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Thursday, June 20, 2013

It isn't what you know, it's who.

Several years ago about this time of year we were on vacation.  My brother in law asked if I wanted to take part in a fantasy football league.  Heck yes, I am a guy, and I know one end of a football from the other (that does not sound quite right, but you know what I mean).  So, thinking this was my ticket to the big time I started researching.  What are the benefits of a "cover two," and how do you defend the middle of the field.  What is the best way to counter a "safety blitz" from the left side of the formation and still get your tail back into the flat as an outlet receiver?  What stadium has the best nachos in the US?  I left no internet football site unexplored.  I knew more about Andy Reid than his MD.  I was ready.  When the time came he emailed the link to my sons and me.

First thing you have to do in fantasy football; draft your team.  What!!!  I don't know anything about the best tight end, and if he hasn't been dating a Kardashian, or in a shouting match with the police, or winning some award of some kind, I have probably never heard of most players in any position.  There are so many of them.  Needless to say, I just guessed.  Well, that is OK, I will make up for my lack of player evaluations with superior coaching.

The really good part, is I have teenage sons who could help me with the parts of the league I didn't understand.  "Dad, you aren't doing it right, you are going to get slaughtered" was the extent of the help.

After two and a half months of endless days, and sleepless nights the draft ended, and I had me a pretty solid little team, built around an offensive line of impressive players.  It didn't matter that I knew nothing about any of them, or anybody else on the team.  There were enough guys, and that was the important thing.

We went into the first week feeling pretty good about our chances, me and my little team of nameless, faceless, unheard of potential superstars.  It was all decided by statistical comparisons, and my vast knowledge of spread offenses and defensive packages designed to fool even the most seasoned of quarterbacks availed me naught.

My team was destroyed.  But, there was hope, we could trade with other "coaches."  Nobody would answer my emails.  It was like high school all over again.  Only with email.

Soon, my players began faking injuries.  It was an epidemic of artificial agony that swept through the NFL.  Real NFL players were acting hurt just to avoid being on my fantasy team.

Out of 12 teams I finished 15th.  The NFL sent me a "cease and desist order" and every time I drive through the small community where my sister and brother in law live people line the streets to take my picture.  I am kind of a celebrity.