’ve ever really loved?
Sincerely, Can’t Let Go

Lawyer the fuck up, man. You can NOT afford to be sentimental in legal matters. Try to realize that you are young and stupid (this less an insult than a statement of fact; everyone has more hormones than brains at 22), and that your brain has been poisoned by tits and an acceptance of unacceptable behavior. The more distance you keep from her, the more you’ll realize, “Holy shit, why did I put up with that?”

Of course, custody issues will keep you from getting the distance you need (an imbalanced ex of mine once moved to Shanghai, which was almost far enough away). Nevertheless, the more you limit your interaction with her, the sooner you’ll move on and experience relationships with people who don’t turn your life into a flaming wreck of tears and shouting and restraining orders.

I mean, seriously. Holy fuck.