Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All Part of My Fantasy: My First Foray

As I have written in a previous post, I have joined a fantasy football league for the first time in my life this year. I'm in a league with a bunch of old college friends. They've been doing this for years. I'm pretty sure I remember an early incarnation of the league holding their first draft in a dorm lounge some 17 years ago. I was invited, too - not sure why I didn't take them up on it. In fact, I really have no idea what's taken me so long. Part of it is the fact that I haven't followed pro football so closely since the First Gibbs Era in Washington. The commissioner, an old and dear friend, finally talked me into it this year and I'm glad he did.

There are 18 teams in the league: gargantuan by fantasy standards. 16 men and 2 women. All but one attended a small, quirky liberal arts college in the midwest in the early '90s. There is quite a range in how well I know them. A few, I would consider close friends. Others, I barely remember. Some, not at all.

It has been a great addition to my life in that it provides a means by which to be in touch with all of them again. For that reason alone, I regret not having done it sooner. I am a little freaked out, however, by how easy it is to take all of this way too seriously.

My first week opponent was the Commish himself. I first remember meeting him in the dining hall freshman year. I was friends with the kicker for the football team (also in the fantasy league) and he introduced us. Commish and his lovely future wife (fellow alum and league member) were very hospitable to me when I moved to New York at 25 and, more importantly, introduced me to my own bride.

Score for the week: Commish 69.16, Squid 59.24
My MVP: Santonio Holmes (WR, Pittsburgh) with 9 receptions, 131 yards, 1 touchdown
Melodrama: Donovan McNabb, my starting QB, goes out with a broken rib.

Fantasy football makes you wish for weird things. I had the lead going into the Monday night games but he had three players left to play whereas I had none. I was hoping for alien abductions before kickoff but that plan fell through.

My second week opponent was someone I've not seen since graduation. Good guy, though, and we share a love for Japan. He was there for all of his junior year. I spent two years there after college.

Score for the week: Waseda Alum 52.24, Squid 51.16
My MVP: Kellen Winslow (TE, Tampa Bay) with 7 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown
Melodrama: Matt Hasselbeck, my backup QB, starting for the week, goes out with a broken rib. I have no third QB. Commish tells me he's never seen anything like it before. The mad scramble begins.

This one was quite exciting - suspenseful until the very last play on Monday night. I had a hefty lead going into the game. I had the Indianapolis defense. Waseda had Miami RB Ronnie Brown. Unfortunately for me, Brown had a phenomenal game: 24 carries, 136 yards, 2 touchdowns. The Colts had an interception on the last play of the game which won me a point but it wasn't enough.

Now I have the QB problem. I think I've worked out a deal to solve it but nothing's definite yet.

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