Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, this time with DARC NARCS manager Ulysses Henderson.
HENDERSON: Just so you know, I’m only answering this email so I don’t get fined!
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
HENDERSON: No. I ETS'd in June of 2009.
What did you do post-deployment?
HENDERSON: I stayed in the 158 for another two years before my contract was up. I also continued to work for the Lawton Police Department, where I am now Captain.
Where are you from and how did you make it into the 158?
HENDERSON: Originally, I’m from California, where I joined the active-duty army. I ETS’d from active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Where do you live now?
HENDERSON: Lawton, Oklahoma.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
HENDERSON: I play golf, work, and spend time with my four kids.
What is your fantasy background? How long have you played FF? How many different leagues?
HENDERSON: This is my only real fantasy league. Before the OIL, I only played in the LPD league, but that wasn't nearly as involved and most people autodrafted.
How many championships have you won? How many have you finished second in?
HENDERSON: I've never won the whole thing, but I did play in a championship once.
What is your general strategy in FF?
HENDERSON: I take the best player available early and target a few Cowboys players late. This is our year.
Were you a Cowboys fan before moving to Cowboys Country?
HENDERSON: Oh, yeah. I've always been a Cowboys fan, even growing up in California.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
HENDERSON: Ha. None. [Editor's note: It shows.]
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
HENDERSON: I work too much to ever make it to the cabin. I would probably stay drunk at the cabin and not draft well there either, though.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
HENDERSON: Probably not. Maybe I’ll get there when I retire.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
HENDERSON: Missing the draft in 2015 and letting the commish draft for me. I made the championship after a 9-4 regular season record.
What is your favorite FF memory? What is the pinnacle of your FF career?
HENDERSON: Making the championship after starting off 3-2 in 2015.
Man, what a week in the OIL. In both the NFC and PFC, the top four teams all lost. Winless DominationStation gave undefeated SoonerJack their first loss of the season, meaning each OIL team has at least one loss. And the Nightmares continued their nightmare of a season, falling to 0-7 . . . the OIL's only remaining winless squad. Here are your games of the week (click on title to be taken to the matchup page on Yahoo!).
This is a rematch of last year's Thunder Bowl, when Zerger and the Redlegs defeated Green's Doughboys to win their first championship. It's fitting then that Zerger comes in ranked higher than Green. The Redlegs are built for this league, boasting the top two WRs in the OIL, the top pass-catching RB in Chris Thompson, and steady RB Mark Ingram. The Doughboys are built more for a standard league with RBs dominating the early draft rounds. I'm picking Zerger to continue his resurgence and move closer to a playoff berth (and perhaps first-round bye).
On paper, this looks like an easy Vandals victory. Lutonsky is ranked first in the PFC, averages 14 more points per game than Tadlock, and has a greater OPR. But the Vandals are dealing with six byes this week, so I'm picking them to lose their second-straight game (and fall out of first place).
This matchup will greatly affect each team's chances at securing a playoff berth in Week 14. Each team is 4-3 and right on the playoff bubble. But Baldwin's Roughnecks have already lost Odell Beckham for the season, Martavis Bryant to stupidity, and Leonard Fournette to a bye week. Meanwhile, Henderson's DARC NARCS, after a couple suspension scares, still have RB Ezekiel Elliott to lean on, along with RB Melvin Gordon and breakout QB Carson Wentz. Look for Henderson to make a statement as we get closer and closer to the playoffs.
DARC NARCS manager Ulysses Henderson holds the OIL record for most points in a game. He scored 236.10 points in week 15 of the 2015 regular season against Finch. Unfortunately, he also holds the record for most points in a season while missing the playoffs. In 2013, Henderson scored 2,008.65 points (154.51 ppg) but failed to secure one of the six playoff spots. The 2,008.65 points was second-most in the league that year. Tough break, Hendo.
Henderson's team name is an homage to the '90s video game NARC, as Henderson was a black narcotics officer when he joined the OIL.
ANADARKO — Enuf! One week after tying the OIL record for most consecutive wins to begin a season, Pyle's Lucky Enuf was upset by cellar-dwellar Henderson. The DARC NARCS benefitted from an injury to Lucky Enuf RB Tevin Coleman, a bye week for WR Jarvis Landry, and RB Mark Ingram posting a negative stat line in the matchup. Now 7-1, Pyle remains number one in the NFC standings. Cliburn's 12-1 regular season record is still within grasp for Lucky Enuf, who face the Whackers in week nine.
Compiled and edited by Justin C. Cliburn
This is the first installment in our ongoing oral history project. You can read later chapters here.
To understand the OklahomIraqis League ("the OIL"), one must know who its members are and what brought them together. The league began at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. It was resurrected in 2007 and kept alive each successive season. It's the way they keep in touch and share news with the men they served with in Iraq. Sometimes it's the only way because, although the men of the OIL are incredible friends, they may have never known each other without the Army National Guard. They came from different backgrounds and followed different career paths, but they served together as soldiers. Their bond would never be what it is without the experiences they shared one year in Iraq.
Their story is important, even if only to them, because when historians chronicle the Iraq War, they will focus on the usual fare: the battles; the successes and the failures; the bombings and the civil war . . . and the presidents and generals who managed them.
But it will be up to the everyday Joes, the boots on the ground, to tell their stories . . . because no one else will. Who were these men? Why did they join the military? What did they do over there? How are they now? And what has kept them close since they first went to war together? These questions may be important only to those who already know the answers, but they need to be shared just the same.
What follows is an oral history of the OIL, as told by the men who lived it, beginning with the combat mission that inspired it. It is by no means an exhaustive history of that combat mission in 2005-2006; such a history would fill a book of its own. But it is a decent overview of the year that preceded the formation of the OIL: where they were; what they'd experienced; how they felt. 152 Oklahoma soldiers served on that mission, but just a fraction of them are represented here. Each soldier below speaks for himself as an individual. Collectively, their memories form a history best expressed through the oral tradition of storytelling through conversation.
Soldiers are traditionally a guarded bunch, reluctant to show emotion or share their feelings, so the following is a rare look into the collective memory of one group of soldiers in Iraq almost a decade ago.
The OIL extends its congratulations to OklahomIraqi and Darc Narcs manager Yul Henderson. The Lawton Police Department promoted Henderson to lieutenant this week, and we are proud of him.
Henderson was on the 2006 SECFOR mission in Iraq with the 158. He served a tour of Iraq with an active-duty unit before that.