An Open Letter to the YFFL

Nick Wood, Backyard Sports Icon

October 10, 2006

After reading the latest Sea Dog Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale Hot Seat that asked the ever-controversial owner Mike Kinsman who he thought would be a good addition to the league, I thought this would be a good time to throw my hat in the ring as an additional candidate for a franchise. Before getting too deep into this, I would like to thank Class of 1998's own Chris Roberts, who helped me prepare this political editorial.

Nick with Fireworks
Would Nick Wood bring an explosive element to the YFFL?

First off, I am not disagreeing with Mike and his choice of Ryan Delaney to be one of the next owners to join the league, I just feel that I should also be one of the fortunate. Second, contrary to the rumors from the past and the recent Hot Seat article, I would NOT offer money for a franchise. I feel that money is not something that should be involved as it would be against what your league has represented; a non-money league that gives the owners personal satisfaction from winning, not monetary.

I realize, through conversations with a couple owners in the league, that my name has been brought up a number of times as a potential ownership addition, and it has faced a great deal of opposition. My first goal is to do what I can to try and come to an understanding with those who I believe may or may not have a disagreement with the idea of me taking over a franchise. As I do not know exactly "who" is against me in this venture, I thought it would be best to try and find a possible reason why each current owner in the league may be against me becoming part of the fraternity, and to try and make amends with each of you.

Anthony Aceto: This one did not jump right out at me, but once I thought for a minute, I think I figured it out. I drafted Aceto in the YFL draft and put him in a position where he was basically underused on the bottom-dwelling Crusaders. Our West Coast offense was not a good fit for him, he was frustrated with losing week in and week out, and Steve Dugas was in our backfield. Aceto, I am not going to deny it, I made a managerial mistake here, but I am a believer that you can learn from your mistakes.

Steve Dugas: I think I have a good idea about this one and I know why Steve was upset, but I believe that the remainder of the owners in the league would agree that I was doing the right thing here by utilizing all of the resources available.

To give everyone a little background on this, I recently joined the other Yarmouth Fantasy Football League that Steve Dugas is also a part of. During my first ever draft with this league, I conversed with a well-respected fantasy owner and sports guru, Bobby Sansone. I later found out that Steve was upset with the fact that I was doing this, even going as far as to say to Estabrook, as he sat in Andy's living room during the draft, that Bobby drafted for me. First of all, this is not the case, but I did find it funny that it got under his skin a little. I am sure all of the YFFL owners do what they can to put the best possible team out on the field every week and I feel I was doing the same. Steve, you are a well respected fantasy athlete and because of this, you should be more understanding that I was simply taking the league seriously by consulting with Bobby.

Mike Kinsman: I believe this one dates back a bit. Mike may have held a sports grudge against me since his freshman year of Little League when my team, the Steelers, took on his Firemen. The game I'm referring to is known to few as the "Suchanek single that Corey Fitts turned into the winning hit game". What many people do not remember from this game was that I struck out Mike in the bottom of the 6th with the bases loaded to preserve the 1-0 victory for the Steelers. We all know that Mike is a fierce competitor; so fierce in fact that he was brought to tears by the result of the game. But, I hope that Mike realizes that he was a 9 year old in the Major Little Leagues. When the other players his age were learning how to run the bases down in the minors, he was facing kids 3 years older than him in a high intensity environment. I mean, that season was basically my baseball peak and we know he had many years at much higher levels ahead of him. This is the only reason I can think of...well, aside from coercing Jon and him to get into fist fights growing up...

Gansgter Bob
Would Bob welcome Nick with open arms into "the family"?

Bobby Sansone: Well, many of you know that he and I have been each other's back yard sports nemesis since the 4th grade. Purposely, we would be placed on opposite teams, as everyone enjoyed us bantering and taunting one another. This personal rivalry got so intense, that when I fractured my eye socket after John Nale's batted ball off the pitching machine hit me in the face, he still laughed and taunted me. In every aspect when competing against one another, the victor would take great pride in the demise of the loser. I don't believe that the sports rivalry can be solved here and now, but I do want to point it out as a possible reason he may be against me joining the league as he and his competitive nature may take pride in me losing out on a great opportunity.

Brian Davidson: This one may have baseball ties as well. I believe that every current owner in the YFFL participated in the three team backyard baseball rivalry games held in Oakwood's Acorn Circle. You all know that Bri was the manager of the Bottoms Up Baseball squad. Because I was a frequent visitor to the Delany/Plummer/Davidson field complex on Autumn Lane, Brian originally signed me to be a member of the team to compete against the teams from Portland Street and Oakwoods Circle.

The downfall began after my initial contract with the team ran out. I signed with the team that would be later known as the Portland Street All-Stars (and the Pierce Bros). This may have upset Brian to the point where he would still want to do whatever could be done to prevent me from owning a franchise. If this is the case, I can't say that I blame him.

Brian, what I want to let you know is that I did make a huge mistake by signing with Portland Street. You were the one who originally took me from the other side of the Sligo Road tracks, put a glove on my hand, and took me in as part of a team. I took advantage of that by allowing myself to only see the contract money over the devotion to a true team.

Chris Davidson: Like Jerry Rice being a little upset with his Division I-AA receiving records being broken by a University of New Hampshire white kid from Orange, VT (David Ball), I could understand that Chris may be still upset with me breaking his YFL receiving records. If this happens to be the case Chris, you have to realize that records are meant to be broken. You had an amazing career in the YFL and I am honored to have my name be included with yours in the record books. It is either this, or the fact that my freshman year of high school, either Chris or "Mold" Bridges had to drive all the way down Sligo Road to pick me up for late start Wednesdays.

Kevin Sansone: This one could be the most difficult to overcome because I have no clue what Kevin would have against me acquiring a franchise. It may be my lopsided trade proposals in fantasy baseball that upset you, but I will be the first to admit that I am not the best at initially getting the trade ball rolling, but I am willing to be active in the trade market and work to get a deal done where needed. For that reason, I don't think it should be held against me. Kevin, we are practically neighbors here in the Nutmeg State, if there is any other reason why you would not want me in the league, let me know what it is.

Nick and Jon
Is Jon secretly campaigning for the addition of the WoodPeckers?

Jon Kinsman: The one thing that sticks out as a possible reason that Jon would be against me joining the league would date back to our Harrison Middle School days. It was my convincing that led Jon to try out for the middle school basketball team and it was the first day of tryouts where he broke his ankle. Jonny, I can't take that break back and I hope that you are not holding that against me when it comes to joining the league. It's either that, or the fact that I was there when Ryan Jamison broke your Mom's china tea cup and I convinced you to glue it back together.

Now that I have covered what I believe to be the only specific reasons for me not to join the league, I would like to answer the general question of "what I would bring to the league if I was to join the YFFL fraternity?" First of all, I would be able to add an outspoken voice to the mix. I would do my best to make the league the best it can be, both in a competitive sense and in an entertainment sense. If you all remember back in the day when the league web site's forum was open and available to the general public to comment on, I was the one who tormented Steve by playing his secret admirer. I am not saying I would play games like this if brought into the league, as its clearly not my purpose of being involved, but I would find a way to make the competition just a little more fun. I would bring to the table rivalries that I had with owners from the past that could spark rivalries of the future.

If some of you think that I would not be a dedicated owner or not take this seriously, you probably forgot that I am married. That means I have plenty of time on my hands, not much of a life, and I already get my honey-do-list completed by Saturday afternoon so that my Sundays can be devoted to football. I understand that some of you are YFFL traditionalists and may not want any additional change in the league, but we all know that if done in the right way, change can be a good thing.