By Greg Price
I have been involved in fantasy sports for decades now.
Over the years, I’ve drafted championship teams in football, baseball and hockey. I’ve also drafted teams of cringe-worthy value that by the end of the season, there was my name — buried at the bottom of the standings.
This is the very first year of any fantasy sports league I’ve ever been in that I was unable to attend the draft. Traveling approximately 4,000 kilometres around Europe for nearly a month, visiting friends, I missed being able to attend the draft by one day. Thus I had to endure the dreaded ‘autodraft’ in letting the computer do my draft for me.
The results were understandably Titantic-esque. I was picked a running back (Jerick McKinnon) that was lost for the season due to an injury the Saturday before the draft… in the second round. I was the first team to draft defence (a fantasy sports no-no according to experts), and on top of that, the autodraft drafted me two defences. Add on a whole slew of untested rookie/sophomore running backs and my first wide receiver selected (Alshon Jeffery) already slated to miss a chunk of the season due to injury, and I’ve been discussing trades and hitting the waiver wire like it owes me money from the get go.
But win or lose, part of the fun of fantasy sports is the art of the smack talk. Despite the disaster that is my roster, I’ve managed to start the season with a 1-0-1 record. The tie coming in the ever-sought-after ‘garbage time’ where a miraculously recovered on-side kick netted my first-round draft pick just enough receiving yards with one last catch and a late change of the computer scoring of one extra yard to turn my impending loss into a tie.
Being the humble person that I am, I never brought this to the attention of the people I was watching the Cowboys/Giants game with late Sunday night, nor the team that I played against in the first week that I beat, despite them being blessed with the first overall pick.
Now that we are done with that paragraph of fiction, I want to recount the most epic example of smack talk gone gloriously wrong I have ever seen in my near 20 years of playing fantasy sports. That honour belongs to none other than the Sask Bush Plugs who just prior to Week 2 competition against the Screaming Eagles, had this to say about their head-to-head tilt:
“Looks like I’m matched up against possibly the worst fantasy fooseball team I’ve ever seen. Did someone’s infant child just finger tap the screen during the draft? Would take that or a wild combination of drugs to ever snag that combo of CFL bound athletes. I think my fantasy baseball team might be able to beat you LOL.”
In Sask Bush Plugs’ ever-so-slight defence, the Screaming Eagles received the worst draft grade in our 12-team league, ever so slightly below my autodrafted team.
Nevertheless, despite having two back-up running backs starting for him, all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski getting him a mere one point on 15 yards receiving and a normally staunch Eagles defence getting torched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Team Screaming Eagles defeated Team Bush Plugs 87-65.
I thought the message board would be lighting up Tuesday morning with the fantasy team owner east of the Alberta border being mocked endlessly. But as of press time, this was the only tidbit that was offered by none other than Earl Mills, fantasy owner of the Castor Raiders:
“Couple more RBIs and you only lose by 20 haha.”
So in the spirit of fantasy sports smack talk, I offer this mini sports article.
Screaming Eagles put Talons into Bush Plugs
In a war of words leading up to the epic tilt between the Screaming Eagles and Saskatchewan Bush Plugs in Loser Leave Town Fantasy Football League play, Screaming Eagles owner and sideline coach Bryce Coombs got the last word in a topsy-turvy 87-65 win.
Rumours swirled around Saskatchewan that the Screaming Eagles 2018 draft was tended to by an infant — it was a rumour Coombs confirmed to be true in his post-game victory press conference late Monday night.
“I promised my toddler son Jagger that if he ate his vegetables and took a nap, I’d let him play with my phone. Unfortunately, I had forgot that was the same night as our fantasy football draft. But a promise is a promise and a Dad has to keep his word,” said Coombs, adding Jagger is only serving as an honourary GM of the Screaming Eagles this year with Coombs tending to the on-field talent with trades, waiver claims and will be making all starting lineup decisions. “But just so Tyrone knows, he just got beat by a team that was picked by someone who still enjoys playing in his own feces.”
In the aftermath of the loss and the Saskatchewan Bush Plugs falling to 0-2 on the season, team owner Tyrone Kennedy-Bush has announced every single one of his players on his roster have been put on the trade block.
Greg Price, owner, GM and coach of Romophobic has confirmed Kennedy-Bush has reached out to him with various trade offers, but is holding out for more than the ham sandwich and half-used bar of soap that was offered by Saskatchewan upper management for Romophobic’s first-round draft pick Saquon Barkley.
“It seems like the market for Barkley is ice-cold right now overall, because even Steelers owner Rich Horvath just offered me some mustache wax and milk 10-days after its expiry date for the stud Giants running back,” said Price. “I think I’ll stand pat for now until I get an offer that can be seen as mutually beneficial to both teams.”
All kidding aside, fantasy sports is just as much luck as it is skill with games that are beyond anyone’s control, but the players themselves.
Good luck and best wishes to all my fellow fantasy football league owners for a fun and competitive 2018/2019 season. But just so you know, if Team Autodraft squeaks into the playoffs, you will never hear the end of it from me to those unfortunate owners who did not make the cut.