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Manly House of Football: D'oh, Henry!

I'm a big fan of the growing trend of deviating from the name of your college, as in "Santonio Holmes, THE Ohio State University ..."

Lately, we are getting more and more high schools, JUCOs, and last Sunday night -- the best yet -- courtesy of Green Bay's starting strong safety:

Pride of Amsterdam Ave.


How cool is Atari Bigby? Well, he didn't give Central Florida any love, but here's hoping he set a new standard for player introductions. Check out his page.

"Atari Bigby ... Amsterdam Avenue." Wow. It was great enough that the first name conjures up memories of Space Invaders and Pong, but naming your street? I hope more people follow the lead.

I may be partial because I spent three years living a block away from Amsterdam in NYC, but I can't wait to hear favorite colors, first dog's names, answers to the big questions (Ginger or Mary Ann?) The possibilities are endless.

Travis Henry stars in Love Letters ...

I am lovin' me some Travis Henry.

Because he's a tough runner who plays hurt? Well, that certainly helps. I have tossed him some cyber-praise on these virtual pages for his toughness and his skills in the past, but today I love him because ... frankly ... he makes me feel better about myself.

That is the only positive to take from his impending drug suspension -- the kind of pathological screw up that lends a lot of credence to the concept "fear of success."

Like some runners who come up short or fumble when they smell the goal line, some people just can't avoid messing up when things are good ... check that, great.

After many years, he finally got the big money to be the bell cow for what looked to be a playoff caliber team in Denver. Neither prediction is looking so hot now.

Oh, I know that he's appealing his urine test to a fair-thee-well, but come on -- when have you ever seen one of these suspensions reversed? Doesn't happen. Dead halfback running, and it's not a question of "if" but "when," so spare me the sense of suspense.

I guess that leaves me with no choice but to look for the bright side -- and guess what? It's me. No matter how I screw things up, I didn't puff $20 million away. Hurray for me!

I'm not great with my money, I'm not bad with it. Like most of you, I land somewhere in the middle. I save, I avoid debt, but I also blow my dough on pure luxury items, extravagances, enough so that I get nervous around the frugal.

I know a really big comedy star who pulled down big bucks for 20-plus years, yet feared money to such an extreme degree, he had Kmart lawn furniture in his house for years. Just couldn't trust it.

We all know people like that -- millionaires who go to the library to read the free newspapers, never pick up a check, never valet park. They sure are fun to mock, but I will admit that I am also haunted by a little voice that frets that maybe they're right, I'm wrong, and I'll end up sleeping on a park bench wishing I hadn't bought all that bottled water. Once again, I thank Henry for helping me feel a little better about myself. A case of Fiji water is a long way from kissing off tens of millions, which, after all those child support payments, probably pay out at pennies on the dollar.

Of course, Travis came with a past ... one we are only learning about recently. It recently slipped out that he fathered nine children with nine different women. If you're looking for a litmus test of an individual with issues regarding accountability, not to mention the ability to learn from your mistakes, I think we have a winner.

I just keep wondering: What keeps you going after, say, five? Is it the thrill of watching five different women attach to large chunks of your paycheck? Is it the competitive spirit that drives you to eclipse Derrick Thomas' baby-daddy record?

Then there are the ripples the looming suspension sent through the fantasy football community, who also found some inspiration in the Jets' fan class-action lawsuit against Bill Belichick:

Do you think we can start a class-action lawsuit among Henry owners if he gets suspended for drug use? How about the Broncos if they had previous knowledge of the situation they did not disclose prior to fantasy drafts?  Hey, if a Jets fan can sue the Patriots and Belichick for spygate, then us Henry owners should be able to get something done. I mean, hey, there's a lot of cha-ching riding on this sort of stuff and if some high-end player wants to get high and leave us all blowing in the wind after we draft him, then I say he needs to pay up.

Yeah, I know I have too much time on my hands here. Just one of those mornings where us normal work schmucks don't really feel like working.


Why not, Steve? Of course, you'd have to be patient while waiting at the back of that long line of mothers -- but I think it's actionable. If you're looking to document some collateral damage, some pain and suffering, then consider the way Henry's sword-of-Damocles appeal act is turning the Bronco backfield into a platoon.

It's a new day, and when players screw up, they have to face a new kind of scorn. The organization and the team's fan base have always been there to share their scorn. Now you get the resentment of anyone who drafted you for their fantasy teams, too. And it's a deep old bag of scorn, my brother.

As long as Travis is fighting the machine, fantasy owners savvy enough to have pounced on Selvin Young two weeks ago (because, at that point, Henry looked dinged up, not toked up) don't even get the sweet relief of plugging the kid in and watching him go.

No! You gotta burn two, precious bye-week killing roster spots waiting on the suspension, and starting Henry in the meantime while haunted by the fear he'll actually sit more and more during games.

Heck, I even extolled Henry's virtues on the ESPN fantay football draft special when I chose him on national TV! Imagine the guilt I have for leading people astray!

Mike Shanahan called last weekend's 41-3 blowout at home the most embarrassing moment of his career. I guess he should also be embarrassed for taking a chance on Travis -- I mean, we all know he failed drug tests and came in with a third strike -- a bubble waiting to burst. Tossing a $12 million bonus in that direction is risky enough, but we can only assume the Broncos did their due diligence on the private-eye front and got hep to the nine kids/nine different women thing.

Information fantasy football owners were not privy to. If we were, he would have slid a round or two -- and no bonuses, either.

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