fireworks-sploosh

Some weeks I like to have a little introduction to the mailbag that previews some recurring themes or shares what I hope is a useful or enjoyable anecdote. Some weeks I have a GIF of a fireworks dong splooging. Digitally manipulated? Sure, probably. Don’t care. Still great.

Let’s get to your emails.

Dear Matt,
Football: This is my first year playing FF, and I wonder how long I should keep under-performing players on my team before benching them or cutting them entirely. Tiny Darren Sproles had one crazy-good week, but he’s been underwhelming lately. Start him, bench him, or cut him? (I’m in a standard 10-team Yahoo league, and my other RBs are Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, and Ryan Mathews, if that helps.)

Sproles is hardly worth playing unless you have a PPR league. With Charles racking up 100 yards from scrimmage every game, Moreno leading the league in rushing touchdowns, and Mathews serving as a functional flex option, I don’t see a huge need for Sproles in a 10-team league. I’d keep him on the bench unless you’re desperate to acquire a shiny new toy from the waiver wire.

Sex: I’ve been dating a great guy for two months, but he seems to have a mental block that keeps him from climaxing during a blowjob. (Intercourse = all systems go.) I’ve asked about my technique/ways to improve, but he insists that they feel great but he gets “distracted” before he can finish. (I’ve had incredibly enthusiastic responses from former recipients, but I’m always willing to change things up.) Here’s how he summed up his distractions: he’s a Ph.D student who’ll be graduating in May, and he’s uneasy about how future job prospects will impact the relationship – he doesn’t want to lose me, and “focusing on how great things feel right now just makes me worry about the future.” I know May is still a while away and we’re still in the early stages of the relationship, but I’m happy to talk about job prospects/possible moves when the offers arrive in late spring. Is this distraction talk bullshit, possibly true, or an elaborate cover-up for my subpar blowjobs?
Thanks for your help!
-Token Lady Reader

I cannot speak for your man or assume to know what goes on in his mind during fellatio, but I find his reasons, shall we say, hard to swallow. While it’s certainly possible that his mind wanders during a blowjob and lands on worries about his future — he has, after all, made the disastrous financial decision to stay in graduate school for a PhD — the much more common explanation is that a BJ just isn’t the right kind of sexual stimulation to finish him.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some dudes LOVE blowjobs. Some dudes like blowjobs as foreplay, but prefer sex to the point that they don’t want to — or even can’t — come from fellatio. It’s not uncommon. I honestly find nothing wrong with your scenario, except for the fact that your boyfriend’s thinking about his job search while getting head. Weirdo.

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Good evening team,
Business before pleasure: In one of my leagues (10 team, standard scoring via ESPN), I have an embarrassment of riches at TE (Tony Gonzalez, Gronk, and Julius Thomas), but am having a tough time getting any takers for a trade. Am I aiming too high with a first-tier RB for one of these studs? I’ve offered heads-up trades for a decent QB, too, since both Kaepernick and Matt Ryan have been lackluster thus far. Le’Veon Bell and law firm are less-than-stellar backups for Alfred Morris. I feel pretty good about the rest of my team, though I’m 4-5 (can’t possibly lose this week). I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

It can be hard to pry away quality players from a winning team even if you’re offering up something more than fair, because the guy (or gal) on the other end of the trade already has a formula that’s working. And as good as your tight ends are, Gonzalez has had only two good games this year, Gronk is an injury risk, and Julius Thomas is now nursing an injury after missing most of his first two years with injuries. So while I personally would love to acquire Gronk and Thomas, I can understand other owners’ trepidation over the moves.

You may be at a point where, instead of getting a top-tier RB or WR for your guys, you get functional pieces. Injuries have hit every team by now, and some have struck waiver wire gold while others have imbalanced depth. Search for holes and redundancies on other teams’ rosters, and offer trades that make sense to them. Something like Tony Gonzalez for Chris Johnson makes sense to me, as does Gronk for Cam Newton or Andrew Luck, which is a reasonable upgrade from Kap/Ryan.

Sex: Since breaking up with a long-term partner…and a gem at that…roughly 4 months ago, I’ve had sex with two women. With the first one, we’d gotten together a few times and hooked up three times. The first two went smoothly, but the last was a series of two-minute sessions. Like, five of them. While my ability to keep it up was encouraging, my first case of premature ejaculation was not. I’d chalk it up as a fluke, but we haven’t gotten together since (her choice, and I’m alright with it).

What are you, some kind of guinea pig?

The second woman is married but in an open relationship, so it’s no-frills and we’ve gotten together twice (different cities, works out fine). Our first time together went quite well, while the most recent time featured a tough time getting it up. It followed dinner and drinks, though not enough to cause any ED issues. My question is two-fold: 1) what’s up with having sexual hiccups AFTER the first time with a new woman?, and 2) is it weird to not want to have sex post-meals?

Thanks again and have a great holiday,
Lost (boner) in Yonkers

1) I suppose so, particularly if you’re not emotionally free from your most recent relationship. It’s not easy re-entering the dating pool, and the longer that you were set in the particular habits of a long-term relationship, the harder it can be to adjust to new partners. I don’t think you have any cause for concern at this early stage.

2) Yes? Like, the only meals that should make you rule out sex are Thanksgiving dinner and eating an entire pizza while high — and those two meals that get a pass because they have the possibility to be more enjoyable than sex. If you’re just going out to dinner before a relatively assured sexual encounter, limit the carbs and alcohol. Otherwise I’d point to question #1 as your primary point of concern.

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Uffster,
Fantasy first: I’m the commissioner of a 10 team league that has consisted of mostly the same guys for 4+ years now, and we are trying to shake things up by adding a last place penalty. We have had a few ideas bandied about (take the SAT and post scores, Brownie Roulette (pick from a collection of brownies consisting of some regular, some pot laced, some laxative laced) at the draft next season, etc), but we can’t seem to find something that everyone can get behind, any suggestions?

*Despite having scored more points than I have given up, I find myself at 2-7 in said league, so I will probably be the recipient of this punishment…

No human being who’s not in the college admissions process should ever sit through the SATs, so take that off the table right now. Sickos.

I think a perfectly acceptable penalty is that the last-place finisher provides a case of beer for the next draft. That encourages the rest of the members of the league to draft in-person while giving at least two free beers to each member during the 90 minutes it takes to draft. It’s easy, beneficial to the morale of the league, and not prohibitively expensive or embarrassing. But you know me: I’m a softie when it comes to hazing.

Relationships, etc: What is the current guideline on engagement ring pricing? I remember hearing a rule that one should spend “3 months salary” on the ring; does that sound right or am making that up?
– Richie Incognito’s Life Coach

NOOOOOOOOO that is not right. This is the garbage you’re thinking of:

Damn you, De Beers and your classy string music and timeless black-and-white imagery!

If there’s a societal expectation to spend two months’ salary on an outdated bauble that somehow survived our ongoing slog towards gender equity, it’s because of De Beers’s ad campaigns. It is, by all financial and sensible reasons, a scam that was best broken down by Slate back in 2007.

If you’re intent on buying a ring, all I can do is suggest talking to your prospective fiancée about what she wants, and if she’s cool with an heirloom or a less precious stone, congratulations on spending those thousands of dollars on your wedding, your first home, or your children’s college funds.

But all is not lost if you have a love who likes shiny objects. I may oppose the diamond engagement ring from an intellectual standpoint, but I happen to love my wife beyond the standard bounds of logic, so I spent more than I should have for her engagement ring. I studied up on the four C’s — carat, cut, color, clarity — and found the right intersection of value for a diamond that looked nice but didn’t ruin me financially. You can do it, too.

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Hey Cap,
First-time-long-time, hope your squads/marriage are/is doing well. No sex to speak of, good or bad, so I’ll offer something classic:

Young Jean Seberg trumps all these modern day hussies. Unfortunately they also didn’t have Esquire back then so a disappointing lack of cheesecake shots.

Jean Seberg worked the pixie cut to far better effect 20 years before Mia Farrow made it a thing. As far as late-’50s/early-’60s beauties go, though, I’m more of a Brigitte Bardot/Ann-Margret guy.

Fantasy: Okay, 14-team league .5 PPR standard otherwise. Had a really rough draft/first few weeks – SJax, Bowe, Elijah, and other smaller disappointments – and am unlikely to make the playoffs, but thanks to a side bet with a buddy who is struggling as well (thank Christ for Brandon Marshall and Knowshon, the only bright spots I have) all I need to do is finish better than him to get paid, so I still have something to play for.

SO much more information than I need so far. But go on.

So this week, I need help with my WR2/TE/Flex situation – Kendall Wright v JAX, Steve Smith @SF, Lamar Miller @TB, Jordan Reed @MIN, and Martellus Bennett vDET. Currently have Wright at WR2, Reed at TE and Miller at flex, but I’m really unsure. Smith has sucked dick, but he does have 4 TDs, while Wright is reliable to get catches but doesn’t score. I could also bench SJax, but the classic “I drafted this dude high so I have to start him” feelings are keeping him in,

Sunk cost fallacy.

Last week I dropped Michael Vick, Roddy White, and Hakeem Nicks all from one team. It felt AMAZING. Don’t underestimate the cathartic effect of shitcanning a useless player.

plus he looked alright last week. I also dislike leaving Bennett on the bench, because the Black Unicorn has been good to me and I’m not as sold on Reed as everyone else. Thoughts? 

I like Lamar Miller against the Bucs better than Steven Jackson against Seattle. You SHOULD be sold on Reed; despite a quiet performance last week, he’s going to be a Top-5 TE the rest of the year. Marty B’s great in the red zone but also competes for targets against two excellent red-zone WRs. But enough of my babble: I agree, go with Wright, Reed, and Miller.

And if it’s not too much trouble, BUF or ARI def? Currently have ARI, but if I decide to start Keenum (over Tannehill, dear god my team is trash) BUF might be better.
Thanks for helping a 2-7 brother out,
Guillermo

Arizona. Buffalo can deliver on sacks but I don’t trust them beyond that. Arizona is a quality defense playing at home against a beat-up offense.

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Permission to come aboard, cap’n?

Permission granted.

Fantasy first: I’m in 2 leagues that I care about. In the first one, I started out 5-0 but am now reeling at 6-3 thanks to injuries to Doug Martin, Randall Cobb, and Reggie Wayne. With Rivers outperforming Brady, I traded Brady for McFadden 2 weeks ago, only to see McFadden get hurt again last week.

C’mon, you knew that was gonna happen.

I need a win this week and currently have Steven Jackson and Pierre Thomas at RB, Antonio Brown and Cecil Shorts at WR, and Rashad Jennings at flex. Is Jarrett Boykin better than any of them?

Not with Seneca Wallace under center.

I could also pick up Joique Bell, Eddie Royal, Jerricho Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, or Doug Baldwin.

I’m iffy on Jackson. He’ll probably get 15 touches or so at home against the Seahawks, who have given up consecutive big games to Zac Stacy and Mike James, but I don’t think that’s a trend I want to invest in, not with a 30-year-old RB who’s been injured half the year. I would expect him to be a safe but unexciting 5-7 points.

If you’re looking for a higher ceiling, I like Emmanuel Sanders this week against a Bills secondary that’s given up 20 passing touchdowns, worst in the NFL. You could pick up Sanders for your flex, play Thomas and Jennings as your RBs, and bench Jackson. Playing Sanders and Brown might make you a little too invested in the Steelers’ success, but it’s how I’d lean in your position.

p.s. For more on Sanders and Week 10′s fantasy advice, here’s Keepers:

In my other league, I’m in good shape in first place at 8-1 despite injuries to Cobb and Wayne. However, I’m faced with a roster crunch as my team is mostly bye week and injury-free for the first time in a while. I need to pick 2 RBs, 2 WRs, and a flex out of Forte, Spiller, Bernard, Ellington, Demaryius Thomas, Decker, Keenan Allen, and Denarius Moore. Leaning towards Forte-Spiller-Thomas-Decker-Allen but am not married to this.

The Texans have been among the worst against the run since they lost Brian Cushing. I’d give Ellington the start over Spiller.

Sex: I’m not having any of it and I’m a freshman in college, which from what I understand is supposed to be one of your sexual peaks.

In terms of having a boner all the time? Sure. In terms of putting said boner into willing partners? Not as a freshman. You really don’t have any value to female students until you’re a sophomore.

I personally think it stems from a lack of confidence in both my appearance and general “game”. I know how key confidence is, but I feel like I won’t have any until I have some positive sexual encounters, which I don’t have any of because I lack confidence. It seems like a combination of a chicken-or-egg and Catch-22 situation. Any advice here?
Respectfully yours,
Marco Bellinelli’s DMs

Oh, bullshit. “I can’t have confidence until I have sex and I can’t have sex until I have confidence.” Confidence is just liking yourself regardless of outcome or environment.

Unless you’re one of those rare, preternaturally cool bros, your freshman year in college is going to have its share of clueless flailing around the opposite sex. My freshman year roommate and I were textbook examples. He had a pony tail (it was 1996), I was the unhinged ROTC kid with a high-and-tight, and both of us — despite dating normally in high school — were just hopeless disasters as freshmen. Sophomore through senior years? Golden. Pretty girlfriends, normal sex lives, all that. We just needed time to normalize and adjust and — yes — gain some confidence in who were as people. (Also, my roommate cutting his pony tail off helped. Personal appearance helps.)