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Thugs may be your ticket to a fantasy season

We’ll be fine, as long as we stay out of jail.

That’s not just the motto that got me through college, it’s the theme for my (possibly illegal) fantasy football outfit. Welcome to Y2BT: The Year to be a Thug.

With Lawrence Phillips poised (possibly the first time his name ever has appeared in the same sentence as “poised”) for a comeback, Kerry Collins far from Bourbon Street, and Cecil Collins ready for a Randy Moss-like rookie advent, no time has been better. OK – no time barring Dallas’s Super Bowl repeat, when Dallas was America’s team, because most of America already had to pick a few Cowboys out of police lineups. So I jokingly kicked around the idea of Thug Life for my fantasy football team. After 14 draft rounds, I realized I wasn’t kidding.



Jimmy Johnson once said he would draft Charlie Manson if he ran 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. My route was more indirect, just taking the best players available at the time:

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1. Randy Moss, WR, Minnesota Vikings – With Terrell Davis gone, Moss became the logical first choice for any team, especially Team Tupac. Besides, I had concerns with that Davis kid’s character: He may be going over 2,000 yards again, but there’s virtually no possibility of him winding up in the Denver County hoosegow anytime soon. Moss appears reformed: but don’t forget the 11 NFL general managers banging their heads into walls for letting trumped-up “character issues” get in the way.

6. Cecil “The Diesel” Collins, RB, Miami Dolphins – Jimmy Johnson describes him as a faster Emmitt Smith; the Baton Rouge Parish DA portrayed him as a pot-smoking groper; John Nagle, the running backs coach at McNeese State, where the Diesel transfered, described him as a con artist with the brain of a 15-year-old. I call him the player most likely to become my first-string running back.

3. Tony Martin, WR, Miami Dolphins – Faced federal money-laundering charges in connection with cocaine trafficking. But not afraid to go over the middle in traffic. Enough said.

7. Jake Plummer QB, Arizona Cardinals – Sure. The sexual assault charges were bogus. But Sports Illustrated rated his value eighth among NFL players. Plus, players named “Jake” naturally seem to draw the nickname of “the Snake,” which locks up his spot right there.

Also – A few players got on the team on technicalities: heart-of-gold running back Warrick Dunn (technicality: a degree from Free Shoes University); former NFL fastest man Eddie Kennison (gold teeth). But It wasn’t a perfect draft. Acquisitive desire forced me to risk team chemistry with a few Thug misfits: sax offender Jerome Bettis, evangelist Cris Carter (No, not the creator of “The X Files”) and even (gasp) Doug Flutie, Flakes and all. Sure, I misfired a couple of times. Kerry Collins seemed like the logical backup for Plummer. And people just beat me to Bengals running back Corey Dillon, Fred Taylor and anybody who played collegiately for the Miami Hooligans – er – Hurricanes

But I like our chances. Maybe if we win the league, I can get one of those “Thug Life” tattoos. Just like Tupac.

The views expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper, its parent company, or really, any sane person in the Western Hemisphere.


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