League Report – Week 4
Recent estimates put the cost of dementia within the developed world at $604 billion for this year, and after last week, many observers have come to believe that the poor coaching and team management on display in Our Beloved League may account for a significant portion of that total.
While it appeared on paper that six of our seven matchups were still unresolved as of Monday night’s game, dumb luck and colossal point-deficits made it obvious that few of these were actually up for grabs: The Pulled Hammies trailed by 89 points as they faced off with N.O. Brass, while the Blue Devils carried a 97-point deficit against Gonk’s Revenge, and the Wackers trailed the Salukis by an astounding 115 points going into Monday night. Unsurprisingly, none of them even came close to turning the tide as New England wore down the Dolphins, and the disgraced Wackers and Hammies racked up embarrassing point totals of 47 and 34, respectively.
The bells of disappointment tolled even louder for Dingobros and the Lakeviewers, whose early-season records seem to be playing out like Greek Tragedy as they slide to 0-4. This is particularly vexing for the poor Dingobros, who came within 4 points of clawing their way out of this quicksand. And the Lakeviewers, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, keep waking up to the same soul-crushing outcome, over and over again. It’s beginning to seem like the mere act of putting forward a starting lineup sets them up for inevitable disappointment; as if they were committing to a social engagement during Shark Week, or feeding Indian food to a St. Bernard.
The picture is no less murky for many of our Winners; the bizarre stratification resulting in half of the League’s teams jostling with each other at 3-1 belies the 148-point range between 1st-place Gonk’s Revenge and 7th place Mental Garbage, in total points scored-to-date. The real struggle for supremacy appears to be shaping up between Gonk’s Revenge and the 2nd place Salukis – themselves 73 points ahead of the next-highest scoring team and 3rd place contender, N.O. Brass, a Young Turk outfit that put itself on the map through a combination of brute force and rat-like cunning.
Interestingly, no fewer than ten of us racked up totals that were 20 or more (sometimes many more) points shy of our ESPN projections going into this week’s matchups, which begs the question: Whither ESPN’s Gurus? It’s not uncommon, as a season progresses, for ESPN’s own point-projections to become the subject of controversy and complaints. And, while having online experts lead us off a cliff from time to time is a sadly-familiar experience, this year’s projections seem to be diverging from reality as dramatically as our national political discourse.
October finds many of us viewing these fantasy prognostications with a suspicious and squinted eye, the way Baptists look at Unitarians, or my wife looks at me when I promise to deal with the bathroom sink that’s been partially-clogged since Easter. The value and veracity of this data is no longer presumed the way it might have been at the start of our season; aspersions have been cast, bona fides questioned, and insinuations made. Only the weakest among us are still drinking ESPN’s Kool-Aid at this point.
This means, of course, that we’re on our own. We’ve gone Rogue and crossed over into uncharted terrain; the edge of the map where, in olden times, learned men would scrawl ominous messages like “Here Be Dragons,” and “Doom Awaits.” At this point the only rational course of action is to turn up Hank Williams loud enough to drown out the pleading voices of our loved ones, and hunker down in front of our computer screens while we let this sickness run its course.