This is the time of year when I’m forced come to terms with the fact that, once again, I will not be making the playoffs in my fantasy football league. Countless hours of research, days of obsessing over the waiver wire, the pain, the suffering, it was all for nothing. A wave of self-loathing washes over me, probably similar to the wave of self-loathing that washes over Eli Manning after every single game and sexual experience, and I can’t even look at myself in the mirror.
Over the years, I’ve become all too familiar with the 5 stages of loss and grief you must progress through in order to get over the enormous letdown that is fantasy football failure. Hopefully, if your season is officially fucked, recognizing these stages will help you get through this difficult time as well.
1. Denial and Isolation
The first step of realizing you completely shit the bed and your fantasy season is over is to deny the reality of the situation. This is normal. Your brain is simply trying to buffer the immediate fantasy shock that comes with being a pathetic loser. Flat out denial will carry you through the first wave of pain and suffering.
“I’ve still got a chance!” you’ll tell yourself. “If these six teams all lose, and I outscore four of those six teams by 37 points this week, then I’m still technically mathematically eligible to make the playoffs!” Whatever helps you sleep at night, clown.
Eventually, the masking effects of denial and isolation will begin to fade, and reality will rock your fucking world like a sack from J. J. Watt.
Now you’re angry. Angry at those cheating sons of bitches in your league, angry at the colluding commissioner for being a scheming scumbag, angry at the Yahoo! mock draft you used to plan out your draft board, angry at your parents for conceiving you, angry at the world. You’re looking for someone else to blame for your own failures, and as a result, you hate everyone and everything.
The only person you should be mad at is yourself for drafting Zac Stacy in the second round, you dumb piece of shit.
You feel vulnerable, helpless, even, and you desperately seek to regain control by bargaining with yourself.
“If only I hadn’t traded DeMarco Murray for Montee Ball during pre-season…”
“If only I’d drafted Emmanuel Sanders instead of Eric Decker…”
“If only I’d started Delanie Walker during week 2…”
If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. Move on, turd.
Depression finally sets in when you realize the hundreds of hours you spent scouring the waiver wire and researching whether or not to start Marques Colston or Brandon LaFell were all for naught. You wasted precious moments of your life plotting for successes that never came. You are, by definition, a loser. You lost. No one can love you, because you don’t even love yourself. You’ve dishonored your family name. Your parents are ashamed of you. Everyone you know makes jokes at your expense and laughs at you behind your back. Your girlfriend is probably fucking the commissioner. You need a hug so, so badly.
Accept that you are done. It is finished. The past is the past. There’s always next year. And until then, you can kill time and stack paper by playing in the $600,000 Wishbone Classic on DraftKings with me for just $20. First place takes home $100,000, and that’s enough to make you forget this fantasy football season ever happened..