Audiences know what to expect, and that is all they are prepared to believe in

Round 3 of the World’s Next Greatest Fantasy Football Writer in the Future History of the Universe is in the books.

To read the MITBS entry critics are calling ‘totally unconventional and unexpected‘ and ‘original, very funny, interesting‘ and ‘really [takes] away from solid analysis and good points,’ hit ‘read more’ or ‘this is too long to include on the same page’ or ‘counting separate page views’ or whatever the button says.

Round 3: Biggest Offseason Fantasy Impact

For all the sound and fury about the NFL Lockout, it signified, well, the same thing sound and fury usually signifies. Nothing. It was a tale told by an idiot to be sure, and in that case Shakespeare was prophetic, but the NFL Lockout felt mostly like an especially tedious episode of Flash Forward.

You can imagine the entire NFL planet blacking out back in February, flashing forward en masse to the first week of the preseason, and waking up a little disappointed. Nobody was choking a stranger to death or wrestling around underwater. Millions of people didn’t perish.  Bad guys weren’t running around wearing plastic masks (possibly due to uncertainty concerning Personal Conduct Policy enforcement). And love, when it was found, rarely required a trip to Asia.

On the other hand, Kenny Britt and Brandon Marshall did lead a semi-religious uprising proclaiming the possibility of free will. Neither found themselves in jail in their visions, which seemed almost certainly subject to change.

At least in the NFL version, there was no mention of Schrodinger’s Cat.

In the final analysis, the Lockout was a good summer stand-in for a wide variety of network dramas – people whined a lot and the plot never actually thickened. It left us pretty much back where we started. The Chicago Bears are even kicking off from the same yard line.

Rookies may get off to slower starts, but unless your name is Anquan Boldin – and Julio Jones was considering having his legally changed until being reminded of Chad’s pre- and post-Ocho production – most of your contributions were probably coming in the second half anyway.

Players saw their values wax and wane in the alliteratively-correct free agent frenzy, but very few moves affected a seismic shift in the rankings. In fact, it was a quiet move after the carnage of the Eagles initial blitzkrieg that may have the biggest fantasy impact.

I’m not the only one who thinks this. The folks at Greendale Community College finally cleaned up the paintball mess and held their draft this week. In his ongoing attempt to fall off the tightrope between meta and humor, Abed filmed his leaguemates engaging in some verbal gamesmanship prior to the proceedings.

Jeff: You think you can beat me at fantasy football?

Britta: You think you can beat me at questions?

Jeff: Do you even know any of the players after Round One?

Britta: Do you?

Jeff: What offseason change had the biggest fantasy football impact?

Britta: Besides the lockout?

Jeff: We’ve been over that.

Britta: Foul. Statement. 1-0. When?

Jeff: (pointing up) In the frame.

Britta: Statement. 2-0. What was that long-winded intro about anyway?

Jeff: Don’t you like the self-referential parts?

Britta: You think Desmond would really let Penny get swept up by that Fiennes character?

Jeff: Gratuitous Lost reference. 1-2. I’m on the board.

Britta: What was the biggest offseason change?

Jeff: Repetition. Game point.

Britta: How high do you think Mario Manningham goes with Steve Smith moving on?

Jeff: Wasn’t he scoring pretty well already before Smith went out?

Britta: Are you aware of Manningham’s production after Smith went out?

Jeff: Who averaged more points a game after Week 9?

Britta: Between Manningham and Smith?

Jeff: Between Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.

Britta: Statement. First game to me.

Jeff: I raised my voice at the end. ‘Between Manningham and Nicks?’

Britta: Repetition. 1-0.

Jeff: Are you going to keep cheating?

Britta: Rhetoric. 2-0.

Jeff (sighs): You didn’t know it was Manningham, did you?

Britta: Are you remembering Nicks’ injury?

Jeff: Did you hear me say per game?

Britta: Are you really going to go small sample size on me?

Jeff: Does being injury prone help Nicks’ argument?

Britta: Who do you think will be covered by Nnamdi Asomugha?

Jeff: Is Asomugha ever used to shadow #1s?

Britta: Well, what side of the formation did Manningham line up on last year?

Jeff: You want me to go to the tape?

Britta: Could they move Nicks around to get him against Samuel or DRC?

Jeff: Can you ever predict what an NFL coach will do?

Britta: I’ll give you that one.

Jeff: 1-2.

Britta: Just trying to keep it interesting.

Jeff: Deuce.

Britta: You’re gonna take that point?

Jeff: Are you going to look at their playoff schedule?

Britta (glances at her cheat sheet): Who do you think Revis will shadow during Championship weekend?

Jeff: Who do you think will be better at getting you to Championship weekend?

Britta: I’m starting to think Manningham.

Jeff: One game all. Quit tanking.

Britta: Sorry. I can’t help myself.

Jeff: You can’t or you won’t?

Britta: Either?

Jeff: Was that an Archer reference?

Britta: Do we do references on this show?

Jeff: Is Abed currently planning a story within this story?

Britta: Do we really need to go one more level down?

Jeff: Are you suggesting I’m really asleep?

Britta (disgusted): Who do you think Smith will take touches from in Philly?

Jeff: Non sequitur. 1-0. Which one of them runs short routes over the middle?

Britta: Are you thinking of Jeremy Maclin or Jason Avant?

Jeff: Were a lot of Maclin’s routes in the 10-yard range?

Britta: More than you’d think. Match point to you.

Jeff: Are you forgetting about the Tight End?

Britta: You don’t know his name?

Jeff: Do I need to?

Britta: Does his QB?

Jeff: Know his name?

Britta: Does he know he’s on the field?

Jeff (to himself): Probably wondering if it’s an ‘s’ or a ‘ch.’

Britta: 1-2. Now who’s overconfident?

Jeff: Are you suggesting all the Eagles receivers should be slipping down the board?

Britta: Will DeSean Jackson perform without an extension?

Jeff: Will Maclin be healthy by Week One?

Britta: Will Smith?

Jeff: What’s he got to do with it?

Britta: Who?

Jeff: Jada’s husband.

Britta: Match point both ways. You think you get extra points for being clever?

Jeff: Does bringing back the Fresh Prince even qualify?

Britta: Are you still going to draft to Maclin as a starter?

Jeff: You don’t think that’s a non sequitur?

(Both look to Senor Chang for a ruling.)

Senor Chang: I’ll allow it.

Britta: As a WR3 or a Flex?

Jeff: Does our league use PPR?

Britta: Do you think Smith will help Michael Vick?

Jeff: Won’t he be mainly throwing to the Steelers this year?

Senor Chang: Foul! Pretending the preseason means anything. Game and match Britta.

Abed (putting the camera down): Do you think we need to bother going back to the narrator?

Troy (chuckling): Does Austin Collie make a better sixth round pick than Pierre Garcon?

Abed: I don’t know. Does he?

*If you found any part of this even mildly tolerable and/or want to see how the game of questions is employed by the world’s greatest living playwright, I highly recommend Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.





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