An open letter to my fellow owners in the Nightcap Football League (NFL):
Congrats to the finalists, commissioner Zito and Cali Iverson. May the best team win.
You didn’t want to face the Dutchess Dawgs in the playoffs. Not this year. Remember the Dawgs. The team which won the championship last year and quashed all bridesmaid talk. Also the guy who finished in the money the past four years – 1st in 2013, 3rd in 2012, 3rd in 2011, and 2nd in 2010.
Count yourselves lucky, but the Dawgs were overdue for some rough sledding this season. The big pups were peaking at the close of the year, scoring more than 100 in each of their last three games. And they beat the champs of each division.
But they wound up out of the playoffs, in the consolation ladder. Which is no consolation. Hey, stuff happens. Simply explanations, not excuses:
1. There’s no defense in fantasy football – Well not really, you do have a defense/special teams unit (D/ST), which can score points for you. But you have no control over the team you are playing. and in 2014 the Dawgs’ opponents scored 1230 points in 13 games, more than a hundred more than the next ranked game. So even though the Dawgs scored 1285 points, the second highest total in the league and just 11 points behind the leader, they failed to make the playoffs. .
2. The fantasy screw – There are games where one opposing player can run your best-laid plans. Games where Joe Flacco throws five touchdown passes…in the first quarter. Games where Marshawn Lynch scores four TDs. And the killer, when Justin Forsett, another Raven, whips up on an opponent and knocks the Dawgs out of the playoff hunt.
3. The law of averages – The Dawgs are a contender every year. Since 2010, they have finished third, first, fourth and third in overall scoring. But here’s the rub. In the same timeframe, they were 11th, 9th, 12th and 11th in points against – where 12 is the best number. The law of averages caught up with me.
4. Oh, those injuries – Yeah, it’s football, and every team suffers injuries. But some are more galling than others. Like the busted collarbone on his first carry of the game, a 53-yarder that knocked out B.J. Spiller for the season. And even worse, led to a one-point loss for the Dawgs.
5. Tight ain’t right – The Dawgs played six different tight ends in the regular season – Jordan Reed, Dwayne Allen, Jared Cook, Owen Daniels, Charles Clay and Greg Olsen. And they didn’t score a single touchdown between them.
On yes, then there’s my creed – reality beats fantasy. Not gonna root against the New York Giants for anything, not even for a fantasy title. There’s fantasy, and then there’s reality. And never the twain shall meet.
Remember, if you can’t run with the big Dawgs, stay on the porch.