The basketball season is creeping in, but the fantasy football season is just heating up. Last week was the final week before playoffs begin and I’m sure there were some hearts that were broken. I picked a fine time to begin a fantasy football column considering this year has been as upside down as anything I have ever seen. Nothing that was projected at the beginning of the year has come even remotely close to becoming true.
No one could have predicted that the Carolina Panthers would be undefeated at this point in the season, the Chicago Bears would be in playoff contention, and Andrew Luck would be about as useful as Rick Pitino’s book on coaching ethics; I don’t know if he has one, but it sounds like something he would do. So okay, enough picking on the Cardinal fans. You can’t fix stupid, or so they say.
Where was I with the football season; oh yeah, it’s been one unpredictable mess. If you made it into the playoffs I would like to commend you on either being extremely lucky or a savant who can navigate extreme labyrinths of statistics and “what if’s.”
I just so happen to be a combination of both, or so I tell the waitresses who work across the street. I am proud to say I made it into my leagues playoffs, I had actually given up fantasy football altogether about five times this year; she’s a cruel mistress but I just can’t leave. It’s sad, I know.
So here’s what happened, remember the Sand Siding Sillynannies I talked so bad about before? Well it came down to one game between us that would decide who entered the playoffs and who had no more use for their smart phone. The match-up was even all day, the SSS’s owner had done almost everything right and made some gutsy plays that made my fate as a fantasy champion seem like a better goal for next year. My running backs have been my savior all year and both had big games so I stayed close in the hunt. At the end of the mid-day games I was trailing 16 points with no one but the Steelers defense left, needless to say I was worried. I had forgotten I had even used the Steelers defense, but boy, am I glad I did. The 21 total points netted by the Steelers defense during that late game punt return for six skyrocketed my points past his and victory fell upon my shoulders like an old Native American shawl, it just felt so right.
I was on my way back from Bowling Green, after watching the Pirates absolutely destroy Lexington Catholic in the KHSAA Class 3A state championship game, and I was checking my phone every two seconds for a score update. I knew what was on the line; and even though I had screamed, “I quit” a million times to my competitors; I really secretly wanted that trophy.
It was somewhere between London and Hazard when the points suddenly changed, I almost wrecked (to be honest) because I completely lost it. I composed myself and delivered the sweet as sugar voice-mail to my best friend informing him I was aware that I had pulled off a come from behind victory and was literally thrilled with the outcome. Okay, I used other words than that, but those words cannot be repeated in a respectable publication such as this; so use your imagination.
Drifting off to sleep later that night when I finally made it home I felt like Ralphy; the little boy who shot his eye out on the cult classic ‘A Christmas Story.’ I drifted off with dreams of spectacular one handed touchdowns and being carried around on shoulders while I proudly displayed my Speedy Wolford Invitational League champion’s trophy. There was a peace that settled down deep inside me and suddenly all the frustration of the year faded away and my breaths grew heavier.
So if you in the same arena as me then it’s time to appreciate the happiness that fantasy football can bring but also remember it’s time to take this serious. Check your match-ups, see whom your starters are facing this week and study what the right play will be. The hunt for the trophy is on, Don’t forget to set those lineups and have a great football Sunday.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext.2274 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @sidplaster)