Expert League Update: Fearing The Unknown
Like everyone else, I spent most of my time this weekend
outside enjoying the freakishly nice weather.
My dog and I went on a romantic couple’s getaway to the Delaware shore
where she spent most of her time ruining the structural integrity of whatever
spot of sand I was currently calling home.
She’d dig and dig until my chair caved in, then she’d dance around
happily in a circle, like a boxer who had just won a big fight or Homer after
he won a free Krusty Burger.
The place we were staying didn’t have internet, so in the
time I spent not wondering if my dog was evil, I was routinely checking my
IPhone for NFL Draft and fantasy baseball updates. After the Raiders’ weekend, is there any
doubt in your mind whatsoever that you could totally dominate Al Davis in a
fantasy league? After he took a guy who
WASN’T EVEN INVITED TO THE COMBINE in
the second round on Saturday, all bets are off.
If Al was in your league, he’d be the guy who opens with Jeter in
the first (doesn’t care if he would available 70 picks later, wants to make
sure he gets him), Nyjer Morgan in the second (likes the speed), Giambi in the
third (never could resist a known cheater), and Chief Bender in the fourth
(Al’s favorite player from childhood, thinks he could still make a comeback).
For whatever reason, I could get updates on how my players
were doing, but I couldn’t get a scoreboard to load to see where my matchup
stood in the expert league. I don’t know
if this has ever happened to you, but it’s absolutely maddening. Without context, following your players
performances is even more frustrating.
It’s basically all the stress without any of the reward. When your guy hits a homer or gets a win, a
usually joyous moment is ruined because you don’t know if it made any
difference at all in the standings. It’s
like being in a race where you aren’t told how long it will last or where the
finish line is. You are stuck sprinting
like a sucker and what’s more miserable than just running? Nothing, that’s what.
In fact, I’d argue that only seeing your players’ stats is
even worse than just complete radio silence.
If you didn’t know anything at all, when you finally found out the
results, it would be a quick and relatively painless experience, like checking
your grades online in college. But when
you know your players performances, you know when one of your pitchers gets
blown up and probably costs you a few categories. You know, like if you owned Trevor Cahill and
knew he allowed an astounding 10 people on base and gave up seven earned runs
in just 2.2 innings of work on Friday, a performance so poor that even Joe
Borowski couldn’t watch. Then it’s as if
your professor called just to let you know you’d left one of the ten questions
blank on your final and there was nothing you could do about it. Wouldn’t you rather not know then spend the
next three weeks thinking you failed and constantly hitting refresh waiting to
So driving back last night, listening to yet another
terrible Nickelback song my co-pilot had picked (I’ve discovered dogs love
them, which is the only thing that can explain their popularity), I assumed I
had been blown out and that my time at the top of the expert league was
kaput. Upon getting home, I finally had
my answer after three days of worrying.
Despite having a WHIP that may have lost me the ERA category some weeks,
I managed to only lose 4-5-1 and thanks to a blowout elsewhere, I’d taken sole
possession of first place in my division.
Turns out my opponent had once again turned in a subpar performance,
allowing me to steal a few categories in the midst of our pathetic struggle (by
the way, is there a decent antonym for “epic”?
There should be).
I didn’t expect for this phenomenon to happen in an expert
league, but right now I’ve ridden this streak of underachieving opponents to
the top, despite having a pitching staff that’s lost it faster than Bill Cosby
(if you haven’t seen this yet, please watch this clip from the Draft
coverage. I beg you. Remember it when you see the inevitable
“America’s Dad Bill Cosby Asylumed” headline on CNN in about nine months). I can’t say I’ve earned it, but after a
weekend of worrying, it’s thrilling to see I’m somehow bringing up the rear in
our leagues race to the bottom.