October 9, 2012 by bdetienne
For the last several seasons I have participated in a fantasy football league. I am a big football fan and fantasy football provides a way for me to be involved in the game (not only with my favorite team but the entire league) while having some fun with my friends. Another great thing about this platform is that anyone can play it, from the most knowledgeable fan to someone who does not watch football, because in the end the results are a crapshoot. Even the most renowned fantasy reporters and analytical models cannot actually control the outcome of games or the players on the field featured in them. That was a lesson I was reminded of this week.
I thought I was going to miss participating this season. I had vacation planned for the first two weeks of the season and because of limited connectivity to the Internet I had no way to check my roster and make any substitutions necessary for the week’s matchup. However, our plans changed slightly and our backup spot did have internet access. I was able to join a league with some buddies from college and their wives. I asked my wife to play and she agreed as long as I was willing to help her out if needed (on the football fan spectrum, she is squarely at the “does not watch football” status). I was so proud of her for trying out something new. When it came time for the draft, the computer chose a team for her and with the exception of one or two changes at the beginning of the season that I suggested, she hasn’t touched her roster. In fact, she hasn’t even logged into our league’s page. She just asks for the score after the week’s games have concluded and then returns to whatever she was doing before.
Fast forward to this weekend, Week 5 of the season, and my wife’s team faced off against mine. Her team is an impressive 2-2 and my team is looking strong at 3-1, tied for first place in the league. Both of our kickers were on bye as well as one of my regular starters but I felt pretty good about my chances heading into the week. The website hosting our league even gave a slight advantage in it’s predicted points formula to me. However, when the whistle had sounded on the league’s games for the week I had not just been beaten, I had been stomped. A 25 point blowout. This victory wasn’t quite as surprising at Norfolk State over Missouri or Lehigh over Duke in the 2012 NCAA Tournament but it did take me back a bit.
I am not the guy who goes out before the season and purchases fantasy magazines; subscribes to fantasy football websites; or is constantly working the free agent market or offering trades. But I like to think that I know something about football and attempted to construct the best team possible for this season. Then this happens. WHAT? How can I lose to my wife and her “hands-off” approach? One of her non-kicker players didn’t even score and I still lost by double digits. As a famous announcer once said, though, “That’s why they play the games.” The players have to go and perform like they are supposed to. Hers did, mine didn’t, and her team is walking away with the W (and bragging rights for the house). My team? Humbled.