Living a Lie

Hello folks – sorry I haven’t posted anything in awhile. I’ve been really busy with work, running the fantasy football league, adjusting to life without a car, renting a car when I need to, hanging out in Charlotte, and co’ chillin’ in the place to be (Atlanta). Ah, basking in the glory that is my life.

As far as the fantasy league is concerned – yes, I know it’s the offseason, but this year we have decided to dump all the players into a common pool and re-draft the entire league. So I’m doing a lot of record keeping and other administrative tasks for that in my free time. Not only do I have to keep track of, and post result for, all the other owners picks – I have to keep my mind focused on my own team as well. So that eats up a lot of time on my end. Right now, at the time I am writing this paragraph at least, the draft is on hold because we had to kick one of the other owners out of the league.

I’m sure you all have met a person like this guy: the kind of person who just seems to be contrary on purpose, no matter what is going on. And the fact that he more often than not didn’t have anyone else agreeing with him, or if he did he was 99% of the time in the extreme minority, didn’t clue him in to the fact that there was something off about his point of view. Instead, he just took it as a sign that everyone else was off. Yes, I know you know what I mean. So finally the majority of the other owners, including myself, got fed up with his shite and voted him out of the league. Of course, since I am commissioner, it’s all my fault.

It all started when two owners came to me last offseason and suggested that they were tired of some owners submitting less than quality lineups during our yearly playoffs. See, once a team is eliminated from the playoff (or didn’t make the playoffs at all) they must still continue submitting lineups because they are playing games in the “losers” bracket. This is because all teams are still accumulating points and stats. Our league has two champions: the playoffs champion, and the total points champion. The way we determine the draft order for the following season is by reverse listing of the final points standings. So some teams like to cheat by submitting bad lineups so they score less points, and move the team to a better draft pick. So, anyway, these two owners approached me upset about that, and I agreed with them. To me that flies in the face of competition and good sportsmanship. So we set about formulating a rule change proposal to correct this.

I am commissioner of this league, but I don’t have the authority of, say, the President. I don’t have the power of veto. The way rule change proposals work is that we place them up for a vote, and everyone (including me) gets ONE vote. If a vote reaches a simple majority, it passes. We have 12 teams in the league, so a proposal must get at least 7 “yes” votes to pass. I oversee the operations of the league, I maintain its integrity and organization, but I’m still just 1/12th of the league.

Anyway, the rule change we worked out gathered the 6 lowest scoring teams in a group, and the 6 best scoring teams in another. The 3 worst scoring teams would compete with each other during the playoffs (weeks 14 through 16 of the NFL season) to see who would get rookie draft picks 1 through 3. The best scoring team out of that group would get the first pick, and so on and so forth. The next 3 worst scoring teams would compete for picks 4 through 6. The best scoring teams would hack it out for picks 7 through 10, with picks 11 and 12 going to the Fantasy Bowl loser and winner respectively. What this did was still give the best picks to the worst teams, but forced them to submit competitive lineups in order to achieve their goal. Well, this whole proposal opened up a shite storm of craziness from the guy who I will now just refer to as TIMMAH, as well as one other owner who is still in the league. Two other owners were against the proposal as well, but they voiced their opinions in a sensible manner.

What was the whole backbone of their argument? The typical liberal spiel basically stating that if we don’t hold the hand of the “less fortunate” (the lowest scoring teams), and give them everything we can give them, then how are they ever going to succeed? Never mind that the proposal was purposely conceived so that ONLY the worst scoring teams had a chance at the best picks. Never mind that the primary way one betters their team in this league is via off-season and in-season free agency. To me, the real reason it was opposed by those who opposed it is because it forced these teams to WORK for their benefit – rather than it just being given to them for no reason other than they sucked balls. (Either that, or they simply didn’t understand it at all, and didn’t really make an effort to try.) Being a libertarian, and believing very strongly in the ideal that it is the individual who should determine individual destiny (and that the individual should take responsibility for their decisions), I regarded this rule proposal as a work of great positive influence. If only we could encourage more of the world to take personal responsibility for themselves – rather than blaming everything on anything other than their own decisions – the world would be a more livable place.

Keep in mind – I did not conceive of the original idea myself. I simply supported the idea, and helped the league shape the proposal into something that would take the bottom teams into consideration. The whole idea was to make the teams submit their best lineups and actually TRY to win games – maintaining the integrity of the league and keeping the spirit of competition whole. But Timmah and the Other didn’t see it that way.

So we put the proposal up for a vote and it passed by a margin of 8 for and 3 against. The Other was so opposed that he refused to vote, so really it was 8 to 4. Therefore, two thirds of the league were in favor, and one third was against. Given those facts, and the fact that I didn’t even come up with the idea to begin with, you can imagine my consternation at being blamed by Timmah and the Other for “trying to take over the league” and “forcing my ideas on everyone”. Such accusations and more were the kind of vapid nonsense the league and I were forced to put up with last season.

Granted, I heavily touted the proposal as much as Timmah and the Other opposed it. You know – all that about equal and opposite forces. I come down hard on people who try to liberalize/socialize anything, because I believe liberalism (and its inherent socialism) promotes weakness. The less someone feels the need to achieve for themselves, depending on and even expecting society to give them what they don’t earn, the less they will attempt to better themselves and the more the whole will suffer.

Let’s just take a look at Timmah’s track record. I have records going back to 1999 in the league. In 7 seasons, Timmah was a collective 49-67 (.422) – not a great winning owner there. The Other is a collective 21-28 (.429) after three seasons in the league. I am 61-39 (.610) in the past six seasons (it’s not 7 for me because I was out of the league for a year). The lesson there is to stop looking to the system to support you. Make better decisions, and work harder if you have to, so that you can you can support yourself.

So, as I wrote earlier, this offseason we decided to re-draft the entire league. Timmah opposed that at every turn as well – from whether to actually do it, to the method we would use, to the order that would be picked, to the way the order would snake, and so on. It seemed he never stopped copping an attitude with us.

Then during the re-draft he often took a great amount of time to make his picks. We approached him several times and asked him to pair up with someone in the league who has more consistent access to the internet (some of us work in front of a computer, and are then in front of our computers while at home, so we basically have internet access constantly during our waking hours). That way if his pick came up overnight, when he was at work, or when he was otherwise unable to post it himself, his “draft buddy” would be able to post his pick for him using a list Timmah provided with the players of his choice ranked in order of preference. Every single other owner in the league was doing this, but Timmah refused. He told us that if we didn’t like it then we could vote him out. So we did – by a 3 to 1 margin. (Insert extreme laughter here….)

Once again, Timmah blamed me for this. My problem with people like Timmah, and this applies to real world situations more so than it does this fantasy league, is that they can’t conceive of the possibility that it is themselves, their attitude, behavior, and lack of respect for others that causes situations like this to occur. They blame other people for all such things. They see their own shortcomings in others, and accuse them of needing to change. When you’re talking to a person like this, they are always quick to blame the bad things in their life on anything other than themselves. It’s their boss who is stupid. It’s this person or that person, this rule or law, keeping him or her down. It’s this problem or that addiction that they just can’t overcome, so if they fail it’s not really their fault. (But, of course, they are lightening quick to take the credit if they succeed.) Sometimes crappy things happen and it isn’t your fault at all. This is true. Life certainly is unpredictable, complicated, and challenging. But more often than not, you have a role in creating the situations in your life that affect you – good and bad. Your life belongs to you. People like this need to learn to stand up and become accountable for themselves, their decisions, and their lives – even when the bad things happen.

I would like to take this moment to apologize to fans of the “Timmy” character on South Park. It isn’t right that I should compare the coolness of “Timmy” to such weakness of character. However, it would be even more wrong to compare our castaway to actual “retarded” folks in the world as I am sure that a lot of them are cool people too. Besides, calling him “Timmah” is just funnier. “Timmy” talks and sings about living a lie, after all, and living a lie is what these people do best. I hope that fans of “Timmy” can forgive me….

B

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