Losing to Your Girlfriend in Fantasy: Never a Good Feeling
When I moved away from the East Coast two years ago to join the love and light of my life, I obviously kept my membership in my fantasy leagues. Though I miss the days when 10 or 12 people gathered in a living room, basement, or side room in a bar with the big draft board and a helping of trash talk, I do love remaining connected to so many friends through these silly leagues.
I decided to start a new fantasy league here in the Midwest. I have a great new group of friends and family and this seemed like a great way to have something in common with many of them. A little competition, a little good natured teasing, and the combination of football and beer – they are all great things to share with a group of loved ones.
My girlfriend and her cousin decided to draft a team. Some guys might roll their eyes at that idea, but I think it’s awesome. I can share something I love with her and doing things together is always great. She knows her football too, so it’s not as if she’s going to be a doormat for the league. Though I did look forward to squashing her like a bug during our matchups.
So they went through some growing pains in the first season, winning just four out of 13 games. They had to learn the fantasy football intricacies of bye weeks, positional depth and how Tom Brady can singlehandedly beat your team or lift you to victory.
I was happy to beat their team twice during that first season on my way to the league’s best record.
And then this weekend happened.
My team is a pedestrian 2-2, but among the top scoring teams in the league. They were 3-1 and a game ahead of me in our division. Not as prolific in the scoring column, their team is solid. I always think the bye weeks separate the men from the….. wait, bad analogy……the cream always rises to the top. Hell, you know what I mean.
(Did I mention their team is based on hotness? They will not roster a player that does not bring magazine cover good looks and/or a six pack that is quite opposite from the one in my fridge. You might think this idea is silly, but they are actually proving you can field a team that can compete with this philosophy, though they admit kickers are by far the hottest position.)
One of their poster boys is Danny Amendola. They liked him from the day they joined the league. When I snatched him in the draft this year – which I did at the proper time in the draft – they moaned that they lost track of him and I may have made a slightly obnoxious comment. Slightly.
So week 5 loomed on the schedule. This season alone, I’ve posted scores of 196 points and an all-time league weekly record of 219 points. I was truly to be feared despite my bad luck at 2-2. They wouldn’t take the bait for days, they would not engage in trash-talking – the hallmark of any fantasy league. “We’re not talking about our team this week.” Neither asked for advice on their roster. They researched whether to play CJ Spiller or Pierre Thomas. I mocked them for not having enough depth to have to play either of them. I lamented that my newly-acquired Matthew Stafford (I have Mike Vick and saw the writing on the wall) was on a bye week and they didn’t even tell me that Mike Vick sucks balls or was a fumbling dog killer. Nothing.
I was kind of empty inside. This is not the way fantasy football is supposed to go.
About 10 minutes into the Thursday night game, I texted Aimee, Rachel’s cousin this: “Are you enjoying watching your boy Danny Amendola rack up the points against you?”
Yeah, that was a bad idea.
Not 10 minutes later he separated his collarbone, which took him out of this game, but will shut him down for a good portion of the season. After just 6 lousy points. He couldn’t at least pull in 26 points and snap his clavicle in the 4th freakin’ quarter?
The rest of my fantasy weekend was essentially a separated collarbone. Mike Vick sucked again. My sleeper tight end Martellus Bennett (who allowed me to use Gronk to trade for LeSean McCoy) was quieter than that little guy from Penn and Teller – again. I could not gain any traction. I managed 150 points. Not a disaster, but not safe.
I entered the Sunday night game up about 30 points, and my players were done. They had the aforementioned Thomas and Marques Colston to go. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I thought I had a shot.
Well forget that. Colston goes off for 41 points and Thomas even added above-average points (I mean for him, he should still be on their bench. And it’s not like he’s even THAT hot.)
The cell phone blew up. My girlfriend strolls by with a smile that reminds you of a kid on Christmas morning.
NOW they want to talk about their team.
I decided not to talk about my team this week. If they can’t trash talk the week before our game, I’ll return the favor this week. Celebrate amongst yourselves. I’m going to look for pumpkin-based crock pot recipes for the fall. Gotta be better than hearing about how your team sucks and that they are in first place by themselves by a whole two games after just five weeks. I can’t do it.
At least I got to enjoy celebratory sex. Well Rachel did (and boy did she enjoy it he says, elbowing you), I got to just enjoy sex. Cheer-me-up-because-my-girlfriend-beat-me-in-fantasy-football-sex. Which I hope I never have to experience again. Ever.
Hats off to The Blonde Ambition for their well-deserved win. Even if it came at the expense of a voodoo doll-type injury to Danny Amendola. Don’t worry ladies, I have enough depth on my roster to compensate for his loss. I’ll be loaded and ready to go in Week 10, when I will be poised to take first place from you.
Let the trash talking begin.
Thomas J. McFeeley is a former award-winning journalist and a current Jets fan. He is a Jets fan because his dad was a (typically dispassionate) Giants fan. He is a fantasy football junkie because he is a Jets fan and wanted to experience meaningful games in October.