Long Live Loyalty
You Heard It Here Last
I’ve been playing fantasy football for the past four years. Until this weekend, I’ve always had one rule: I never start anyone playing the Broncos. To me, it just always seemed wrong to have a vested interest in favor of the other team, so it seemed easier to bench them and be able to root wholeheartedly for my team.
In fact, I’ve deliberately avoided drafting players from the Broncos’ division, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with sitting them twice a year. Often times, I’ll draft extra Broncos players as sort of a countermeasure to help offset the fact that I avoid these other teams.
This past weekend, I broke my one rule. The Broncos were playing the Rams, and I was faced with the impasse of deciding what to do with the player who has carried one of my fantasy teams through the season thus far; Rams’ running back Todd Gurley.
Seeing that I was playing against a friend who would never let me hear the end of losing, I selfishly decided that I had to start him, in order to give myself the best chance of winning.
I justified it by telling myself that since the Broncos are probably not even a playoff team this year, it probably wouldn’t bother me. I told myself that I’d be able to still cheer wholeheartedly for and not against my team. I even thought I’d be able to forget that I was even playing him.
To an extent, I was right. I wanted to keep Gurley and the Rams out of the end zone on every drive. I wanted so badly for us to win that game. And I was heartbroken when we didn’t. But I was wrong in thinking that he’d be off my mind.
Every time they gave him the ball, I was noticeably less frustrated than when they looked elsewhere for offensive production. Every time he picked up a big chunk of yardage or got into the end zone, I thought to myself, at least it’s him and not somebody else.
I’d like to think I learned my lesson. The changed game experience wasn’t worth the fantasy points it came with. Sundays are meant for football–real football–and I certainly won’t forget that again.
Tyler Dean is a senior studying finance and math.