I'm sitting here watching Christmas movies to try to catch the Holiday Spirit before five consecutive pressure-packed services grinds it clean out of me (last year was particularly unpleasant). I do love Christmas, so I'm always hopeful about a day like this in spite of circumstances.
I did get an early Christmas present, though. You might remember a few posts from September - perhaps this one - bemoaning the disastrous fantasy football season of my team, the Yardbirds. I'd never played fantasy football before and I'd made some awfully foolhardy moves (backup RB Tatum Bell for superstar WR Chad Johnson? 14 weeks later, I can't believe I ever thought that one was wise. Embarrassingly, I bragged about it at the time. Yeesh). It was not unusual for me to drop a player early in the week and pick him up later. I ended up making more waiver moves than the next top two teams combined. I lost the first two games rather convincingly, and it didn't look like my team was going anywhere. However, I made a amazingly daring prediction, considering my situation:
"I want to win a fantasy championship my first year out. In fact, I'm going to win a fantasy championship my first year out."
After a shaky start, I finished the year 7 and 6, snuck into the playoffs as the seventh of eight seeds facing the number two seed, a team I'd lost to just the week prior. Things didn't look promising, but I made adjustments every week of the playoffs, despite massive injuries - I lost my best QB in the first round and my best rusher in the second:
Through luck and smart choices, I made it through to the title game. One of my QBs got knocked out in the first quarter, his backup went on to score 46 points that game, not that it helped me any. My best running back (the league's leading rusher) broke his leg on the first play, netting me a grand total of one point. I thought I had no chance. But everyone else kept coming through for me, and the gambles that I took as a result of the injuries (Dominic Rhodes, Steve Smith, Joshua Cribbs) came up aces.
Here's the opposing team's total: