By the time I had first gotten into fantasy football, I had been a part of a few season long pools. I've never been very good at picking games. I'm never the worst, but usually not near the top. I tend to take too many chances picking underdogs. Or I won't believe in a team for too long, then when I finally do they have a crappy game. So while it was another fun way to enjoy football, and I am still in some pools, it was nothing until fantasy football.
The summer of '99, I took my first big road trip. I drove up to Seattle and spent a few weeks there, then headed east to the coast and back again. The last stop before heading home was San Diego. While I was there, I went to a fantasy football draft. I was told that it would be pretty boring, just watching some people drafting football players. But it was an eye opener. I knew while watching this thing that it was awesome and I had to do it myself.
So when I got back home, I got some people together to try out this thing. I basically copied all the rules from the league I had watched. We held our draft in an office in Walnut Creek. Five of the owners got their strategery in order a the coference table. I was in another room on the computer. Another owner was on speaker phone. One of the owners never made it inside. It was like magic.
I learned a lot from that first draft, though not right away. I had a disastrous first season. While I had a team that looked good on paper at the beginning of the season, some of the key players didn't work out. I look back on my decision to go with Jake Plummer instead of Peyton Manning as one of those errors, though in 1999, I wasn't the only person to do such a thing.
In my league, EDSFFL, my team is Sharks With Frickin' Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads. Here's my team logo. Not very Sharklike, but it really works.
I greatly improved over the next couple seasons, winning the championship in season three. That year I owned Marshall Faulk. And in 2001, that's pretty much all I needed. I've stayed competitive ever since until last season, when I missed the playoffs for the first time since season 1.
I won the championship one more time in 2003. In that championship game, I went through Sunday looking like I was a lock to win. the only thing standing between me and victory was the Monday Night Football game with my opponent's QB - Brett Favre. Many of you will remember that game. It was the one Favre played right after his father died. But I had enough of a lead to overcome that performance.
I've been to the championship game without winning a couple times. A few seasons back I would have won if the week before I hadn't started Michael Vick instead of Carson Palmer. Palmer was supposed to be out that week, but instead scored 20 something points. Vick scored a negative three, and I lost by five. Another learning experience.
A couple years after starting EDSFFL, I became an owner in the league that I had visited. I haven't consistently had the same success in that league, but I did win a championship. That season I owned Ladainian Tomlinson, and that was pretty much all I needed. I went to the championship another time and lost a heartbreaker. I always seem to have a solid draft and start the season with a great game, but it often falls apart.
My team in the San Diego league, CFFL, is Clobberin' Time. I can only find a tiny icon of my logo right now, so here's that.
So now I'm headed into week seven of the 2009 season. I'm 3-3 in both leagues. In one league, I just had to deal with all of my running backs having a bye. And I don't even have a quality starting RB in that league. In the other, I have three great RBs. Unfortunately, I can only start 2. So I still haven't figured out a lot of things. But in the end, it's probably 80-90% luck anyway.
"I just added a unicorn to my fantasy football team." Joel McHale