Last year I played my friend Mustache in the championship game for our league. Mustache had been about 12 Coors Lights deep during our draft that year (well, every year), so no one took him seriously. But he was the one in our league in 2010 who took a chance on Michael Vick as a waiver wire pick up, and so he found himself as the favorite for the championship game.
It was an atrocious performance on both sides. With snow storms everywhere east of the Mississippi, games were low scoring, and fantasy stars were underperforming across the board. With the roof caved in at the Metrodome, and the Vikings temporary home roof-less, three feet of snow caused their game against the Eagles to be postponed until Tuesday. At that point, my team was ahead by about 15-20 points, but Mustache still had Michael Vick–the player who had put up over 70 fantasy points in one week during that season. I had resigned to lose, and the wait was excruciating.
The Tuesday night game kicked off and the Eagles struggled. Still, throughout the game, Vick was doing just well enough to continually narrow the gap. With two minutes left, my lead was down to one point. A couple short passes closed it even further. I was ready to lose. Then, the last play of the game, with time running out, Vick dumps a quick screen pass to LeSean McCoy, who drops the ball. LeSean McCoy dropped the ball. I won the title that year by .25 point, because LeSean McCoy dropped the ball.
So I guess it was inevitable that the fantasy gods would pay me back for that. Despite my huge deficit going into last night’s game, my hopes were high at halftime–Drew Brees already had 230 yards and 2 TDs; Julio Jones had 47 yards and a score. But, as luck and football would have it, the game drastically slowed in the second half. Still, Julio got another 60 yards, getting me the bonus points for 100+ yard game, and I pulled within 10 points.
I clung to hope, though, because, despite the Saints’ commanding lead, Brees was still nearing Marino’s record for most yards in a season, and it was clear that they’d let him keep passing the ball to achieve history on Monday Night Football. With about 2 minutes left in the game, he was within 7 yards of the record and 9 yards from the endzone. The math was easy–6 points for a TD plus 4 points for surpassing 300 yds and some spare change for the completion and yardage–I was one touchdown pass away from winning the championship, just as Brees was one pass away from breaking the record. The cameras spanned the crowd at the Superdome, ready to witness history, and my skin was tingling with the shared anticipation.
On second down, Brees dropped back a couple steps, and there it was: a bullet pass right down the middle, perfectly threading the needle to the receiver waiting at the goal line. TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! Touchdown pass to…Darren Sproles. Goddamn Darren Sproles. The one player left on my opponent’s team. Goddamn Darren Sproles.
So, there you have it. Karma’s a bitch. Better luck next year, I guess.