Here we are, a new year, a new decade, and well, a new site, sort of, with our new Mastersball partnership.
Last week I noted that my Utter Genius team, The El Cerrito Mugwumps were actually in a championship game, something that has not happened for me in a football league for a good ten years.
As it was, I have a pretty good squad, and my team defense is that of the Jets. Now the Jets have generally been pretty solid all year, but last Sunday they went up against the perfect Indianapolis Colts, and that had me nervous. Not to mention my opponent, The Fighting Lawyers made it to the post-season on the legs of Chris Johnson who racked up 27 points Christmas night (Fortunately I had Philip Rivers) against the Chargers.
In this league our defensive teams begin with 21 points, and as an opposing team gains yards and ostensibly points, that total drops, though it can be offset by recovering fumbles and sacks and interceptions as well as defensive touchdowns.
Well, if you watched the first quarter of the Colts and Jets on Sunday, you saw Peyton Manning pick apart the New York defense as he is wont to do, knocking my 21 points down to 11 by the end of the first quarter, and making me think a win was lost.
Now, within my leagues there has been a lot of discussion this year about H2H play and how freakish it can, not to mention the best team--that is the team that scores the most points--is not always the team that wins the league, or even makes the playoffs, depending upon the rules by which we play. In fact, in the Kathy League Gifford we switched to an all-play format this year for the first time just to combat that potential inequity.
Well, I was trying hard to remember in football--well, in all sports and fantasy--the luck of the draw and match-up is just something one has to live with. But, I was also not real happy with the idea that my season would be done simply because my defense was facing the best team in the NFL and that my picks and roster selection would all fall by the wayside because of one 60 minute game.
So, I turned to the Broncos game, and actually took a nap, my head swimming with thoughts of losing because Manning is so good.
When I awoke, ten minutes into the third quarter, suddenly the universe had changed. The Colts, ensuring their health for the post season, benched their starters, including Manning, and essentially gave away their perfect season, choosing instead to focus on making sure the team was at full strength for the playoffs. And that, I thought, was a smart move on behalf of the team's coaching staff.
Ironically, the same thing that I thought would kill my chances to win during the first 30 minutes of the game, melted, as I discovered the Jets had scored a TD on a kickoff return, and another on a fumble recovered in the end zone. All of a suddent, my defense had 31 points, and the Mugwumps were indeed on the way to a championship (we wound up winning 123-88).
It did, however, not seem any more fair that I should lose because I was simply facing a killer offense, than that I should win because the coaching staff of that offense decided to substitute.
Which makes it seem like the "play all" format, which squares each team off against all the teams in your league each week against one another. In other words, my team Lawrceny plays matches up against all 11 teams in Kathy League Gifford and if I have the highest point total in a given week, that counts as an 11-0 record for the cycle. Should I have the least points--which I have this year--I walk away 0-11.
Now, that might seem a better way to determine fantasy football outcomes, but in League Gifford Lori Rubinson has totally slaughtered us, losing just 18 games while winning 147. The next best team has 97 wins, so while this scoring format seems fair, well, it made for a pretty dull season in League Gifford and my guess is we are going back to H2H next year.
In the mean time, well, winning is sweet. I can deal with having the #12 pick next year in Utter Genius, because I will get #1 in Gifford.
I can live with it.