Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, December 30, 2005

Can you live this fantasy life?

Well, I got to live out one fantasy before the end of 2005. This past weekend, I ended my first fantasy football season with a beginner's luck run to a league championship.

(I'll get to work on a more ambitious fantasy some time after the new year. Ms. Johansson, have you found my blog yet? It's okay, I'm a lonely man with hobbies. I'm patient, with plenty of time on my hands. Wait, was that a poor choice of words?)

Thanks to the Chicago Bears' defense (and Brett Favre's newfound love of throwing interceptions), I managed to overcome my boneheaded decisions to start Ryan Moats at running back and Joe Jurevicius at receiver, and my Swift Sweaty Men scored a victory over Jim's Wabi-Sabi Warthogs. (Other bloggers in our league included Donutbuzz and Spinster Girl.)

My father and I tried fantasy football some 15 years ago, and after that, I told myself I'd never play again. I hated how it affected the way I watched a football game; for example, rooting for Anthony Carter to score touchdowns against the Lions. Never mind that we had no idea how to put a good team together. We just picked the players we knew and liked.

But after the Lions' putrid preseason debacle against the Rams in August, and my threat to take up knitting as a result, John felt my pain and suggested fantasy football as a way to get through the NFL season without forking out my eyeballs and stuffing them in my ears. And with Jim wanting to put together a league of bloggers (doesn't that sound superheroic?), the timing was perfect. I was back in.

And I was totally hooked. I loved it. I spent much more time than I'd like to admit looking at statistics, reading advice from fantasy football "experts," scouring the waiver wires for players, and bugging the other owners in my league about trades. I sought a shoulder to cry on when Donovan McNabb's injury laid him up for the rest of the season. I likely tested the limits of my heterosexuality while devoting my thoughts to players such as Andre Johnson, LaMont Jordan, Ernest Wilford, and Kurt Warner. (I know what you're saying: C'mon, Ian - if you're going to go there, at least think about someone like Tom Brady. I hear you, dude. My sister said the same thing.)

But now, the season's over and I have to find something else to fill that time. (Again, Ms. Johansson, this is where you can help me.) I'm already thinking about what I want to do next season. I want to join more leagues. Hell, I might start my own. This blog could become a support group for fantasy football addicts. What I'm saying is that I'm a voracious, greedy man who just wants more.

Thanks for inviting me to play, Jim.

I have some other thoughts on fantasy football, mostly for beginners like me or those who haven't played. I'll save them for after the jump, in case you've played for years and already know this stuff or have already had your fill. But I'd love to swap notes with the rest of you.

Still fantasizing?

This I learned: Be a hell of a lot more patient. I was using the waiver wire like a madman each week. Of the original 15 players I drafted, I only had three of them by the end of my season. Of course, some of those cuts (McNabb) were due to injury.

Be especially patient with your wide receivers. I let players like Reggie Wayne and Plaxico Burress go after one or two bad weeks, and was scrambling for warm bodies (Koren Robinson?) at the end of the season. I totally underestimated how important that position can be for a fantasy team.

Worst move? I kicked myself for weeks over cutting LaMont Jordan.

Best move? Getting the Bears defense off waivers in Week 4. Picking up Kurt Warner after McNabb got hurt was a distant second. I'd love to say drafting Shaun Alexander, but I was lucky enough to score the second pick in our draft. It was either him or LaDainian Tomlinson. Why did I go with Alexander? Intuition, I guess. And he was playing for a contract.

Biggest bust? I picked Kevin Jones in the second round. And eventually cut him for Samkon Gado. What a nightmarish season this guy had, in fantasy and reality. Of course, whenever he scored a touchdown, I had him on the bench. Dallas Clark and Michael Clayton also crapped out big-time.

Care to add anything, fellas?

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  • At December 30, 2005 11:14 AM, Anonymous Hoyt said…

    Congratulations, Ian!! Great post, too, which I think reveals that it takes more skill than luck to compete well in fantasy football. Anyhoo, here is my two cents:

    1) Brett Favre. Retire. Please.

    2) Don't miss the live draft. If you can't make the draft, PRE-RANK your players and eliminate the ones you don't want. I can't emphasize this enough.

    3) Use the "smack talk" feature early and often.

    Please let me know if you start a football league because I'd love to play in it. Now to focus on baseball. . .

  • At December 30, 2005 2:26 PM, Blogger Wabi-Sabi said…

    Congratulations on your victory. I thought I had a chance, but Marvin Harrison's benching and Brett Favre vs. Da Bears was too much to overcome.

    It was fun playing with you, and I appreciate having LaMont and Plaxico. They helped me overcome Daunte's Infernal Season.

    I'm ready for baseball too. Revenge will be mine! :)

  • At December 30, 2005 2:31 PM, Anonymous benny said…

    Is it safe to say that Scarlett Johansson is your fantasy? Nice picture.

    Congrats on doing so well in fantasy football this season. Mine was a season to be forgotten..kinda like the Lions.

  • At December 30, 2005 3:03 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Jim, you took good care of LaMont and Plaxico, and that was enough to make me happy.

    I'm looking forward to fantasy baseball with you and Hoyt. Surely, you guys will have your ways with me.

    Benny, Scarlett is a very nice girl, a very talented actress. She would currently be my #1 pick. (And I was happy to find that picture, too.)

  • At December 31, 2005 6:52 PM, Anonymous Evan said…

    This was a frustrating fantasy season for me for a few reasons:

    (1) Last year, about halfway through, I felt like things were getting repetative and boring. I figured, afterwards, that such negative emotions were tied to the fact that I was getting my ass kicked until I managed to re-score Mushin Muhammad, who I'd foolishly cut earlier, late in the year. Unfortunately, after going 11-2 in my league this year, I still felt pissed off and like I was wasting my time. So I think I realized that I don't really enjoy it that much.

    (2) Until I realized that I don't really like it, I felt obligated to cheer for my guys instead of guys I liked. I hate that.

    (3) I ended up fucking losing. For the second year in a row, I made the playoffs and placed THIRD. But this year, I had Carson Palmer, Steve Smith, and Shaun Alexander. How does someone lose with that line-up? I also had TO until he got booted. So I'm embittered.

    I'll probably do fantasy again next year, but I'm going into it with no research and a who-gives-a-shit attitude. It is -- and pardon me if I offend anyone with this -- a goofy fucking hobby, and I just can't get so attached to it.


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