My Fantasy Reality: Stop vetoing trades, stop being a jerk

Andy Lyons

Oh, you vetoed a trade because Guy A won by too much? Congratulations, you're the worst.

If you've ever voted to veto a trade because you think one guy won a trade by too much, you are an enormous doodyhead.

I kind of want to end this there. Just a one-sentence post that makes my point, and see what comments come from it. But they probably want me to say more things, and I can very easily elaborate on that point, so here we go.

We went through it a bit in my main league in 2011. For the first (and, as it turned out, last) time, we allowed trading of draft picks, which one owner capitalized on by basically sacrificing his 2011 in order to have the best chance of winning in 2012. He traded every moving part on his roster for better picks and, in the process, became Public Enemy Number One in league AllThingsSproles (don't ask, long story).

I'm really not sure what everyone thought allowing the trading of draft picks would cause, but apparently "people actually trading draft picks" wasn't it.

Anyway, a few of these trade went through, Jess' roster got worse, but his future got better. After a handful of them, the message board blew up with people fussing about the trades, the complications, the fact that Jess' team was now seen as an easy opponent. Cheek and BHays decided they'd be funny, and they traded last-round picks, with nothing else involved. They joked about it.

And then the unforeseen. Brad screwed up. BHays sent him an offer that involved players and picks, and Brad simply didn't see the picks included, and accepted. Almost immediately, he posted a pleading request that everyone veto the trade, as he hadn't meant to accept, and the league agreed.

But the seed was planted. Now, vetoing was a real possibility, not just an abstract button that no one ever clicked.

Five days later, Jess and Cheek agreed to a trade. Cheek, a die-hard Titans fan, would receive DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson, and a second-round pick in exchange for Dez Bryant, Roddy White, Ryan Mathews, and a first-rounder.

Today, Jess' side looks huge. Bryant and White are big names, Johnson is a shadow of his former self, all that jazz. But in 2011, it wasn't so clear-cut, at least to me. Bryant had had a decent rookie year, but nothing special, and people had makeup concerns. Mathews was up-and-coming, but still fought Mike Tolbert for touches. And Johnson was only a few games into his "what the heck happened?" stage, not a few seasons.

Anyway, there were enough questions for me that I didn't think twice about that trade. Enjoy, guys.

A day or so later, though, I got the email - the trade had been vetoed. I texted my closest friends in the league, Brad and Heath. Both reported that yes, of course they had vetoed the trade. Obviously.

"Why?"

Heath's response: "Dude, Chris Johnson is a stud. He's just had a slow start; he'll be fine. Those others guys are mostly average at best."

Brad's response: "Are you kidding? Johnson is done. Dez Bryant and Roddy White? That's huge, and Mathews is an easy keeper."

(I legitimately tried to go back through my phone and find the old text messages to prove these conversations, but Brad updated his phone like a week afterward, so these are from memory only, but still, that was the gist. Alas.)

If it isn't clear, I'll say it this way: Heath and Brad both vetoed the trade - for the exact opposite reasons. Heath thought Cheek won the trade by too much. Brad thought Jess won the trade by too much.

That really ought to be enough. I can think of no better trade than one that has different people thinking each side won by so much as to make it veto-able. But the point is, every trade is defensible, barring outright cheating, if for no other reason than an owner has a right to run his or her team as he or she chooses. If you're vetoing because Dave took Bill for too much, well, why weren't you trying to trade with Bill first? If you don't think Bill is capable of running a legitimate team, why is Bill even in your league?

If you are vetoing trades, why aren't you wearing an "I am an enormous doodyhead" sign?

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