Living out a fantasy and not even knowing it
Like many of you, we have a fantasy football league here at Radio City.
I'm currently 3-4-1, heading into the Bears/Packers game Monday night (before we go any further, I know there's nothing more boring than listening to someone drone on about their fantasy football team but trust me, this has a pretty good pay off).
Eli Manning is my QB. There's Marshawn Lynch at running back, Dez Bryant and Mike Wallace at wide receiver and one of the finest tight ends in all of the NFL, Jimmy Graham. DeSean Jackson is my flex and the Packers are my defense. If Green Bay gives me five points against Chicago this evening, I defeat Erik Bilstad.
What makes this amazing is the fact that until about, oh, 10 a.m. this morning, I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW I HAD A TEAM!
I remember getting the e-mail this summer about the league starting but I never heard anything else and never followed up in person. I assumed it died of a lack of interest. I put all of my energy into the team I have at my local corner bar (a hot mess, despite my loving care) and went on with my life. I never heard another soul in the building bring the issue up again.
My show was done, I was at my desk chatting over the cubicle with John Mercure who told me that I was within but a few points of winning tonight, even thought my QB (Manning) and one of my running backs had byes. It was at this point that I could've said, "Y'know John, that's my strategy. Contrary to conventional fantasy wisdom, I find it best to go with as many empty positions as possible. The proof will be in the pudding when I emerge victorious tonight."
I don't roll that way. I'm way too honest.
I spilled my beans to Mercure and his office neighbor, Jeff Wager: I didn't know we had a league, and certainly didn't realize I had a team in it.
Merc roared. Wagner rolled his eyes and smiled. Me thinks he thinks a lot less of me. Too bad: Team Wagner is 1-7 as of this writing, which is the point of this screed: fantasy sports, especially football, would seem to be about a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck. Not unlike March Madness where is seems the folks in the money at the end of the tournament are usually the office hoop nerd and someone who picked their winners based on mascot names/team colors/school climate. You can fuss and worry, draft and dump, add and release. You can inhale charts, read the experts, watch ESPN 24/7.
Or, you can go with benign neglect, and find yourself on the cusp of a .600 record halfway through the schedule.
Here's the conundrum going forward: do I dive in, tweak and maintain, weed and fertilize? Or, do I leave well enough alone and let Team Mueller on auto-pilot?
My brain says dive in. My heart says let sleeping dogs (and neglected fantasy teams) lie.