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 One That Got Away
Preparing my squad for battle never came at such a higher price. The countless hours spent trying to outstrategize the opposition could only be measured in blood, sweat, and tears. Predictions, projections, and line-up changes consumed the better part of my week. It was beginning to take its toll.
I starved for a way out.
My team was no good. I had an awful draft. There was no other way to look at it. No bright side to the situation I had found myself in.
I was in for a long season…
There were no superstars. No hushed whispers of “Boy, what a great draft Pudge just had”. There was just a lot of head-scratching and shoulder shrugging. I looked at my team and knew it wasn’t built for a Championship, much less the playoffs. I had to make some drastic moves. But there were no viable free agents to be had without knowing how Week 1 would shake out. Trades were no longer an option as I had burned that bridge long ago by voicing my stance on absurdly uneven trades. And so I was left holding the bag.
My dreams of a Fantasy Football Championship were about to be dashed before the first kickoff would even occur.
And I blame it all on “The One That Got Away”.
Everyone has had “The One” at one time or another. Whether it was “the hump that got away”, “the game that got away”, or “the tater tot that got away”, you all know the experience of having been so close yet so, so far away. The regret you live with afterwards can be devastating. Some are never able to dig themselves out of that pit of despair. But some do, re-inventing themselves like a Phoenix rising above the ashes and soaring to brand-new heights only to look back and say “I wish I could’ve taken you with me”. Like the mysterious hero of The Great Gatsby, I would have to learn to rise above the regret over “The One That Got Away”.
So I changed my team name, from “Make It Torain” to “Colston Creamery”.
But still, my team was no good. So I begged the Football Gods to look down upon me with pity and grant me the win. I should’ve known better than to pray.
The Football Gods can be a cruel bunch, not above playing a joke on the sad sap begging for mercy.
Week 1 ended in defeat for Colston Creamery — at the hands of the very player I had targeted to be “The One”.
The Dream Lives On Until It Dies
With my confidence shaken and my team sitting in last place, with the lowest point total, and having just lost by the largest margin of defeat, I fell into a great depression. I began to hit the bottle. Hard.
Not even the incredible historic win by our Alma Mater was enough to wipe away my sorrows. I was crushed. A defeat of epic proportions. An embarrassing display of sucky-ness by my team. And to top it all off, the player I had named my team after suffered an injury that could potentially keep him out for 4 weeks!
The Dream was rapidly slipping away.