Winning a fantasy football league is immensely satisfying. In addition to the bragging rights awarded to the best fictional squad, finishing atop the leaderboard usually implies some non-taxed monetary prize.
It’s not the gas money that keeps us playing, though. What makes the burgeoning American pastime so attractive is the glory at stake. The contest provides us with an outlet to make bold predictions about upcoming games.
We’re presented with a unique forum, allowing us to vigorously defend our prognostications to a bunch of dudes with whom we’ve been debating our whole lives. The message board can become quite amusing.
Though relative position in the standings alone allows for an uneven distribution of bragging rights to exist within the league, occasionally gamers achieve something to be proud of that eclipses quantifiable success.
If you currently own either Peyton Manning or Adrian Peterson, you may be able to attest.
It is unclear how exactly the 2012 NFL season will be remembered 20 years down the road, though it has certainly witnessed its share of overblown stories thus far. Given the sustained controversy surrounding the Jets’ offseason acquisition of Tim Tebow as well as Roger Goodell’s blooming despotism highlighted by Bounty-gate, there’s been no shortage of head-shaking.
Whoops! Nearly forgot about those three full weeks tainted by replacement officials — another unfortunate oversight by “Fidel” Goodell and the NFL front office.
Negative press aside, the 2012 season marks the year of the comeback with an exclamation point.
An ESPN “30 for 30” special could be written about the triumph that Peyton Manning is having following months of media-propelled scrutiny and public doubt. You can’t blame the skeptics too much for failing to fully embrace his choice to stave off retirement. The Broncos’ quarterback underwent four neck surgeries over a two-year stretch, yet he continues to produce at an elite level.
Look at what the four-time MVP award winner has done so far this season. His completion percentage and yards per game through 10 weeks are the highest of his career. The Denver Broncos ended the 2011 campaign ranked 23rd in the NFL in yards per game. This year, Peyton Manning has the formerly stagnant passing attack ranked third.
Any objective fan will acknowledge that Andrew Luck has performed prodigiously for Indianapolis and is the clear standout among young quarterbacks in the league. The Rookie of the Year Award remains his to lose.
However, with six wins on the young season, it’s dubious that Jim Irsay lies in bed at night without any lingering qualms regarding his decision to cut ties with the seemingly invincible Hall of Fame quarterback responsible for two of the franchise’s three Super Bowl appearances and one Lombardi Trophy.
The Colts are playing inspired football. They appear to be a playoff team. But while Andrew Luck has impressed throughout his rookie campaign, one has to wonder the potential of the Colts had they elected to keep the current favorite to win the MVP.
Peyton Manning is certainly deserving of such ruefulness at this point. His legacy demands it. If you selected the marvel in your fantasy draft before the third round, the criticism that your buddies offered back in August, however eloquent it may have been, is well worth the result.
In the case of roto, as in the case of a popular Irish dry stout, fortune tends to favor the bold.