As I noted last week, I was playing in the championship game for my fantasy football league, and that following the game I would be retiring from this pastime.
My toughest lineup decision going into the game was whether to start LenDale White or Brandon Jacobs to complement Ryan Grant (and who would ever have imagined that sentence back on draft night in August?). The fact that I was in the championship game itself could almost qualify for “News of the Weird” since my first three draft picks (picking 9th in a 10-man league) had been Travis Henry, Steve Smith and Jacobs; people who follow the fantasy game will know that this was not an auspicious beginning considering the way season played out. I felt a certain sentimentality toward Jacobs because I had predicted such great things for him at the beginning of the year, but I thought I detected a true death stink over the Giants team and feared he might go down the tubes with his squad, so I started White. And then Jacobs scored 18 points in our scoring format, sitting on my bench. This type of thing is one of the interesting agonies of playing this game and, perhaps, one of the quandaries I will not miss.
I thought it would be an ironic farewell to the game if I lost, but it turned out that my opponents (a two-owner team) were “enjoying” those interesting agonies in spades, as nearly every lineup move they made — based on solid reason and intuition (and pretty much the same moves I would have made)— blew up in their faces. My seven starters, even without Jacobs, scored 59 points. Their six “bench” players totaled 61, while their starters managed just 29.
I could say, “I love it when a plan comes together,” but it’s more of a sense of relief than sweet victory. I retire now with back-to-back championships under my belt, some satisfaction, and a healthy curiousity as to what comes next.