No pressure, no diamonds: The arrival of RGIII

By Nick Shook, Gabriel Kramer, Wezley Garlick and Austin Moore
Read full post on Medium.com

Sometimes, an event in the sporting and cultural world inspires discussion. And sometimes, the Sports With Shook crew can’t get behind the mic together, but still has plenty to say. In lieu of podcasts, we take to the inbox and keyboard to discuss the latest happenings.

Nick Shook: You’re the eternal optimist, right? Or, at least you are with the Browns. So while I might already know the answer, I must ask — when you learned the Browns were signing RGIII (for real), did you feel like this:

Or…like this?

Gabriel Kramer: I’m feeling somewhere in-between. I’m definitely not “88-yard-touchdown pass” excited. But I’m not “torn ligament” disappointed. Continue reading

Don’t generalize us, because the juice boxes are long gone

By Nick Shook
Read full post on Medium.com

It’s morning, and I’ve just sat down to a breakfast of eggs and oatmeal when I receive a text from a friend with a link to a New York Post column.

“Your thoughts?” the text read.

Oh no, I thought as I scanned the URL before opening. Not another Millennials column. Continue reading

Nick Shook on Fantasy Football: One last week for all of the marbles

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

Some of you have seen the season end, many in disappointment, and fewer in unadulterated holiday jubilation. But there are a portion of you who have what I consider the true fantasy championship: a two-week, winner-takes-all showdown for eternal bragging rights.

I am here for you fine folks.

This is the last fantasy column of the season, so before we get into my final picks, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has turned to this page to read my thoughts each week, and on Ohio.com twice a week. I couldn’t have helped you win (or lose) your fantasy title without your loyal readership. Continue reading

Nick Shook on Fantasy Football: Unwrap these picks to go for the gold

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

So this is it.

We’ve come down to the final two weeks of the season. You’re fresh off a week of holiday joy, but if your dream season has culminated in a two-week league championship battle for the ages, please, leave the eggnog in the refrigerator when making your lineup choices.

If you’re one of the unlucky saps whose fantasy stocking was filled with fantasy coal (C.J. Anderson, Andrew Luck as your top picks, for example) by Fantasy Santa, feel free to imbibe.

This week, I bring you presents of prognostication. Happy unwrapping. Continue reading

Nick Shook on Fantasy Football: Get to the biggest stage with big plays

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

So you’re off to a fast start, taking the lead over your opponent in Week 1 of your playoff matchup. Congrats. High five. Here’s a nice pat on the head.

But don’t get complacent on me, now. Week 2 of that matchup is where you’ll need your best outing, your most savvy starts and sits. That is what will get you to the biggest stage of fantasy football, the league title game, where you can compete for your gang’s greatest prize, be it a trophy, a plaque, or a year’s worth of chicken wings, because you somehow managed to get your league sponsored by the local wing restaurant.

I wish I had that. But alas, I can only help you get closer to a year of saucy goodness. Continue reading

Nick Shook on Fantasy Football: Get the gleam in Week 14

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

As Marty Schottenheimer once said to his Browns during the 1986 AFC Championship Game, “There’s a gleam, men.”

And there is a gleam for you, too. It’s just your chosen hardware for champions, not the Lombardi Trophy.

Those of you not fortunate enough to make your league’s playoffs are left with a chance to win the consolation ladder, which isn’t much better than getting a sportsmanship trophy at the end of a losing season. I’m not a proponent of those trophies, but sometimes you just need to find a silver lining.

Title up for grabs or not, here are your best choices for Week 14. Don’t forget to pass along your questions/concerns/mid-life crises to me on Twitter at @TheNickShook. Continue reading

Nick Shook on fantasy football: Jump back on Jarvis Landry bandwagon but don’t knock over guacamole

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

One last game in the regular season will decide many of your seasons. Some will leave you cursing the imaginary game of fantasy football, while others will leave you leaping for joy while carefully avoiding knocking over the chips and guacamole.

You better not spill that guacamole. That was made with fresh avocados. You could be 13-0, but you ruin that dish, and you’re a failure in my book.

Below you’ll see one of my favorite players on an otherwise floundering team, as well as my greatest fear in football right now, outside of Michael Oher protecting my imaginary blind side against a rush from J.J. Watt. Yikes. Continue reading

Nick Shook on fantasy football: If you still care, and if you dare, take a shot with Spencer Ware

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

It’s the last week of the season for most traditional leagues that use multiple weeks to determine playoff matchups. That means either you’re on the brink of the playoffs and must win this week, or you’re dead and buried and have only a consolation bracket to look toward.

Or, you’ve coasted to a pristine record and are simply waiting for your machine of a team to keep churning out wins. Congratulations to you; only winners get wings.

In case you need one last boost, I’m here with your roster Hail Mary heaves. Continue reading

Nick Shook on fantasy football: Line up in the slot for the win this week

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

You know, despite all of the (fun word alert) hoopla surrounding the play of Seattle’s Thomas Rawls, I don’t like his matchup very much this week.

Yes, the rookie running back exceeded 200 yards on the ground last week, but it came against the San Francisco 49ers. We know how bad things are out in The Bay.

This week, Rawls’ Seahawks face the Pittsburgh Steelers, ranked first against opposing running backs in fantasy football. With Marshawn Lynch out for weeks after an operation for a sports hernia, Rawls undoubtedly will see 10-plus touches. But Pittsburgh is no slouch against the run. Continue reading