Thursday - Apr 18, 2019

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Whale Shark Interview – Longhorns76

Congrats Longhorns76 on becoming another of our Whale Sharks, 1000 messages on the Msg Boards!! 
Thank you very much. I’m glad to have made the varsity.

So, it looks like your a Tom Clancy fan. What’s the attraction?
I find all his novels to be very realistic. The Jack Ryan and John Clark characters in his books are extremely intriguing and they have such a realism that shows them in a light that they are not superhero’s but real people who do their job’s although they don’t always like what they have to do. The novels present so much information about politics, government, military strategy, foreign affairs, combat, international relations, terrorism, biological warfare, CIA, FBI, NSA, KGB/NSRV, intelligence. I highly suggest picking up his books if you are a conservative Republican type of person that’s interested in those different topics. Lets just say that Clancy is anything but a Democrat. Some of his novels look very intimidating so if I were to suggest a good starter book I would say start with “The Hunt for Red October”. Its one of his shorter novels and it is a must read. But then it is important to follow the Clancy timeline to get a true sense of time in the books as the characters grow older. If anyone ever needs to know what order to read them in I will not hesitate to give anyone the order of which they should be read.

Wow, great answer. And how about that quote you use. For those that have not seen Black Hawk down, you really should. It just an incredibly realistic movie.
I love Black Hawk Down. It is probably my favorite movie at the moment as it is always in my DVD player and almost always on play. It presents urban combat on a very realistic level in the most hostile and dangerous environment in the world. Politically the operation was pushed under the rug by the Clinton administration because of the failure of the government at the time to properly supply the troops in Somalia with the support that they needed to complete their objective.

The quote itself I liked because it fit into the context of site and presented a part of the movie that I found interesting because of the foreshadowing of the dangers ahead for the Rangers and the Delta Ops. If anyone doesn’t remember who Mike Durant is, he was the helicopter pilot that got shot down over Mogidishu and was captured by the Somali warlords and shown across the world on TV. He was fortunate enough to survive because of the heroic efforts of Gary Gordon and Randy Shugart who unfortunately were killed by the Somali militia. Gordon and Shugart received the Medal of Honor for their efforts.

Let’s move on then. So, you’re obviously a Texas Longhorn fan. Are you from Austin?
I’m a huge Longhorn fan. The last few years have been among the best in school history but unfortunately the losses to the Sooners of Oklahoma in the last four seasons have over shadowed the seasons that we have had. I don’t believe that Mack Brown is a bad coach by any stretch of the imagination but I do think he gets criticized fairly and unfairly by the University masses for being soft and having his teams unprepared in big games. I am more inclined to believe that his teams just lose to those who are better. Hopefully with a little luck this year, we will seal up a BCS Bowl berth to either the Rose Bowl or Fiesta.

I am not a native of Austin originally but I have lived there for two years. I love Austin and will probably move back when my girlfriend gets accepted into the law school there in the next year or so. I grew up in the west Texas city of Odessa, hometown of future NFL first rounder Roy Williams and former NFL scrub quarterback Stoney Case. I can’t wait to go back to Austin and go eat at the “Hula Hut”, my favorite environment in the city.

And which NFL team then do you follow. Cowboys or Texans?
Definitely the Cowboys. My uncle got me interested because that is all he and my grandpa would ever talk about when I was like 4 years old.

And what do you think of their season so far?
It is very surreal to watch them right now. I wouldn’t have believed six months ago that Bill Parcells would have taken them to the level that they are at. I knew he was a good coach but he has exceeded my expectations. Truthfully, I didn’t think the Cowboys could be fixed this quickly. I was predicting a 7 win season if they were lucky. Now I’m just really excited for them.

How about your favorite NFL Player, past and present?
I have a lot of favorites from the past but the players that really stand out in my mind to me are Bo Jackson and Tony Dorsett. Tony Dorsett provided me with my first memories of the NFL when I watched him break his legendary 99 yard touchdown against the Vikings. Bo Jackson was just the most awesome sight to see when he was playing. It was like every single play you would hold your breath and expect him to do something special.

Currently my favorite players are the two studs from the University of Texas. Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes. I always thought that Priest had the ability to make it in the NFL but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought he would be the back he is today. In college he was third string his senior year behind Shon Mitchell and Ricky Williams. He was lucky to get a break with the Ravens and put up some good numbers in the games that he actually started but the drafting of Jamal Lewis devalued him greatly and he went off to KC where he made the most of the chance that he received. Ricky is just one of the most durable RB’s I’ve ever seen. It is easy to overlook the workload he had in college but he carried UT on his back every week for his final two years. And to see him produce the way he has in the NFL is pretty awesome as well. I hope he doesn’t wear his body out too quickly as I want to see him continue his career injury free for the next 5 or 6 years if he can.

How about a Super Bowl prediction from you.
I think that Seattle is going to surprise everyone in the NFC and put aside their road woes and make a run through the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl. They will however play a very motivated and very physical Tennessee Titans squad that will pound their way to a 31-17 victory.

Nice…very bold. So how long have you been participating in Fantasy Football?
This will be my seventh season of fantasy football. I started playing at a time when stats were taken manually by looking in the papers on Monday morning. It’s incredible how the internet has changed everything about this game.

Boy, I can relate to that. I still remember buying the USA Today every Monday. And how many leagues are you involved in?
Right now I am only involved in one league. With more than one league, I’ve learned over the years that watching a single game is difficult in a fantasy sense because you may have a player on your team in one league but you are competing against that same player in another. It is a headache thinking about all that stuff sometimes. Next year I might be on two but definitely the number one team I’ll be involved with is the Guber League with the many dedicated members on the Fantasy Shark Message Boards. It will be very competitive and will probably contain plenty of smack talk but we all have tremendous amount of respect for each other and it will be a lot of fun.

And the Team Name(s). Any meaning behind them?
The team name is naturally the Longhorns. I typically keep it Longhorns year in and year out. I might change it for the Guberleague though, as I want to keep my username and team name a little different.

So, are you going to make your FFL playoffs this year?
Yes, I’ll be the third seed. I’ve scored the most points in my league so far, I’ve just had some bad luck losing out in some high scoring close match-ups early in the season. I play a strategy of keep a way that works for me typically. So when injuries to key RB’s occur to other teams, I typically have their backup on my team just sitting on the bench. Right now I think I am carrying about 9 running backs total.

Ah…just like my friend Doug Coutts. So, what about your best and worst pick of the year was?
Grabbing Priest Holmes in the first round was obviously a great move. I’m glad everyone felt that he was going to have hip problems otherwise I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pick him at number six overall. But the pick that I probably am most pleased with is that of Matt Hasselback. I had him way way overvalued going into the draft but I felt that I had to have him and when the run on quarterbacks started in the end of the 4th round, I felt that I would have missed out on him if I waited until the projected 8th or 9th rounds to grab him. When my turn came in the fifth round I grabbed him to assure that I would have him on my team. Now I’m extremely happy that I did that with the performances he has had in the last couple of weeks.

I was lucky not to pick up too many duds. But I did get one of the season’s busts with my forth pick when I chose Eric Moulds. It was a good pick logically at the time but looking back if I had to do it again, I would have grabbed Hines Ward who went on the next pick.

Great. Let’s talk about a bit. How did you come to find us?
I hadn’t ever heard of the site before this year but when my Commish set up our lineup’s on the lineup coach from My Fantasy League I found the site and how useful it was, I became immediately hooked. Although I was hooked to the site, I didn’t register for about a month. I was just thumbing through the threads and someone asked a question that I knew the answer to and felt obligated to answer it. So I quickly registered myself and pulled myself into the shark tank as a little chum.

How about your favorite FantasySharks feature or article?
This is a great site. It’s even better that it is entirely free for use and the lack of pop ups make everything on the site that much the better. If I had to pick features, obviously the message boards are my most frequented but I find the Whale Shark interviews very enjoyable. Tony and “The Prognosticator” is also one article I read every week. Of course I read what the lineup coach suggests as well. I read all the articles from the staff you put together a great site. I don’t participate in the contests but I do look at the shark leagues from time to time and just see how everyone is doing in there.

Ok. On to the message boards. How’s the community going these days? There’s still a ton of activity.
It’s pretty incredible. The activity has been really hopping lately and so many people are messaging that it seems as if the membership has been increasing more by the day. It’s a great message board. Everyone on here is so respectful, personable, helpful, and pretty intelligent. I rely on everyone’s input for the decisions that I ultimately make because I don’t want to make an uneducated guess based on any biases I may have toward certain players on my team and having it backfire. The message board keeps me in check and without everyone on there, I would probably would have made some very bad decisions. I don’t know that much about fantasy football but I do know that listening to others will always help me make the guesses that I shouldn’t do alone.

That awesome. Any particular poster that you respect the most?
I would love to name names but I couldn’t because so many of the Fantasy Sharks members I respect and I don’t want to alienate any of them by somehow leaving them out or forgetting them. Every single member brings uniqueness and a quality to the boards that can’t be duplicated. It’s truly a collective of the fantasy football minds.

Great. Last question. Still going to be with us at 2000 posts?
I’m sure I will be. It will probably occur around the Super Bowl but I’m sure the boards will be buzzing and I know all the members on here will keeping MatteuofVa’s Thread alive forever.

Thanks again for being such an active poster on the message boards! And congratulations on becoming a Whale Shark!!

About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.