Welcome back to another edition of Free Thinking with Don McCann. This week I present to you another interview with one of the esteemed governors (we are NOT owners) from the Wasted Talent Fantasy Football Dynasty League. I recently interviewed Ryan Read (aka Blockhead) about life, gambling, and his hopes for dynasty this year. So pour yourself a glass of bourbon, sit back, and enjoy!

Hey buddy. How has life been since draft weekend?

Life has been good. Been busy at work and doing lots on the weekends. How’s the start of the school year in the dirty buff been treating you? (Editor’s Note: Wild disrespect for the Queen City coming from the guy living in Schenectady.)

The start of the school year has been a little stressful with changing schools, but I’m making it work. Thanks for asking. How are the patients? Any new old ladies slipping you their digits?

I haven’t been hit on by any old ladies recently that I can remember. Damn I need to step up my game.

Yeah I guess so. I’m sure Ashley is thrilled to have you to herself though. How goes the long distance thus far?

So far it has been okay, lots of video games and lotion ya know. Scratch that part from the blog for the young viewers.

I don’t scratch anything from the interviews. This is free thinking sir. Speaking of blogs, you’ve recently started a new blog. Can you give a brief description of this new series? (Editor’s Note: Free Thinking will NEVER omit interview information unless the information can be physically, emotionally, or legally damaging to the author.)

Yeah I wanted to do some competition revolving around gambling that could get more people involved. So I took an idea from Pardon My Take where each week people make four picks from the NFL slate. A favorite, an underdog, an over and an under are picked and I’m keeping track of everyone’s record. Come check out the Wasted Experts segment each week to track how bad Jason loses. (Editor’s Note: The most recent post can be found here.)

Sounds exhilarating. Too bad I’m retired from gambling. Is there any money on the line for this competition?

Enough acey ducey tragedy like you’ve had will send a man into retirement. Originally it was just going to be for fun. But gambling addict Joshua suggested a $5 buy in, winner takes all, so we’re going to do that.

Ducey has left me severely traumatized. It’s been a long road to recovery. Do you think it’s time to call the gambling addiction hotline? Possibly for yourself and Joshua?

Nah man I don’t have a problem I could stop any time I wanted to for sure. That josh guy probably should though. He has a wife and kid to think about now. (Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, please text HOPENY [467369] or call 877-846-7369.)

This is 1000% true. But he’s also a millionaire lawyer so what’s a couple hundred lost each week? How’s your margin looking since college football began? In the red or green?

So far I’m slightly up in college football and more on the NFL. I had a great preseason going 5-0 and carried it right into the regular season. It’ll hurt when this heater comes to an end. But until then we ride the wave.

Well I’m glad to hear you’re winning but I’m also sad because it means the addiction continues. Let’s talk some non-gambling foosball. The NFL season is out to a hot start already. What teams do you think can make a surprise playoff appearance this year?

There have been some exciting games already. Out of the AFC I think the Bills, Chiefs, Ravens and Colts will win their divisions. The whole AFC West is a tough division. My sleeper team in the AFC that could sneak in is the Dolphins. I hate the NFC but think it’ll be Eagles, Rams, Vikings and going to go with the Saints as a sleeper team to win the division and Bucs as a wild card.

I think those are solid picks for the AFC. I definitely can’t agree with that NFC South pick but we’ll see how the season goes. I noticed you surprisingly didn’t pick the Cowboys for the NFC East nor a wild card. Do you lack faith that the Cowboys can manage to stay competitive within the NFC East?

The Cowboys are chalked. Offensive line is hot garbage, they have a bunch of no names at receiver and I think I’m a better quarterback than Cooper Rush.

I’m surprised you have 0 faith in the Cowboys. You’re starting to sound like me with the Jets. Welp, on to fantasy. It’s looking like you’re the top dog this season. How does it feel to be the league favorite to win the Naomi?

We’re trying to keep our head down and win one week at a time. We’ve been to the finals 3 times without a championship, and second place is not an option this year. Being the top dog weeks 1 and 2 are nice but that doesn’t get you a ring.

Such an honest answer. And you’re right about early season success – it’s somewhat irrelevant. The latter half of the season is where it really counts. You mention the chip has eluded you before – 3 times to be exact. What makes this season different than the ones before?

I feel like my team this year has the depth to overcome injuries and give me options late in the season. Last year we were a tight end away from winning it all and then came up short. This year feels like I have all of the right pieces to make another run at it.

I’m definitely inclined to agree but some recent events may have rattled your team. Both of your QBs are dealing with injuries this season – injuries that may persist. Have you put any consideration into acquiring a replacement? I hear there’s a team out there with a 6-time Super Bowl champion QB who’s willing to find a common ground with the right suitor. (Editor’s Note: Tom Brady has actually won SEVEN Super Bowls 🤦🏽‍♂️.)

We’re monitoring Herbert’s situation but it sounds like he’s going to be able to play through his injury. I’ve picked up Jared Goff as a back up at the moment but if these injuries seem to be more severe than initially reported I am ready to move some assets for a new starting quarterback.

Well let’s hope for your sake it won’t resort to that. But if it were to, my line is always available. Rings are forever. Make sure you remember that if you end up in a bind 😉. Now, which team do you think will cause you the most trouble this season?

I’m not going to give any bulletin board material to anyone. There are a lot of good teams that could make a run for the Naomi. I’m just focused on setting the best line up I can every week.

Wow that’s a very politician-esque non-answer. Love it coming from the least political member of the league. Hopefully you can still answer my next question despite it naturally boasting others. How do you see the final standings for the regular season panning out?

If my quarterbacks would stop getting hurt and barring no other injuries for other teams, I think it’ll be me and either Steve or Don as the 1 and 2 seeds. But Frank and Keegan also had themselves decent week ones.

I definitely have you, Steve, and Don as the best teams in the league. This year is make it break for Steve so it wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to make yet another jump with a “win-now” type of trade. What teams are in your bottom 4?

I think there is a very clear bottom two with you (sorry) and Jordan. Then probably any combination of Jason, GT and Josh for the other two spots and I think that’ll come down to injuries.

I appreciate your honesty. And I have accepted my role as a clear bottom 2 team this year (first time Josh has ever been right). My hope is that Josh and GT round out the bottom 4. Josh would miss playoffs which is hilarious, Jason gets a worse draft pick, and GT gets a better pick (go Greg go!). This wouldn’t be a Free Thinking interview without the two biggest questions. First, your Sacko Bowl prediction. You’ve named your bottom 2 but who takes home the Sacko trophy this season?

I think the wheels have fully fallen off over at the Chalupa Batman’s and it feels like we might have a repeat Sacko.

Ouch. You hate to see it. I think that would tie the record for most Sacko’s at 3. If Jordan is Sacko again, do you think he finally taps out?

I’d like to think Jordan wouldn’t quit, but I do think it would be a possibility. A man can only endure so much losing and getting his armpits waxed.

This is true. Jordan’s humiliation over the years has been quite grand. I hope he sticks it out with the league because I really like Jordan despite that one time I screamed at him ferociously. Last question, Naomi Bowl predictions. Which two teams enter and who comes out on top?

I’m going to put myself in the finals going up against Steve. I think it’ll be a good playoffs but I have confidence in my squad to get the job done and bring home the Naomi. I mean I can’t lose 4 finals right?

Going 0-4 would be devastating – ask 90s Bills fans. You’d be the laughing stock of the league (barring Jordan of course). We’d probably never let you live it down. BUT at least you made it there I guess. Thank you for your time sir. I appreciate the interview. Any last words for the readers?

Yessir. Appreciate you having me. Hopefully I don’t jinx my squad. Go Blockheads!

This concludes another edition of Free Thinking! As you can see, this segment has been posting more frequently. Expect this to continue – or not! This is Free Thinking after all. I don’t play by the rules and I damn sure ain’t no sheep!

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