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Sunday 23rd Apr 2017

I always love having fun team names, especially when there are a pun or two involved.

But, the last week I had a quandary in a couple of my leagues, and the end result was changing two of my team monikers.

In the Utter Genius League I have a pretty good team, and when I was invited in, I could not really think of anything clever, so I went esoteric with "Mugwumps." A Mugwump is a political fence sitter, as coined by early 20th Century political cartoonist Tom Nast.

A poltician who sat with his "mug" on one side of an issue, and "rump" on the other, became a Mugwump, and well, looking at politics and our leaders, that designation should still be fresh.

Before though, the bands The Lovin' Spooonful, and Jefferson Airplane took wing, there was an homoginization of the two, with Spoonful founder John Sebastian, and co-Airplane founder and first husband to Grace Slick, Darby Slick forming a jugband that they did indeed call "Mugwumps."

And, I liked that enough to keep the name for a few years, but, this week, when I plucked Torrey Smith out of the free agent pool, and started him along with the resurgent Steve Smith of Carolina, "Smith Brothers" just seemed right. So, I found a picture of the venerable cough drop brothers and changed the team name.

Of course, I never kidded myself that the apothicary Smith Brothers really cured anything, for their drops not only always tasted more like candy to me, in their early days, that is exactly how their "medicince" was marketed.

But, part of the reason for the name change was not just the Smiths (another name that would have worked well), but the guy who helped put Steve Smith back on the map, and that is Carolina's wonderful rookie QB Cam Newton.

For in the Utter Genius League, I selected Matt Schaub as my #1 quarterback, taking Newton around round nine as a back-up gamble.

But, this week, after three pretty good weeks of Newton sitting on my bench, I gave the youngster a shot at starting over Schaub and he rewarded me with 44.9 points.

As it happens, I also plucked Netwon up in the North American Internet Fantasy Football League, curated by my mate Lord Zola.

In that league I picked up Matt Ryan three years back, and the cool young Atlanta signal called quickly became my favorite player. In fact I froze Matty Ice the last years as my quarterback (we can freeze three in this league, though no more than one at any given position) and renamed my team "Matt Ryan's Express," punning off the 1965 Mark Robson film with Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard.

Fact is, I did start Matty Ice this week, but, in all probability, for the last time this year, save Newton's bye week. For like it or not, Newton is going to be a big star. In fact, he already is.

And, as tough as it is to relegate Ryan to my second slot, I would be crazy at this point to sit Newton, and, so I renamed that team "Cam Shafts."

Sometimes it is hard to let go. But, well, being a GM is not always easy.

Ask any of them in football or baseball and they will tell you the same.

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