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.
“In this game we play, there’s this thing we call gamesmanship. It’s a natural part of the game. Some of you may not like it. Some of you make even think it’s a bit unfair. But at the end of the day it’s what separates the good coaches from the great coaches. Great coaches know that when they’ve got their opponent beat, the only way to ensure they walk off that field victorious is to stick that dagger in deeper, twist and turn the blade as you step on that loser’s juggular and then, and only then, can they say they’ve won. Good coaches… Good coaches know when to ice kickers. Most of you aren’t great coaches. Hell, most of you aren’t even good coaches. Most of you got here with a little help — by stumbling onto a sleeper, picking up a player who was stuck on the waiver wire, or with the help of dumb, stupid Luck. That’s the funny thing about sports, isn’t it? All you really need is one bounce, one tipped ball, a misstep here, a misstep there, and then boom you’ve somehow find your way into the field of 8. It’s unfair. It’s random as shit. But that’s Life.
Life doesn’t owe you a goddamn thing. Seriously, why would it give you anything when all it really wants to do is screw you? For those of us who are sick and tired of getting #@$%ed by the follies of the cruel wench that is Life, there is Gamesmanship. Some of you know it as “it”. Others refer to it as supreme confidence. And yet more call it swagger. It’s all of those things and none of those all at once. It’s that quality that all great #@$%ers possess. It’s that moment when you grab that unforgiving bitch that is Life, turn her around, bend her over, raise her skirt, strip off her panties, and stick your big fat prick inside her and you #@$% her. With no rubbers — of course.”
And with that TXT message from the uninvited guest I became privy to the behind-the-scenes but still open to the public machinations of one of the most slippery fantasy football players I have ever had the pleasure of going up against. This, my friends, is gamesmanship. Having already clinched a playoff spot, The Commish hoped that by throwing the final week’s game he would gain a much more favorable match-up. Facing Cutlerz teh bestzzz vs. Facing Be Easy? That was the question.
The choice seemed pretty simple to me. I could beat them both, but Be Easy had a much more impressive lineup featuring Aaron “I Can Go Off Anytime” Rodgers, DeSean “Catch Me If You Can” Jackson, and Roddy “Pay The Piper” White. I didn’t want to play him. And neither did The Commish. So he did this.
But none of that factored into my decision to keep my lineup as is. All The Commish needed was for me to score one more point, which seemed more than likely heading into the Monday Night game where I had Jacksonville’s Defense going. One friggin’ point and he would’ve been facing the team that I helped build…
But somehow things don’t always play out the way they’re supposed to play out.
1 point was all The Commish needed from Jacksonville’s Defense, and by all that is right, they scored -3. Gamesmanship. Or dumb, stupid Luck? I can’t decide.
What the hell was I so worried about? I might have had a hand in building this team, but Fantasy Football be damned if I lost to ‘em.
Hats off to you, Cutlerz teh bestzzz.
Yeah, I would’ve made the second round if I faced Be Easy too.
Now came the tricky part. Advancing in Fantasy Football playoffs is a lot like advancing in real-life playoffs. It’s all about momentum. And staying healthy. None of those things happened for me.
#@$%!!!!!!!! My best player was out for the foreseeable future. Eli Manning and the Giants were on the cusp of unraveling. And I was facing the number one seed in an early season match-up against my fellow co-conspirator. #@$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the duration of the season, I had hung my hat on the fact that my lowly team was able to knock off the league leader in an early season match-up. Looks like I just shit-talked my way into an ass-beating. A much deserved ass-beating.
Donald Brown? Seriously?
So with no chance at the Finals or the triple digit prize winnings, I was forced into the match-up for Third Place.
Looking at the match-up, I thought I had a good chance, so long as the Giants performed. And having not paid League dues, I was extra motivated to win. The Third Place game would be for the league admission fee which I never handed over since I was so confident in my abilities as a Fantasy Football manager. Yeah, I was dancing on a pedestal trying to balance my over-sized ego. A swift kick to the head will oftentimes do the trick and knock me back down to earth.
And a swift kick is what I got.
4th Place. My guys just ran out of steam….
And while my team may have missed the opportunity to play for the Championship, The NY Giants are going to the Super Bowl! Woot!