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 Mutinous Apes manager Walt Musselman.
Are you still in the 158?
MUSSELMAN: No, I retired from the military in 2011.
What did you do post-deployment?
MUSSELMAN: I worked in corrections for five years until I retired in 2011.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
MUSSELMAN: I was an MP in the Army Reserves MP and came to the 158 as a filler for HHC during the 2003 mobilization. Of course, we didn't end up deploying in 2003, but I stayed in the 158 and transferred to Alpha Battery in 2004. I stayed in the 158 until I retired as a member of Charlie Battery.
Where do you live now?
MUSSELMAN: I lived in Hawaii for six years while my daughter was going to school there. Now, I live in Bakersfield, California, where I have friends from college. The cost of living is much lower than Hawaii, and I've been able to live just fine on just my retirement.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
MUSSELMAN: I enjoy building models, art, and reading.
What is your fantasy background?
MUSSELMAN: I had never played fantasy football until I joined the OIL in 2014. It is the only league I've played in. Sadly, I haven't made it to any championship games.
What is your general strategy in FF?
MUSSELMAN: I attempt to study up on the players, but then I end up shooting from the hip. I still have a lot to learn.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
MUSSELMAN: A little while before the draft, I start researching the various sites.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
MUSSELMAN: Unsure, but I hope to.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
MUSSELMAN: My 2014 draft netted me Le'Veon Bell in the second round, Ryan Tannehill during his one really good year, and a good WR group led by Larry Fitzgerald and Kenny Stills.
What is your favorite FF memory?
MUSSELMAN: The first year, just getting back in touch with the guys.
What is the pinnacle FF memory?
MUSSELMAN: Haven't made it there yet. Ask me next year.
Mutinous Apes manager Walt Musselman was on the 2006 SECFOR mission, sharing a Humvee with Duffy and Nye. He joined the OIL in 2014 and has yet to have a winning season. However, part of that can be attributed to his owning the OIL record for most difficult schedule. Over three seasons, Muss's opponents have scored 146.67 points per game against the Apes, while Muss has averaged just 129.68. Getting outscored by 17 points per game will put a dent in your overall record, and Muss has the losses to prove it: the Apes have won just 25% of matchups since joining the league.
Fun fact: Musselman's 2016 season could have gone much differently, as he drafted both Matt Ryan and Jordan Howard late. But first-round pick Todd Gurley stunk it up. Muss also dropped Ryan before a single game was played and Howard before he won the starting job and became a top-10 fantasy RB.
As the regular season ends and the hunt for the Killman Memorial Trophy begins, the franchises that make up the American Conference are catching up to the original OIL. Logos and uniforms are being developed at a rapid pace. Below are the brands for the franchises owned by: Joshua D Lynn; James Peacock; Nick Green; Thomas Hillier; Charles Neely; Walt Musselman; Adam Schuster; new OIL manager Don Roe; Lance Zerger; Commissioner Nick Reed; Mark Fitzgerald; Stephen Brosh; Bryan Nye; and Jimmy Venable.
Walter Musselman is one of the 14 managers in the first season of the OIL2. He, like every other manager in that league, was on the 2006 SECFOR mission in Iraq. This is Musselman's first year playing fantasy football, and it's showed. He's 0-7 and has had his hiccups with roster management. But he's not giving up, and he's determined to make a name for himself in the OIL2. That starts with developing a unique brand for his franchise, the Mutinous Apes. To that end, the Apes today unveiled a new logo and word mark, and it looks great: