thunderdomeplayoffs

Millions of people play fantasy football. Most of them never win anything. The vast majority of these losers fail in uninteresting ways. Occasionally, one of them will break through with a masterstroke of disappointment. We have three readers who fit that bill. But first, one sob story of my own:

One of my four fantasy teams the past two seasons has been in a league comprised of fellow Pittsburgh fans and bloggers. Yes, yes, I know – “Are all your teams named Sixburgh36 and HEREWiiGoStillers6xChamps? Let me guess – Heath Miller went in Round 1″ Haha, no, but seriously, shut up. Anyway, it’s an eight-team league with one significant wrinkle I didn’t catch before the first season – every team makes the playoffs. Not sure why I missed it then, but then who the hell creates fantasy leagues where everyone makes the playoffs? It renders the entire regular season meaningless. You could theoretically finish 0-14 and win the championship. It’s goddamn stupid. Still, no one (to my knowledge) purposefully tanked any games.

Naturally, this rule bit me in the ass right away. I finished the first season 11-3, had the top seed in the playoffs, led the league in scoring, only for it all to come crashing down in the semifinals against a team that finished 6-8 during the season. Suffice it to say, I was pissed and responded by bitching as pathetically as I could about the policy. Surely, it would not stand another year.

Of course, flash forward to this season and, lo and behold, all the teams are still making the playoffs. Once again, I posted another 11-win season. Didn’t lead the league in scoring, but was still in the top 3. No way the same fate would befall me this time, I thought.

And I was right. IT WAS WORSE. I lost my opening playoff game to a team that went THREE AND F*CKING ELEVEN in the regular season. I played the same guy in the final week of the regular season and beat him by 35 points. In the playoffs against me, he posted his highest scoring output of the season by 20. I had Drew Brees and Cop Speed Zulu put up rare pedestrian numbers. IT HAPPENED AGAIN! I’M THE COLTS OF THIS LEAGUE!

Even if they change the policy next year, I’ve been screwed enough that I couldn’t possibly take it again. Plus, knowing my luck, they’d make the change and I would respond by finishing 5-9.

I hate this game.

Now to tales of reader fantasy woe.

Week 8 of the fantasy season and my team, StallworthSpeedBumps, is coming off of two straight wins to enter the black at 4-3 on the backs of Drew Brees, Marques Colston, DeSean Jackson, and Cedric Benson. This is important because I play in a league primarily composed of hardcore ex-football players, a $250 buy-in, merciless mocking (like making fun of my dead parents with a little orphan Annie avatar), and because I’m unemployed at the time and a $2000 league title would sure be nice. To be extra accurate, we use such rules a fractional points, negative points for missed PATs, etc.

Going into the Monday night game, New Orleans vs. Atlanta, my team is down 69.18-103.46, partially because Josh Scobee, a worthless piece of shit whose leg I hope breaks off at the hip and kicks in his own teeth on his next PAT attempt, earned me a total of -1 points. But I am not concerned, for I have Brees and Colston, and my opponent only has Mike Bell. I wanted to win this game so bad, I even passed up sex to stay up and watch it (Fuck California, MNF should start at 7:30 EST…).

Fast forward to late in the 4th, when New Orleans takes control of the ball up by 8 and needs only to run out the clock with a few meaningless plays; I’m down 1.96 points, and Drew Brees is just handing off to, of course, Mike Bell, just to increase my losing margin. Fuck you in the playbook, Sean Payton.

Then, suddenly, miraculously, Mike Bell loses the ball!!! I’ve won by 0.04 points!! It’s a Festivus miracle!! I’m leaping around my living room, laughing like a maniac while Atlanta tries to score a TD and 2-pt. conversion in the minute or so remaining. I leap on to my laptop, giddily writing another obnoxious contribution to the league message boards, knowing my opponent is on his knees weeping somewhere in Texas…

…so happy, in fact, that I barely notice Matt Ryan throw a desperation pick to Darren Sharper, who for once does not run it back for a score, and instead allows Drew Brees to retake the field for one final kneel-down, for minus one rushing yard.

StallworthSpeedBumps loses by 0.06 points. Much Fantasy Football bitching ensues.

Chris

That’s a bad one, but then it’s still only one regular season game. Not gonna ruin your year on its own.

I’m in two seperate leagues, a redraft and a keeper, and this week both of my teams were in the the semifinal game. I’d like to just win 1….seems fair, yes?

REDRAFT (I’m trying to keep this part short)-I have the best record, #1 seed, and a first round bye. Tony Romo, Andre Johnson, Lee Evans (I know, I know), Ray Rice, Frank Gore, and Jason Whitten. My only problem? Who to start in the flex spot. Percy Harvin has been dealing with migranes for 2 weeks, and he’s the Sunday night game; can’t wait on him. Malcom Floyd? Meh. Jonathan Stewart? He’s been the guy all year, but he was a little banged up, his offensive line is banged up, and he’s facing the Minnesota run defense. He’s in my lineup all the way until Saturday evening. When, lo & behold, who’s this? Arian Foster? Vs the shitty Rams? And they say he’s gonna get 15-20 touches? Sign my ass up! Final line=3 touches, 20 total yards and a fumble. Negative 1 point for me. Stewart gets 19 points. I lose by 18 points this week. Do the math.

Lesson=Don’t worry about the fucking matchups. Play your best players. In related news I hate Arian Foster with the fire of a thousand suns.

KEEPER-I’m tied w/ the best team in the league going into the Redskins suckfest on MNF. He has Steve Smith (The shitty one, who used to be the good one, who before that was the shitty one.) & I have Hakeem Nicks. Pretty even for a while, when Nicks breaks a 45 yard catch. His stupid ass gets tackled at the 5. Next play, which by the way involves one of the worst plays by a corner in pro football history, is a fade to the corner to Steve Smith for a touchdown. Oh, and Nicks has gone to the locker room after hurting his hammy. THIS GUY lost another one.

I’d like to say I’m done playing fantasy football, but that’d be a lie. However, I would like to know exactly why the the things I enjoy doing/pursuing most (fantasy, drinking, poker, women, etc.) seem to bring nothing but mental anguish or pain. What the fuck is wrong with me?

/starts checking sleepers for 2010
//dick joke

Adam

That first one’s a nutpunch, but the second is a little iffy. Most weeks, Steve Smith should outscore Nicks. Still, sucks for both to go out at once. On a related note, last week prolific commenter Otto Man e-mailed us asking us if he should start Foster, to which we replied that he should. Which is yet enough in a long line of examples of us being clueless idiots.

Brothers in Bukkake

I’m in three leagues this year. My season ended in all three this past week. My money league, I ran into a guy starting MJD, Aaron Rodgers, Jamaal Charles, Dallas Clark and Miles Austin and got blown out by 100+. You know what though? I can take that. Getting smoked by the 1 seed in the league with a hot lineup is fine. In my oldest league, I was in the losers bracket, and really, if you draft a team that gets you in the loser bracket, you deserve any fate you get.

The real kick in the balls came in the third league I was in this year. I was the first seed, went 11-3 in the regular season and I had my personal football Jesus DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson, Drew Brees, WELKAAAAHHHHH (best fantasy team ever… NO ONE DENIES THIS!) and Brent Celek. My team ran game in the regular season, mainly because DeSean, Zulu Cthulhu and Breesus gave unto me bountiful points (and I think my league gives out points for unintentional hilarity so DeSean’s ass bumpage with Andy Reid helped me out too). I played some dude who had a losing record and didn’t care enough to submit a legit starting lineup. He had Neil Rackers and Nate Burleson in his starting lineup, both guy who were listed as out for that week, and the biggest sign that this dude had given up? Steve Slaton in all his IR glory was still in the lineup. I had this shit in the bag.

Except the only two guys who showed up on my team were DeSean and Matt fucking Prater. Seriously, Matt Prater, the GD KICKER, was the highest scorer on my team. Brees laid a big egg, ZC didn’t have a bad game, but he had no touchdowns and “only” 100 yards (100 yards is great in any other league… it only got me 5.45 in this league). Celek, Welker, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Fred Jackson… all turds. Meanwhile, this other guy gets big points from Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin and Jonathan Freaking Stewart… I mean, I love that the Vikings got submarined by the Panthers and that it caused Favraro to go all primadonna on Chilly and everything, but did it have to be Stewart with the big game? Dude even got big points out of JOHN FUCKING CARLSON, the only player to show up for the Seachickens on Sunday (Sorry Ufford).

So, the best chance I had at a FF title this year went out the fucking window because some douche got luuuucky with his inactivity. The only consolation I have is that it was a free league, so I didn’t really miss out on any cash because of it. Still, it sucks when the players who were godlike all year come up short when it counts the most. It’s a good thing I’m an Eagles fan, because I’m used to that.

Non-homosexually yours,
DeSean (formerly Westbrook) Is My Anti-Drug

Good to know someone feels my pain.

Okay, one more, just because this guy was dumb and deserved his fate.

Meachem-Gate

Is it possible that such a perfect cluster-fuck of circumstances existed anywhere else in Football Fantasia such as this….

Week 13, I’m squaring off against 1st place team in our league. I’m in 4th with the most points. If I win, I’m in first place (200 clam payout) + #1 seed heading into the playoffs. My opponent has Meachem. As of Sunday night, I have the lead by less than 1 point with Ray Rice left to play on Monday. My opponent has no one left to go, so I figure I got the win locked up. Monday afternoon Yahoo has subtracted points from Meachem, so I’m now up by about 4. I sit Ray Rice…..whether to gloat, or to prevent something fluky happening where he loses points and then gets injured…well, the jury is still out. I go to bed on Monday figuring everything is square. Come Tuesday – Yahoo fist fucks me with the +6 offensive return fumble points for Meachem. Rice had 10pts. I leave him in and everything’s fine. I’ve now lost 1st place….down to 6th seed, and no money. The league votes on whether or not to allow Rice’s points/change the scoring of the Meachem play. I get no sympathy. I proceed to lose to the highest scoring team in round 1 of the playoffs. If I had the #1 seed, I’d currently be sitting in the finals given how things have gone since then.

Beat that Kolber-Nation
-Never sitting anyone again

You, sir, didn’t just lose, you received karmic comeuppance. Why would you ever sit players to gloat, especially when overall points scored is a tiebreaker in many leagues? And what would make you think Ray Rice would get negative points? Yours was a well-earned humiliation.