I was born in 1996 and my brother was born in 1998. 1996 was the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Rat; meanwhile, 1998 was the Year of the Tiger. I don't know about y'all but a tiger is much cooler than a rat.
Yet, there is a bigger difference between 1996 and 1998 than two years and a poor allocation in spirit animals. The difference is that I’m part of the Millennial Generation and my brother is part of Generation Z. By definition, the Millennial generation is anyone born in the years 1981 to 1996. So I was born at the rat’s ass end of that generation. Anyone born after 1996 through 2012 was Gen Z.
Growing up, I was told that I was one of the millennials that were ruining everything the Gen Xers (1965-1980) and Boomers (1946-1964) had built. That our way of shit-posting on Facebook via ‘like my status for a TBH’ statuses was detrimental to our mental and social wellbeing. We would not be able to contribute to the working world because we were too glued to our screens.
Then suddenly came the dawn of Gen Z, currently dubbed the Zoomers. At first, Gen Z was only defined by being the children that were glued to their iPads. May I add, the Gen X parents that pushed iPads on their kids so they would be quiet are the same people who criticized Millennials for overusing technology. I’m not bitter.
Anyway, Gen Zers were children until the introduction of a phenomenon so enormous even my grandparents asked me what it was.
At first, Tik Tok was a social media platform that gave Zoomers a voice that was not tainted. It was not tainted by the drowsy millennials, the Karen type Gen Xers and elderly OK boomers. Zoomers could post freely and be as creative or not creative (i.e. Renegade) as their young souls desired. Then the older generations began to trickle in. They trickled in the same way our parents and grandparents joined Facebook. And everyone had to have an opinion about what Gen Z was doing. Most of the elders labeled the videos as cringy, vulgar, or plain weird. Gen Z had taken over the society-disrupting identity the Millennials had once owned.
Enter: the Cuspers.
I’m a Cusper because I was born on the cusp of the generational divide. And even though I’m by definition a Millennial, I find Tik Tok to be quite delightful. I love the creativity and I’m captivated by the story-times and house-related drama.
Unfortunately, this addiction to scrolling videos comes with judgment from others. Judgment from the Gen Z and Millennials alike who think I’m too old for the app and Gen Xers who think I’m going to get all my personal information stolen (if you’re online, it is safe to assume your information is out there anyway – have you seen my Twitter?). I will say, the Boomers don’t care - they are just now trying to infiltrate Instagram anyway.
Now the Cuspers face a dilemma, we are being blamed for two generations instead of one. As millennials, we were just finally forgiven for our usage of cell phones and citing Wikipedia as a source. As Gen Z advocates, we are being blamed for the liberal Tik Toks and funky fashion. To our conservative elders, we are everything wrong in the world.
Here’s the thing. There was once a time where the Boomers were the hip generation. They are the ones who started the fad of watching television after all. They were judged by the ironically named “Silent Generation” (1925-1945). And then they became the ones who judged the generations below them.
The point is as time moves forward, the elder generations will keep criticizing the younger generations. One day, Gen Z will criticize Generation Alpha, who are babies right now. It is healthy to assume the elder generation’s opinion holds merit because of the wisdom. But, it is ignorant to assume that the new generation is wrong because their ideas are novel.
This meshing of wisdom and novel is what brings us forward as a society and the shaming needs to stop. As a Cusper, it is exhausting to take the blame for two generations of novel ideas. Having to belong to a generation and take the blame for its labels is a load of shit.
Generational labeling is good for historical research once the generation has passed on. But, as long as the generation is still alive, it is not good for segregating thought process. Seriously, why are we segregating ourselves based on age?
As a person born in 1996, my only fact I know to be true until the last of my generation leaves this Earth is that being born in the year of the rat sucks.
Welcome to the Chaos League. A fantasy football league with the most fun and the most infuriating rule set you’ll ever experience. This league was designed with a single goal in mind, creating chaos. To add to the anarchy and get out of our comfort zone, we said screw you to Yahoo and ESPN and used an app called Sleeper (it has a super dope chat feature).
Don’t believe me when I say ~chaos~? These rules speak for themselves.
To all my fantasy owner friends, feeling stressed out just reading those? My five competitors and I certainly did, too. Allow me to help wrap your head around this.
With ZERO bench spots and ZERO waiver period, if someone on your roster is injured, you are forced to make the decision whether to take 0 point production and keep your star player or drop his ass and live in fear of another team picking him up as soon as he’s healthy.
All of the sudden, your kicker is your best friend and your worst enemy. If he makes a 50+ yard field goal, you score 10 points. If he misses a PAT, you lose 10 points. Think about it, your team could be leading going into Monday night with only your kicker left to play and he could butcher a PAT and destroy all of your hopes, dreams, pride and dignity.
With only six teams and 10 players per team, the rosters and waiver wires are STACKED. Here’s my team:
Here’s the WRs available on the waiver wire:
Here’s the RBs available on the waiver wire:
Here’s another team:
Plus with only 6 teams, 10 players per team and 30 second draft slots, the draft only took 27 minutes.
There is another evil little rule that hurts all of these steroid-induced, jacked teams. Any reception for less than 10 yards is -1.69 points (nice). Your heard me, catching a quick screen or little old slant can be a DETRIMENT to your team. This puts major value on your typical go-route receivers. Screw Cole Beasley and Julian Edelman and hello D.K. Metcalf and Mike Evans.
A few personal dilemmas my team is facing:
Only two weeks in, I’m sure many fantasy owners are praying for Michael Thomas to get better sooner than later. He was my first-round pick, since he’s arguably the best at his position, and was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain in week 1. Unfortunately, while others can keep him on their rosters, I was met with an emotional decision, whether or not I should drop my best player only four days into the season.
Alas, after questioning my own decision making, going as far as to ask Twitter, I decided to drop Michael Thomas and pick up Amari Cooper. The tragedy. Of course, I have all of my notifications from all of my apps set to alert me the moment he is healthy again (If anyone has an inside scoop, please let me know). Only problem is I know my competition has done the same.
I’m also coping with George Kittle’s injury. He’s been ruled out for week 2 with a knee injury. However, unlike Thomas, I have decided to eat the zero and keep him as my starter. This is because he will probably be back in week 3 and the discrepancy between the top 6 TEs and the rest is so big that any waiver TE’s contribution would be negligible.
This league has already made me scream a few times but I freaking love it. I absolutely recommend creating a chaos league with your buddies next season. I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on Twitter on how the league is going (Follow me @GretaSwift888). Hopefully I haven’t managed to chuck my phone against the wall due to another injury or missed PAT.
I simply couldn’t believe it. It was one of the most electric moments of my life. Just as electric as Texas A&M taking down LSU in 7OTs or Tiger showing he still has it in the 2019 Masters. Even better, it was all going down during my sport-less quarantine. My girl Misty had closed the gap to snag the gold in what can only be crowned as one of the greatest athletic achievements of all time. No, not Misty May-Treanor - I’m talking Misty the marble, member of team Hazers, who just crushed some Savage Speeders ass in Speed Skating at the 2018 Marble Olympics.
Anyway, without real sports in my life, here’s a few things I’ve been doing to fill that gap.
#1 - Having an existential crisis
I’m sure most people reading this have already had their very own existential crisis. They come in all flavors - crying, binge eating reese’s peanut butter eggs, marathoning Tiger King then feeling lost because you don’t know what you just watched. Regardless, all forms suck. But it’s gonna happen, even the most introverted person eventually gets fed up with scrolling Reddit and ordering Grubhub. My suggestion? Get it out of the way early so you can jump right into the rest of this list.
#2 - Simulated Madden
I get it, the NFL wouldn’t have been on anyway. With that being said, this is a great thing to do if you’re in mandatory quarantine, or if your only option of sport to watch is baseball in the summer.
What you’ll need is a TV and video game console, luckily for me—my boyfriend has multiple of both of these in his living room (boy stuff). Next, any copy of Madden will do the trick, the one we use has Antonio Brown on the cover (I’ve been told the one with Brett Farve works as well).
If you’ve ever played Madden, usually you play against a friend or the computer, but not us. By playing the neutral card, you can choose to play as neither—simulating a full-length NFL game that you can argue about, cheer for, and even wager on one side or the other. With a little imagination, you can call the game something like a “SuperBowl” and have a team like the “Cowboys” play in it (just an example).
#3 - Marble racing
Jelle’s Marble Runs is a magical experience. With hours upon hours of ball-tastic content, it definitely provides you with your ball-moving-on-screen fix. It would be absurd but the dudes that produce this really have it nailed. I mean come on—there’s even little marble crowd streakers who attempt to spoil the races, plus the commentary is delightful. And to top it off, all of the marble teams have their own cheer sections, merchandise and social media accounts. Over the top? Absolutely. Weirdly entertaining? Hell yeah.
#4 - Arguing with people on the internet about lists
When you think about great warriors, examples may come to mind such as the Spartans, Gladiators, or Mel Gibson in Braveheart. What many people forget about are our boys on the front lines, the protectors of our timelines and the supreme justices of what’s right and wrong—these are the people who argue about lists on the internet.
They’lll argue about anything, and I’m one of these people. For example, ESPN shocked us all the day I wrote this by having THE AUDACITY to just drop a list like this on the world.
To the untrained eye, this is a list of the schools that have pumped out the most “successful” NFL quarterbacks and running backs. To our modern day twitter Green Berets, this is a BATTLEGROUND. In just a few hours, there are thousands of comments from people who believe they’re correct arguing with other people who think they’re right and people who are confused how Vince Young carried Texas to #4.
#5 - Drink
Look at this super cool site I found on Tik Tok. You enter the ingredients you have in your house and BOOM cocktails you can make at home.
#6 - Do the locomotion
Nothing makes you appreciate being forced to sit on your couch more than exercising. Since I can’t watch sports, I’ve found pretending to be an athlete kind of helps. Meaning, I’m running everyday and that resembles about 12% of a real athlete’s training. I hype myself up for these runs by watching college football hype videos. It’s a little weird but it makes me want to run through a brick wall and do the worm.
But seriously, I miss sports.
Also, shoutout to my handsome super strong funny boyfriend for helping me write this.
Of course, I love football because of the sick plays, clutch victories and heart-warming story lines. But I also love it because of the ridiculous crap that happens every single season. Seriously, the NFL has more drama than the Real Housewives of any city. This is where the majority of men who don’t like to admit their love for drama, get their fix.
In 2019 alone, fans have been graced to witness everything for Big Ben’s massive beard to Gronk becoming an NFL analyst. I struggled to narrow down the field to just a few stories, but I did it. Here are the top 5 ridiculous NFL stories of 2019….so far.