Dec 14, 2007

Unhealthy Competition

I am a competitive person, almost to a fault. This trait comes naturally to me, like breathing, and during any competition, I find myself willing to do almost anything to win. I mean, I wouldn’t throw dirt in the third baseman’s face during an old-man beer league softball game, but we all can’t be Vinny Marino, now can we? I grew up under the Palmer family rules of learning: get beat until you figure out how to something about it. This was applied in cards, dominoes, board games of all shape and size, basketball, and most recently, video games.

My parents own a Wii, as does my little brother at college. Over Thanksgiving, we thought that it would be a fun, family activity to get in a little post-dinner Wii bowling. Being the only person not armed with a Wii at home, I came into what would later be known as Armageddon with only my wits, and my indomitable will. We played a few games, some I won (resulting in me gloating mercilessly) some I lost (resulting in my sulking, and demanding we play again), but the last game will stick with me forever. 10 frames later, my little brother had hung a 299 on the rest of our unsuspecting family. I could have cried. Needless to say, I am determined to throw up a 300 come Christmas break. Or beat him up. Either will do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Now, I tell you that story, to tell you this story, but I must warn you: this is a tale of betrayal of the highest order, and if you are a fan of decency and fair play, this will only anger you, and you should turn back now.

Knowing most of you fairly well, I assume you’re still here.

One of my Fantasy Football Leagues is comprised of a bunch of guys I used to work with, whom I happen to stay in touch with fairly well. From the jump, this league was off to a shady start, as our League Manager, one Jordan Hammond, told NO ONE when the draft was going to happen. Fortunately, I was dealt a decently good hand, as I had pre-ranked my players to match another draft I was having. Through shrewd free agent pick-ups, I developed a juggernaut team that steam rolled the regular season, finishing 12-1, averaging well over 120 points a game. The playoffs started last weekend, and I was facing down the owner who had handed me my only defeat in the regular season, so naturally all my efforts were focused on destroying him.

My rage blinded me to the world around me.

On the other side of the bracket, one of my good friends Cheese was set to face off against my sworn enemy, Steve “Satan” Martin. The details of our long standing rivalry will be shared in the Martin/Palmer Chronicles coming in the New Year, but the bottom line is that this has gone on for way too long. Steve backed into the playoffs, and was in line to get beaten by Cheese, setting the table for a final that I would win, but would enjoy, because of the 2 weeks of good natured trash talk that would ensue. Unbeknownst to me, Steve was putting into motion plans to derail everything.

I was enjoying a nice, home cooked meal at my parents house (one of the benefits of moving back to Atlanta), when I checked my email on my phone, noticing a lot of new messages from this Laney League regarding trades. Knowing that the trade deadline had passed, I was a bit confused, and after dinner hopped on my parents 1998 Gateway to (slowly) figure out was going on. Steve had pressured Jordan, under the pretense of beating me, to change the rules of the league and allow trades at such a late date. Further, he had traded to Jordan the pu-pu platter of Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and the Texans Defense for the trio of Chad Johnson, Adrian Peterson (the good one) and the Chargers Defense. Further, I saw that he had also traded with another of my supposed friends, Skip, and acquired Reggie Wayne for Shaun McDonald.

Needless to say, I was not amused.

A 25 minute phone call later, I had called Steve every name in the book, and a few I made up. He was unswayed by my display of anger at his underhandedness, but did let one thing slip: he was in talks with a certain other member of our league to attain LDT. As I hung up, I was already calling the others who had helped him do this to me.

Jordan: Still ducking my calls a week later. I understand you’re scared, and you have every reason to be. Still, I am currently no where near Oxford, the least you could do is answer. Coward.

Skip: How dare you. For so long, we stood in defiance against this evil, and in one move, you undid all the good. It is for the best that you didn’t call me after the Atlanta game on Monday night, because I most likely would have hunted you down in a fury before unseen on this Earth. Benedict.

Luke: The man who would trade LDT. I have always said that you are my most virtuous of friends, and our conversation proved it. VERBATIM: “The ongoing battle between good and evil, you and Steve, needs no outside influence. The scales must be balanced and I will not be one to tip them.” Hero.

Steve: Being competitive is one thing. Changing the rules of the game to fit you is a line not even I would cross. But then again, I am a person who believes in values and fair-play, while you are Satan himself. You will rue the day you restoked the fires of war between us. The kid gloves are off. Target.

As a show of “good faith” or something, Steve pulled some of his ringers for the first week of his playoff match-up against Cheese, and almost lost. He claims that I have brought down the thunder, by stating that I am not afraid of him, and that he will unleash the dogs of hell on me in the championship. My reply? Bring it.


Anonymous said...


If you need any help (i doubt that you do) in hunting down any one of these "people" that have done their best to ruin what is the SPORT of fantasy football, you let me know and I'll be on the next flight


DPalm66 said...

It's good to know where your friends are.

In New York.

Anonymous said...

thank you for reminding me of that glorious Vinegar story from years past...

he is a competitive son of a bitch, after all. That's how bad he wants to win.

Matthew said...

im dead serious about offing these "fans" "people" and "friends." but seriously........i think i just got todd on board.....