So I quit one of my fantasy football leagues—kind of awesome. Kind of sad. To explain why, here’s the parting shot (after learning of my self-relegation) from my former commish:
“For some reason you took the vote personal, it wasn’t. You then decided to lecture us on Obamacare, and food stamps and the problems of our democracy. You somehow turned a “no vote” in our fantasy football league, to an indictment on society…” the next part’s my favorite… “This isn’t your soapbox… Sayonara.”
SUCH an awesome take down! And true. I did exactly that, because, well… I’m a petty, petty man. I like to have the last word (yes, yes, I’m aware of the irony of now blogging about it). I like to blow things out of proportion. And I sometimes take things personally (and by sometimes, I mean often). So yeah, I was being kind of douche.
However, as my family says, it takes two to tangle—or in this case, 14 grown men—and please, if the self-deprecation doesn’t keep you around non-fantasy fans, stay tuned, because our conversation today isn’t limited to the nervous, nerdy, testosterone-filled world of fantasy football.
First, let’s talk about the vote. This week, our league voted on whether to change the waiver rules so that the worst teams would get first crack at free agents on waivers (players that were not on any team’s rosters). Basically, it would have changed things to be like the draft in the NFL or NBA: you’ve got a terrible team, so hey, we’re gonna give you a break—you don’t get more picks than anyone else, but you do get to choose first. Cleveland Browns fans, I know you feel me.
Because my team was terrible. Awful. No good. To put not to fine a point on it, this week I was going to start Alfred Blue at running back, and Mohamed Sanu at wide receiver, in a 14-team league… which is deep, but not Blue-Sanu deep. So yeah, I had a vested interest in the rule being changed. Even so, like the Browns, I probably would’ve still sucked. But at least I’d have the hope of getting that first or second pick.
However, our league voted no by a margin of seven to four (as usual in America, not everyone showed up at the polls). I’d gotten Goodelled. Screwed. After two weeks of playing fantasy in a league that was going to cost me $50, I was done, destined to rot in the basement, left to wander the waiver wire for scraps like a vagrant child hunting the trash, hoping to find a half moldy sandwich crust or unfinished can of soda: a Jericho Cotchery, so to speak.
So I let ‘er rip. I posted a rant on the message board excoriating the league for their vote, titled, “this is why democracy doesn’t work.” (I’ll post it at the end if you want to read it.)
Unnecessary? Sort of. In poor taste? Perhaps. But for those not in the know, aside from trying to win, one of the greatest things about Fantasy Football is giving each other shit. Being an inappropriate, crotchety curmudgeon or just a plain asshat. It’s a well accepted, time-honored tradition; indeed, there are some leagues where getting last place means the winner gets to brand you with an awful tattoo of his choosing.
So you can imagine my surprise, and then outrage, when my commish became a communist and took down my post, not more than two hours after writing it. Indeed, like a true Republican, he cut my mike; censored me; blasphemed the very Freedom of Speech enshrined in our beloved Constitution, the sacred shit-talking rite of fantasy football. Besides, no one had to read it if they didn’t want to—isn’t that what conservatives do already anyway?
But I digress. The point is, games are played in order to be fun, to be entertaining. That’s why even the most desperate, degenerate gambler doesn’t quit when he’s ahead—he’s got to keep playing… for the rush. The entertainment. The fun.
The win. That’s why games are fun: you play to win. Or at least, to try to win.
And when that hope’s been snuffed out, whether by bad play, bad luck, or seven fascist bastards and a spineless commish, you bitch. You still have to play—rationally—to preserve the integrity of the game, but without any hope for the glory of winning, all you have left is your freedom of speech—the right to give the winners shit. We’ve all been there. The point in Monopoly when all the property’s been snatched up and instead of buying any you’ve been paying the property tax every time you passed “Go” and landing on “Chance” the rest of the time. When you’re surrounded in Catan with nowhere to go, the robber’s on your ore, and the six NEVER FUCKING ROLLS!
Sure, I could’ve been a good sport, said nothing, gone 0-fer on the season, flushed my 50 clams down the toilet, and gone away… but I wanted to bitch—I wanted to give the guys in my league shit for making our game less fun when it was entirely within their power to do the opposite. And yeah, I probably would’ve occasionally poked the bear from that point onward, since I had no chance of winning, but that’s fantasy football. I’d never dream of taking down a post from one of our players in the league I run.
So I quit. And frankly, I don’t feel the least bit bad about it. That’s $50 you cost yourselves fellas—50 bones I had not a chance in hell of winning. Besides, I thought my post was pretty good. A touch dramatic, a little accusatory—but valid.
In the end, I hope there are no hard feelings—I don’t have any. Sometimes in life you get involved in something and then, once you realize what it is, you find that you don’t want to be a part of it anymore. I guess that was true for both sides in this case. So cheers boys—hope you have a good season.
And I hope that for the more than half of you that don’t make the playoffs, you get a chance to bitch on the message board and give the other guys shit, cause that’s all part of the fun.
Here’s the post:
Nice job fellas… you really fucking showed me.
But I can’t say I’m surprised—this is why our system of government is broken. Someone puts forth a rational proposal to change things for the better so that we can live in a fairer, more equitable society, but it fails for two reasons:
1) People don’t like the person who’s proposing the change (exhibit A: Obamacare), so they vote for their opponent at the polls. Can anyone else explain why people vote for the Republican Party anymore—an organization that hasn’t done ANYTHING for almost 30 year to help ordinary Americans? But when all you hear is hate and venom spewed constantly about Democrats on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Michael Medved, Mark Levine, etc., of course you’re not going to vote for them.
The point is that conservatives would be just fine with Obamacare if it had been proposed and passed by a Republican President; but it was proposed by a black, Democrat, secret Muslim, terrorist, Marxist, fascist who’s going to take away everyone’s guns, ban the Bible, and steal the virtue of sweet, white, Southern virgins… well, why then it’s destroying jobs and freedom at every turn, facts be damned.
2) People vote based on emotional/ideological platitudes that sound good, but don’t work in reality. Thus, I suspect many of you voted against the proposal because of arguments like, “quit whining—it’s the same for everybody” or “just because your team sucks doesn’t mean you should get an advantage.” Or maybe people were just voting against giving those on the bottom a leg up, because while nearly all of us started our lives on third base, some of you believe you’re there cause you hit a triple.
What people don’t realize is that while the notion of food stamps or welfare may seem unfair—and maybe in some ways it is—it doesn’t hurt YOU. Precious little of our government’s revenue is spent on giving handouts to people that are just plain bums; indeed, most welfare spending goes to help people that are elderly, disabled, children, or working full time. If you want proof, read a blog I wrote a couple months ago called A Thorough Examination of the Culture of Dependency.
Even so, is that really the society we want to live in, a society that says, “FUCK YOU” to the people on the bottom—we don’t care if you have opportunity or not—we don’t care if you eat or not—we can’t be bothered to spare a paltry dime to help you—really?
And with our vote, that’s what our league said—not just to me—but to everyone at the bottom: fuck you.
Just remember that, because some of you that are on top now will catch some bad luck, have a guy get injured, whatever, and you’ll end up in the cellar with me. And then, instead of getting a slight advantage so that you have some hope—just a sliver of a chance that you might be able to get back in it—you’ll be fucked like me, starting second string running backs named Alfred Blue and Mohammed Sanu at WR.