The Berry/Cockcroft Regions: Vote for the Best Fantasy Expert Walk-Up Song
Which Fantasy Expert Has the Best Taste and Ability to Intimidate? You DecideIn a nearby column, we introduced The Great Experts Walk-Up Song Bracket. Sixty-four leading experts in Fantasy sports all think they have the best potential walk-up song in the game. Well, you get to decide that. In the previous column, we broke down the first two regions, the Brandon Funston and Ron Shandler regions. We named our regions in honor of some the most impactful figures in Fantasy content history. Now, we look at the right side of our Walk-Up Song Bracket. Remember to vote, and leave us feedback in the comments or at "firstname.lastname@example.org." We will publish your best comments in upcoming bracket articles.
- Two voters per round will win FREE 2018 RotoExperts Xclusive Edge Fantasy Baseball Packages.
Matthew Berry RegionIf you play Fantasy sports and don't know who Matthew Berry is, well, I want you in all of my leagues. Berry, the Talented Mr. Roto, took his skills to ESPN and built upon Brandon Funston and Eric Karabell's impressive foundation. Berry brought Fantasy sports into the multi-media arena, giving our games a (regularly appearing) face on ESPN's 127 channels, a voice on the popular Fantasy Focus podcast, and even in print with his best-selling "Fantasy Life." Berry is also an example of the overall societal good that Fantasy sports can accomplish: Berry's Hollywood writing and producing career gave us "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles," "Grace Under Fire," and "Reba" among others. So keep flooding his mailbag to keep him distracted. This region contains both the 1 and the 2 seed from Yahoo! Sports. Being the Matthew Berry region, it also includes Berry's colleague on ESPN's Fantasy Focus podcast, and former RotoExpert, Kyle Soppe. Dr. Dre, The Clash, David Bowie, Phish, Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys: This bracket is loaded, and you get to choose which song and which expert emerges. #1 “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre (Brad Evans/Yahoo! Sports) vs. #16 "Rudie Can't Fail" by The Clash (Rudy Gamble/Razzball). Evans, a newly minted FSWA Hall of Fame inductee says of his song, simply “It’s a classic” with no further explanation. So naturally, the top seed in the region needs to matched with a true underdog. No bigger underdog than a Rudy (or a Rudie). Mr. Gamble is going to um, gamble, with a purely self-focused walk-up tune. He is not concerned about the different spellings of Rudy/Rudie because it’s an audio thing. The writer in me as a bit of an issue with it. Altogether, and form of the name Rudy must be presented as an underdog. Go get ‘em kid. Prediction: It is a classic, and it sails into the second round. Evans yells, um, Yahooooooo! #2 “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie (Scott Pianowski/Yahoo! Sports) vs. #15 “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison (Paul Martin/Real Fake Baseball Podcast). This is the very essence of a 15/2 matchup. Martin and Morrison present a viable contender, but Bowie and Pianowski bring legendary experience. Can Ziggy be touched before the Elite Eight? Not certain of that. Prediction: Ziggy plays guitar, and moves on. Easily. #3 “Chalk Dust Torture” by Phish (Steve Gardner/USA Today Sports) vs. #14 “Joker and the Thief” by Wolfmother (Mike Alexander/FantasyPros). Phish is Gardner’s favorite band and the title can apply to the torture he will apply to the pitcher using resin/pine tar or some other “chalk dust” technique (If I can add one more, it can apply to Gardner kicking up chalk dust down the left field line when he pulls a fastball for a double. I assume Gardner hits right-handed.). Gardner particularly likes the song if he leads off an inning, so the song can play longer, like Phish is apt to do. As for Mr. Alexander, let me say this. I’m a man of a certain age and I was excited to see his song, thinking it was a reference to “All Along the Watchtower,” speaking of classics. Then I wanted “Stuck in the Middle With You” (Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right….”). Anyway the Wolfmother song is a perfectly fine walk-up song, check it out. Prediction: Again, with the Phish. Easy win for Gardner. #4 “Sure Shot” by the Beastie Boys (Jason Collette/RotoWire and FanGraphs) vs. #13 “Raise Your Hands” by Bon Jovi (Jamie Calandro/Fantasy Team Advice). It’s important to admit your biases. I don’t like Bon Jovi, for a couple of reasons. New Jersey is Springsteen. Period. Also, writers abhor lazy writing. “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride” is both lazy and absurd, and I can’t get past this. That said, Collette’s Sure Shot has the elements of a great walk-up song. Raise your Hands is a solid choice – guitars are a big factor in this bracket. Prediction: Collette hits a sure shot over the center field wall to advance. #5 “The Doctor” by the Doobie Brothers (Dr. Roto/Scout Fantasy Sports) vs. #12 “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine (Ben Palmer/Pitchers List). Dr. Roto picks a logical song for his walk-up, and who doesn’t love the Doobie Brothers. He’d play :58 to 1:10 in the song. Rage Against the Machine checks in for its second entry in the bracket and can’t be discounted. This is a 5/12 matchup. Prediction: The Doctor advances, making a house call to the second round. #6 “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” by Jim Johnston (Tim Heaney/RotoWire) vs. #11 “Kick Start My Heart” by Mötley Crüe (Bob Lung/Big Guy Fantasy) This one has all the ingredients: Stone Cold Steve Austin, RotoWire, Mötley Crüe, and umlauts. For the bracket administrator this one is tough. Like I said, we’re all tired of RotoWire winning all the contests, yet I don’t want to keep typing the o and u with said umlauts – took me 10 minutes to figure it out. In any case, we have two excellent choices, but with two of the other six seeds, it might depend on wrestling fanaticism. Prediction: the Crüe prevails and the umlauts live to see another round. #7 “Space Jam Theme” by Quad City DJs (Kyle Soppe, ESPN The Fantasy Focus podcast) vs. #10 “Never Scared” by Bone Krusher (Benjamin Ricciardi/Guru Elite DFS). Soppe, a RotoExperts alumni, handles research for the podcast of the Worldwide Leader, so when he gives an answer, he has thought it through. Why Space Jam? “It was my favorite movie growing up and to this day nothing gets me ready to roll quite like the first few lines.” Soppe admits that they played this tune when he was announced on his high school basketball team. I like the personal touch here, but for baseball I’d have gone with “Hit ‘Em High” from that soundtrack. Ricciardi was perhaps the quickest reply when I asked the experts: “This is easy. Not that I have thought about it before or anything, but absolutely would walk out to Bone Krusher's "Never Scared" - Would start with the bass line, go to the hook and end with the I ain't never scared, I ain't never Scared as I get to the batter's box.” I like this matchup a lot and look forward to tallying votes here. Prediction: The Krusher squeaks by Soppe, ESPN, Michael Jordan and Looney Toons (that’s a lot of American institutions wrapped in one).
#8 “Still Not a Player” by Big Pun (Pierre Camus/Rotoballer) vs. #9 “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled (Ryan Hallam/Fighting Chance Fantasy) – A classic matchup; the kind of game that you hate to see either lose. “I’m not a player, I crush a lot” versus “All I do is win, win, win, and if you goin’ in, put your hands in the air.” DJ Khaled, Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg – that’s like the Yankees lineup. But it’s gonna be tight. Prediction: The hardest thing to do in a bracket is predict all four 8/9 matchups and I know I’ll blow it here. But I gotta take the ensemble “All I Do Is Win”
why are rappers with BIG in their name usually so much better than rappers with LIL in their name? Is it a self made prophecy? Are they like "What do you expect I'm LIL? You BIG DADDY KANE, BIG PUN, BIG L, BIGGIE rappers are grown ups. I'm good with my LIL nursery school rhymes"— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 26, 2018
Tristan H. Cockcroft RegionCockcroft, a 2012 FSWA Hall-of-Fame inductee, has been a long-time leader in fantasy baseball writing; first for Sportsline.com (2000-2004) and since then for ESPN. He's won multiple expert leagues, and hosts ESPN's Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast with Eric Karabell since 2014. His "Geeky Stat of the Day" has helped Fantasy baseball players gain insight from random statistical findings and also ask bigger questions as a result. He's produced leading work on player consistency to help gauge risk in Fantasy leagues. His own consistent performance has set the bar for all future writers. The Cockcroft region is definitely a little twisted. Dora (yeah, the Explorer) steps into the ring with Hulk Hogan. We give "Peace" a chance and a guaranteed spot in the second round. Tiny Tim. We also have dogs! And anything that has Pat Mayo involved is a bit off, and he takes on the Olsen twins. Yeah, it's like that. #1 “Drug Test” by Yo La Tengo (Lawr Michaels/Creative Sports) vs. #16 “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” by Tiny Tim (James Ganey/Fantasy Front Office). Michaels has a way with words (and music) like no other, so I cannot do his entry justice. In his own words, here is why he chose “Drug Test:”
- It's a great driving rocker
- Fantastic sense of malaise
- Baseball link to the'62 Mets (Yo La Tengo/Richie Ashburn/Elio Chacon)
- I have a somewhat apocryphal reputation as a stoner to maintain.
- Did I say it's a great driving rocker?
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