The League S02E07: Watch out for the “Ghost Monkey” this Halloween!

In this holiday episode, The League celebrates “Adult Halloween” with Kevin in the burbs, Ruxin suffers at his own hands, forced by Pete to set the lineup that he will play against, and Taco sets in motion a series of events that could lead to monkey rape…It’s a Halloween episode, people. Get excited.

This episode is all about Halloween (obviously), and Kevin is planning the loot for the trick-or-treaters while Jenny works on a Brownie uniform. Wrongly assuming it’s her Halloween costume, Kevin immediately starts to talk it up as the sexiest thing he’s ever seen, only to discover that it’s ACTUALLY Ellie’s real Brownie uniform.

Must. Wash. Eyes. Ears. Face. And burn clothes.

Days later at the petting zoo, Kevin laments his poor judgment and the loss of “sexy” Halloween outfits like the sexy Brownie uniform, a college girl outfit staple you just don’t see from co-eds after you’ve left campus.

Halloween is the best excuse girls ever have to insert “sexy” in front of a character of any kind and go out in public. Halloween in college is greatness that knows no end…except graduation. I’ll admit, I didn’t see that loophole coming when I started writing that sentence, but moving on, if you waste college Halloween by studying and staying in, YE SHALL BE PUNISHED.

As fathers, Ruxin and Kevin both reflect on this differently: Kevin, as a father of a daughter, has to carry the largest responsibility, worrying about every dick in the world, of which Ruxin’s son is only one. Unless he’s some sort of freaky Lady Gaga…well, let’s save that for another Google search. The “worrying about all the dicks in the world” father joke is a little overplayed these days, but I like that The League threw it a bone. It’s what every father’s always thinking…as far as I know.

You have to be pretty ballsy to promise an owner full control of your roster. But if Pete’s one thing, it’s ballsy. He promises Ruxin that Ruxin can set Pete’s lineup in their matchup this week as long as he doesn’t make any add/drops. With Ruxin’s fate truly in his own hands, this can only end well for everyone but Ruxin.

Soon, it’s time to leave the petting zoo paradise, much to Ellie and Taco’s dismay. But Taco takes a passenger, the monkey that he grew attached to during their visit. First of all, who has a monkey at a petting zoo? And second, who has a monkey at a petting zoo? I’m serious. The only monkeys I ever saw were at the zoo or providing security in India. Petting zoos when I was growing up consisted of goats, sheep, and dogs. Who gets monkeys? My childhood was a failure.

But on the car ride home, the monkey can’t stand Andre’s horrible Pandora playlist, inspired by Ke$ha, who really spells her name with a money sign and somehow made being drunk and slutty cool with the kiddies. If you asked me, that’s what fathers should be worried about. Just watch this video. She made a record for people who are alive. ALIVE! Niche audience, I guess.

Andre’s going nuts, and his screams combined with the soothing powers of Savage Garden drive the monkey over the brink. The furry fellow decides death is better than sharing a car with Andre and flies out the window and into the wild…if you can call a suburban neighborhood “the wild.” If it’s where Ke$ha lives, I think you can.

Crisis averted? Sure. Fine. Let’s say that.

Meanwhile, Ruxin’s sweating the matchup against Pete’s roster. He’s laboring over whether to start Pierre Thomas…and here we finally encounter one of the few goofs in the show’s guesstimation engine of who will and won’t be studs each week of the fantasy season.

Pierre Thomas is still banged up (even now), and he might never retake his stud status this year with the backfield confusion in New Orleans. But in the world of The League, he’s a stud who could start for Pete against Ruxin. Ah-ha! Caught you in a mistake, The League. That’ll teach you to try to predict an entire football season…wait, I guess that’s what we do every week…

Back in a world that doesn’t hear voices and sweat profusely like Ruxin, Kevin and Jenny are once again getting excited about Halloween with an adult beverage cart and the works. But Kevin’s idea of dressing up Jenny as a Vietnamese prostitute is dashed–much to his amusement–when Ellie interrupts their brainstorming of sexy racial stereotypes to remind Jenny that she promised to be a big, fat frog for Halloween. That’s a sexy fail.

At the bar, Andre explains that he’s the Mr. October of picking up the ladies, especially with his “You poor, poor girl” routine, which has a 6 percent success rate. Andre swoops in after a tragic event to play the hero, and he reaps all the rewards. And by rewards, I mean lady parts. And by lady parts, I mean…okay, this isn’t biology, kids. Google it. You can figure it out from there.

Ruxin arrives at the bar, still in a panic about Pete’s roster and fishing for any kind of info or advice on how to play himself with Pete’s lineup. Even his trash-talkin’ is rattled and un-Ruxin-like. Sad day. Ruxin’s trash talk is usually tops of the league.

And then in an even greater tragedy, Taco brings his monkey anxiety into the bar. He can’t find his animal friend, and he’s scared. Taco manages to pass on his fear to the rest of the guys, believing that the ghost of the monkey is on the prowl in their neighborhood biding his time in wait like some kind of tiny Predator alien.

We saw what the monkey could do against the petting zookeeper, who lost a finger to the mean critter before it was “removed” from the facility, but I’m still not too scared.

That night, Ruxin pays a visit to Kevin’s house like a freaky, emo Twilight vampire and surprises Kevin while he’s taking out the trash. He’s talking crazy talk and seems like he’s been wandering the streets for hours. The monkey screams heard in the distance cause him to hallucinate about Pete, Percy Harvin, and Cadillac Williams coming at him from the shadows.

On a related note, I would actually buy that there’s a Cadillac Williams ghost. Maybe not his real, human ghost but some kind of leg ghost, left behind from one of his surgeries. His legs have seen so many horrible, horrible injuries. I’m sure they’d be scary in ghost form.

At last, it’s Halloween! Rocking a cop-out costume as a doctor, Andre takes advantage of Kevin’s “yank bank incident” by having his “You poor, poor girl” date dress as a sexy Brownie, but that can’t kill the mood this evening.

Neither can his date’s request for ecstasy, and her admission that she blacks out when she drinks vodka. Ke$ha, is that you? Regardless, dare I say…this is going to be a good night?

Taco’s too scared to wear a costume…but that’s okay because he doesn’t know anyone else is wearing one anyway.

Pete and his date, Darcy, show up, and she has to explain what Pete has already discovered to the rest of the gang. She’s actually a witch who doesn’t celebrate Halloween. (Pete met her at the petting zoo, where she was dressed as a “sexy” witch, in case you forgot.) Bummer. But Taco immediately picks her brain about monkey curses, much to Pete’s enjoyment.

Taco and Darcy decide to retreat to the garage to try to connect with dear Potato, the monkey, and find out if he is at peace. Surprise! He’s not. He’s pissed, and Taco’s “Ghost Monkey” song, while entertaining in parts, was a long and drawn out way to anger the monkey even more. Taco has to find a way to make a sacrifice for Potato.

In the midst of drink cart refills, we see Mr. Mc Gibblets make a cameo. Unfortunately, the gang restrains Kevin, and he’s only able to shout after the “tickle me and touch my belly” star.

Crazy Ruxin appears out of nowhere. He’s completely insane after losing to Pete’s lineup, even after setting it himself, and Pete makes sure to rub it in to the fullest, as if he knew all along that Pierre Thomas would end up in his lineup and win it for him.

To celebrate, Andre cues up his terrible music, and Taco starts banging the beat. Jenny tries her best to out-sex the Sexy Brownie date, but she is no match in the fat frog suit. Sorry, Jenny. Fortunately, her moves do catch someone else’s eye…

Potato, the Ghost Monkey, screeches into the night to break up the adult festivities. Everyone scatters, but Jenny, held back by her giant frog head, falls down.

Just like when you’re running from a bear, you don’t have to be the fastest one among your friends, you just have to be faster than one of them. So Jenny is left behind to fend for herself against the Ghost Monkey. It’s not pretty, but on the plus side, at least the monkey only humped the back of her head. He could have found the mouth hole. (I know, I know. That’s what she said.)

When Jenny finally makes it inside, her clothes are torn to shreds…and without the frog parts, she’s actually turned her fat frog suit into a pretty sexy little outfit. Too bad the monkey wore her out of humping for the rest of the night.

As a last desperate attempt, Kevin tries Andre’s “You poor, poor girl” routine, only to get shutdown by Jenny. Lesson No. 1 of Pickup Lines: Never use it if she’s heard it before. Lesson No. 2: Don’t use pickup lines on your wife. Come on, Kevin.

Memorable one-liners from Episode 7

KEVIN: “I’m the creepy guy now…How’m I going to delete this from my yank bank?”

KEVIN: “When you have a daughter, you have to worry about everybody’s dick. There are so many dicks around here.”

PETE: “Monkeys land on their feet. They’re like masturbating cats.”

RUXIN: “I feel like Jessica Tandy in Fried Green Tomatoes except without the old lesbian stuff.”

KEVIN: “Can I make a suggestion? Filthy Vietnamese prostitute. Now I’m not talking about one you get on the pier. I’m talking about one you gotta go down an alley and negotiate with some guy with no teeth…That’s too much?”

ANDRE: “October’s my month. I’m like the Reggie Jackson of hookups in October.”

ANDRE: “It’s not creepy. It’s an APP! Costs a buck!”

KEVIN: “It’s just like a slow, creepy Rufenol coming around your shoulder…”

TACO: “It’s like that movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, except instead of a guy with a hook, we have a young monkey with a shared hatred for Andre’s taste in music.”

TACO: “You told me your favorite singer was Will Smith, so YES, it is your fault.”

RUXIN: “That girl is making a bigger mistake than playing Percy Harvin…right?”

KEVIN: “We’re about one step away from fantasy Saw.”

ANDRE: “She knows…a bit…about monkey curses?”

TACO: “I took him from the petting zoo, and I knowingly brought him into the musical Armageddon that is Andre’s car.”

KEVIN: “This sounds like the Pet Shop Boys are raping Erasure.”

RUXIN: “Ohhhh, Kevin…you get to go home to that.”

JENNY: “I have been humped enough tonight.”

Looking to the next episode: Let’s pick on someone besides Ruxin. He’s getting abused.

[ Jump to Episode 8: “The Tie” ]

Week 8 Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders: L.T. is a zombie

At some point, we have to stop framing recommendations to start LaDainian Tomlinson with stats from his past performances. “For his career, L.T. averages 100+ yards and bazillion touchdowns against (fill in the blank).”

No crap. L.T. was a dominant fantasy force up until last season, but how much suck did L.T. average just last year? Or over the whole of his career? I’d say he’s averaging a fair amount of suckage right now, and that doesn’t fit in with the pretty little stat book on him. I’m pretty sure he didn’t average zero touchdowns against the Chiefs going into Week 7, but how many tries did he have only to fail? That, my friends, is not a back I want to start.

L.T. is out of luck and out of gas, and the guy who generated all those “stats” that are being quoted at you is dead and buried. In proper Halloween form, he’s bumbling around like a zombie out there for the Chargers.

Luckily, he gets the Raiders this week, which is fitting since Al Davis is practically a zombie himself.

I always have a hard time finding a Halloween costume. Mostly because I’m gigantic. The little costumes you can buy at the store don’t fit me. I just look like the big kid who stretched out his costume. It’s completely lame.

Two years ago, I was Shredder — yes, the baddie from Ninja Turtles. I modified a child-size gladiator costume with some tin foil and added a purple shirt and brown pants to the mix.

Perfect? No, of course not. It was terrible, but it worked for what I needed. I had four females walking around as the karate turtles, so no problems if I have a blasphemy of a Shredder costume.

But that night, while roaming to the next bar, I suddenly found myself face-to-face with a 12-year-old kid wearing a full bodysuit of purple cloth, accented by dark metal shoulder blades and cuffs.

His ninja skills were far superior. Not to mention, he had a whole platoon of Foot Clan lackeys behind him. He was shorter than all of his foot soldiers, but I have never felt so small…

So, hopefully, I can come up with a costume this year that doesn’t lead me to embarrassment. I can’t roll with Shredder again. Ever. But you can roll with these guys this week.

Hot Hands Start of the Week

Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals vs. Panthers
To continue our trend of going out on a limb with my “start of the week,” even though the Giants’ Steve Smith burned me a little last week, I’m taking Beanie Wells. A strong week against the Giants’ run defense leads Beanie into one of the softest matchups of the year. The Panthers are tenth in points allowed to running backs, and Jake Delhomme should have some sort of McNabb-puke-esque panic attack the second he steps out on the field against the team that made him what he is today, worthless.

Many screen caps will be made of Delhomme’s faces in this one. I can already predict that.

As scary as it is to trust a rookie who scored his first touchdown just last week, Beanie makes a very nice flex start. I might even give him RB2 status in a tough bye week. Looking ahead, that fantasy playoff schedule ain’t too shabby either.

Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets vs. Dolphins
Two rookie cornerbacks are starting? Yes, please! Even dropsies couldn’t ruin that fun, and Edwards handled himself pretty well in his last appearance against Miami. The return of Jerricho Cotchery should liven up this passing game for the Jets, and as long as Sanchez isn’t too busy eating hot dogs, I expect him to get Edwards involved once again. Show ‘em what you showed “friend of LeBron,” Edwards!

Matt Forte, RB, Bears vs. Browns
If you own him, you’re starting him. That’s not a difficult decision. At least this week you can feel a little less self-loathing for drafting him. This is, of course, all dependent on him doing something of value against the Browns terrible run defense, but all the odds are in his favor.

Forte is a guy I really like, even though I was only able to draft him in one of my leagues. In the second half of the season, the weather should turn colder, and I could see Cutler handing it off quite a bit more. A superstar week against the Browns would go a long way in starting Forte’s return to relevance.

Donnie Avery, WR, Rams vs. Lions
If you don’t start him this week, when are you going to start him? Matchups don’t get better than this one unless you’re playing the Titans. Avery is the only Rams receiver of note other than an up-and-coming Danny Amendola. Bulger should, if he has anything left to give, find him in this one for at least one touchdown.

If Avery doesn’t show up here, I think astronauts will be able to hear the click of the “drop this player” button from space.

Lee Evans, WR, Bills vs. Texans
Ryan Fitzpatrick is locked in on Evans, and Evans has come back to life. Against the Texans, he should take advantage of that connection for a touchdown. You can feel safe starting Evans again, but T.O.? That’s still a no fly zone.

Zach Miller, TE, Raiders vs. Chargers
Always start your tight end against the Chargers. It may not work for Sean Ryan, but hey, is he really a tight end or just an extra offensive lineman that sometimes catches a touchdown pass from Matt Cassel?

I hate trusting a Raider, but Miller has been the only man in this offense that JaMarcus Russell can hit consistently. Miller’s not a terrible start this week.

Cold Shoulders Sit of the Week

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers vs. Cardinals
In theory, this week would be a good one for DeAngelo. The Panthers are struggling to find a passing game, and Jake Delhomme is scarred for life after throwing enough picks to play out an NFL draft against Arizona in the playoffs.

You’d think they’d lean on the run, but the Cardinals have excelled at stopping the run this year. They’re tops at it. They’ll take DeAngelo and Jonathan Stewart out of this game as quickly as possible, putting this game in Delhomme’s hands.

And before you think about it, he won’t succeed.

Andre Johnson, WR, Texans vs. Bills
Before I say anything, the disclaimer on this sit recommendation is that you must have someone with a better matchup. Don’t just pull in any old player to sub for the mighty, mighty A.J. That said, I don’t think the numbers are a lie when it comes to the Bills’ defense.

Andre Johnson already has a bruised lung to worry about. I can only imagine how much that stings, but the Texans (and A.J.) are saying that he will play this weekend against Buffalo. That’s a good sign for his toughness but a bad one for his fantasy owners. An unhealthy A.J. is hard to put your faith in during these critical weeks of the season.

Buffalo’s rookie safety has become an interception machine. I’m sure he’ll be keeping a close eye on Johnson this week. I could see Schaub having a great day, but I think it will come with the assistance of Owen Daniels, not so much Andre Johnson.

If you can sub out your stud wide receiver, do it. If you can’t, cross your fingers and hope for a significant yardage total.

Alex Smith, QB, 49ers vs. Colts
I know you got him off waivers this week, but the Colts murder all quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning. When you practice against Pey Pey, no one can measure up.

I do have a lot of confidence in Smith’s chances down the stretch, and I’m rooting for the guy. Just don’t root for him this week.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks vs. Cowboys
DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas defense regained their pass-rushing prowess last week and took Matt Ryan down a notch. Against the Seahawks’ banged-up failure of an offensive line, we could see Hasselbeck leaving this one early again.

The Dallas secondary has been inconsistent to start the year, so there’s sleeper potential in the Seahawks’ passing game. But I’d put my faith in someone else at quarterback given the choice.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills vs. Texans
The Texans run defense is better than advertised. Just ask Cedric Benson. Even if Lynch finds room to run, the Bills will be forced to pass all day when the Texans get a big lead.

The numbers on the Texans’ run defense will point towards starting Lynch here, and in a better offense than the Bills’, I might agree. But with the Bills’ struggles and Houston’s recent success at stopping the run, I think the numbers are misleading. Assuming you’re not forced into starting Lynch due to bye weeks, go with another option.

Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins vs. Jets
His look-what-I-can-still-do game against the Saints was impressive, but I don’t think that’s the Ricky you’ll get on a regular basis. The Jets are angry — very, very angry — about the embarrassment they suffered against the Dolphins just a few weeks ago. Rex Ryan will have them revved up and ready to kill. I wouldn’t rely on the No. 2 in the Wildcat to win it for you this week.

Ricky can only do well if a new wrinkle is added to the Wildcat to surprise the Jets. The Dolphins have been pretty good at creating those wrinkles thus far, but the creativity has to run out eventually.

Snoozer Sleeper Pick of the Week

Vince Young, QB, Titans vs. Jaguars
It wasn’t too long ago that Vince Young was a shot in the arm for an 0-5 Titans team. They’re in a tougher situation now, but the player is the same. As long as Vince can carry the locker room baggage, he’ll carry this team into better record — not hard to do with zero wins in the books.

Who wants to try to stop both Chris Johnson and Young in the same backfield? Not I. The Jaguars feel the same way. Don’t bet the farm, but if you had to take a flier on a quarterback this week to fill in for Tom Brady or Big Ben, not a bad choice. I still like sleepers like Marc Bulger a little more, but I’m a Young believer.

Song to Ease Your Pain While You Set Your Lineups

“This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Is it just me or does the monster under the stars look like Larry Johnson? He looks like a guy that would average 2 yards per carry. And that clown with the tear-away face is the spitting image of LenDale White circa 2008.

Don’t trust me? Try these on for size: Matthew Berry’s Week 8 Love/Hate (now featuring scary, sexy nurses), Fantasy Football Goat, Fantasy Football Xtreme, The FF Geek Blog and FF Toolbox’s starts and sits.