Is Tom Terrific going to complete his dream season in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday? Or are Osi, Justin, Michael, and Fred going to rain on his parade? (Left: Working on the Brady Bunch. Tom's ex, Bridget Moynahan.)
I already completed my dream season. I won my Fantasy Football league's championship. My team was (ahem) the DC Spinsters.
Two years ago I was a novice at it and lacked savvy. I got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, but I won the shadow playoffs, made up of the first-round losers, and came in fifth.
Last year I made the championship game but the opposing QB, a guy named Marc Bulger, had a hall-of-fame week and I lost. Marc who? Exactly.
This year I won it all.
My secret was to let the computer draft my team. It strictly applies a formula to the needs of your team versus players available when your turn comes up, while everyone else is playing hunches and using rank favoritism to pick players.
Then I made big trades and scoured the waiver wire for pickups. Before the season started I traded my starting WR and RB, two big name players, for Randy Moss and Clinton Portis. Neither Moss nor Portis had done much the year before so they were a gamble. They both turned out to be scorers who had banner years and paid terrific dividends. (Right: Tom's current, Gisele Bundchen.)
You have to give value to get value. Late in the season I traded the best tight end, Antonio Gates, for a productive RB coming back from a mid-season injury. I was able to do this because I picked up the Redskins' TE, Chris Cooley, on waivers. He was very productive and had his best year, and the RB I acquired was prolific as well.
Lastly I did not change my lineup at all during the final five weeks. This drove league members batty, who were playing weekly match-ups (essentially, game-time hunches).
Fantasy Football is a godsend for the NFL, a marketing dream. In recent years I had fallen away from devoting my Sundays to watching football on TV. All the regular season games seemed to be the same. I could name only four or five NFL players. Suddenly I found myself watching the Tennessee Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if Reggie Williams would catch a ten-yard pass and pick up a Fantasy Football point. I was delirious if he scored a TD (six points). Reggie who? Exactly. (Below: My man Reggie.)
Some people in the league subscribed to NFL services and got live feeds. They’d be watching two games on two TVs, listening to a third on the radio, keeping track of yet another game in the corner of their computer and be getting live information on players in the red zone at that exact moment streaming across the top of their laptop screens. Can you spell revenue bonanza?
If the NFL ran its games back-to-back-to-back all day Saturday and Sunday, half the men in America would not emerge from their houses during weekends in the fall. Ever.
Fantasy Football. A football fan's dream and a football widow's nightmare.