Administration Report presented by Morton’s Salt ©: Italian ICE

Posted on June 27, 2012 by


Will 2012 leave Pinto in all smiles?

In which Commissioner JG Thorington and Ass Commish DR Lazar JR sit down for a series of discussions about each team in the TCFFL.

 Today’s Featured Team: Italian Ice: GM Nick Pinto

Ass Commish DR Lazar JR: As always Commissioner (and I’ll admit it does feel bitter-sweet to be calling you that again) we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk TCFFL.

Commissioner JG Thorington: And thank you for making the time as well. You’re a true beacon of hope to this league. I like to think of our administration as part judge, jury, father, brother, mentor, and friend. I’m glad we’re back together once again.

DL: Thank you, you’re too kind. Let’s get started with Nick Pinto and the Italian Ice.  Last season the Italian Ice flew under the radar to pick up their first TCFFL Championship. It was only GM Nick Pinto’s first full year in the league (his brother Greg was a part owner for the 2010 season). What do you attribute the Ice’s success to: A young kid on the block who’s too new to properly fear the competition or a manager who made the leap faster than anticipated to the ranks of the best managers in the league? And can Pinto repeat in 2012?

JG: I actually don’t think it was luck (beyond the luck it would take anyone to win a title).  Nick is the most competitive guy I know and he is really motivated to win.  It doesn’t reveal itself in the league because he doesn’t email, but he knows what he is doing and he is just competitive.  He’s always been the best at what he does.  Also, he is a carpenter by trade.  He knows how to piece things together and really build something solid.  Can he repeat?  I think he CAN repeat, but I don’t think he will just because it is so hard to make a run and keep it together all year.

As a guy from Flint who has only met Pinto a few times, what are your impressions of him? From what you know, what do you think it is that made him successful?

DL: I gotta say it was weird to hear you say I’ve only met Pinto a few times even though it turns out to be true. I feel like I’ve known the guy for years. Pinto is the rare thing in the TCFFL: A class act who brings an infectious joy to every event he attends. There’s maybe only 2 other guys you can say that about and they’re having this discussion right now.

The carpenter analogy you made seems particularly apt. Fantasy is a long season and you’ve got to put the pieces together throughout the year while hopefully avoiding the dreaded injury bug. That being said I don’t think you can underrate Pinto’s lack of emails as a key contributor in his championship run. He didn’t ruffle any feathers and get any unwelcome spotlight put on his team so they were able to just quietly go about their business. If a guy like Will or you or me or Tome was making the run the Ice made in 2011, everyone would be talking and everyone would be gunning for the team out in front. So it’s going to be harder for the Ice to repeat that performance in 2012. Everyone will be on the lookout.

I’ll turn it back over to you: Do the Ice welcome the pressure of being the defending champ? And how is the league affected in 2012 by having one of its worst emailers in this role?

 JG: Agreed – and that’s part of his success too – he’s on everyone’s good side.  No one is out to get him and therefore no one even tries to get in his head.

I think Nick will embrace the role as defending champ, although I could see him trying to change things up.  That could hurt him.  You see it all the time – someone or some team has success and the following year thinks they need to make all of these changes to keep it up.  To answer your second question, I think that in a league where people thriiiiivvvve off of getting under the skin of opposing GM’s, Nick’s role as absent email really helps him.  Again, no one will even attempt to try to play mind games because it’s an effort that bares no fruit.  But I also think that those efforts will be directed at easier targets (i.e. Rob).  For example, I’ll either save the energy of talking shit to Nick and talk shit to Rob instead.  Or take out the frustration of the “silent treatment” on Will.

Here’s a question for you: Given what you’ve seen from other GMs in a similar situation, how do you think the big life changes will affect Ice’s season? He is getting married 3 weeks before the draft!

DL: I’ll tell you this — I’m not sure we’ve seen marriage help OR hurt anyone’s GM performance but the fact remains we had wives at last years draft. That’s embarrassing.

On the other hand, no GM has ever gotten married so closely to the lead-up of a draft. Those three weeks (and before) that Pinto will be planning his wedding, celebrating, honeymooning, etc. are the key weeks when other GMs will be formulating their strategy (or, if the Snake Draft remains, just repeating the same “Sit back and hope I get lucky” game-plan) and organizing their front office operations. It COULD become a bigger deal, if only because of the timing.

I think maybe the most interesting thing to look out for is how the Ice perform during the season. Those are the months, immediately post-wedding, when Pinto Bean will be expected to set up a home and be a doting husband. Is he going to have time to handle the day to day Italian Ice operations? Does Greg Pinto make a surprise reappearance after his baffling “F the TCFFL” exit email? These are the questions I’ll be looking to answer most.

I should also point out I don’t think we’ve got Pinto’s confirmation about attending the draft. If he isn’t able to come to Chicago, how does he rally his season and make sure he isn’t out of the running by the end of draft weekend? Do you think Pinto getting married will have more or less of an effect on his team than when the other managers in the league got hitched?


JG: I think he will be in Chicago.  The only thing that could stop him would be a honeymoon, but if he isn’t there then I think it will be a long season for the Pinto and the ICE.  I think as far as his managing skills he has the tools that could turn it around, but having someone draft in your stead is a tough hurdle to get over.  I think him getting married won’t have any effect on his team outside what we’ve talked about related to the draft.  He has been with Lauran for 6 years and lived together for 4.  His life really won’t change outside of a heavier ring finger on his left hand.

You mentioned the snake draft. We won’t hear from Nick on the matter of an auction draft.  Given his absence and life events, which format suits Nick better?

DL: I’ve gotta think the Snake Draft is better for Pinto if only because he’s too nice for the Auction. In an Auction confidence is king and you’ve got to care more about your team than making friends. I’m not sure Pinto would be able to dim that 1000 watt smile for long enough to get down to serious business and butt heads with his friends in the league. Add the fact that he may not have time for even a single mock draft with all wedding-related activity before the real draft and he’s got to be hoping for more of the same in the TCFFL, which, knowing the guys in the league, he’ll get.

Alright JG, let’s get down to final predictions.

How will Pinto perform during the rest of the 2012 off-season:

How are the Italian Ice going to do in 2012:

What made-up team name is most befitting the Italian Ice Organization:

What Real World Cast-Member Archetype does Pinto fit:

JG: 2012 Offseason – The exact same.  There will be silence, although the league should be getting pictures from the reception in about a month.

2012 Season – (10-3) He’ll be the 3rd seed and I could see him making a run to the championship, although I see him falling just short.  This, of course, assumes he makes the draft.  If he doesn’t make the draft I think he finishes 8-5.

Team Name – HUGLIFE (Think Tupac)

Real World – The guy everyone gets along and stays neutral in most arguments.

What are your predictions for the same?

DL: 2012 Offseason – I mean, we know what we’re getting. It’s not gonna be a lot of emails but no one will get mad at GM Pinto. That’s just who he is.


2012 Season: The pressure of being the defending champ will be too much. The TCFFL is eventually get bored of picking on each other and when that happens, the focus will shift to the champ. I think Pinto squeaks into the playoffs but is out in the first round.


Team Name – The Smile High Club


Real World: Guy that doesn’t get a ton of camera time because he’s not that controversial but is always there when the rest of the house is having a “things are good between us right now” party night.