Deep in Razzball Headquarters — probably somewhere in Donkey Teeth’s third basement where he keeps his Jay Cutler jersey collection — a phone rang. The ringtone, Carley Rae Jepsen, but not the song you’re thinking of. This phone call broke the rules of decorum, where Donkey Teeth was not to be bothered while attempting to ascend to the status of bodhisattva. The un-becoming would wait.

“Aye,” Donkey Teeth answered, returning to the material plane and answering his Blackberry. 

“We’ve got a problem here, boss.” It was EverywhereBlair, weekly columnist for Razzball and the 18th most-read ranker on Reddit. “Seems Joey’s not coming out of his bubble.” 

“Leave it to me. I’ll be there in a minute,” Donkey Teeth said, leaving his lotus position and ending the call. Naked, he stood in front of his miniature shrine to Rex Grossman, his focal point for meditation. “Blue 42,” he whispered, and disappeared. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The Joey Wright was a king without a prince, even though the song 1999 pulsed in the background of the VIP section at Sticks, the only football-themed nightclub on the West Coast. The Battle of Lake Tahoe was won, but the War of the Razzbowl had taken its toll. 

“Another New Coke?” the bottle girl asked Joey, her referee-striped uniform reminding him of the Super Bowl Shuffle. 

“IT DOES NOTHING FOR ME!” Joey shouted, tossing a red flag on the floor to indicate he was done with his VIP session. The tech bros at the booth across the aisle poked their eyes up from their Nachos Grande and noticed Joey cradling a picture, whispering to it. One of them came over. 

“You OK, man?” the tech bro asked Joey. 

“Not since I lost The Mick,”

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Their gas tank empty, The Joey Wright and The Mick Ciallela stood on the side of a Coloradan road. It didn’t matter which one, they all looked the same here. “Tumbleweed West” is what Joey called it. “The death of us” is what Mick called it under his breath. 

“Check the trunk again,” Joey said, shaking his slurpee container and trying to get the last rocks of sugar into his straw. Mick pounded the trunk of the baby blue Buick Skylark, the latch popping and the trunk opening. “Yeah, I told you, it’s gone. Just this manifesto!” Mick picked up the zine, the color of a rainbow without contrast. The lede: STEAL THIS RAZZBOWL. 

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Through the hole in the floorboard near the gas pedal of the baby blue Buick Skylark, The Joey Wright and The Mick Ciallela watched the pavement pass underneath, mile by mile. The sky was the color of toast, burnt on both sides. 

“How much gas we got, Mick?” Joey asked, his hands jittery on the wheel and his eyes on the horizon. He had heard Nebraska was flat, but he had never heard about how the crows –thousands of a crows aloft in the sky — flew in mesmerizing patterns. He felt they were waiting for something. For them. 

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He probably doesn’t remember this, but The Joey Wright — former film critic and Frozen 2 aficionado — has changed my life before. You see, in the effort to diversify Razzball holdings into all realms of the media world, we had a short-lived film studio named RazzWorkz, where we leveraged Grey’s ties to A-list celebrities to greenlight independent and gritty films. When I submitted my spec script, Nunchuckers 3: Hail Terry — my coming-of-age movie about Terry McLaurin teaching a group of nuns to play football to save their charter school’s tax-exempt status — it was The Joey Wright whose critical review ended my screenwriting career. Joey said my script was, and I quote, “Worse than Air Bud 6: Mile High Pup, that movie where Patches the Pup spends spring break in the Rockies touring dispensaries and learns a lot of life lessons.” And now, to rub salt in the wound, The Joey Wright has re-taken the lead in the Razzbowl for the second time. So, let’s turn the tables, and now I’ll play the critic to Joey Wright’s Razzbowl sequel. 

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The first time you do something, it’s memorable. Like, your first kiss, or your first time waking up in a bathtub with a kidney missing. Because if you wake up a second time in a bathtub with a second kidney missing, well, it’s going to be a rough day that you don’t want to remember. 

Now, will Mick Ciallela’s second time at the top of the Razzbowl rankings be remembered as a second kiss or a second missing kidney? Let’s find out!

With 66% of the cutline best ball portion of the tournament done, Mick becomes the first Razzbowler to repeat as the Leadingest Leaderboard Leader. Let’s take a look at what the man from Fantrax has been doing to chase that coveted Razzbowl trophy and sweet, sweet Razzball merch. 

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At Razzball, we pride ourselves in the quality of our readers, because it sure takes a wise fantasy manager to dodge some of the hot taeks that we dish out. Lamar Jackson as QB1? What the hell were you thinking, Blair? Certainly, what I meant to write in the preseason QB article was that JUSTIN HERBERT WOULD BE QB7 BY WEEK 6! Yes! That’s what I meant! 

And why does it matter that we have smart readers? Glad you asked! Some of you know that I, EverywhereBlair, was a Razzball originalist dating back to 2009. And look where I am now! In Grey’s basement with a Capri Sun and a bag of Cheetos writing fantasy football articles. From fan to fantasy analyst, you could do it too! 

Why am I hyping our fans’ intelligence so much? Because one of our fans, Curtis Jones, has taken the #1 spot on the Razzbowl leaderboard. Congrats, Curtis! 

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All right, how many “old timer” fantasy readers are out there? I’m talking the guys and gals who used to mail in their fantasy rosters to their buddy, who then had to score them by hand like a baseball program. And then came Yahoo Fantasy Sports, which was like a dream come true. I kept drafting David Boston and hoping his hulking frame would bring me the fantasy glory. Then, ESPN came around, and everything kind of stagnated for another decade while fantasy managers sat on message boards and shouted at each other about Peyton vs. Eli Manning. Then, a new, brazen upstart came around: Fantrax. They didn’t have an internet search giant (remember when Yahoo was that?) or a massive Disney parent company supporting them. They were just: Fantrax. (sounds of air whooshing from my mouth, the sound of which was at one time a sound of awe and is now the sound of terrifying Covid emanation). And Fantrax wasn’t just about being a platform. Fantrax was all about having fantasy players that would join up with you and kick your ass into next Sunday. Try that, Disney! 

Welcome to the top of the Razzbowl, Mick Ciallela

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Below is an exclusive profile of our Week 3 Razzbowl leader, Joey Wright, who has worn many hats outside of the awkward wool sombrero we make the Razzbowl leaders wear. Joey has been a therapist for goldfish, a ferret groomer, and he holds the movie Frozen 2 in high regard. As we got to know each other on Twitter, I conducted this completely accurate and real interview with him wherein he revealed some of his deepest fantasies…FANTASY FOOTBALL! Come on!

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Excuse me, everybody, I’m a bit tired from spending the last week pitching the Razzbowl to the Shark Tank investors. See, I thought we had such a good program here — the best ball, the FAAB, the community — that we could turn this [waves hands around frantically] from the world’s biggest free Pros-V-Joes best ball tournament into a lucrative side-business. Then, Mark Cuban started talking about some team he owns, and I started talking about how I drafted Joe Mixon and Leonard Fournette, and then he started saying something about inexperience and over-my-head, and then I took my prop football and I threw it right over his head. Turns out, if you attack a billionaire, there’s a group of people who start following you, but not in a Korean boy-band kind of way. 

So while I write this from the rest stop in eastern Kentucky eluding the finest private security vans that Cuban could hire, I trust that y’all will learn from my mistakes and do a Kickstarter in the future. 

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