Unlike my fabled threesome with Victoria’s Secret models or my lifelong dream to tour with Blink 182, FANTASY football has transitioned into the realm of realness. Chopping and screwing the 32 NFL teams into your own franchised unit has become a blood sport; a platform that nets over $70 Billion / yr out of the pockets of nearly 75 Million managers. It’s baffling, in all honesty, that a scenario generated computer program has essentially transformed the Americanized game of inches into a full-fledged, multi-billion dollar (gambling) industry. Fantasy Footballs popularity cannot be given enough credence; diverting my brother’s attention from a Sunday night Giants game used to be a feat comparable to scaling Everest. Now, Delanie Walker rushing to the end zone is grounds for Pete to change channels during Eli’s two-minute drill. While the effects are apparent and the progression of the “sport” is inevitable, the participants can be categorized. From my 5+ years as a semi-successful fantasy manager, through all the trials, tribulations, water cooler talk, and 24/7 ESPN coverage, the types of people you encounter down the path to the Chip can be departmentalized. So, before Arian Foster tears his ACL or Kaepernick stands for the National Anthem, here are the 11 people you meet in pursuit of year- long bragging rights.
- The Commish
When all is said and done and the year’s victor has been claimed and the Sacko has executed the losers contract, buy the good ole commissioner a beer. Keep it at one though, we don’t want his drunk tongue speaking his sober thoughts. A few too many and he’ll go on to explain that the stress of running the league has been taking a toll on his family and friends. I love and respect the commish; they are the only person with some form of group responsibility who must exhibit brief moments of selflessness. Kudos to you commish, I pray that the oak tag didn’t eat up too much of your paycheck and that holding a shoe box of cash under your bed for 5 months wasn’t too debilitating. I pray you’re still up for the job next year, if not, my 7-year-old sister should suffice…she’s really good at pulling names out of a hat too.
2. The Professional
Remember the kid in 1st period gym class who would leave the field drenched in sweat after a riveting game of 8:00am kickball? The kid who would tell his best friend to go fuck themselves for not laying out for a groundball in pick up softball and the kid who flipped off the opponent’s parent section during little league? Well he has 2nd pick and if you don’t take AB84 at 1 he’ll have your head. The Pro makes the playoffs but karmas a bitch and he likely has the destined to ankle-roll Le’Veon or one of the child beating poster children of the NFL who, unfortunately, are going to ride some pine throughout the marathon that is the regular season. The Professional will pay for being such a damn asshole…call god and he’ll answer.
3. The Social Sally
If you’re like me, you wouldn’t be able to sit still if your whole pledge class were in a league and you didn’t make the cut. The Social Sally needs to be in on the action and he will shell out DOUBLE the entry fee just to earn a spot on the draft board. His knowledge is minimal but his jokes are plentiful. With his first pick he takes Matt Prater and his team name will surely reference the late Harambe. Life ain’t so serious, but fantasy football is the SATs of eSports. “Just happy to be here y’all.”
4. The Two Man
Whether the fee is too steep, the time commitment too burdening, or misery simply loves company, some guys will opt for the Two Man. These kids hype up their compiled knowledge as if Bill Bellicheck and Pete Carroll have touched penis’s in the locker room before repeating to each other that “this is our year.” Sure, chopping the entry fee in half is nice but splitting the winnings is something I never want to put myself through. Also, when the 3rd round comes around and frick and frack are about to throw fists over acquiring Cam Newton or Jamaal Charles, it’s really a buzzkill.
5. The Mom
I’m not sexist. I’m not racist. Shit I’m not even hungry! It’ll take a few more years of feminism, freeing the nip, and growing out armpit hair for me to feel that Mindy from accounting deserves her birth in the 12-man office league though. I know some Bible Belt ladies and Dixie chicks live and breathe their local franchise just as our sons and brothers do, but I’m from Lawwwwwwwng Island…until the New York Pumpkin Spices receive their own stadium I think female interest up here will remain subdued. Again I’m biased, but if Mindy takes the winnings and buys theater tickets I’m just going to KMS.
6. The Out-Sourcer
Remember the Meek Mill/Drake beef over Drizzy not writing his own rhymes? Well accusing “ghostwriter” was like yelling “FIRE” in a movie theatre…a crime punishable by death and/or circumcision. Some guys like to stand on the shoulders of others and call themselves tall. Analysts and ESPN sources are public info that can be drawn from like the neighborhood well, but when you’re calling your older brother and girlfriends dad who owns the Vikings in between every round….then I cry foul!
7. The Dark Horse
Laugh at this man if you must, but like President James Polk himself, sometimes the underdog who never barks has the biggest bite. Similar to the Social Sally, the Dark Horse is here for the camaraderie; his football knowledge is slim but he day-trades like a Wall Street coke head so he sees the league as a great investment with a high Beta and gargantuan upside. Sure, he takes a kicker in the 8th and yeah, he didn’t know Tyler Eifert will be sidelined for four weeks, but he’s here to play and will likely see you in the playoffs. You make plans, god laughs, and the Dark Horse rides the waiver wire like his own personal American Pharaoh.
8. The Oracle
You’re a wizard, Harry… but seriously, there always seems be that one guy with a sixth sense as he seemingly picks his team in retrospect. Some may call it dumb-luck; others recognize when a man is born into the world with a little something extra. With technical precision he drafts Michael Floyd in the 3rd and gets immediate satisfaction as John Brown and Larry Fitz collide resulting in double leg fractures. He benches Eddie Lacy and opts for his backup James Starks just as the first stringer comes down with the flu and is sidelined with a cup of hot chocolate. If that weren’t enough, he swaps Jordan Matthews out of the flex for Dorial Green-Beckham who just so happens to have a career day with 3 tuddies and 14 receptions. The Oracle will channel his unearthly talents and bury you with incomprehensible foresight.
9. The Charity Case
The real statistics behind a successful season aren’t embedded in a managers record. Winning and losing in fantasy is all a matter of timing where a 62-point dud of a weekend can still inch out the opponent and a 175-point DAY can still fall infuriatingly short. Points for and against are therefore the proverbial pudding for the savvy fantasy manager. As such, there always seems to be the one manager who is served a playoff berth on a silver platter as team after team flounders against their not so impressive squad. Maybe it’s because his parents went through a tough divorce or maybe it’s because his V-Card is still intact behind his EB Games gift certificate, but regardless, the rest of the pack is just unable to perform against the kid. Like a 501-C3 non for profit, the Charity Case doesn’t deserve what he receives but the fantasy gods will always have final say.
10. The Crook
There’s really only one way to cheat the system that is fantasy football. My mother taught me not to curse but she also told me to take Darren Sproles so here it goes….the C Word. Unlike the four letter C Word you hear in Judd Apatow flicks, this is a verb not an adjective. Collusion. I could honestly vomit. When a team is too far back in the standings to be successful, Bob may text Bill and offer him some form of cash incentive or the password to his older brothers Brazzers account, in exchange for an incredibly uneven exchange. When Julio and Olsen are swapped for Ertz and Golden Tate, you don’t need to be a sailor to smell that something is fishy. Managers who collude are the cancer to any benevolent league. It is the only black market that can be exploited in the system and while it is rare and tabooed on this side of the Mississippi…it happens. Homies have died for less, don’t even go there fellas.
11. The Traitorous Trader
It’s 4:15 in the morning and your phone buzzes on your nightstand…”hey, you up?” This isn’t the late night booty call you’ve been praying for since freshman year, no, instead it’s the Traitorous Trader himself. Adam Schefter is his uncle and he has half of the AFC East in his back pocket (mafia) so information hits his email before yesterday’s Top 10 is even featured on Sports Center. The Traitorous Trader will murder your chances of winning like it was scripted Game of Thrones, pawning off players that “he doesn’t ever play” and tells you he’s “hooking you up cause you’re his best boy.” Don’t believe this man for he is a Patriots fan! The Mass-hole deflated Bradys balls and was the camera man behind the practice tape scandal..don’t answer that text for your own good!
Cheers to a great season!