I play Fantasy Football. I’ve been playing a long time, so long that when I started, weekly results and starting lineups had to be sent back and forth via mail.
Not email. Mail. As in, requires postage.
The hobby matured and grew in popularity along with technology. Before long we were playing via email. And soon after that, via website, where results and lineups could be transacted instantly and immediately shared with the world.
Although I’ve played in other leagues, I primarily play in one, a special one, that has been going since the early 90’s and consists of a group of friends that – mainly – met via live-action role-playing. One or two people leave every year, and one or two people join (or often, rejoin), but the core of the league remains that same band of friends that has been playing together for all these years.
And I am pretty good at it, or at least so I thought. Until I stumbled into a new section of the website.
It seems that the company that hosts our website has been keeping track of us for all of the years we’ve been using it, which is 14 years. And they’ve added a page that shows all of our cumulative records over that span of time.
At least I assume they’ve just added it, but maybe it’s always been there and I’ve just never seen it. I think the former, I get bored and noodle about the site every now and then and I imagine I’d have stumbled across this previously if it existed.
But I digress. This is not about the boredom and ennui that exists in the middle of most workdays. This is about what I found, and oh boy it is ugly.
So ugly. I am the Fighting Koalas, although once I presented the team logo I was spontaneously renamed the “F’ing Koalas – he really loves football, especially that one!”. Actually the “F’ing” part was spontaneous, I made up the tagline myself.
Note that the F’ing Koalas are in spot 18. 18! Amongst all of the long-time players (those in green in the chart above) I am second-to-last.
How can this be? Some of the people above me often fail to remember to send in starting lineups. I actually mock some of them for their lack of skilz, even if only inside my head.
And yet. They are all beating me.
The team right above me? The Always Surprising PsyKlones? That is my brother. His team was once just “PsyKlones”, but was spontaneously renamed “Always Surprising” due to his penchant for starting players that were on bye. Once, he called in a lineup from a foreign country so remote he could not get to the web or email, and still managed to start three players that were on their bye weeks.
And yet he is ahead of me on the lifetime chart.
Up near the top? Mac’s Mighty Maniac Destroyers? That is my friend Dave, who I love, but who never puts any creative thought into his team at all. He buys magazines or, since the demise of magazines, pays for a service, that tells him what to do and he does it. He is a robot.
And yet he is ahead of me on the lifetime chart. Way ahead.
There have been years where I spent weeks – weeks! – combing reports, ranking players, coming up with unique stat-heavy indexes, and in other ways really, really worked at this all season long. More recently I’ve fallen into a routine of less work, but still, research and diligence and putting the time in.
And yet all of them are ahead of me on the lifetime chart.
What an unpleasant surprise.
Is this right? Could there be a mistake? I’ve won the conference twice in the last ten years, and won the whole Stupor Bowl once. How could a guy that wins more money than he loses be so far behind in the won/lost columns?
Do I really win more money than I lose? I think so. And I know that 20% conference championships is pretty good – out of 12 players, there is only an 80%* chance to have won it even once and I’ve done so twice. There is only a 40%* chance I’d have won the Stupor Bowl even the one time and yet I have.
Still, staring one’s own mediocrity in the face is quite unsettling. Here I was, merrily skipping through the years, safe in my sense of superiority, knowing that I was so much better than That Guy, and That Guy too and even That Guy. Except it was all illusion, I am not better than any of them.
My stats are better than my record. If you look at total points scored (PF in the above chart), or at average points scored (Avg PF) I rank better. But still below the average line.
Nope, there are no sugar coatings, no justifications, and no more illusions. I am one spot away from being the worst long-term player of them all.
The only comfort I can take is that the Benevolent Overlords are in the middle of the pack, which is just flat-out wrong, the Benevolent Overlords have won the Stupor Bowl four times. Way more than anyone else.
Maybe won/loss ranking is not the skill indicator that it appears to be. Maybe.
Or so I can hope.
🙂 😀 🙂
* Really it is 8% and 4% per year for ten years which is not the same thing as 80% and 40%. But close enough.