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Hey Internet friends! Thanks for playing so nice with Sarah last week while I was away. I was in Paris with my wife, where I dusted off my French skills after not using them for at least 13 years. FUN FACT: boire is the verb “to drink,” while boîte means “box” (container, not the sport). Get one little letter wrong, and you end up telling a waitress that you’re just sitting down at a café “for box,” which is a fun thing to do if you want to feel like a yokel asshole.

Other things to know about Paris:

  • Almost nobody works. The only jobs available to Parisians are “cafe/restaurant server” and “shopkeeper smoking in the doorway of their store.”
  • There is one kind of salad dressing: mustard.
  • Most buildings in Paris are museums. Just keep trying doors until you gain entry.
  • The most common thought I had while walking around Paris was “Whoa, that dude looked SUPER French!” They are a scarf-loving people.

Anyway, Paris is great: excellent cheese and pastries and wine and culture and romantic crap. It’s not overrated at all, unlike Eli Manning.

On to your mail!

Good afternoon!
Fantasy Football: I was pretty surprised to see Toby Gerhart get more money than Ben Tate in free agency. I think the Jaguars feel like he can be a Steven Jackson or Marshawn Lynch-type of back. What do you expect from Gerhart as a 15-20 touch per game back going forward?

I’m not sure what exactly you mean by a “Steven Jackson or Marshawn Lynch-type of back,” because Steven Jackson and Marshawn Lynch are two VERY different backs these days. I’m assuming you mean the Steven Jackson of a couple years ago, and if you’re talking about a physical three-down back, then yes: Gus Bradley sees Gerhart getting between 15 and 18 touches a game.

If you’re talking about a Pro Bowl running back, I have my reservations, mostly because (a) I’m not used to expecting that of Jaguars, and (b) I’m racist against white running backs. Still, touches matter in fantasy, and Gerhart did well enough in spot duty with the Vikings to suggest he’d be a fine RB2.

And if you’re talking about a guy with dreads, then no. In general, no one named “Toby” reminds me of anyone named “Marshawn.”

Sex: what is the “rule” regarding sex with a guest in the house? Obviously if you’re a college student with a roommate it’s generally accepted, but my wife and I own our own house and have no roommates. I’ve had a couple cousins stay the night in our guest room while passing through town, and we’ve ended up having sex (quietly) both nights. Is this an acceptable practice, or should we be expected to keep our pants on with guests over since we have our house to ourselves every other night of the year? Thanks for your help (also, thanks for your help a couple months ago when I wrote in about other issues…we’ve since resolved them with the help of a very productive doctor visit).
Firebert (not a good commando name)

Your house, your rules. Fuck away, quietly or not. If your cousins don’t like it, they can pay for a Holiday Inn.

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Dear KSK,
A girl and I had a thing for a few months, during that time I signed into Netflix on her computer. She continues to use it (it’s not a huge issue but is kinda annoying). Is there a nice way of asking her to stop considering we are in the same circle of friends?

Well, you could text/email her and politely ask her to stop. If she’s a kind and reasonable human being, she’ll stop. If she’s petty, she’ll load up your queue with endless Kate Hudson and Katherine Heigl rom-coms. DIABOLICAL!

Maybe I’m under-thinking this, but… can’t you just change your password? That will force her to re-log in on her computer, which she won’t be able to do.

I guess if your Netflix password is somehow to precious to change, try calling Netflix’s help line. You can explain the situation and identify which movies/shows she’s watched, which, I assume, would be sufficient information for an administrator to block that IP or sign out that particular computer. Or maybe they’ll just say, “change your password, dummy.”

Also one of my friends wants to have out ff draft before the actual draft to “add risk and make the actual draft more interesting.” Please explain how shitty an idea this is to him.
-Sam Jacinto

What a colossally moronic idea. I hate that people feel the need to take something sufficiently enjoyable for a large group of people and make an unnecessary tweak to make it more “interesting.” Putting on a blindfold before climbing up Half Dome will make the ascent more interesting, but that doesn’t make it an intelligent idea.

I don’t know what kind of braindead child needs this list, but here’s why you have your fantasy after the NFL Draft (and, ideally, as close to the start of the season as possible):

  • A rookie’s value changes depending on which team drafts him. 
  • Training camp and preseason produce several season-ending injuries.
  • Unexpected youngsters win job, veterans get cut.
  • Players get suspended.

If it was up to your friend, somebody in your league would have drafted Aaron Hernandez in the 5th or 6th round last year. I suppose, technically, that’s more “interesting” than drafting in August and knowing a star tight end is in jail on murder charges, in the same way that glory holes are more “interesting” than sex with someone you’ve met and have confirmed is the gender you’re attracted to.

Anyway, my point is, I hate your friend.

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Dear KSK:
Lady Issues: We (29M 24F) lived together for 2 years (dated for 3) was planning on proposing within the next year. She broke it off about a year ago. I was in a bad place working long hours at a wall street job I hated and I basically imploded on myself, turned inward and did not go to her for support. I understand now and forgive her for why she made that choice (asking for help/good communication is not a sign of weakness etc…)

She left for another city that summer for an internship and started dating someone there right away. I followed and highly recommend the KSK Definitive Post-Breakup Guide[1] and was doing very well. I made some major life changes including ditching the job, traveling the world and learning how to be happy on my own.

Flash forward to the end of the summer internship and she is back in the same city. She had broken it off with the other guy and told me she was just using that relationship to try to get over me. We talked and went to the park/dinner together several times. I did my best to show her that I had made big changes in my life and that she would never have to be the sole source of happiness in our lives. I apologized and told her I understood why she broke it off.

By Thanksgiving she told me she wanted to give us another chance. I agreed that I still had unrealized huge feelings towards her and subsequently broke things off with another girl I had been casually seeing. But she wanted to wait until after the holidays because of her exams and she had huge anxiety about reintroducing us as a couple to our friends and family (we are both from the same hometown as well).

Mid-January rolls around and she pulls a complete 180 with no explanation or discussion. She no longer wants to give it another shot. I was basically devastated all over again and broke off contact ala the KSK advice until I foolishly asked her out to lunch on Valentines day. She said it would be inappropriate and I jokingly replied “what are you seeing someone?” She was, cue fork in the heart.

This is the whole point of NOT CONTACTING YOUR EX.

She is seeing one of her professors who is 37 and fat. She has refused to talk with me or offer me any explanations. The lack of closure here and false hope is killing me.

General advice is welcome as well as any insight as to what the hell happened here with that 180. I’ve already fired up the patented post break up guide.

Listen to me: your ex-girlfriend is DEAD. She wanted to wait until after the holidays to date you again, and then a drunk driver killed her on New Year’s Eve. Tragedy. You will never get closure or ever speak to her again. There’s no reason or “making sense of it.”

People needed death to be sensible. A reason for each casualty. I’d seen the same feeble theodicy at funerals in the civilian world. If lung disease, the deceased should be a smoker. If heart disease, a lover of red meat. Some sort of causality, no matter how tenuous, to sanitize it. As if mortality is a game with rules where the universe is rational and the God watching over maneuvers us like chess pieces, His fingers deep into the sides of the world. [Phil Klay, Redeployment]

Even if we drop the ruse for a second and admit that you’re dealing with merely an emotional gut-punch and not an actual death, the larger point remains the same: shit happens, and not always for a reason.

TL;DR GF of 3 years broke it off took some time away from us decided to give it another try and flaked. HALP!

TL;DR – stick to the rules of the break-up plan this time.

Fantasy Football advice: none needed as I was bashing peoples faces in Thailand for most of the past season so I submit to you an entire album of Fedor Shmidt favorites (because he is a god amongst us).
Best,
Hating Online Dating

(NOTE TO READERS: scroll down far enough and that link gets NSFW.)

I … wow. Those are some very fit women, some of whom have a generous budget for lingerie and shoes.

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Uffmeister,
I don’t really have a football question. Though I did just finish reading “Collision Low Crossers” by Nick Dawidoff. It was pretty good, and made me very happy that I’m not a football coach. Have you read it?

I have not. I typically don’t care much for sports books, even the ones that everyone agrees elevate, define, or surpass the genre. Because I read and write and talk about sports so much, spending my leisure time on MORE sports reading inevitably feels like homework. I’m mostly a fiction guy.

Relationships: I don’t want kids. My girlfriend does. We haven’t talked about it. I know that we need to. I’ve been on the fence for a while. I’m not really fond of kids, but I’ve always figured that I’d just accept it and have one someday. But now that I’m getting older, and more of my friends and family start to have children of their own, I’ve realized that it isn’t for me. The more time I spend with other people’s children, the less I want one of my own.

I admire that decision. It takes a particular strain of resolve and individualism to hit the manual override on your DNA programming and say, “The species is doing fine without me procreating, I’m just gonna keep spending my money on travel and good booze.” I wish I had an extra life to burn like that. Unfortunately, I want kids.

So, I need to talk to my girlfriend.

Yeah, probably.

That’s the hard part. She’s been very clear that she doesn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want kids. Which sucks, because I think we have a pretty good thing going. And I feel like it might come as a surprise to her. She knows I don’t like babies, but every time it comes up she just plays it off like some phase I’ll get over. I know this whole conversation is going to hurt her, and whenever I think about it I feel like a piece of shit. I know what I need to do, so I guess I’m just asking for some advice as to how to do it. I’m not naive enough to think that she’s just going to accept it and move on, there’s going to be some pain involved. But this is the first real long term relationship I’ve been in, so I don’t really know how to go about doing the talking. Any help?
-Hoping For a Graceful Exit

I hate to get all Occam’s Razory here, but if your girlfriend’s been “very clear that she doesn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want kids,” and you don’t want kids, what exactly are you doing with her, besides wasting her time?

You don’t need experience in a long-term relationship to have a difficult discussion about your future. It’s just like everything else that sucks in life: you take a deep breath and rip the Band-Aid off. This is adulthood: you pay your bills, you do your taxes, you pack your shit into boxes before you move, and sometimes, you look into the eyes of someone you care about and say, “We don’t have a future together.” And you apologize for feeling the way that you do, and you feel like shit, and you go on living knowing that not everyone on the planet has a sparkling opinion of you. C’est la motherfucking vie.

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Hey Cap,
Fantasy: I’m in a 12-team, fairly competitive PPR league in which our first runner-up (I was second) enjoys the casual and frequent use of racial slurs. I named my team ______ (his name) Cooper, then switched it to _____ Incognito about halfway through the season in his honor. Do you have any suggestions for team names next season to highlight this dude’s racist dickishness?

I’m guessing by the black man in your Google+ avatar that you’re black, which seems to me like a key piece of information here. I mean, the racist slurs are inexcusable in just about ANY context, but the ignorance and thoughtlessness to use them in your presence (even if it’s “just” e-presence) is unfathomable to me.

I suppose, in Cooper Incognito’s moronic brain, your digs at him via your team name weren’t messages of “Hey, stop it, asshole,” but rather the playful shit-giving that so many fantasy managers seem to enjoy. So eliminate any chance for confusion: at the next slur, say “HEY YOU RACIST FUCK, KNOCK IT OFF.” If your leaguemates don’t come to your side in this exchange, then your leaguemates are human garbage, and you’re better off in any of the millions of fantasy leagues where the members don’t use racial slurs.

Not-Sex: I graduated from college last May and now live in NYC, along with a large portion of my friends from school. One of them is rooming with an old friend from home, and it is not going well. Was it wrong of me to ask my friend’s roommate out knowing that they weren’t on the best of terms?
Yours,
Jammy Jammy-Jammy

HAIL NAW. Get yours.

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Dear Captain,
Football: Would you have any concerns about keeping Cam Newton for next season?

No.

I can keep him for one more season in my dynasty league at a fairly cheap price ($750 budget, most top-level QB’s go for $220+ in free agency, and I’ll have Cam at around $75 next year). I know that it’s still incredibly early, but between his recent ankle surgery and the lack of receivers on Carolina’s roster currently, I’m starting to think it’s less and less of a no-brainer.

Still a no-brainer. This year’s draft has a deep and talented WR class, so at least postpone this hand-wringing for another six weeks.

Sex: Well, not really. My girlfriend and I have talked about taking the next step in our relationship and getting engaged. When you proposed to your now wife, what level of planning did you put in to the actual proposal? Based off of my Facebook news feed over the past year, I feel like guys are going more and more out of their way to set up these elaborate proposals where they have the girl’s family/friends hiding off in the wings watching the whole thing so they can take pictures and video. That seems incredibly difficult to pull off without someone blowing the “secret” aspect of it. I just wanted to see if this is indeed the norm nowadays and I’m just being lazy about it, or if I would still be alright taking her somewhere sentimental and just doing it with the two of us present.
Thanks in advance for the advice,
Ray Rice’s Punching Bag

First, an all-caps NO. That is not the norm. Facebook is the public persona people WANT you to see, which means it’s a forum designed to showcase the people DO create a Rube Goldberg machine of friends and photographers to show off to the world what amazingly romantic, perfect people they are. You ever notice how you only see close-up photos of the engagement ring when it’s a 2.5-carat beast in a Tiffany’s box? That’s because no one’s showing off the simple-but-effective ring passed down from their grandmother.

Personally, I think going someplace sentimental and relatively private makes it MORE special now that goddam everything is on social media, but I have a friend who SWEARS it’s a great idea to hire a photographer to capture the moment. Do what feels right.

Of course, you’re getting this from someone who proposed to his now-wife in front of their friends at his birthday party. I like to think it was a noble effort, but my wife was hoping for something more like a choreographed group dance in front of the Flatiron Building set to Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” So take it from me: try to see if she has anything specific in mind. It’s worth sacrificing some of the surprise if it means getting a little closer to what she envisions. Not that I was going to organize a group dance in front of the Flatiron, but I could have at least walked into traffic with a boombox, you know?