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As the great Zaza Pachulia once said, “nothing easy!” He was talking about the playoffs but he could very well have been talking about life in general. When you embark on a journey seeking glory, you should expect hardship along the way. The struggle makes your victory all the sweeter. Your enemies will show you no mercy… so to emerge triumphant you must be resolute bordering on ruthless. Allow me to share you a story of my conquest of the White Castle Fantasy Football League.
Was I a two-time champion? Yes, check my video from last year. Did I believe I could three-peat? Absolutely! Did the rest of the league? Hell no. It started off well enough. First week of the season and I was comfortably projected to win. I decided to not even play a kicker just to show how superior I was to the peasants I compete with. I lost by five. My ego had gotten the best of me and now my enemies’ smelled blood. I would put together a small winning streak, barely getting wins in hard fought battles. Then I was hit with the worst losing streak of my fantasy football career.
I looked to my wife, my rock in times of trouble, and asked her if she thought I could still win it all. I still remember with vague clarity what she said to me… and it still resonates hauntingly deep in the recesses of my mind. She said “I don’t know, but please don’t bother me, I am prepping for a big client meeting tomorrow.” Like William Wallace when he was betrayed by Robert the Bruce, or when Han Solo was betrayed by Lando, or when Adrian told Rocky in Rocky IV, “you can’t win…” hmmm… that’s actually exactly what I felt like. I couldn’t believe it! I was truly alone now.
I went for a jog, Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” blaring on my headphones. A montage of all of the league’s participants flashed before me as ran through the harrowing trails of Cathedral Heights. It was mostly positive stuff because all of the participants are friends or family… but I couldn’t let that distract me. It was all about the guy on top, a diabolical tyrant (Christopher Lyon aka Bloody Mayhem) blowing teams out with the lethal combination of Antonio Brown and Mike Evans. Like that bastard Ramsay Bolton, he had stormed into my home this season and took my spot at the top of the league. His violent name served as his flayed man sigil. His wide receivers served as his hounds.
Maybe I should have quit. Like the Dallas Mavericks, maybe I should have tanked and gone for a high draft pick and try my luck next year. Instead, just like the Mavericks (relevant as of early 2017), I said F it, I’m going to win games anyways! I clawed my way back to .500 and snuck into the playoffs. From there I would proceed to make it to the Shiner Bock Super Bowl! Across from me, on the other side of the virtual field was none other than Bloody Mayhem himself. His team attacked early and often, building a substantial lead that never let up going into the final game Monday night. It was a one on one matchup between Dez Bryant and Matthew Stafford. 88 threw up X just enough times for me to eek by with one of the slimmest margins of victory in league history!
The three-peat was completed… trophy shipping costs avoided… let the celebration begin! For all of you champions out there, whether your winning comes in the form of TPS reports, defeating an Empire, or showing the world that even a god king can bleed… come and celebrate with me among the pantheon of champions. We fought, we endured, and we arose triumphant. Here is my tribute to winners everywhere, please enjoy my “A Song of Champs and Losers.”