Friday, November 30, 2007

A time to give

This past week saw the unfortunate death of an NFL player in his prime.  Redskin safety Sean Williams died after being rushed to the hospital after being shot in his leg.  The bullet cut his femoral artery, and blood loss caused his ultimate death.  At the age of just 24.  

His death served as a reminder to me of the importance of donating blood.  No, lack of blood supply at the hospital was not a cause of Sean's death.  But he needed blood just for a chance at life.  Everyday, people are in need of blood to stay alive.  The local Red Cross calls me regularly to donate.  The need is great, but so few take the time to donate.

Last month the call was different.  They wanted me to consider giving platelets rather than blood.  The process is similar but takes longer as your blood is cycled through the machine to remove platelets while the rest of your blood returns to your body.   For me the process took about 85 minutes.  I watched a DVD while the blood cycled.  Platelets are needed for Cancer victims (my grandfather was one) and other conditions.  Fewer people give platelets than give blood so the need is great.

While one can give blood only every 54 days, one can give platelets every 2 weeks.

I am undecided on when I will give platelets versus blood.  Perhaps I will alternate.  Both are needed.  My blood is CMV negative.  I don't know exactly what the CMV stands for other than it is a common virus that most people have encountered and developed antibodies in the their system against.  Only blood that is CMV negative (doesn't have the antibodies) can be used with New Born infants or people having an organ transplant.  So my blood is needed.  But so is yours if you are healthy.  

Please consider giving blood or platelets.  For the little time it takes you to give, you could give years of life to another.  And you never know when it will be you or your loved one that is needing the blood or platelets.  If you can give, please do so.  This is a gift that keeps on giving.

NBA Assists

Looking for help with your NBA Fantasy team?  here are some players who may be sitting on your Free Agent list that could be a great pick-up:


Minnesota's Marko Jaric qualifies as both a guard and a forward in most leagues.  In leagues he qualifies as a PG and a SF.  On the season he is averaging just 9.5 PPG, 2.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists.  BUT in the past 3 or 4 games he has been great!  He has scored 14, 20, 21, and 12 while doling out 6 assists in the first 3 and 7 assists in his last outing along with 7 rebounds.  He is shooting 48.5% from the field and over 40% from 3 PT land.  If you need help with assists, he could be a good addition while also giving points and rebounds.  At 6' 7" he is an odd combination of PG and SF and he has Al Jefferson to throw the ball to on the inside.

Philadelpia's Louis Williams (PG, SG) - he has come off the bench to ignite the 76'ers when Korver was out.  He is averaging 11.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 3.6 APG.  He had a career game when he played Washington on Nov. 20 hitting 10 of 13 from the field including 4 of 4 from beyond the arc for 25 Pts.  Korver is back but Williams impressed enough while he was out that Williams is still getting minutes (about 22 a game).  He has scored in double digits 5 of his last 6 games and since Korver returned (last 2 games) has 6 assists in each game.  Again he is an assist play that can also give you points.

Memphis' PG Juan Carlos Navarro.  He finally signed with an NBA team after his rights were traded to the Grizzlies where his friend Gasol plays.  From Spain, this 6' 3" PG has been playing very well of late.  A 3 PT threat, he can also rebound and dish the ball.  One night he will give you 8 rebounds, the next maybe 7 assists plus double digit scoring.  If the Grizzlies start playing more consistent, he could be a 15 PPG, 6 or 7 Rebounds a game and 6 or 7 assist per game PG, SG.  He has done well for me since I added him last week.  He is shooting over 40% from beyond the arc and over 88% from the charity stripe on the season while averaging 10.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 2 APG.  All 3 are higher of late as he has assumed the starting PG role.

New Jersey's Sean Williams -  I recommended him in a post I made on back when he had back to back games of over 30 minutes.  He immediately quit seeing the PT, and as a result his stats have dropped.  But if you need someone to add block shots to your lineup, he is a good play still.  As soon as they start giving 25 minutes or more a game, he will be worth double digit points, 6 or more rebounds and 2 to4 blocks a game.  Worth having on your bench in leagues with limits on games played.  You can play him now for block shots and hope it is a game where the Nets let him play 25 minutes or more so you also get the points and rebounds.  Even in limited play he is good for about 7 PPG, 4 Reb and a block shot or 2.  Sooner or later the Nets will let him play.  You will want him then.


Azubuike.  He was a great play early but has not been producing in the past 2 weeks.  Currently he is not a player you want.  Maybe he will turn it around.  I dropped him for Marko Jaric.

On the Bubble

Seattle's Damien Wilkins.  He has not performed well since his great game against Atlanta.  Of late he has been a player you'd rather have on your bench.  He has potential but is struggling of late to score and hasn't been getting rebounds or assists sufficient for a fantasy play at SG, SF.  I still have him in 1 league hoping he regains his early season play.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's not too Late - you can be a sportsaholic too!

This is my first year at playing fantasy sports and I am loving it!

Maybe your interest is piqued over fantasy sports but you haven't yet made the move to actually play. It isn't too late! Or maybe you have been playing fantasy baseball or fantasy football but haven't joined any fantasy league on basketball or hockey or Nascar. It isn't too late!

And don't feel that you have to be an expert to play fantasy sports. If that was a requirement I would not be having the fun I am now having. I certainly was no expert in fantasy football when I made the decision to play this year. The Pastor of our church is a sports fan and he wanted to start a league this year in our church. I knew nothing about fantasy sports. Nada. I didn't even watch a lot of NFL football on television. When I historically watched football on television it was usually college football or it was playoff games in the NFL. But I decided to play. And I have been having a lot of fun ever since I did.

Beginning a couple of weeks ago I joined in 3 NBA drafts and 1 hockey draft. If I didn't know much about NFL football, my knowledge of the NBA was no better. Again I tended to watch college games rather than professional games when I watched basketball. As for hockey, I live in the southern US. Hockey is not a well known sport here although there are teams in some of the larger cities such as Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Dallas, St Louis and Nashville. I had been to a couple of Calgary Flames matches several years ago but I really knew very little about the sport. And that is why I joined a fantasy hockey league.

If you want to know more about a sport, join a fantasy league for that sport. You will learn more about the sport than you ever though possible. It provides a perfect learning atmosphere. You will be motivated to learn because you will not want to lose. You will be safe learning because the other team owners probably are strangers and you won't fear appearing foolish. You are somewhat anonymous so can relax and ask those questions you are afraid to ask because others might think them stupid (by the way the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked). You will learn by seeing what the better teams are doing.

And you will be surprised how fun it all can be. The more you participate, the more fun you have.

If you have questions on a fantasy sport, ask. I'll be happy to try and address your question in a blog or email if you prefer.

Some places to play fantasy basketball are and Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports also has fantasy Hockey and Nascar and Golf ....