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 Orangebloods manager Randy McKay.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
McKAY: No, I medically retired in November 2009.
What did you do post-deployment?
McKAY: I worked as supervisor of the Pottawatomie County Jail.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
McKAY: I'm originally from Vernon, Texas. I married a young lady from Duncan, Oklahoma and, after spending 12 years on active duty, I decided to transfer over to the national guard and allow her to move closer to her family.
Where do you live now?
McKAY: McLoud, Oklahoma.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
McKAY: I coach seven club volleyball teams and train quarterhorses for cutting competition.
What is your fantasy background?
McKAY: I started playing in a money league in 2004 and won eight championships throughout the years. But I stopped playing in 2013. It was just was very time-consuming with constant updates and following player news info through the week. I started playing in the OIL in 2015 with the approach of just having fun and it not being so stressful. It's more for kicks and, if I win a championship, awesome. If not, I still have the opportunity to speak with my brothers-in-arms.
How long have you played FF?
McKAY: That 2004 league was my first, but I've played in multiple leagues every year since.
How many different leagues?
McKAY: Throughout the years, I would estimate I have played in about 20 different leagues . . . some for money and some for entertainment.
How many championships have you won? How many have you finished second in?
McKAY: I've won a total of 32 championships and nine second-places finishes (also known as first loser).
Is 32 championships a typo?
McKAY: No. I've played 15 years with a minimum of five leagues per year, sometimes more. A lot of them were public leagues, but I won the money league quite a bit.
What is your general strategy in FF?
McKAY: I have approached with the mind set of picking top man on the board the first few rounds and filling in the remaining starters in the mid rounds. I usually reach for a few sleepers and a kicker in the last few rounds.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
McKAY: I used to spend hours throughout the summer in preparation for the next season. I'd follow on-the-field and off-the-field issues. I paid close attention to contracts and issues that would arise, if players were holding out or were underperforming. Lifestyles of players would be taken into account to account for suspensions that may occur during the season. But these days, not so much effort. I just like to have fun and enjoy being in touch with the guys.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
McKAY: I have not had the opportunity to enjoy time at the cabin, so I've drafted from home every OIL season. I would love to come do the live draft in person, so I will put that in the works.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
McKAY: I have that plan in place.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
McKAY: Like I said, I started playing in a money league in 2004, which was a keeper league. We could carry three players from season to season. My first three players picked in my first-ever draft at the number six pick were, in order: Adrian Peterson; Peyton Manning; and Randy Moss, hence the reason championships came pretty often.
What is your favorite FF memory?
McKAY: Winning my first championship in my first season against much more experienced fantasy football players. They were all OU fans and passed on Peterson, letting him fall into my lap. Now, I'm just happy to have fun and build memories back home with my brothers, knowing that we all will wake up safe in the morning. Remembering the blood and lives lost that gives us this opportunity is special.