Tuesday, January 16, 2018
TV and Media

Tampa native Josh Murray pays off in 'Bachelorette' fantasy league

I check my fantasy league scores every Monday.

It's been a tough season, but thanks to a local Tampa player, I've secured a solid second place going into the playoffs. I'm talking, of course, about Josh Murray, my remaining "bachelor" in this season of The Bachelorette.

Yes, my friends and I have taken the mundane rules for one of America's fastest-growing passions and converted them into a competition built around televised love. And you thought fantasy leagues were just for men quarreling over their mythical squads of running backs, receivers and quarterbacks. Ha.

In this battle of love — because this is clearly a healthy way to find your soulmate — the reality TV drama is pushed to new levels of absurdity. Contestants score points for everything from dancing with or kissing the bachelorette to fighting. There may be no crying in baseball, but here manly tears net you big points.

Let's be clear: This league is in no way serious — except for the fact that it absolutely is. It's about finding another reason to gossip with your friends about the ridiculous Bachelorette antics that play out each week. Plus, who doesn't like coming up with league names like Prosecutorial Misconduct (this season's bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, is a district attorney) and team names like Guilty of Love.

So, you might be wondering, how does this madness work?

The draft is crucial. And few things are more entertaining on their basest level than judging 25 men on their "stats": photo, profession and insightful questions such as, "What is your ideal mate's personality like?"

Unfortunately, I landed two duds who didn't make it past the first episode. But it was nothing wine — wine is a big part of Bachelorette league success — and two reliable players couldn't fix.

Thanks to Murray, known as Josh M. on the show, I've pushed aside my weaker opponents by steadily collecting roses and dominating on group dates (a weird mating ritual where a gaggle of men try to impress the bachelorette through some embarrassing group activity such as karaoke or miming).

Peyton Manning may have led the NFL in touchdown passes, but Josh M. leads the Bachelorette league in connecting with Dorfman. Each time a rival contestant was sent home, I pumped my fist in victory. My blind trust in Josh M. as the hometown hunk was paying off.

I selected my other guy, J.J., solely on his profession: "pantsapreneur." On The Bachelorette, the weirder and more combative the player, the better. J.J.'s eccentricity paid off. As did the three fights he got in. Hello, 60 points!

We learned particularly disdainful contestants could earn negative points. This season's slimebag, Nick V., committed the Bachelorette "cardinal sin" (yes, they call it that): He interrupted Andi's alone time with another contestant despite having a rose. Minus 40 points.

Last week, Josh M. flexed his sweet, sweet muscles while showing Andi around Tampa during hometown dates. They strolled along Bayshore Boulevard and played some baseball, and that secured him another rose (80 points, check) and a spot in the final three.

Unfortunately, a league win appears out of my grasp as the current leader has the other remaining contestants, Chris and Nick. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, I can join an upcoming league for American Idol, Dancing With the Stars or The Amazing Race.

And guys, don't worry, you have lots of time to draft women for next season's Bachelor league.

Comments
Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Maybe Jack Nicholson was wrong. We can handle the truth.The #MeToo movement is giving a microphone to once unheard voices. Political lies are constantly challenged. At the Golden Globes, Oprah’s rousing speech asserted "the most powerful tool is spea...
Published: 01/16/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWisconsin at Purdue7 p.m.ESPNLouisville at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN2Georgia at LSU7 p.m.ESPNUVanderbilt at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECClemson at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunCincinnati at UCF7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Michigan at Ohio State7 p...
Published: 01/15/18

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballButler at Providence4:30 p.m.FS1Maryland at Michigan6:30 p.m.FS1Duke at Miami7 p.m.ESPNFlorida State at Boston College7 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AMBucknell at Colgate7 p.m.CBSSNMinnesota at Penn State7 p.m.Big TenWomen: Connecticut at T...
Published: 01/14/18
Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best comebackExcuse Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for getting so carried away that he dropped the queen bee of curse words on live television Sun...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: UCF at USFnoonESPNU; 1040-AMWomen: Army at NavynoonCBSSNWomen: North Carolina at Wake Forest12:30 p.m.FSFWomen: LSU at Florida1 p.m.SECWomen: Tennessee at South Carolina1 p.m.ESPN2Women: St. Louis at Dayton2 p.m.ESPNUWom...
Published: 01/13/18
Review: ‘Black Lightning’ creates electrifying platform for race and the real world

Review: ‘Black Lightning’ creates electrifying platform for race and the real world

Black Lightning is the most grounded, mature series the CW has ever aired.A bold statement, but a true one nonetheless.Not only is Black Lightning (played by Cress Williams) the network's first black superhero, he was also the first black superhero f...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/15/18

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballSt. Bonaventure at Rhode Island11 a.m.ESPNUKansas State at KansasnoonESPNPurdue at MinnesotanoonESPN2Wake Forest at DukenoonCh. 44Michigan at Michigan StatenoonFoxGeorgetown at Seton HallnoonFS1Women: Duquesne at George Washing...
Published: 01/12/18
Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Winners:Serena WilliamsTennis champion Serena Williams opened up about her recent childbirth and the health scare that followed  in Vogue's February issue. Williams said her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, cut the cord after an emerge...
Published: 01/12/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘Electric Dreams,’ new ‘Victoria,’ Tampa couple on ‘Love After Lockup’

What to watch this weekend: ‘Electric Dreams,’ new ‘Victoria,’ Tampa couple on ‘Love After Lockup’

The future might be okay: Electric DreamsIt's inevitable that this new science fiction series on Amazon will be compared to Netflix's Black Mirror. But it's not packed with as much existential dread, and delves into more science fantasy than science ...
Published: 01/12/18
TV is showing us the dark side of playing God

TV is showing us the dark side of playing God

Theologians and other thinkers have described God in several ways over the centuries. God is a stern father. He’s a mechanistic prime mover. He’s a watchmaker. And, most recently, in the NBC sitcom The Good Place, God is a television showrunner.Sever...
Published: 01/11/18