“We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us . . .”
– John Winger, Stripes (1981)
As per usual, our fantasy season began in the same atmosphere of tragically-misguided optimism that surrounded the christening of the Titanic. Our first-ever live draft started out with fragile hope, but ended on a grim note for those of us who have to squint to make out the names of our players through all of the P’s, Q’s, and O’s — those ghastly, blood-red letters that make our rosters read like trauma ward directories. And now we’re left facing the sobering prospect of a punishing season that promises to drag along like a Ken Burns documentary.
It’s sobering indeed; disillusionment and despair are taking a toll on many team owners from the outset. And it begs the question: Should any of this really come as a surprise? Is it just a coincidence that football came to symbolize Charlie Brown’s foolish and unrelenting hopes? And are we really all that different when, despite seasons of heartbreak and fiascos, that little voice still pipes up from somewhere deep in our psyche telling us that things will be different this time; that this just might be our year?
Are we just a collection of hopeless dupes, endlessly doomed to ruined seasons and broken dreams? How is it that we continue to muster the faith to put forward our weekly lineups? And is this cycle of self-delusion not the proverbial definition of insanity?
“Ah, what the hell,” we inevitably end up saying, “Count me in for another year. Maybe I’ll get lucky this time.” In the end we only have ourselves to blame.
And so it begins.
League Manager Tom
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GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Team Owner Profiles
Team: Itasca Salukis
League Member Since: 2007
Team name considered, but rejected: Nads (“Go Nads” didn’t sound right)
Philosophy: Win at all costs
Wheels: 1969 Dodge Charger
Faith: The Gridiron Goddess
Fragrance: Old Spice, of course
Boxers or Briefs: Leopard-print thong
If I Could Be Any Animal: El Tigre
Mustard: Plain old Plochman’s yellow
Secret Desire: To finally win instead of my son
Secret Fear: Catboxes and sharing feelings
Classified Fact: Devoured his twin in utero
Corporate Sponsor: Massengill