My family has never really celebrated Christmas. I know – how weird (and a little sad). In fact, we’re not big on holidays and celebrations, in general. I never got to experience what it felt like to be a little kid waking up on Christmas morning and rushing down the stairs to discover the treasures under the Christmas tree.
But, I’m a big kid now. And once a year, around this time, I get to experience what Christmas must feel like to big kids.
You see, I woke up this morning, and the first thing I did was check the standings for each of my eight fantasy football leagues. The rushing blood, the pounding heart, the goosebumps, the ragged breathing, the anticipation. It all sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?
As the page is loading, your mind is going over all kinds of scenarios. Did you or did you not make the playoffs? What seed are you? Is your nemesis in your half of the bracket? Do your players have favorable matchups?
After all, we are in Week 14, the week that most fantasy football playoffs begin. Playoffs? Don’t talk about…playoffs?! You kiddin’ me? Playoffs?!
As I scan the standings, this is what I see: 2, 3, 5, 2, 1, 4, 7. I made the playoffs in seven leagues (in the one where I’m in seventh place, the top eight make the playoffs). As for that eighth league, it’s best to just forget about it and permanently erase it from memory.
I can already taste the sweetness of victory. The money? I’m spending it in my head. But really, the icing on the cake is knowing that I’m a fantasy football genius; that’s the real Christmas present. There’s no dollar amount that can buy pride.
Back in 2008, I worked in casino management. It’s common knowledge that the worst gamblers are casino workers themselves. In this 12-team casino work league, we paid a $50 starting entry fee. For every loss we took each week, we had to pay another $10. For every waiver wire transaction we made, we had to pay another $10.
By the time it was all over, I had well over $300 invested in the league (I’m very active on the waiver wire). I not only won the league, I won the league without a real quarterback.
I had drafted Detroit’s Jon Kitna, but that experiment turned ugly quickly with a trip to Injured Reserve. I experimented with Chicago’s Kyle Orton and Houston’s Sage Rosenfels before winning my championship game with San Francisco’s Shaun Hill. Shaun Hill. You can imagine my indignation when Alex Smith took over the starting job in 2009, relegating my star quarterback to a backup role.
My other starters had slightly more star power than Hill: Chris Johnson, Clinton Portis, Steven Jackson, Carolina’s Steve Smith, and DeSean Jackson.
When you’re in a league full of degenerate gamblers and self-proclaimed experts, coming out on top is not easy, especially when you’re a woman. The money was nice, but being able to reign as a fantasy football goddess for an entire year was wholly more satisfying.
This year, I plan on winning multiple leagues. One of my leagues is a 14-team all-female league called “Girls Guide Pro.” Heavy hitters such as Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders (The Joy of Rex) and MSG reporter Tina Cervasio (Knix Chix) are part of the league.
With a team consisting of Jay Cutler / Sam Bradford, Jamaal Charles, Mike Tolbert, Brian Westbrook (formerly Frank Gore), Calvin Johnson, Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams, Percy Harvin, and Antonio Gates, my record should be better than it is.
As you can see, I have the highest number of points, but I also have the highest number of points scored against me. Therefore, I sit with a nasty (not the good nasty) 7-6 record, but made the playoffs regardless. And, as we all know, anything can happen in the playoffs.
Mm, playoffs. It’s finally here, which means that once again, Christmas is here early.