Congratulations! You are now headed to the fantasy football championship game. Some of you aren't, but follow along because you love the sport or have moved on to plain ol' gambling on games.
Maybe it wasn't your year -- it wasn't mine, in any of my three leagues -- but you can still learn these lessons. I had a high school coach who used to tell us "walk like a winner." He was on to something there, as Tony Robbins has shown that simple things like posture can affect mood and performance. Your fantasy season may be over, but for all but the championship contenders it's never too late to learn. Let's fast forward around the league:
A breakout performance this week might be the difference between winning and losing. Just like one big play or one good player can turn a real game, it's the same in fantasy. This week's biggest difference maker didn't come on Sunday, but Thursday, putting many teams up enough to cruise to the championship game. It was Vincent Jackson.
One of my favorite actors is Peter Sellars.
It was a scary moment as Austin Collie laid on the turf -- again -- after another concussion. He'd scored two touchdowns earlier, but as he laid on the turf it was clear that no matter the score, it's not worth losing someone's life or well being. The crowd quieted. Both sidelines went to a knee and looked pained. Collie had come out wearing a dark visor, something he had not worn prior to the concussion, to help him avoid any light sensitivity, so the worry was already there that the symptoms could recur. Collie was able to walk off the field and with the increased focus on concussions, I'm sure everyone will be watching closely, but with Collie coming back twice for "big games" and showing increased recurrence risk both times, the NFL needs to take a hard look at how players are cleared. Is it a truly independent and objective process or can a team -- or player -- push a return? While I do not support time out guidelines, I hope that the NFL continues moving in the right direction in regards to concussion management. In other injury news, Terrell Owens left the Bengals game with what I'm told is a "significant knee injury." He'll have medical imaging, but manual testing is pretty accurate so things don't look good. Troy Polamalu missed the game against the Jets, but news came this morning that his Achilles might cost him the rest of the regular season. Brett Favre is out for tomorrow's game, but the Vikings (and Favre) continue to resist putting him on IR. I'll break down all these and more Thursday in my Injury Report
There was a fantasy game this preseason advertising that its big innovation was that you could sub players in and out during games. It was a live, coaching dynamic that at least was fresh in the face of a standardizing fantasy game landscape. I couldn't imagine playing it due to the time commitment and the need for a multi-screen setup that would require a level of ADD that I just don't have. I can only imagine what someone might have done at halftime of today's Giants-Eagles game. In standard leagues, Michael Vick had 1 measly point at the half and finished with over 40. Would you have been patient enough to wait it out or would you have swapped? How many points would you have missed if you weren't watching closely? Especially considering how quickly the Eagles came back today. Head coaches make big bucks focusing on personnel and matchups during a single game. I can't imagine how people like us could hope to focus on multiple games and have any level of success. Just because we can all manage the clock better than Andy Reid doesn't make me think I can do his job.
Next week is the championship game for most leagues. Money will exchange hands. Trophies engraved. Bragging rights transferred. Smack talked. It may not be the Super Bowl, but doesn't it deserve a catchier name than the "Championship Game?" Would the Super Bowl be the cultural touchstone it is if it was just the "NFL Championship Game?" Then again, the NFL is pretty jealous about guarding the use of the Super Bowl name. I have a suggestion that works for everyone. From now on, the fantasy championship game should be called ... The Duper Bowl. There's a