Due to the sporting events of the past few months, Denverites have license to hate everything New English, from the overdog Red Sox to the over-hyped Pats all the way down to maple syrup, clam chowder, and Ben Affleck (perhaps a bad example). The city just a few years ago known as the loudest whin-ahs in all of America has become arguably the most dominant sports center since the Greek Coliseum. The Red Sox are world champs, the Celtics own the NBA’s best record and the Patriots are, if not the best NFL team ever, certainly the most talked about. The expression “embarrassment of riches” doesn’t begin to describe Boston’s teams; they’re like a billionaire with a winning lottery ticket. Or a star NFL quarterback with a supermodel girlfriend.
Now they’ve ruined my fantasy football season too.
And Sunday was shaping up to be a beautiful day. Not only had I scored free tickets to the Bronco’s biggest blowout since the 2000 season – against hated division rivals KC no less – but from 18 rows up in the south end zone, my buddy and I had a great view to witness 3 of the 4 touchdown passes thrown by my fantasy QB, Jay Cutler, who was having the best game of his career.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady shows up at Corporate Razor stadium, punches his time card, and throws for 399 yards and four touchdowns. Randy Moss hauls in seven catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and Wes Welker, on an off day, records 79 receiving yards and one TD. All against the best defense in the NFL.
My opponent in fantasy owns all three players, who collectively rang up 147.8 points. The total for my entire team, including Jay Cutler and Cowboy’s TE Jason Witten, who had a week 14 best 15 catches and 138 receiving yards: 176.60. New England can even run up the score in fantasy football.
Sadly, this column was not even supposed to be about the Patriots and how much I hate their stinking guts. It was supposed to be a lighthearted and comical look at the fantasy football playoffs, and the so-called “experts” who warn you not to play Jay Cutler (NFL.com), proclaim Tavaris Jackson and Marc Bulger a better choice than Brett Favre (Peter King), and single out Adrian Peterson (0 points) as the best running back of the week (Yahoo).
But the Patriots success in real life translates to utter dominance in the second life of fantasy football. Add to that the misery of the World Series, the embarrassment of the Nuggets loss to the Celtics and ESPN’s relentless PatsCenter coverage, and I’ve officially snapped.
So if you picked up Tom Brady with your first pick in the fantasy football draft, good for you. I’d also like to congratulate you for re-electing George Bush, driving a Hummer, and smothering small animals in your leisure time. Now that my fantasy season is finished, I can turn my full attention to the Broncos slim playoff chances and entertain thoughts of what I would have spent the league winnings on.
Which would not have included baked beans. - Mark Schiff
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