Friday, January 6, 2017

Beware the Cat-Toads!

Maybe I should take my wife to Vegas. (She's really been on a roll lately.)

I've been a football fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy predicting who I think is going to win, looking forward to possible playoff match-ups, and even actually watching the games. But, I had always avoided playing fantasy football. Mostly because I didn't want to become one of those people.

Fantasy football people will spend hours talking about their fantasy football teams. They'll openly root for players from teams that are rivals of their favorite team, which just seems wrong. Plus, I'm tired of stupid fantasy football stats scrolling across the bottom of the screen during the game. (The bottom of the screen scroll should only be used for game scores and/or Kardashian updates.)

But then, before this season, my brother and my niece, both seasoned fantasy football players, asked if I would be interested in joining a fantasy league featuring just our family, and I finally took the plunge. There were a few openings for teams, so The Wife, Thing 1 (my eight year-old daughter), and I each got a team.

The Wife said she would play, "as long as I get Tom Brady on my team." Well, since so many of us had never played fantasy football before, and since we couldn't schedule an evening to get together to do a traditional fantasy football draft, we just let ESPN pick the players for each team at random. With ten teams in the league, that meant The Wife had a one-in-ten chance of getting Tom Brady. Of course, she got Tom Brady. (The rest of us should have known we were in trouble at that point.)

One of the funnest things about fantasy football is picking out a name for your team. I asked my daughter what she would like to call her team. With very little hesitation she said, "The Pretend World Fairies." I was so proud of her! What an excellent name! When I asked her, "Why the 'Pretend World Fairies,'" she said, "Well, it's fantasy football, right? So, they're just pretend teams living in pretend world." Can't argue with that.

Not to be outdone, The Wife asked Thing 2 (our six year-old son) to pick a name for her team. He said, "The Cat-Toads!" Thing 2 has trouble pronouncing the letter "r," so for a moment I thought he had said, "The Cat-Turds," which would have been a great name, too. But no, he explained that they were half cats and half toads: The Cat-Toads.

The Cat-Toads: they claw like a cat and hop like a toad!
As the season began, I was managing my team ("Donuts Forever,") and the Pretend World Fairies, because Thing 1 didn't have unfettered internet access. And, because The Wife wasn't too interested, I did much of the week to week running of the Cat-Toads, as well. But, I would consult with The Wife as to which players she wanted to start. She usually made very wise choices.

As the season went on, no one could beat the Cat-Toads. They had a few close games, but usually crushed the opposition. Meanwhile, my team struggled through a four-game losing streak, and the Pretend World Fairies mostly floundered. (Thanks for nothing, Todd Gurley!)

When the regular season ended, the Cat-Toads were in first place, still undefeated. My Donuts Forever team scraped their way into third place, and the Pretend World Fairies finished ninth out of ten teams. After winning in the first round of the playoffs, it was The Wife's Cat-Toads squaring off against my Donuts Forever for the championship. I started off well, but then Tom Brady had yet another great game and not even Zach Zenner could save my team. (Who is Zach Zenner? The heck if I know!)

If only David Johnson hadn't gotten hurt in the first quarter of the last game....
So, the Cat-Toads finished the season undefeated, champions of the league!

I'd be surprised, but this isn't the first time The Wife has done well in this type of thing. This spring she correctly predicted the winner and runner-up in the NCAA Basketball tournament, finishing in the 100th percentile of the 13 million people who filled out brackets on! She's definitely on a roll.

Unfortunately, she considers gambling a vice, and doesn't want to take her talents to Vegas. Oh well, at least I get to enjoy her perfection here in the comfort of our own home.

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