Our first question in the mailbag today deals with some election night sexy time. Political campaigns are a big turn-on for some people, and I’m sure that the elation of your guy (or girl) winning and the devastation of your guy (or girl) losing has led to some awesomely passionate sex throughout history. I don’t quite operate that way, but I DID get accosted by a gay Republican once.

So it’s August of 2004. I’m still in the Marine Corps, but I know that I’m moving to New York City when I get out in September. I take a couple days off to fly to New York for some job interviews — right smack in the middle of the Republican convention. And I smartly booked my hotel room in Midtown where all the khaki-wearing Bush supporters were staying.

I’m walking back to my hotel after an interview when a young Republican falls in step with me. And I mean SUPER Republican, like almost Mormon. And he starts being really friendly with me, complimenting me and telling me he’s gay right off the bat. I was like, “Thanks, but I’m straight,” but Cheney had just spoken, so I asked him about whether it was tough to be gay and support the Republican agenda. He interpreted that as some kind of foreplay and asked me up to his room. “No. Not at all,” I said.

“We can just watch each other jerk off,” was his counter.

“Nope!”

Like, COME ON. That only works in Chelsea, and even then you should at least offer to buy a fella a drink. Demographical failures like that are starting to cost Republicans elections.

Your questions:

Captain,
Football first: I have Darren McFadden at running back. He has a high ankle sprain and I only have Robert Turbin and Ronnie Hillman as backups. So someone offered me Chris Johnson for Eric Decker to help with my RB situation. I like how Decker and Peyton are building a rapport and I’m wary of CJ2K turning into a pumpkin again, but I really need a running back. What would you do?

You’re in a bind, all right. I think Decker is far more valuable than Johnson, but starting Turbin or Hillman is like showing up to a knife fight with your dick in your hand. If Marcel Reece isn’t available in free agency, you’ve got to barter yourself a better deal — either give up a lesser wideout or get a more trustworthy RB in return.

Now sex: I started dating a really great lady, things are going well blah blah blah. I went back to her place on Election Night (Barack Obama is the best wingman) and after she went to bed I went to find the bathroom so I could piss before I went home. It was my first time in her apartment so I accidentally opened her roommate’s door instead of the bathroom’s and saw the roommate having sex with her boyfriend. So, is this roommate going to try and undermine me now?

Drunken election night stumbling happens to the best of us. Assuming the roommate is a sensible person (admittedly not the safest assumption in the realm of single women), I don’t think she’d undermine you. Regardless, the best way to defuse any possible tension is to tell your lady what happened — not as an admission or a secret, but as a funny anecdote. “So, I found out the hard way that your roommate’s room isn’t the bathroom… I feel really embarrassed about it, but not as embarrassed as I’d be if I’d pissed in her clothes hamper.”

And I was drunk so I don’t even remember what the roommate looks like naked. So sad.
Sincerely,
Lock The Fucking Door

Aw, bummer!

**********

Captain of Caves,
Fantasy: My Week 1 roster consisted of a serviceable, but unthreatening Romo, Marshall, Lloyd, Rice, SJax, Tamme, Sproles/Mathews and heading into Week 9 consists of Stafford, Marshall, White, Rice, CJ?K, Graham, Nicks. I achieved this via Kupchakesque trades, and following this mailbag/YouTube assisted me greatly so I tip my hat to you all. I’m 5-3 and in solid position for a PO run. To express my gratitude, now that I have a roster I’m comfortable with, I will post my ‘secret’ Keepers link on our message board every week! Hoorrray views!

I will happily take those extra eleven views. Your gesture is appreciated.

Sex Update: In late July, I asked for advice about a relationship involving strippers and mortgages…you were RIGHT!!

(See the third question in this mailbag. Homeboy went to Montreal for a bachelor party, so his girlfriend got jealous and cheated on him. Knowing this, he then BOUGHT A HOUSE WITH HER.)

She continued to be apeshit crazy and a serious PITA.

Serious PITA is serious.

We’ve since broken up, I’ve moved out, and have had a great bachelor pad to myself for a month now! No real regrets about the decision to pull the trigger on the house as it was a learning experience and a half both financially and emotionally to go through that hot mess.

“I learned that buying a house with a jealous cheating shrike is something I shouldn’t do.”

But alas, I have created an even hotter mess…arguably. A co-worker waited less than a week before trying to take me off the market again and then proceeded to take me off the market.

You’re not made of stone, after all.

Regardless of your stance of workplace dating which I know is of the opposition, and regardless of my probable emotional unstability after that disaster, this girl is really beautiful, incredible, etc and everything is clicking – except anyone at work knowing that we’re together. Also, no one at work knows my ex-girlfriend is a crazy whooah so neither of us want to paint the image of me leaving my ex for her. My question – assuming there wont be awkward impacts or potential for disaster, how much time should pass before we let this out of the bag and how do we do so?

(Bill Simmons writes great content. Yeah, I said it.)

Strippers, Mortgages, & the Workplace

Just about every company understands that its employees will end up mashing guts at some point, so they set reasonable rules for workplace relationships (like, you can’t be diddling your supervisor or have to be in different departments or whatnot). People are scared shitless of H.R. because H.R. people put the company before their fellow employees, but you don’t have anything to fear if you’re not breaking any rules. If you’re serious about having a relationship with your co-worker and she feels the same way, you may as well be open about it.

As for your parenthetical about Simmons, I probably should have just edited it out, but you seem so proud of it that it needs to be addressed. Liking Simmons is not a bold stance: he is the most widely read and popular sportswriter in America. You are not Kaiser Punkrock von Sportstake.

Simmons gets a bad rap in our little inside-baseball blog circle because he’s so predictable. He’s writing the exact same things in the exact same style as he was for Page 2 almost ten years ago. And that’s unfathomable to me as a writer. I regularly read stuff by Spencer Hall and Tommy Craggs and think, “Damn, I’ve got to work harder.” And the ensuing results don’t match up to what I aspire to, but I know that I’m at least improving. I’m honing my craft.

Compare that to Simmons. He recognizes great writing — the writers I admire at Grantland are too numerous to list here —  yet his own writing is simplistic and predictable in its dated pop culture references, frozen in the amber that made him rich. And hey, if that’s what the masses want and like, that’s fine. Personally, I found his latest column about Michael Vick to be a straightforward and unremarkable bore. If you dig it, that’s cool, but it’s about as progressive as liking “The Big Bang Theory.”

**********

Dear KSK,
Fantasy: I have been offered Aaron Rodgers for Ray Rice in a 12 team, 4pt passing TD, PPR league. Right now, I’m 7-1 and in first place and my RB alternatives are Spiller, Sproles, Doug Martin. My WRs for the flex are Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks, and Randall Cobb. My starting QB is Andrew Luck.

I think the trade would make my team better, but at the same time, I feel like I’m hitting on 20. Pull the trigger?

What you have to do is measure the difference between upgrading from Luck to Rodgers and downgrading from Rice to Spiller/Sproles/Martin. Assuming that you only have to start ONE of Spiller/Sproles/Martin, I’d make the trade because Martin is obviously emerging and TB’s schedule is weak.

Sex: Per your question to open last week’s mailbag, I did actually sleep with a casual hookup that I otherwise would not have during Hurricane Ike in 2008 because she had power and I did not (this is Houston in September so temperatures were in the high 90s). I was officially a weather whore! It happens.
-Will lick ‘tang for A/C

If you don’t have A/C, it’s good policy to sleep with someone who does regardless of natural disaster.

**********

Fantasy First: My league is struggling with our veto system. We do the standard 6 votes means the trade is shot down, but after an early-season deal was vetoed, some guys freaked out. The argument went, “if both teams think they’re improving, leave the trade alone” versus “if a trade is clearly unfair, we should have the right to vote it down.” Most people sided with the former sentiment, not the latter, and the result has been nearly 30 trades put through this season (a remarkable amount, in my experience) since people aren’t brave enough to veto if they think a trade isn’t fair. Long story short, I was hoping to get your take on the argument and any advice you might have on how I can restore some semblance of order to our veto system.

I’m a fantasy libertarian. The commissioner’s job is to set a date for the draft and hold the money and, in extreme cases, veto trades that result from obvious collusion. This whole “vote for or against” a trade is a load of shit. The 31 other NFL franchises didn’t stop the Raiders from making terrible trades for decades; they rightfully swindled Al Davis to make their teams better. Fantasy football is a competition, not a PTA bake sale.

Thirty trades is a LOT, though. Your league mates need some hobbies and girlfriends.

Sex Second: More relationship than sex. I like my girlfriend’s family very much and she likes mine. The dilemma is that we come from the same hometown and going home is often a tough battle to make time to spend with each other’s loved ones. Presumably you and your wife are fans of the other’s relatives. How do you find a balance in terms of spending time/holidays with one another’s families? I should add that we’re both just out of college so hosting holidays and having both families up to our place wouldn’t exactly work space-wise (and we’ve only gotten both families together a couple times, so there’s still some awkwardness in getting to know one another).
Thanks,
Frustrated by Families

Oh, boo hoo hoo. Your families are in the SAME TOWN. You can hit both in the same day! Behind me is a line of MILLIONS of people whose families live thousands of miles apart, so they have to balance Thanksgiving in one place with Christmas in the other while jealous in-laws quietly keep score of how many days you spend with the OTHER family. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of people whose parents have gotten divorced and remarried. We’re talking up to four different families in different states and time zones. Be thankful you’ve got it as good as you do, and enjoy eating Thanksgiving dinner twice.

*********

Captain,
Fantasy: For week 10, which three of these running backs would you recommend? Forte (Houston), Mathews (@ Tampa) Martin (San Diego) Turner (@ Saints) or Leshoure (@ Minnesota)?

I’d say Doug Martin’s earned himself a weekly starting spot, no? After that, I’d probably give it to Leshoure and Turner. Forte and Mathews are both FAR better players than Turner, but the Saints are dead last in rushing defense, as I explain in this week’s episode of Keepers.

Seamless, right? You just never know how I’m going to slip it in every week.

General Advice Question: Given your military service, I think you might be in a good position to give me some advice on handle this situation. My father served in the Air Force for many years, and my family grew up on air bases.

Mine too! BFF!

Recently, my youngest sister (22 years old) married her boyfriend and he promptly joined the Air Force himself. Ever since he joined, my sister has taken this “holier than thou” stance with everyone, by saying how lucky we are to have people like her husband protect us and America, and how we should be thanking them. She also really plays up the “military spouse” angle as well, despite the fact he’s only been in since March and haven’t had things too bad as far as deployments just yet.

While I appreciate his commitment, it’s certainly annoying to hear this from her all the time. It’s an all-consuming obsession for her. Growing up in the military, I understood the sacrifices my father made, but I never really smeared it in anyone’s face the way that she seems to. I feel conflicted, because I’d like to tell her off, but that’s not really the right way to go in this situation. Have you ever had any sort of experience with this, and what advice can you offer?
-Real American(?)

I’ll try to be fair here, because military spouses — and I’ll focus on wives, because they’re the majority — get a shitty draw. Military wives’ entire role in life is to support their husbands. Whatever career they might want takes a back seat to the station the husband is assigned to. And that career probably shouldn’t be anything tied to a university or urban area, because military bases are almost always in the most backwater places in America. They’re expected to put on a brave face and raise children by themselves while the men go on extended deployments. And they’re expected to navigate the dangerous waters of military courtesy with grace, lest it reflect poorly on the husband and hurt his career. My mom did it for 22 years — at one point she was a 23-year-old with an infant and a toddler while my dad was flying all over the world for three weeks a month — and I still have no idea how she found the strength and patience to put up with it.

Because military wives have to do so much in support of their husbands, a common downside is that they adopt their husband’s service as their own. Something you’ll often hear from military wives: “We got promoted.” The military doesn’t offer much of a chance for spouses to develop or maintain their own identities, so they fill out the shadow to their fullest. I repeat: this is a shitty draw in life.

That said, anyone who’s served in the Marines, Army, or Navy looks at the Air Force as the service for people who don’t want to get dirty — basically a corporation with uniforms. And I’m not thanking anyone while the ink on their initial contract is still wet. Your sister needs to shut the fuck up. Sometimes siblings need to say that to each other.

**********

Captain Homo Erectus (‘Caveman’ probably isn’t the politically correct term): Be honest; are you getting tired of writing a sex advice mailbag now that you’re all married and domesticated and running a FF website anyway?

Not really. As I’ve written before, the mailbag’s kinda grown up over the last couple of years, and I was single recently enough to apply my experiences to those who are single now. But if I get too stodgy and out of touch, I promise to hand it off to a much cooler and younger person.

Sex: My girlfriend and I have been dating for two years next month and we’re perfect for each other, love each other’s company and all that jazz. Over the last year our schedules have been brutal – she gets up at 4:30am and works from about 5:30am-9/10pm (teachers are heroes,) while I work from 11am until midnight/1am (consultants are Sybarites.) We live 25 minutes apart, which is juuuust long enough to make it hard to see each other during the week. We make up for it on the weekends, and with grad school coming up she’s insistent that we both go to schools in the same area so we can live together and avoid a similar predicament. I’m of the opinion that our careers should come first, so if the best schools for us happen to be in different time zones we’ll just have to make it work. I am planning to propose to this girl in the spring, and I wouldn’t be if I thought we couldn’t overcome circumstantial obstacles, but do you think she has a point?

Yes she does. Unless we’re talking about Harvard Law versus Arizona State, grad school is grad school. You put the time in, do your work, get the piece of paper that says “Master of the Universe” or whatever, and then you pay your loans off for the next 15-20 years. If you love this woman and want to marry her, you’ll be happier at a slightly less prestigious school nearby than you would be at the more prestigious school far away.

More importantly, Fantasy: Emmanuel Sanders vs KC or Daniel Thomas vs TEN in the flex spot vacated by Percy Harvin’s ankle? Reggie Bush is locked in as one of my starting RBs, and Thomas has been on the field for more snaps than Bush the last two weeks. The Titans are garbage so I’m leaning towards starting Thomas and mopping up all of the Dolphins’ run production against a team they’ll end up running out the clock against anyway. On the other hand, Antonio Brown is out making Sanders the starting WR2 against the Chiefs’ travesty of a franchise. My concern with Sanders is that he’s may be a third option after Wallace and Miller, and when the Steelers jump out to an early 24 point lead they will take the air out of the football. Still, Sanders will be a starter while Thomas is a backup. Thoughts?
-Owner, Habitual Line Steppers

I don’t think I can get behind Thomas. A look at his game-by-game numbers this season makes it tough to project his touches. I think 10-12 carries plus one catch is a safe estimate, which means he’d also need to vulture a touchdown to merit a start. It’s perfectly fathomable — the Titans are awful, after all — but I just feel more comfortable starting Sanders, who should get some good looks while the Chiefs try to keep Wallace from breaking free.

**********

Hey Captain,
Everyone asks you about your married life or your fantasy team but I want to know: How’s the dog? What’s his/her name?

Great question! Her name’s Stella. She’s a Rottweiler mix who turned six this summer, and she’s easily the happiest and sweetest dog I’ve ever owned. Gentle with kids, docile with other dogs, and occasionally willing to serve as a pillow. Here are my two most recent photos of her (click to embiggen).

Fantasy First: I have been in a league with my friends from high school for years now. We have been expanding over time but I am kind of worried about the direction we have been heading in. A lot of members have been adding their girlfriends to the league. Normally, I would have no problem with this (one of the girlfriends won the league last year so it’s not a competitive thing) but there has been a major issue with trades. Mainly, the girlfriends will only trade with their boyfriends. Even worse, I was working on a trade with one guy when he all of the sudden backed out because “his girlfriend would probably be upset that he was helping me.” I said, “WE ARE ALL AGAINST EACH OTHER.” in which we replied, “yes, but I need to worry about getting laid.”

Touché.

This is total bullshit, right? If my girlfriend was in my league (she isn’t and would have no interest in it) I would look to beat her and strut around with bragging rights. That’s the fun in being in a league. I would go to the commish but his girlfriend is the number 1 culprit of not accepting trades by anyone but her boyfriend. It’s even worse when they do trade within their union and it’s totally one sided. Is this league dead? It’s hard to play in a 14 team league when you can only work with 5 other teams.

I’m not opposed to significant others joining leagues, but I think your problem is significant, and I can’t think of an immediate solution. If the five other single guys in the league feel the same way and as strongly as you do, maybe it’s worth starting a new league with them and inviting some other single guys to round it out — or at least guys who won’t bring their girlfriend into the league with them.

Ladies: I have been living with my girlfriend of two years for the past 3 months. It’s absolutely great. I’ve never lived in a place before where I don’t dread hearing the doorknob to the front door open. We got a big enough place where we can each have our own space and things have been pretty great. HOWEVER, she has a tendency of leaving cabinet doors open, having 15 glasses all half full of water placed throughout the apartment, and other minor stuff.

Hey, don’t knock the half-empty glasses of water all over the apartment. That worked out pretty well in Signs.

Now, this is really no big deal to me. I’m sure she finds stuff about me that repulses her. But whenever I mention it, she kind of gets angry at me. Not full on anger, but just a little attitude back. She even gets kind of mad if I just take the glasses and wash them myself. What’s the best way to approach this? I’m running out of dishware here.
– I Like Water Too

How willing are you to take a hit for the team? You should take a running start and throw your head into the corner of an open cabinet, then shriek in pain until she finds you lying on the kitchen floor. “What’s wrong?!?” she’ll ask, rushing to your aid. “This… is why… I asked you to close the cabinets,” you reply.

KABOOM! That’s a twenty kiloton guiltbomb dropped on her psyche.

If you don’t want to go that far, well, you’ll just have to navigate the waters of cohabitation like everyone else. As I’ve written before, when you and a significant other move in together, you get a feel for what the other person’s pet peeves are. My wife happens to be a very orderly, Type-A person, while I’m more Type-Z (the Z is for “zoo animal”). She’s pretty patient with my entropy, but I still try to make the bed every morning and not leave dirty dishes in the sink. In exchange, she tries to remember to install the toilet paper roll overhand, and I calmly switch it without saying anything if she happens to screw it up.

Compromise and communication are the bedrock of your relationship. Just as you should be able to tell her freely (and politely) about your pet peeves without getting attitude in return, so too should she be mindful of them and work to improve. As most happy cohabitants can tell you: you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to try.

Maybe you and your girlfriend can sit down for a gloves-off recitation of pet peeves. Not necessarily pet peeves that the other person does, just ALL of your pet peeves, period. Take a week and write them all down: people walking and texting, people not using turn signals, loud teenagers, the Chinese, whatever. And that list should include your household peeves, too (I, for one, need the toothpaste tube squeezed from the bottom). The wider focus should take the spotlight off of each other so it’s not all “And you do THIS wrong!” The takeaway from the exercise should be a better idea of what upsets the other person, thereby enabling each partner to make the other person happier.