As a sports scribe, 7 a.m. does not exist. I go to bed late and get up late.
That was until three weeks ago when Pepper Jack — Gizmo’s older brother — has persisted on daily 7 a.m. walks.
Like clockwork, he jumps out of bed between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and sits by the door until I grudgingly slumber out of bed, mumbling curse words as I fumble for my shoes.
Since I’m waking up, Gizmo is also waking up and going for a walk, too.
You would think that since PJ is in such a hurry to get outside, he would empty his bladder right away. WRONG. His priority is smelling and eating scraps of food that gets tossed out car windows. He usually doesn’t water a bush until 10 minutes into the walk.
Because of all the early mornings, I’m falling asleep on the sofa by 11 p.m., which has cut into my fantasy football research.
Ah, yes, it’s fantasy football time.
For me, the draft is the best part of playing fantasy football. I love being able to set at my computer and watching the draft play out.
One of my drafts was scheduled for last Saturday, so you can understand the anger I felt when I heard that the Kodiak High School football game against Wasilla was being pushed from Friday to Saturday due to weather — I apoligize to the Kodiak Athletic Club patrons who felt the brunt of my outburst.
The high school game kicked at 1 p.m. and my draft started two hours later. So there I was on the sideline drafting my team while covering a game — a first for me.
My worst fear came true, and the game ended before the draft did.
Not wanting the computer to select a kicker for me in the eighth round, I stopped my interview with Wasilla coach Ken Ottinger and made my eighth-round selection — Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson.
I’m not confident with the team I drafted. I went wide receiver with my first two picks — Davante Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. — and filled out my running back slots in the next three rounds — Devonta Freeman, Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs. My sleeper pick this season is Buffalo running back Devin Singletary.
Enough fantasy. The 100th NFL season kicks today with Green Bay playing at Chicago.
Last season, Gizmo and I prognosticated every NFL game. This season, due to time constraints, we are only going to pick the five best games each week — one will always be the game featuring the Seahawks.
GREEN BAY AT CHICAGO
Matt LaFluer begins his first season in Green Bay with a huge divisional game against rival Chicago.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay to a comeback win over Chicago in the 2018 season opener. I say the Bears will not let that happen again, while Gizmo is all in on Rodgers.
Clarkston — Bears
Gizmo — Packers
NEW YORK GIANTS AT
Ezekiel Elliott is back. Dallas’ star running back ended a holdout by inking a six-year, $90 million extension. That sets up a battle between Elliott and Giants running back Saquon Barkley. I’ll take Elliott, while Gizmo wants Barkley.
Clarkston — Cowboys
Gizmo — Giants
CINCINNATI AT SEATTLE
Seattle was in the news over the weekend for heisting Jadeveon Clowney away from Houston. The Seahawks now have one of the best front sevens in the game. The Bengals do not stand a chance at CentryLink.
Derek — Seahawks
Gizmo — Seahawks
Pittsburgh — minus Antonio Brown — heads to New England for an intriguing Sunday night matchup between AFC powers.
It’s hard to bet against the Patriots at home, but Gizmo is.
Clarkston — Patriots
Gizmo — Steelers
HOUSTON AT NEW ORLEANS
The first week of the season always brings us two Monday games. Houston at New Orleans is a good one.
This game features two of the league’s best signal callers in Deshaun Watson and Drew Brees. I’m all in on Brees, while Gizmo prefers the running ability of Watson.
Clarkston — Saints
Gizmo — Texans