Hello, and welcome back to the second entry of Fantasy Life. Hopefully, you've already read the first entry and are familiar with our cast of characters. If not, that's ok. This isn't Lost, so it's not like you'll be missing out on the secret of the smoke monster -- did we ever get the full answer on that? I digress. Anyway, if you would like to check out Entry One so you can be up to speed, check out the cast of characters. Go ahead. We'll wait.
Good. You're back. Rather than try to fit four weeks of the NFL season -- and there's a lot to discuss -- into one article, I think we'll go Weeks 1-2 this entry, then 3 to 4, 5 to 6, and by then we'll be fully caught up. OK by you? Thank you, you're quite understanding.
We've had some strange stuff go on in the first couple of weeks of the fantasy season in the Saving Private Buddy Ryan league. Amazingly, none of them involved the replacement refs -- although you should tune in next week to hear about Adam's "protest" of a Game 3 loss.
The first oddity involves poor Jimmy in his role as commissioner. Have you ever been in a league where one owner is out of it and he stops setting his lineup, causing everyone else to get furious? And by everyone, I mean the owners fighting for a playoff spot who can't take that their rival gets to face a team where half the players have a bye or are injured?
Of course you have. It's annoying, but there's not much you can do other than accept the fact that it happens and get rid of that owner next year. Or, I suppose you could try Option Two if it's early enough in the season and you know a lot of people. Option Two is to get a neutral third-party to take over the team. Last year, we had that issue and Jimmy went with Option Three, an option I told him he would live to regret.
What was Option Three? Glad you asked. Option Three involved Jimmy going into loser/slacker/miscreant owner Phil's team and altering Phil's lineup. He wasn't underhanded about it. He didn't try to hide it. And Jimmy wasn't in the playoff hunt, so it didn't affect him. He simply went in, sat the guys with byes or obvious injuries, and started the obvious starts. Moreover, Phil still lost, so it didn't actually change the outcome.
I had no doubt Jimmy's heart was in the right place in trying to keep the competitive balance of the league. I just knew that when you mess with the natural order of things, events eventually conspire to go bad. It works in both sci-fi movies and fantasy football leagues. In fact, if there is ever a sci-fi fantasy football movie, it will involve time travel, the retroactive switching of lineups, and how that alters the fabric of the universe. Why wouldn't you do something more meaningful with time travel powers? Really? You didn't stop reading at "if there is ever a sci-fi fantasy football movie?" Awesome! "Episode" 2, and I have loyal readers!
Even though I wasn't crazy about Jimmy's David Stern-ish move, it all worked out and no one got too bent out of shape about it. Until Week 1 of this year. I'm not sure why, since I don't know him all that well, but a guy in our league named Alex did not properly set his lineup in the very first week. It's possible it had to do with the slightly new way you confirm lineup changes in CBS Sportsline's fantasy leagues -- but for whatever reason, Alex went into Sunday with some obvious roster mistakes. Against Jimmy. And Jimmy did ... nothing.
Let me be clear: I'm in Jimmy's camp on this one. It's Week 1. This isn't like an owner who's out of it and chose to abandon his team, where letting it go hurts the league. Why should Jimmy have to be Alex's keeper, especially when everyone is 0-0? But this really rubbed some owners the wrong way. They felt like if Jimmy was willing to take it upon himself last year and alter an owner's roster blunders, not doing it when he was playing such a team rose to Bernie Madoff levels of unethical conduct. At least, they reacted that way. Eventually, enough of us came to Jimmy's defense that the brouhaha died down, but I can now make this Reason No. 247 why I don't ever want to be the commissioner in a league.
Sidebar: About a month ago, I mentioned to my buddy Chris that I wanted to come up with the "perfect" fantasy football league in terms of format, draft, scoring, etc. Chris thought that was a great idea. I emailed him my concept. He emailed me his. And that was it. Our views of what would be the so-called perfect league were so diametrically opposed that, never mind coming up with something we'd both think was great -- I wouldn't even want to be IN the league he came up with. And it sounded like he wouldn't want to be in mine. The point being: you're never going to please even one person all the time in fantasy football, so don't bother trying with 12. And I have no plans on commissioning a league any time soon.
The second fun -- and I use that word loosely -- event of the first two weeks was joining Randy at his hangout of choice, since our fantasy teams played each other in Week 1. I didn't realize that by going, I would be drafted into the role of "wingman." As I mentioned in the last entry, Randy enjoys scouting out women who play fantasy football and then pretending he has the same players they do. While I was not keen to play an integral part in this duplicity, it quickly became evident that some enjoyment could be found when the woman to whom Randy was speaking revealed that she had started and was focused on watching Jeremy Maclin.
Now, it just so happens that I have Jeremy Maclin (meaning Randy was facing Maclin), but I took my role as wingman seriously, immediately intervening and saying, "What a coincidence, Randy. Don't you have Jeremy Maclin?" That also allowed me to say helpful things like, "Jeremy Maclin just scored a touchdown. Isn't that awesome, Randy?" and "Another catch for Jeremy Maclin, aren't you glad you have him and aren't facing him today?" What can I say? If I'm forced to participate in this charade, I should be allowed some fun doing it.
It's possible she may have caught on when she asked me who my quarterback was. I -- honestly -- said Aaron Rodgers, only to have her say "I do, too. I thought Randy has Aaron Rodgers?" Why I didn't bother putting on a poker face at that point and coming up with something credible I'm not sure, but I did eventually scramble to say something to the effect of "Oh, I thought you asked me which quarterback I'm facing today. Yep, Randy has Aaron Rodgers and I'm going against Aaron Rodgers ... Who Randy has ... I, on the other hand, have Tim Tebow. I wish I had Aaron Rodgers ... Randy has him."
After that, Randy decided not to use me as his wingman anymore. Reports are that he took new, slightly creepy guy Tom to a different sports bar for Week 2. I can't tell if it went well. I emailed briefly with Tom and he said he had a great time. I emailed slightly more with Randy who reported that Tom scared most of the women at the bar and the women who weren't scared were, according to Randy, scary. Randy also reported that he got a few voicemails and emails from Tom in the days following their outing, so it sounds like Tom very much wants to go again. From what I can tell, there will be more on this to come.
That will do it for this segment. Again, if the above events make you think of some crazy stuff that's happened in your league, then a) I'm sorry, and b) we'd love to hear about it.