Saturday - Jan 23, 2021

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The IceBox

One of the things I have always appreciated about the opportunity Tony gave me, starting in 2004, is the leeway to write about whatever it is I want. This week, I take a step back from the fantasy world as reality rears its head.

You see, this Sunday my family and I will be special guests of Bruce Allen and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This isn’t the kind of special guest thing anyone would consciously say “Man I want to be a part of that”.


You see, on July 1st of this year we lost my stepson, PFC Jonathan Rossi, in

Iraq. The Buccaneers are honoring our fallen soldiers with a tribute during this game, dubbing it Military Day, and are specifically paying tribute to Jon and another soldier from the


Bay area that lost his life in service to our country this past summer.


I’m not writing this to make a statement for or against the war in

Iraq. I have no interest in starting any dialogue that goes down that road. Instead, as we head into the midway point of the NFL season…as are wage our battles on the waivers, bemoan the condition of our fantasy teams or pray our good fortune continues unabated, I wanted to reflect on this passion that we share and maybe put it into its proper perspective.


You see, I would gladly give the tickets and the parking passes and the food and drink bucks and field passes up to have my stepson back. He was 20 years old when he died, full of piss and vinegar, proud of what he was doing even though he knew the risks.

  If you are interested in learning a little about his mindset, we have continued to maintain

his MySpace page




I coach his youngest brother Jordan as well as my own son and 24 other 13 and 14 year old boys.


Jordan is our star tailback, and he ran with a purpose this year as he dedicated the season to his brother. It has been tough on him, as he and Jon were very close, and although Jon wasn’t a big sports fan he never missed a game his brother played in when he was stateside. Last month our football program dedicated a flag pole, flag and bronze plaque to him, and the entire organization and the fans gathered between the junior varsity and varsity games for the dedication. It was as you can imagine a sobering moment for everyone.


There have been some heated debates throughout the preseason and into the regular season. Tony and the moderators have had to clamp down as some of it got viciously personal, which is unnecessary.

  We are very lucky that we have this hobby to pour ourselves into but we need to have some perspective as we argue and debate the skills of various players and their value to us as fantasy owners.

  We can never forget that this is, after all, called fantasy sports for a reason.

  There are times, such as this weekend is for me and our family, when reality looms larger than fantasy, to the point where the fantasy game has little importance compared to what we will experience on Sunday.


Sometime this weekend, while you are fidgeting with your lineup or waiting for those game time decisions, do yourself a favor. Take some time and spend it with your children, your spouse, a family member or someone important to you. Hold them close and tell them how much they mean to you.



They are, after all, your reality.



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