Bluff on the Rivers

In life, we are faced with choices that must be made. There are days when those situations are minor, like choosing what to eat for dinner, or where to spend a Saturday evening. Simple things. Other days, you can find yourself faced with making life-altering decisions, like where to attend school, or whether you want children or not, or who to play at QB on your fantasy roster.

You know, real game-changers. Here’s a tale of fantasy self-destruction and how it can draw similarities to real life success-deprivation.

Decisions are made every single day. They’re made every week, every month, every season. A good decision can bring about glorious change, while a bad decision can leave you wondering what could have been. Good decisions often lead to success. Success, even at the most elementary level, can bring about a state of euphoria. So what can a bad decision do? I’ll tell you…

download (8).jpg

A bad decision can derail progress. It can cause turmoil to flourish where potential once lived. Bad decisions are rooted in poor analysis, bad judgement, and a lack of trust. A decision, when bad enough, can be life-changing. Alone, it can be the downfall of a once semi-prominent Southern California professional football franchise, as well as a budding Fantasy Football team with no titles, about to endure its third straight year in the playoffs. Let me explain.

I’m good at Fantasy Football. At least I think I am. I’ve made the playoffs for the last three seasons and have finished 12-2, 10-4, 12-2. I have a deep love for Football that I developed as a child, and it’s only increased as an adult. So why is it that I don’t win titles? What is it that keeps me from succeeding? It’s bad decisions. The Chargers, sadly, know all about this.

Like the L.A. Chargers, my poor franchise history is rooted in bad judgement, poor analysis, and a lack of trust. Even more coincidental, both of our decisions involved the same two players, just decades apart.

In 2005, the L.A. Chargers(then San Diego) made a decision that would directly impact their future as a championship contender. They let Drew Brees walk. Now I get it, Philip Rivers is consistent, and he’s had a pretty good career as a gunslinger, but this was a bad decision. Although Rivers is a competitor, he is not Drew Brees.

20100212-tows-drew-brees-1-300x205.jpgThey found this out in 2010, when Brees delivered a Super Bowl to the Saints, and the city of New Orleans, instead of San Diego. This realization was known. It was understood then, that no matter how good it felt in the moment to take Rivers, it wasn’t the right choice. Although they have enjoyed consistently strong QB play from Philip Rivers over the span of his career, Chargers fans would’ve loved to have been the ones hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

I too made the mistake of not betting on Brees. It was just last year, but I remember it vividly. I was 12-2, in first place, and rolling through the schedule. Then it happened…the decision that would once again prolong my title drought. I chose Rivers.

I can’t tell you why, and I can’t make it seem better than it is. I had Brees all season, and he was great. Not his normal out-of-this-world great, but really damn good. I took a gamble. I don’t know if it was his personality, or the fact that he has eight children, but something about Rivers made me think he was the one. Brees, again, proved that wrong.

Why is it that I doubted Brees? Is it because I fell into the same trap the Chargers did? download (5).jpgDid I fall victim to Rivers and his 6’5” 228 pound frame? I did. The Chargers made the same call. They wanted the sparkly new ride, the one with more “potential”.

Brees is an average-sized man. Obviously, he’s a bit more built than most of us, but his heart is nowhere near average. He’s proved this throughout his career by being one of the most electrifying arms the league has ever seen, and bringing a Super Bowl to the city of New Orleans, all while being a seemingly subtle 6’0” 209 lbs. The dude can ball, no matter his size. He’s a Hall of Fame QB, whether you look at his film, his stats, or his demeanor.

On film, Brees is an extremely accurate passer with great field awareness. He runs an offense designed around his skill set and he gets the maximum results out of the weapons around him. His short-range and mid-range games are unmatched other than by maybe Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. His pristine passing-vision is apparent when he throws the deep ball, placing it in the smallest of windows.

His stats are as elite as they come. There’s not much to explain other than he throws the ball a lot, and he throws it well. Brees is credited with having passed for over 5,000 yards in five different seasons. He did so in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. No other QB has ever done this more than once. Brees is also most likely going to break the record for passing yards in a career, which is currently held by Peyton Manning.

Rank Player Yards
1 Peyton Manning 71,940
2 Brett Favre 71,838
3 Drew Brees 70,445
4 Tom Brady 66,159
5 Dan Marino 61,361
6 Eli Manning 51,682
7 John Elway 51,475
8 Ben Roethlisberger 51,065
9 Philip Rivers 50,348
10 Warren Moon 49,325

Considering Brees has averages 4,841 yards a season, it’s completely possible he becomes the NFL’s all time passing yards leader somewhere in the middle of his 2018 campaign.

Normally, I wouldn’t purposely pile on evidence of my fantasy short-comings, but I feel it’s necessary. If I can’t admit my faults, and try to improve myself when I have failed, how can I expect others to do the same? So I write of these experiences, to hopefully deter future fantasy footballers from contracting the same fate.

In closing, just don’t overthink it. Play the guy that always proves it. There are very few sure things you get in this life, but Drew Brees throwing for 4,000+ yards in a season is as good of a bet as you can make.

images (3).jpgIt’s the bet that neither I, nor the Chargers, were able to make. To be as abundantly clear as I can be…If you ever find yourself choosing Philip Rivers over Sir Brees, in a season-defining moment, just reconsider.

Bluff on the Rivers, Bet on the Brees.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this story, and want to hear more from Fantasy Guy and the rest of the Garage Guys follow @garageguysfs  and myself @fantasyguy93 on Twitter for daily updates from around the sports world!

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