Last Friday, JG and I had the following e-mail exchange about fantasy football. The entire thread occurred in the space of 20 minutes, so I’ve truncated it into chat form for the good of the order:
JG: We play each other this week, FYI
RA: BRING IT.
JG: No advice for you this week!
RA: Dude, I have other people for this. I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.
JG: What other people do you have?
RA: Don’t you worry about that.
JG: I won’t … I’ll just laugh when you play someone who is hurt.
RA: OH, IT IS ON. PREPARE TO BE DESTROYED.
JG: You are totally going to blog about this, aren’t you?
I immediately emailed JG’s brother (I will call him J) and JG’s sister’s fiancé (P) about the situation. From a quick glance at my line-up, one of my main guys was questionable due to an injury, so I asked specifically about him and asked them to make sure I wasn’t doing anything stupid. P was eager to help because he is in JG’s division and wanted him to lose. Although J and I were tied for division lead, he obliged, as he put it. Both advisors recommended playing the maybe-injured player based on past performance with questionable status and suggested switching a few other positions. I decided to wait until Sunday morning to check the injury reports and make my last adjustments.
On Sunday, I submitted my final line-up 15 minutes before the first kick-off, when the line-ups lock. Then I got a text message from P that a guy on my bench might be a better starter, so I flew to make the change. JG noticed my rapid clicking and said something like, “Just under the wire, eh?”
That’s when I told him that no matter how fired up he was, I didn’t want to talk about the match-up. He could talk smack about me all he wanted on the chat room (where I was not logged in), but regardless of who was winning, I did not need minute-by-minute updates of who had scored imaginary points in imaginary football. I preferred to celebrate my victory (fine, or bemoan my defeat) on Tuesday morning. It’s not that I wouldn’t check the score; I just didn’t want to hear about it all day long. JG acquiesced, and we had a civil afternoon.
Halfway into the second games of the day, I got an e-mail from P: “I’m sorry for some of my advice. Feel free to hate me.”
Argh. Sure enough, the injured guy was taken out of the game shortly after it started, and he had only scored a pittance. I wrote back that it was fine, and it really was, because I care more about talking smack than actually winning. That’s not to say that it wasn’t rough at the end of Sunday, when I realized that I needed my star running back to score 60 points in the Monday night game to pull off a thrilling comeback.
In the end, my running back scored a whole 19 points, so JG pummeled me. I cringe to admit this, but the final score was 111.31 to 65.83. So awful. It should be noted that JG did not lord this over me, because he is very mature. If I had won, I would have done an extended, obnoxious victory dance. In this whole fantasy football thing, I have done the bare minimum of making sure my team is current and eligible to play, and I haven’t been emotionally invested. But, man, I really wanted to win that one.