In regards to abandoning the name Off Duty Ninjas, the hardest decision was not whether or not I should. The real tough one was what should the new name be. Leaving the past is one thing. Deciding how to move forward is another.
The Ninjas became the Phila Dumpster Fire in early November. A drastic over haul of the team was needed- or as much of one as the strict rules of fantasy football in the Baltimore Premiere League and league commissioner Todd would allow. The logo was changed as well; a dynamic picture of the father of Philadelphia, Ben Franklin, replacing a cartoon penguin dressed up like a ninja. The whole thing had gotten stale and with the team hovering around .500, it had become like the election of Obama, a prime time for change. And yes, I did just compare my fantasy football team with the President of the United States.
For a third consecutive year, the Phila Dumpster Fire failed to make the playoffs. The team's starting quarterback was the Harvard kid from the Bills- a remarkable story for sure, but no one you want to trust with the keys to your car (a bad ass 2008 Corolla thank you much.) If not for Jamal Charles of the Chiefs, a dude I've never even seen play, the team would be even worse. I can't even remember seeing a Chiefs' highlight this year. The Dumpster Fire was also saved by another Chief- the Chiefs' defense, picked up in the beginning of the year because of my moral and emotional objections to playing the Jets' defense against the Pats. It turned out to be the pickup of the year. For the Dumpster Fire at least.
Losing Tony Romo was tough. Dallas Clark was a bummer. So was losing the Pats' kicker, Gostowski.
Some dudes just don't come to play. It's a killer. They are not only cheating themselves, but their owners. I don't write strongly worded letters, but if I did, a good number of running backs around the league would be getting one. Too many to name; too many wasted waiver pickups on dudes whose moment in the sun was shorter than Harvey Danger's. You know, the flag-sitter song.
The goal for this year was not to change the team's name- but to finish with a respectable record, to gain respectable standing within the league, and to play under the war cry of we are striving for respectability. Fall, but do so with dignity.
People would suggest that the Ninjas should perhaps be on duty as opposed to off duty. But that's not funny. It's not what makes it a great name, a name that was going to be the rap group Sidecar would be in it's free time. But time passes. Now it's about looking forward and changing things up. It's about running with the changes and making the most of everything. It's about doing math in your head, it's about Christmas ales, and it's about in a church or by the beach. The Off Duty Ninjas had a good run, but the run ran.
Here's to the year to come and the fun that is bound to come with it. Here's to touchdowns, double digit points, and amazing cellphones that make following along so incredibly easy. We will not wait to find out how respectable the Dumpster Fire ended up being. We will not sit back and watch it burn. It's the Dumpster Fire. It's life and it's what's happening in the best way possible.
Good times are coming.
It's just the playoffs that aren't.