Tag Archives: Fantasy Football

Embrace the Phone, People. Embrace the Phone.

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

Let me tell you a little story about my phone…

First, know that I am a devout player of Fantasy Football. With the season fast approaching, the leagues that I am in have been completing their drafts over the past few days. This year, my neighborhood league was pulled together at the last minute and we were trying to get a draft going this past Sunday morning.

Well, this weekend, I was at my in-laws and we were scheduled to drive back to Dallas on Sunday morning. Staying longer at my in-laws in order for me to do the draft, in the confines of their home with the luxury of wireless, unfortunately, was not an option. Not because I have any ill feelings toward my in-laws and we HAD to leave, but because with 3 kids, it’s critical to travel during the window where they’re the least unruly. So, it just so happened that travel time and draft time collided.

What to do?

Well, at first I just resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the live draft with my comrades so I custom-ranked my players in order to let the computer pick wisely for me. But that didn’t really sit well with me because one of the funnest parts to playing Fantasy Football is the draft. There’s strategy and trash talking and fun to be had during the draft. The computer gets none of that.

The next option was my iPad. I could use it in the car as long as I got my wife to drive. She was down and I was in. This was perfect, I thought, and actually a new experience. And one that I could give play-by-play to my wife because, of course, she would want to know everything about my draft. Well, there’s a thing with the iPad called Flash and when something, like a Fantasy Football draft widget operates on it, it might as well not exist. It was the first adverse Flash event I’ve experience on my iPad and I did curse it.

Now, really, what to do? I could try to call my picks in, but that just wouldn’t be viable for me or the person receiving my calls. Despite my good nature, I wouldn’t want any part of that, being on the receiving end. I reached the point that I just knew the computer would have to do the work for me and my season would be left up for chance. Hardly any control to defend my Neighborhood Champion title, which brings a good amount of street cred with the other dads. It was turning out to be a bummer.

But then….I looked down and saw my phone. My glorious phone. My phone that has an Internet connection and isn’t an “i” anything. Thank you, Google. I opened up the browser, went to the site, tested my system and viola, it worked. I was in business.

Now, I’ve recently written a number of times about the noise that we have to wade through to get to the quality content and experiences that are of benefit to us. I look at smart phones the same way – they are equipped with a lot of noise. I don’t download many apps on my phone because, honestly, it’s too overwhelming. The main function on my phone is text messaging. The second is the actual phone. The third is email. That’s about it. And I’m perfectly fine with that. (My kids, however, use more of the power of my phone than I do.)

But not today. Today, I rejoiced in the power of my phone.

So, the lesson here is – if you have a smart phone, it is powerful. Possibly even more powerful that you ever thought. It is a true enabler of so many things, be it a Fantasy Football draft, showing your mom pictures of kids through Facebook, or controlling a game on a billboard in the middle of Times Square.

Embrace the phone. Everyone, embrace the phone. It can open up a whole new world.

Friday’s 4-1-1, What We Can Learn From the Weather Style

More often than not, things don’t happen the way we expect them to.

Take this week for example – here in Dallas, the week before the biggest sporting event of the year, it was supposed to be filled with excitement and energy, people bustling here and there, setting the city abuzz. Then, Icepocalypse happened. Then, the snow happened. All week, the city (and metroplex) has been essentially shut down because of the weather. If things are abuzz, I wouldn’t know because my view has been limited to the four walls of my house and news reports.

It has thrown a major wrench in things. I’ve been thrown out of my routine. It’s been frustrating.

But that’s an easy first reaction. When I step back and really think about this week, though, I am reminded of some simple, core truths that give me a different perspective. And this week doesn’t seem so frustrating after all.

So, today’s Friday 4-1-1 is all about what we can learn from being snowed in.

1. Be patient – Yes, grasshopper, you must be patient. But it’s so hard, especially when you’re not born with it. And especially when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. I’ve found that the easiest way to actually become patient (yes, it is an active exercise with me) is to breathe. Sounds simple. It is. If you feel yourself losing patience with someone or something, slow down, take a couple of deep breaths, and get yourself centered. Think about how you’re going to react or what you’re going to do before you actually do it. Those couple of seconds of “nothing” will help.

The thing about patience is – everyone needs it. Both giving and receiving. And while it might be frustrating, most anything with patience sprinkled in turns out in a productive way.

2. We can only control what we can control –  Weather is one thing, other people’s actions are another. Both are things I can’t control. It’s easy to get frustrated at everything out of our control – the weather, the way people drive, the way people act, the decisions they make, the things they say. What is in our control, though, is how we respond to situations and problems and people. If you strip everything down and ask yourself, “what is it about X that I can control?,” more often than not, it’s an easy answer to find. Then, it’s just a matter of doing it.

Many things require a reciprocating action in order to actually get done/resolved/settled. We ultimately can’t control that other side, which is challenging, but as long as we’re doing everything in our control to get it done/resolved/settled, we can be more peaceful and proud than not.

3. Anticipate the need to be flexible – How many times have you seen someone (or even you?) dig their heels in and not budge? In my experience, the result is most always not good. To think that we can’t/shouldn’t be flexible is just foolish. Fair, consistent, convicted – all of these things are important, but flexibility is key. Even more is the ability to anticipate the need to be flexible. To know, going into a situation or a discussion, that you might have to dig your heels OUT, only allows you to do it easier and often times, more graceful.

4. Enjoy the beauty around you – I almost categorized this as, “Enjoy the snow,” but having lived in NYC for a time, I know it’s easy to despise the snow, regardless of how beautiful it is. Down here in Texas, we don’t get much snow. When we do, it’s a treat. I think that there’s an element to snow that’s really magical. It reminds me of my childhood and visiting my grandparents in the mountains of Colorado. So, even when it’s a nuisance (like now), it’s a beauty (to me) that can’t be overlooked. Taking note of these things and the time to appreciate them could make all the difference between a bad day and a good one.

“Uh-huh” – I’ve been thinking of the best way to include one of the best infographics I’ve seen all year. It has absolutely nothing to do with the spirit of today’s blog, but I want to share it anyway. In honor of the last football game of the season (although I resent that they start off with “Lost Productivity”)…

Fantasy Football Infographic

(here to see a full-size version)

“Duh” – Can this week come to an end already? And the snow melt? I mean, I would really love to venture outside and actually see people. I miss my office mates and my friends. I. Want. This. To. Be. Over.