It’s not just that I suck at fantasy football; it’s that I suck so very consistently. I’m well versed in the material, I’m fully invested, and yet? I finish in the middle of the pack, .500, year after year. And no, middle-of-the-pack is not sucking—but doing so consistently in what is all but a game of chance suggests a certain…suckitude. (Also, when two members of the league get frustrated and bail with five games left, and two others forget to update their rosters during bye weeks, it’s even less impressive.)
Above most things, fantasy football is proof that God hates me.
Last year especially: I don’t care if he’d had offseason neck surgery, Peyton Manning in the third round is an effing steal, people. So he’ll miss the first three or four games? Meh, still a steal.
(In case you hadn’t heard: he didn’t play at all last season. People will tell you that they saw that coming, but that’s bullshit—he was expected to play until he suddenly…wasn’t.)
I should’ve known what I was in for when my kicker took the opening kickoff in the very first game of the season and promptly blew out his knee. Seriously: FIRST PLAY OF THE SEASON. Kaeding, you little bitch.
But even with bad luck, I feel as though it reflects poorly on my abilities as a football fan. I really do. Throughout all my tomboy life, I’ve thought, The boys won’t have respect for you until you kick their asses. And I have doled out scant few ass-kickings on the fantasy field.
But there’s always such promise in the next horse race, the next hand, the next spin of the wheel—the next season. After the draft, before the whistle, it’s the best possible lineup: the perfect balance of surefire points-getters and savvy dark horses. I mean, I can so see how I’m going to be the dominant team in the league this year—Calvin Johnson, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Jordy Nelson—these are surefire guys who could go crazy in any particular week. These were my nemeses of years past turned BananaHammer ringers! I’ve even got a quarterback controversy now, between Matthew Stafford (throwing to Megatron—double points!) and Matt Ryan, who went nuts in week one. Imagine: Two decent quarterbacks! It’s an embarrassment of riches!
Yeah, talk to me in three weeks. (Or, really, on Tuesday.) People get hurt, or underperform for no reason. The guy who gets 35 points on your bench one week lays an egg the next. And so starts the dreaded speed-wobble, constantly overcorrecting from bench to starter and back, never finding the optimum lineup.
It’s still fun though—fun to get invested in teams and games that otherwise would just be background noise. And considering the Bucs are blacked out more than Roethlisberger’s dates (…*rimshot*), it’s good to have a reason to watch Cincinnati versus Kansas City or Seattle versus Arizona, or whatever damn 1 o’clock game we get instead.
And that feeling, second only to seeing your actual NFL team do something great, when one of your players breaks free for an 80-yard touchdown or an IDP grunt comes out of nowhere with three sacks and a fumble recovery? Euphoria.
…until you check the score and see that you’re still losing by 60 points and your opponent’s quarterback hasn’t even played yet. And even then, you think, Maybe…just maybe…Brandon Jacobs will run for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Oh well. Maybe next year.