Sunday, December 21, 2008

Worst decision ever. EVER.

Every Sunday morning during football season I engage in a tried and true ritual of spontaneous and unprovoked self-destructive behavior. It usually involves me making about 3 or 4 last second manic lineup changes to my fantasy football team, all of which inevitably result in far worse scores for my team than had I just trusted my initial instincts and left things alone. But I don't. I can't. I never have been able to do so. This happens EVERY week like a sick compulsion to meddle and out think myself. It's become so bad that friends now ask me what to do for their teams...simply so they can do the opposite. The only reason I even do well in fantasy football at all is because I always have good starters and good bench players, so a few bad decisions rarely result in significant consequences. Rarely.

For those that know nothing about or care not for fantasy football, feel free to tune out. It only gets wonkish from here on out.

This week, week 16, was a playoff week for fantasy football leagues. For almost the entire season I have dominated my opponents by going 11-3 with the most points in the league. Only one of the other 11 teams in the league has played at a level even remotely close to mine. The first bad decision of the morning was my replacing one of the league's best fantasy quarterbacks (Aaron Rogers) with the quarterback of the NFL's worst team in history---the 0-15 Detroit Lions. There was a certain logic to it at the time, something to do with bad weather and bad pass defenses, but the reasoning is lost on me now...especially since the replacement scored an abysmal 1 point. He was so bad that the WORST TEAM IN NFL HISTORY BENCHED HIM in the fourth quarter. Rogers plays tomorrow night, so the final tally on this bad decision is not yet known---but, for reference, Rogers has scored over 20 points on six occasions, and his worst performance was literally five times better than what this schmo did.

But wait---there's more. This league, for which there's well over $200 at stake for the winner, requires you to start a "team defense," which is scored based on how many points the team gives up to their opponent, how many sacks they record, how many balls they intercept, etc. The initial team I had in my lineup was Minnesota, but at 12:54 pm I replaced them with San Diego who was on my bench. The Minnesota team defense scored 0 fantasy points today and San Diego scored 9 points, so that ended up being a brilliant decision. Except...that at 12:57 pm I decided to add and start the Cincinnati defense instead. That, as it turned out, was an even better move as the Bengals held the Browns scoreless today and forced four interceptions. It was a truly remarkable defensive effort that resulted in an astonishing 22 fantasy points...easily the best in the league this week by far.

And then, from the television in the background, I heard the magic words, "we've got heavy snow here today in New England." Impulsive as ever, I sought to capitalize on the poor weather conditions which would no doubt keep the scoring in the New England game low and the play sloppy. At 12:59pm, just one minute before the deadline to submit lineup changes, I went from the Bengals defense to the Arizona Cardinals defense. Whereas the Bengals won their game 14-0, the Cardinals lost their game 47-7. Yes, within one minute I had gone from the best decision in the world to the worst----from a 22 point defense to a -7 point defense. A 29-point swing.

In spite of all that, I still had a chance to win my playoff game this week---right up until DeAngelo Williams ran for his fourth touchdown tonight.

I hate you all.


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