What’s the Buzz, Tell me What’s Happening
As I watched the series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” from my kids’ iPad via ear buds from the living room couch as my kids hoarded the television watching Frozen for the nineteenth time, I realized that I had missed out and a 7-year-running network television hit that everyone else within my age demographic seemed to love. I can candidly say that the iPad2 was purchased for my wife and me, yet it has been bombarded with Disney Appisodes, Bake a Cake, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates storybooks and puzzles hidden behind a thick layer of Aunt Jemima Maple Syrup sparingly smudged over the screen protector as my kids have long seized the iPad as their own. They must have been nurtured by my devil dog that I love dearly, marking their territory much to the same fashion as the Siberian Husky every so often feels the need to practice in the corner of the family room. The day I upgrade to a new iPad at this point is the day I send my unborn womb wobbler off to college.
I was turned onto the show after listening to the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron. Josh Radnor, the home-grown, hardworking and stage trained actor was his guest, and I had to go and see what all the fuss was about with regard to the series finale. I saw much backlash from devout “HIMYM” fans on Twitter as many were displeased by the finale that fast-forwarded upwards of ten years into the future and played out all the main characters’ lives until the very end of the show at which point the meaning behind the show’s title was painfully revealed. What can I say, sometimes things fall through the cracks, and I let this show fall through the cracks. I can’t provide an opinion on the show overall not having invested my time into years of episodes. For the one show I did see it definitely brought a vast array of emotions to the surface in the limited exposure to the show I did have.
Fans of the show invested years of their lives watching their favorite characters perform their parts. They were emotionally invested into the show and the characters and right fully so; in today’s society it’s extremely difficult to dedicate one’s time to something with many competing interests and options. Once somebody decides to dedicate that time, to an extent, it almost becomes a part of their DNA. These are the same emotions that begin to be felt when someone owns a dynasty team.
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A Clockwork Orange
If you were to tally up the amount of hours you spend in your life looking over your dynasty fantasy team, making waiver claim and trades, and pontificating how to make your team better, what would that number look like? Many owners have an uncanny knack for removing emotions from the equation all together, as they’re able to look at the players on their roster objectively. This in itself, is a battle already won, as it’s not often a good thing to make emotional decisions with your dynasty team. Even the best fantasy football champion, albeit, possesses a certain level of emotion about his fantasy teams as a whole. Every owner yearns to win, and that yearning induces emotion in and of itself.
Much to the same vain as fans of the show were distraught over the what the future looked like or how it was portrayed on How I Met Your Mother, how would you feel if all of the time you invested into your dynasty team transformed into a situation suddenly necessitated by a roster that took a turn for the worse? This is a tale of an inevitable rebuild as the dynasty owner saw the light at the end of the tunnel, at least he thought he did. This mirage brought promises of championship glory. There comes a time when the rubber meets the road and you have to decide what type of owner you are. If you’re about to make a run for the title, you’re going to begin fielding offers from teams no longer competing for the cup. Do you accept that trade from an owner that asked for your first and 3rd round picks for Larry Fitzgerald? Does Larry Fitzgerald represent that third Wide Receiver you need to fill out your lineup and continue a title run?
Theoretically you can accept this trade, and you go on to win the league. Congratulations are in store, and you go into the league’s history books with your team logo etched in stone as a league champion forevermore. The only thing I can say to this is simply – congratulations. It’s well earned, and you deserve the high praise. Winning a league means that you clearly did things right leading up to and during the fantasy season. The flip side to this is that you accepted the trade to gain Larry Fitzgerald, yet you fell a half a point short in week 14 even though had you won that game you had enough points to win week 15 had you only made it there.
Objects in the Rear View Mirror
In both of the scenarios above, you’re now heading into the following season with a veteran wide receiver that has already lost value throughout the offseason even before he’s taken a snap week 1. Now the decision you’re faced with is to either ride this player into the sunset or trade him for less than you paid for him the previous year. You made your bed with this player the fantasy year prior, and now you must sleep in it. With this decision, not only are you doing your best to look at this aging veteran on your team objectively, you’re now without the assets you once had which build your team for the future. You can certainly look into the past and proudly be remember the fantasy title you earned, or you can look back with angst into the past at what could have been.
As a fantasy owner, I want to win every year just as much as the next guy. This doesn’t mean I want to mortgage away my future in order to do so. Imagine if you’ve made a veteran deal on top of a veteran deal on top of another veteran deal that has you looking like the runaway favorite to bring home the title? In this case you made multiple trades for players that “came at a discount” because of their age, and it surely appears you will take home championship glory. This certainly can increase your chance to win, but along with that chance is the increasing chance of a precipitous drop your team will take going forward.
The Denver Broncos were one of the most feared teams in the NFL. They made all the right moves to put themselves in a position to win it all. They were favored to start the year, and they were favored to win the big game in the end.
It didn’t happen.
Leading into 2014, they’ve frantically made a few moves to further showcase their desire to make another attempt at this thing while they are still operating within their “3 Year Window.” They’re too deep into this to not make that choice.
Shortcuts are Short
What does their future hold? What does Broncos life look like after Peyton Manning either hangs up the hat or takes that ever-so-feared hit that potentially brings it all to an end? The NFC West built for now, and they’ve built for later. Would the results have been very different had the San Francisco 49ers made it to the Super Bowl? While we’re on the subject, what about the Arizona Cardinals? Are we all more confident that the Broncos have a better chance to take it all this year after the moves they’ve made? Are they, as we say in the fantasy football world, “chasing points?”
How might Broncos fans feel 3 years from now after they’ve invested years of their lives into their favorite team if that team doesn’t come away victorious? If the Broncos somehow do win the Super Bowl next year, it will be worth it. The difference as a dynasty owner is simple – we’re not fans of our teams – we own them. You don’t have to invest years of your lives into your dynasty fantasy team only to find yourself reliving that moment when How I Met Your Mother ultimately let you down.
The future is now in as much as winning is now.