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 Blue Falcons manager Derek Baldwin.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
BALDWIN: I'm no longer in the 158, but I'm still in the military. When we returned from Iraq in 2006, they moved me around quite a bit, going from Duncan to Enid to Weatherford to Altus and then Frederick before moving on to Norman at the 45th IBTC. In June 2015, I got laid off from my civilian job (machinist). I ended up moving with my wife to a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and I'm now in the Ohio Army National Guard's A Co. 237th.
What did you do post-deployment?
BALDWIN: I had just turned 22 in November so post-deployment I started my civilian career as a machinist at what used to be Richard's Manufacturing, just south of the Duncan armory. I bought a house there, too.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
BALDWIN: I'm from Duncan and joined the 158 when I was about to graduate high school and realized I hadn't set any goals in life.
Where do you live now?
BALDWIN: Aurora, Ohio.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
BALDWIN: Anything my daughter wants to do, pretty much. Other than that, I play in an indoor soccer league, am learning to play the guitar, and have recently gotten into playing PS4 games.
What is your fantasy background? How long have you played FF? How many different leagues?
BALDWIN: I don't have much of a fantasy football background. I didn't know anything about it until 2015 when I joined the OIL. That's the only league I've played in.
How many championships have you won? How many have you finished second in?
BALDWIN: The closest I've come to a championship was finishing fifth in both 2016 and 2018.
What is your general strategy in FF?
BALDWIN: My strategy is simple: I play the guy with the highest-projected points unless something is telling me otherwise after checking the previous week's stats or FantasyPros or whatnot.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
BALDWIN: It wasn't until this season that I realized that, if I want anything higher than fifth place (and I do,), then I need to do a lot more following the draft and see whose being talked about the most what their stats are.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
BALDWIN: I unfortunately I have not been able to make it to the cabin for the draft, but I'd like to.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
BALDWIN: I will do my best to be there this year. I have some changes happening in my life that could potentially help me be at the cabin but, oddly enough, those changes could also keep me from going as well.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
BALDWIN: My best move most certainly would be drafting Patrick Mahomes in the 12th round this year and drafting Alvin Kamara in the 12th round in 2017.
What is your favorite FF memory? What is the pinnacle of your FF career?
BALDWIN: The 2018 season had been my pinnacle and my most favorite memory simply because I feel like I'm growing and learning and this season was the best example of that.