By Nightmare & Dr. Seuss—
Tuesday night I was sitting down to read bed time stories to my kid (#Dad-Life).  I got to choose the books, which in itself is a big deal and totally worth mentioning in the column.  Anyways, as I settled in to start reading, the kid says to me, “I can’t believe Zack wrote this book.”  Confused, I looked at the book, then I looked at him, and I say, “What?” 
He repeats, “I can’t believe Zack wrote this book.” 
Now, I know for a fact this child doesn’t know anyone named Zack.  He certainly doesn’t know any authors.  Who has this kid been talking to and who is filling his head with lies!!!!   
“What are you talking about?  Who is Zack?”  I ask, totally confused, and apparently sounding a little crabby because the boy gets a little sad look on his face and just says, “Zack.”
I look back down at the book, Hop on Pop, by… Dr. Seuss.  It clicked.  I quickly apologized to the boy for the misunderstanding as I briefly contemplated the consequences of letting the kid think he was friends with the Dr. Seuss.  I decided it best not to lie to the boy and then had to explain our Dr. Seuss was not the Dr. Seuss.  Then of course it’s a big long thing about nicknames and why we call Seuss, Seuss.  And he tells me Eustis doesn’t really sound like Seuss, but yes it does, and… sigh… children are exhausting.
Fast forward about 24 hours when I get a text from Seuss asking, “Are you still looking for ideas?” I smiled.  I knew what would happen now.
 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Sometimes the rankings just write themselves… Other times, Dr. Seuss writes them for you.
So, did I write them with the GOAT?  Did I write them on a boat?  I did write them here and there.  I did write them everywhere…  Just kidding, this isn't going to be a red rhyming rankings rolling round and round… full of gibberish… well, there will probably be gibberish… But it does come courtesy of the HRL’s own Dr. Seuss.  Thanks buddy for co-writing this week.*
This week is the start of the NFL.  Much like the HRL, I didn’t really believe it when I heard it was happening.  Even on game day, I didn’t believe the games would go on, but it looks as though they will, so today our rankings will be football themed!  Yay.  Anyways…
Time for jokes!
15. Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that one of my favorite things about the NFL is the Minnesota Vikings… and how they will, without question, crap the bed and let Vikings fans down.  As a casual fan of sports in general, I love the “love/hate” relationship, and I enjoy watching Vikings fans and their “I can’t quit you” approach to each season.  But let me tell you, as a Packers fan, I want to marry this feeling and have babies with it.  It is my favorite.  Anyways, if the Vikings were a wiffleball team, they’d be the RoughRiders (2-17).  I had such high hopes… and then they went and lost… a lot.  Swept by Hopkins last week, don’t know what happened with the Goats since there are no scores entered, and got the Ponies up next.  (PR: 15)
[writer’s note: I know most of you are Vikings fans and probably hate me for that last bit, but I still love each and every one of you.]
14.  The idea of a pleasant “fan experience” at a stadium is pretty much the worst idea ever and no stadium experience can match watching football games from the comfort of my own couch.   Maybe some dudes like pi$$ing in troughs, or paying $11 for a beer, or $10 soggy nachos, but not me.  Give me my couch, HD television, and the beer in my fridge any day.  What does that have to do with the Saints (5-20) ... I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure Vlade hates the NFL so he would certainly hate an NFL stadium… so that counts, right?  Also, the Saints haven’t won a game in a month.  Vlade… what’s going on man?    Their season gets put out of its misery this week against the Biscuits.  (PR: 12)
13.  Now, given that last bit, you might think I never go to games, but I do usually go to Lambeau Field once or twice each season, just because.  It’s amazing, and Packer fan or not, if you go, you’ll appreciate it at least a little bit.  Speaking of little appreciation… The Pirates (3-15) have gotten stood up like three weeks in a row and haven't played in about a month… are they even still in the league?  Who knows who they play next.  A rescheduled game maybe?  I don’t even think they’re scheduled to play this week.  Yikes!  I don’t know the scenarios surrounding the reschedules, but seems to me, the Rats should have made those other teams forfeit… they’d be shooting up the rankings!  (PR: 14)
12.  Even if you aren’t the biggest football fan in the world, you could certainly use a good distraction from all the nonsense this year has thrown at us.  Speaking of distractions that throw things… Have you met Lulu of the Americans (9-13)?  No games last week, getting swept by playing the Brewers this week.  (PR: 10)
11.  I’m not one who likes sitting around all day.  In fact, I pretty much hate it, but a couple times a year, sitting around the house is pretty much mandatory.  Case in point, Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, the NFL provides us with Thanksgiving games to keep the day from being a total waste… or perhaps just to provide us with a reason to avoid meaningful conversation with our friends and families… anyways, Thanksgiving = food = smoked meats = my boy Neut and the Yard Goats (4-15)…  Didn’t enter stats from last week, have the Cakes on deck this week.  (PR: 13) 
10.  I know this isn't a hot take anymore, but Tony Romo is surprisingly good at announcing football games.  Also surprisingly good, the Rumble Ponies (8-17).  I also think both Tony’s announcing career and the Ponies joining the HRL were pretty last minute moves, which is “cool.”  I guess.  I don’t know, the pressure of getting these done 4 days late is starting to sink in… ahh!  Ponies split with the Yankees last week, got the Riders up next.  (PR: 11)
9.  For a lot of years, I wasn’t a huge football fan, but I did love drinking beer on Sundays.  Football was really just an excuse to drink beer at a time I normally wouldn’t be drinking beer.  Some days I wonder, do the Kardinals (8-12) just show up and blast majestic bombs so they have an excuse to drink beer on a Monday (or Thursday).  Kards swept the Ponies last week, got the Crawdads up next.  (PR: 9)
8.  My all-time best football related memory is when Neut and I (and almost Box) made a road trip to Lambeau to watch the Vikings lose to the Packers.  It was an all-around great weekend, but the road trip to Lambeau (or any stadium where your favorite team plays) was memorable/amazing.  Box even wrote a song about it, Journey of Kings, but due to the tardiness of these rankings, I couldn’t find a link (maybe next week?  Neut?  Box/).  Anyways, I think the Chihuahuas (11-13) would hands down be the greatest team to go on a road trip with.  Some days, when I tune into their pregame show, I get a little peak into what it would be like… and I love it.  Split with the Brewers last week, finish their season next week against the American’ts.  (PR: 8)
7.  I’ll be honest, most regular season NFL games are pretty “meh,” but I do respect a good rivalry.  Years of history and crazy fans on both sides all crammed in one four hour “battle.”  (I hate when people use a sports-war metaphor, but I’m also very lazy, so…).  It’s great to watch.  During my HRL career, there have been a lot of rivalries.  Most of those teams are gone now, but the Yankees (13-9) are still here and even now when we play, there’s a lot of history and memories and… rivalry.  But a healthy, pleasant one.  At least I think it is.  Yanks lost 3 of 4 last week (Biscuits, Brewers, Ponies) and have the Vibes up next.  Are they playing for the division?  Probably.  (PR: 7)
6.  Some teams in the NFL had racist team names… The Crawdads (15-4).  Umm.  I’m just going to keep this one simple.  Anyways, should we still be watching Chops?  I mean, for records, he’s a great dude, in general I’d watch him just because… Ummm, and are they still even playing games Not sure… they rescheduled maybe?  Then the Kards are up next?  I’m confused, and pressed for time...  (PR: 5)
5.  I never understood the crazy NFL fan who dresses up like an idiot, or wears cheese on their head, or whatever to go to a football game.  What exactly is the point?  Ohhhh, thirsty for attention.  I get it now.  The Vibes (13-10) split with the Cakes last week, play the Yankees for the division this week!  The best part about last year was the debut of Nightmare’s first ever highlight video.  “First” as in, this is the first one I ever edited, it’s hard.  Hats off to all you guys who do that every week.  (PR: 6)
4.   Super Bowl commercials always get a lot of hype leading up to the big game.  And I’ll admit, every year I get sucked in and get all excited for the commercials and it isn't until about the 3rd quarter, after all the commercials have been pretty “blah,” that I realize, “oh, Super Bowl commercials aren’t that good anymore.”  Now, I’m not saying the Cannon Ballers (17-7) aren’t good anymore, they are, but they did go from like the team I loved to make the World Series to a team that lost 7 of 11 games in a stretch…  Luckily they then got to play the ‘Aints (and swept) and next week they finish their season next week with the future home of Nightmare (the Biscuits).  (PR: 4)
3.  Super Bowl parties are always fun.  I’ll admit, the game is secondary to the spread of greasy food and cold beer, but I still love every single one of them.  You know who else I love every single one of?  The Baby Cakes (17-4), who split with the Vibes last week, got the Goats up next.  Rumor is there will be an awesome Professor v. Nightmare video debuting later this week.  (PR: 3)
2.  So, I’m a Packers fan.  I’m not ashamed of it, but I have stopped wearing Packers stuff in public.  Why?  Because every time I wear Packers stuff in public, someone has to say something.  95% of the time, it’s positive, it really is, but when you’re just minding your own business at Target and some old guy walks past and is like, “Go Pack Go!”  I mean, “What did you say dude?!  Oh, Go Pack Go.  Cool…”  I mean, leave me alone bro, I’m just trying to buy some Swiffer wet pads for the wife, I don’t need to interact with you today… sigh… I dunno.  It doesn’t make sense that people just try to talk to me when I’m minding my own business, just because I’m wearing a t-shirt.  I’m not like, “hey bro, Anderson windows, cool hoodie!**  Triple paned glass, am I right?!”  No.  I am not.  That wouldn’t make sense.  Just like a team called the Brewers that DRINKS HARD SELTZER.  I’m doubling down Thunderson, what you going to do about it?  Anyways, Brewers (20-6) split with the lil Pups last week, got the Americans this week to finish the regular season.  (PR: 2)
1. Full disclosure time, if not for fantasy football, I’d probably have bailed on the NFL and football a long time ago.  If I wanted to watch a bunch of millionaires bash each other senseless and get concussed, I’d… hmmm, I don’t really want to see that, I’m not a psychopath… anyways, fantasy football is pretty awesome, you get to pick all your favorite guys and put them on one team.  Sometimes you play in a keeper league and with your #1 overall pick in 2021 you take a new prospect from your minor league system… (see last week’s rankings if you don’t get that joke).  I can’t wait.  The Biscuits (21-4) haven't played yet this month, have the ‘Aints this week.  (PR: 1)
*For the record, Dr. Seuss books are the worst.  I mean, they’re teaching kids to read… gibberish.  Yazzy Yazzer Yazz?  When will my kid ever need to read that?!?!
**I live on the east side of town very near the Anderson Windows plant, I see someone with Anderson stuff on pretty much anytime I leave the house.  I am in no way disparaging Anderson, I have their windows in my own home.  Go Anderson!

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