Fantasy Life, Episode 8: Entering the Playoffs


With three straight losses to close the season, Cam Newton is the sole reason Brad makes the playoffs.

I know. I've been away a couple of weeks, but, get over it and welcome to Episode 8 of Fantasy Life, our online exploration of one fantasy football league and its intersection with everyday life. The recap of the last three weeks, fantasy football-wise is this: my team sucks. I shouldn't complain. I did make it to the playoffs in the Saving Private Buddy Ryan League, and half of you reading probably didn't, but still, I suck.

Actually, who am I kidding there? Is there any chance that someone - not related to me - is reading this who isn't in their league's playoffs? I mean, seriously, if my fantasy season just ended in miserable fashion, the last thing I'd want to do is read about someone else's fantasy league. That may be how many people feel even if they are playoff-bound. It would explain my low readership. In sum, if your fantasy football team is no longer in the playoffs, you really should be outside. Unless you're at work and your job is miserable. Then, by all means, keep reading. Back to my team being awful.

In the last episode, I mentioned that I had essentially clinched the playoffs. I was 7-3 and the only way I could be knocked out of a playoff slot was if I went 0-3 and two other teams (one 5-5 and one 4-5-1 at the time) each went 3-0. All I can say is that if, by some miracle, I win this championship, I'm going to have to tithe to Cam Newton, or as I will call him henceforth: "Newtronium." I did indeed go 0-3 my last three games. One of the other teams went 3-0. The other went 2-1, saving my season. This, however, was only due to the most awesome heroics of one Cam Q. Newton - I have no idea what his middle initial truly is and I'm too lazy to go look it up. I'm pretty sure it's not Q, however, because if your middle initial were Q, wouldn't you use it as much as possible?

Picture if you will the scenario going into the Week 12 Monday Night Football game. Me having dropped to 7-5. John, now at 7-5 (with a loaded team and way more points on the season than I have). And, Adam, 5-5-1 up 42 points going into the MNF game and facing Greg, who had dumped all his decent players other than Cam Newton. Add in the fact that Adam would be facing the worst team in the league in the final game, and John was facing me and would likely kick my ass, and my entire season relied on Newtronium somehow getting 43 or more points in a single game.

306 passing yards (12 points for the yards plus a 5 point bonus), 52 rushing yards (5 points), and 4 touchdowns (24 points) later, I had backed my way into a playoff spot despite having three wide receivers that wouldn't start for any other team. So, thank you Cam Newton. If I win, I will be sure to send you a check. Just let me know your dad's address.

I'm not very confident - obviously - going into the playoffs. If you started looking at my lineup from the top down, you'd wonder why I wasn't crowing. Aaron Rodgers at QB, Adrian Peterson and Trent Richardson at RB, pretty sweet. But then you get to my WR corps of Larry Fitzgerald (I was loud wrong on thinking he'd still get his stats this year), the ghost of Jeremy Maclin, and some rotating hodgepodge of the injured Danny Amendola, the injured and inconsistent Brandon LaFell, and the mostly non-existent Andrew Hawkins.

That's right, sometimes Andrew (who?) Hawkins starts for me. Ahhh, who knows? If LeSean McCoy is still hurt, my first-round matchup has Marcel Reese and Jonathan Dwyer at his running back slots. Sort of makes Andrew Hawkins look ... no, nothing makes starting Andrew Hawkins look good. I've put in a waiver wire request for Chris Givens though, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

In other news, Jimmy has officially announced that he is sick and tired of being commissioner. He has asked who would like to step up and be the replacement and, so far, there has been a deafening silence. I've said it before, I have no idea why anyone would want to be a fantasy football commissioner. There's no pay, no benefits, and you have to listen to the whining of 11 other guys.

I'd love to know what the psychological make-up is of the average fantasy football commissioner. I've run many pools and such over time, so it isn't like I don't enjoy heading the occasional sports-related endeavor. And things like pools have far more people and sometimes involve making decisions that directly affect whether someone is losing their money. You'd think being a fantasy football commissioner would be a breeze. It's just not the same. There's an old adage that if you ask a room of executives for $20 million to build a new factory, the conversation takes two minutes. But if you mention that the company is no longer offering chocolate donuts in the break room, it will open up an hour long discussion.

To me, being a fantasy football commissioner is like being Sisyphus, only instead of having to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity, you have to listen to an endless stream of donut conversations. I don't know that we'll ever get a new commissioner. We need a new owner for next year and maybe we should offer the commissioner position to that guy. It's sort of like when law firms are courting a new partner and they stroke his ego by offering him the head of some practice group. Then he gets there and realizes what a headache it is and that no one else wanted the position. Since none of the current guys are going to take the job voluntarily, I think that may be our best course of action. The problem is that we had to get rid of the last new guy for stalking one of the other owners. If that happens again and he's commissioner, who's going to get rid of him?

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