Hey. It’s your boy Smalls here. I realize I’ve been MIA for a few months now. Life as an adult right after college is tough to navigate, and I’ve been taking some time to figure it all out. But I wanted to come out of the woodwork and make a statement to my fellow Benchers.

How the HELL did the rest of you let an out-of-towner win the whole damn thing?

Here I am at the start of the year, drafting an average-to-mediocre fantasy team because we let too many spuds join. It was slim pickens for your boy Smalls, and I somehow ended up with Ben Roethlisberger as my starting QB in Week 1. I’ve never felt worse coming out of a fantasy draft. I even drafted Trace McSorely in the last round, knowing full well he might total one point all year, because that’s what happens when you draft with thirteen other clowns. I also thought that I was doomed from the start, because our CEO and fearless leader Deke had a (tentative) offer to teach a fantasy football course at a local community college. Greg Malek, noted Pat Narduzzi fan-boy, was one of the more analytical sports minds I had personally met. Josh Elsass had an incredibly unique “Moneyball” strategy that I had never heard of, yet was intrigued by. I thought I was about to buckle in and bite the pillow all year.

To my surprise, these shmucks had no clue what they were doing.

To Mr. Greg Malek: I will always commend you for being one of the few remaining Pitt football fans that pepper the yellow seats of Heinz Field on fall Saturdays. But getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs after only putting up 90 is a tough look for the most statistical mind at Thoughts From The Bench.

To Mr. Josh Elsass: You’re no Billy Beane. Stick to hockey and tossing bags in holes.

To Mr. Greg Macafee: Looks like you going with your homer mentality and starting Josh Allen didn’t get you past the first round, eh? We get it, YOU’RE A BILLS FAN. Tough look my friend, especially for the first overall seed. Looking forward to seeing your team’s eulogy in the Trib.

To Mr. Ryan Vojtash: Your team made it to the second round. Congratulations. I’d talk more smack, but I’m afraid you’ll just roll over and let me scratch your belly, just like during the Pitt-Penn State pregame trash talk this year.

To Mr. Michael Brookhart: I really don’t know you that well, you seem like a nice dude. I loved your fantasy team’s name more than your team, though.

To Mr. Austin Moorhead: Beating the Rank “King” by 30 in the second round of the playoffs really made your weekly Start ‘Ems and Sit ‘Ems play into the whole “those who can’t do, teach” saying. Guess this is why you’re teaching the youth of America.

And finally, to Mr. Deke Whiten: You went 4-9 and came in last place. I’d for sure want my tuition back.

Sorry if I didn’t personally call you out, I don’t have time for all you peasants.

Listen, I get it. I stay quiet all season and now I’m out here stirring the pot? Who do I think I am?

The winner, that’s who.

Try and come get this smoke next year, and maybe try not to suck.

Yours truly,

Smalls