I’ve been a football fan for a long time. I remember saying I was a Bears fan when I was young, but then, when they reached the Super Bowl in the 2006-2007 season, I really started to embrace the fan inside of me. It was around this time that I began playing the Madden football games for the first time and I enjoyed that, even going as far as to buy the strategy guide for Madden ’07. The back of that strategy guide talked about fantasy football, and I always thought it sounded fun, but never really gave much thought to it. Then a few years later, during our senior year of high school, a group of friends and I figured it was time to delve into the fantasy football world.
The first season we played, we had a small league of only six people, including the father of one of our friends, and we all were pretty bad. I actually started that season going 0-6 in my first six games before my team rallied in the last six games, sending me to 6-6 and gaining me a playoff berth. My team continued their end of the season dominance and I ended up winning the first ever league Super Bowl. I was overjoyed and so proud of my accomplishments, and I knew that I was going to be good at fantasy football. Fast forward a few years, and we still have the same core group of friends in our fantasy football league, though we’re more spread out through Michigan. Since that first season, I’ve made it to the playoffs again, but have yet to take another Super Bowl victory. This is the tale of the terrible luck that has cost me so many seasons.
Let’s look at last season. My season wasn’t the greatest one, I barely squeaked into the playoffs behind the strong play of Arizona starters Carson Palmer and David Johnson. Enter my divisional championship game, the winner would go on to the Super Bowl. After a poor season before this, and a loss in the Super Bowl the year before that, I was hungry for another opportunity. I had made recent changes to my roster, and my match up was one against the best team statistically in our league. The play would be two weeks long, and after the first, I had a 12 point lead. Week two rolled around, and my opponent was up 58 points on me, it seemed as though I had lost, but I still had my two strongest players to go. While Palmer had a mediocre 14 point game, Johnson had one of the best fantasy outings of any player, putting up an amazing 40 points, but he was stopped short of a final touchdown that would have given me six points, and I lost by four.
But the poor luck doesn’t end there, it continues on strong into this year. Even this current week, I sit here downtrodden as I prepare for my loss, upset at the choices I made that could have been so good. Why would I play the New England defense against a team with strong players like DeAndre Hopkins and Lamarr Miller? Instead, I’ll put in the Miami defense that’s playing against a third string quarterback on one of the worst offenses in the league. New England scored 17 points more than Miami, and as I look at the 13 points I’m losing by, I’m incredibly downtrodden.
But what about my mistakes last week? I drafted a rookie receiver named Corey Coleman, a player for Cleveland that I felt would have a good season.
When he under performed in week one and I had immediate roster issues to deal with, I dropped him to pick up players that would fill niches my team needed. That week he put up 16 points more than the receiver I had starting in his place. But then I thought to myself, “I need a new tight end, who should I pick up? Dwayne Allen, a player that put up a touchdown almost every game since last season, or Vance McDonald, a no name tight end who had a strong first week?” Obviously I went with the safe pick of Allen, who ended up only scoring me one point. Meanwhile McDonald was on the receiving end of a 75 yard touchdown, a single 13 point play.
I know, I’ll draft Adrian Peterson in the first round of draft, with the third overall pick. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but two points per week and a placement on the Injury Reserve later, this is one of the worst decisions I’ve made in a long time. There are other unlucky things that have happened, but there is not enough room to record them all here.
Maybe I’m just bad at fantasy football, it’s entirely possible. However, I think the more accurate explanation is that the universe just doesn’t want me to win at this game. Somewhere, there is some cosmic power or football god tearing ACLs, affecting the wind to make my players miss touchdown passes and generally just screwing me over. He probably finds it funny. I bet his fantasy team is great.