I need to back up and explain that my girlfriend is really cool. Sure, she has her faults (don't we all) but having a girlfriend who is a major sports fan may be the best thing a guy can find. I knew I was onto something special when on our third date she suggested that instead of a nice dinner we could, "grab a pizza and watch the Diamondbacks game." I was further sold when she MADE me flip channels to see what her beloved Cubs were up to (surprisingly they were losing).
Now every July we have to go out and buy Fantasy Football magazines and surf all of the web sites for the latest updates. We go into our draft with stacks of information and she has usually memorized what all of the experts have suggested in their mock drafts.
She plays to win, which is not always a good thing. I am still hearing it for my draft mistake three years ago. After nabbing Eddie George and Duce Stayley, I picked Ron Dayne as our third running back. Surely the Giants would use their first round draft pick? For our final pick we needed one last runner.
"Tiki Barber has had a great preseason," Stacey said. "He always does and plays poorly in the regular season. Plus they have Dayne now,"
I, the moron replied. "Besides San Diego's starter is still available."
That is when I passed on Barber, who became a Pro-Bowler and led the Giants to a Super Bowl, and chose Jermaine Fasande. The same Fasande who lost his starting job in week two and was injured for the season in week three. She has forgiven me for forgetting to mail her credit card payment or letting the milk go bad, but won't ever let me live down not drafting Barber.
The next year we took Randy Moss instead of Kurt Warner. Needless to say Moss had the worst year of his career and Warner was Warner. Luckily I did make a number of good picks and our team has finished in the top-four both seasons.
This year to make the league even Stacey made her own team. What I did not know is that with total autonomy she'd become the Steve Spurrier of fantasy football. Before the draft was even over she had quietly become the "Fantasy Football Terrorist".
Jim Rome dubbed the real Spurrier the "College Football Terrorist" for his penchant for running it up on defenseless directional schools. Apparently the real Spurrier has nothing on my girlfriend.
I should have seen it coming. Stacey entered the draft with a packet of information, binders, magazines and three colors of highlighter markers. More identifiable was the fact she was sporting a Spurrier-esque visor. Unlike Spurrier's sedate Nike visors, she sported a Jeff Gordon, #24 NASCAR visor with bright red flames and the DuPont logo. Sadly, Stacey is a huge NASCAR fan.
The visor didn't tip me off, neither did the draft blunder she committed. Somehow she drafted five wide receivers, and skipped one of the two kickers she needed. She claims it was an honest mistake, but I'm not so sure. She knew that Fred Taylor is injury prone, Tom Brady wins games but has poor fantasy numbers and that Tony Richardson is the Chiefs number one option in the red zone. She knew all of this, but somehow forgot to draft a back-up kicker. I doubt it. To make her appear even more devious, she commented that, "kickers are stupid, who wants two kickers?"
A few at our table started to suspect she was trying to install the fantasy football version of the "Fun ‘N Gun" offense.
Like the real Spurrier, Stacey is not opposed to a little smack. After one of our fellow draftees was exuberant after getting a player he coveted, my once sweet girlfriend turned to me and explained that not only wouldn't she have drafted that player so high, but she wouldn't have taken him at all. Not quite as good at Spurrier's comments about Tennessee and the Citrus Bowl, but still surprisingly harsh for her.
The final glimpse at her Spurrier-like qualities came at the conclusion of our draft. As people cleaned up and discussed their teams, Stacey shook hands with the Tucson Citizen's John Moredich, possessor of the draft's first pick.
"Good luck," she said sweetly. "I hope you loose when you play me."
Suddenly I knew that my girlfriend was the Steve Spurrier of fantasy football. Suddenly I knew no team was safe. I was suddenly afraid that she'd run the score up on me at any chance. At least I'd get to watch tons of football while she was doing it.