Earlier this week, 12 of my friends and one uninvited guest commenced what will be our 2011-2012 Fantasy Football season. Hosted by Yahoo! Sports, our auction-style draft had all the drama of a TNT Primetime series. It was exciting, tense, and sometimes humorous (much like TNT’s awesome programming).
Perhaps most importantly, the league brought together a group of friends and one uninvited guest, living across 4 different time zones, in one place again. And while it might not be the same behind a glossy computer screen, it was great to know that no matter how much time might have passed since our days rocking the hallowed institution of higher education together, we were all pretty much still petulant little children trapped inside the bodies of mostly grown-ass men.
This is the story of The Post-Graduate League.
The Trade Heard Round The World
Today, chaos broke out.
I gathered up my boots and whatever else I could manage to carry in my arms as I prepared myself for the oncoming shitstorm. A man had rode through the night before, warning of the arrival of calamity. None of us had thought to pay this deranged lunatic any mind. Just another loon, we thought. Turned out he had been right to predict that all our hard-work revising cheat sheets, projecting season point totals, setting competitive auction pricing, accomplished by our own Puritan work ethic, was about to be for naught.
As I trekked through the wilderness, I stopped along an inn — an inn that could offer me a cold pint and a smile. I wasn’t looking for trouble, but trouble always seemed to find me. There I met fellow League member, The Bailynator. “You see this trade?” he asked in a huff. “Blasphemy! Frivolous! The Commish thinks he can just have us bend over and take this as anything short of a declaration of war? Ridiculous! The fuckin’ balls on this guy.”
“I have seen the trade,” I told him. “I don’t like it one bit. That’s why I vetoed it.”
“Ah, the veto.”
Yes, the awesome power of the veto. The God-given right of every Fantasy Football player. As vital to our survival as our very right to breath. A right that I will use at my own indiscretion.
in·dis·cre·tion (/ˌindiˈskreSHən/) n.: Behavior or speech that is indiscreet or displays a lack of good judgment: “sexual indiscretions”
“It’s not fair. Every man with even the slightest touch of facial hair knows that Maurice Jones-Drew will not be immune to a precipitous drop in productivity. Throw in the fact that Crabtree is already iffy for the start of the season and you have the makings of a shit trade,” The Bailynator lamented. “Besides, Black President led us through the many years of famine as the spiritual leader of The Brotherhood of Extraordinary Creatons (our fraternity). We would not have stood as long as we did without the leadership of Black President. I would hate to just stand by and watch our former leader get cheated.”
I agreed. But what was there to do?
And that is when ingenuity struck. The Michigan Difference. We decided that we should call other league members, our brothers to the North, to the South, and to the West. Plead our case and perhaps they could offer the strength we’d need to ensure that our good friend, Black President, be treated with the same compassion he had shown many of us in the past. Before we knew it, our carrier pigeons by the names of gmail, Verizon, and BBM had accomplished the impossible.
The power of veto was upheld and the deal died on the floor.
But not before this juicy detail was dropped onto us by silent mercenary Googs. “Hey Commish, did you just change the number of days to reject a trade from 2 to 1? Did we take a vote on that?”
And so, The Great Debate began.
The Great Debate
Factions took form and the schism deepened. What we had hoped would blow over in an hour’s time turned into a two day argument. Saracasm found a special place amongst the sides. Neither side would concede. Calls were being made. Messages were being sent. Deals were being brokered. It smelled like a coup was on hand. Pretty soon rational debate gave way to name-calling and bad jokes. At that point, anything was preferable to actually listening to The Great Debate.
The trade was offered once more. The same exact trade. The one that just got vetoed. It was struck down. This time, struck down not because there was any rational reasoning involved, but mostly out of spite. By this time, tensions were at a fever’s pitch. We went back to our chambers, no doubt, haunted by the abstract ideas of liberty, freedom, and revolution.
It would not be until mid-afternoon, when I arose from my slumber and was offered a solution that would neither solve the issue at hand nor prevent any future disagreements.
“Should I just kick out the uninvited guest?” The Commish asked.
It would be at that exact moment that I remembered why I choose to play.