Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pastime of the year

Last summer, Less Tall invited me to join his fantasy football league. Why not, I thought. I know a thing or two about football, don’t I? In some circles, I am proud to say that my opinion is valued – yes, these circles are Madame Red’s mainly, so what ?

I proceeded to pick a name for my team and, most importantly, the colour of their outfit. Upon Madame Red’s advice, I decided on blue. It conveys seriousness, I believed, and most certainly symbolizes something deep and meaningful in some part of the world or another.

I then proceeded to pick my players: the easiest part, really, a piece of cake. I couldn’t stop laughing at my own cleverness.

Except that after 19 weeks, I’m doing miserably. Just Tall and Less Tall are way ahead of me and I am left with a mid-range team that is consistently underachieving. Actually, in real life, I would have been fired a long time ago. I am the Kevin Keegan of fantasy football. But the good thing is I have been learning and I can safely say that I will come back stronger next year.

So, here are my ten commandments for a good fantasy league manager:

- Thou shall not, under any circumstances, pick up a ginger player. And yes, this rule is for you Dave Kitson. And it’s for you too, Nicky Butt.

- Thou shall not pick players you like too much. I still have fucking Carvalho on my roster despite the fact that he has been injured forever. It’s just too costly. And it’s not like they’re sending you Xmas cards to thank you for your confidence and support. In fact, I might be wrong, but it generally looks like the players do not give a damn about fantasy football.

- Thou shall not pick players you despise. Next year, just to remind me of how important this rule is, I will name my team :


- Thou shall not spend hours in front of the computer trying to decide which player is going to have a breakthrough week, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE ANYWAY. So instead, take your wife for a drink and have some fun.

- Thou shall not follow any of your gut feelings. Yes David Bentley, where is this wonderful season I thought you were going to have? Where exactly has it gone?

- Thou shall not panic buy. Brad Friedel? When I had the cash to buy Petr Cech? What the fuck?

- Thou shall not mess around with your captain. Give the freaking thing to Lampard and get a good night sleep.

- Thou shall not TUI (Transferring under the influence). I’ll just give you that one to meditate on: Eboue for Fabregas in week 7. Tell you what, this Californian wine is seriously nasty.

- Thou shall not trust Rafa Benitez. His turn over policy will screw you week after week. Sometimes it actually looks like he has cracked my password and decides not to play the guys I picked, just out of sheer meanness. Hyppia over Agger? C’mon, man!

- Thou shall not buy a player who did well the week before. It’s too late! You should have got him a week ago. Probably why I just bought Mikel Arteta and broke at least three of the aforementioned rules…

Over all, though, I can only thank Less Tall for his invite. I am having a lot of fun.

Will you invite me again, then?


Andrew said...

after much deliberation, i made the decision not to partake in a fantasy league this year. It's tremendously liberating.
See, the trouble is that you end up saying things like "Fuck, my team lost but at least Steve Sidwell (one player who might be a decent exception to your no-gingers rule) assisted the winning goal."
Or, as you've alluded to, "Fuck, United won today but at least Ronaldo scored twelve of their goals."
Don't do it, Major, just try and make a decent fist of the rest of the season and then give it up forever. Or, if this season has truly gone tits up for you, enjoy the schadenfreude of turning the rest of the season into a nightmare league, where you try to do as badly as possible. Leaving Eboue in your midfield should do it.

Chris said...

I miss watching football with you, and learning french swear words and watching Madame Red try not to be embarrassed. Loved the commentary on fantasy land. Best of luck next year!

Just Tall said...

It's the Christmas matches that seperate the real deal from the would be challengers... We're back at the top where we belong Major!!