I hate Willis McGahee. Nothing personal against the man, but I hate his guts and wish him nothing but ill fortune for the rest of his existence, both here on Earth and in the afterlife.
I hate him because, three weeks ago, he was cleared to start for the Ravens, only to then cede all of his carries to Ray Rice for the majority of the game. I hate him because, in the wake of that debacle, I then placed him on my fantasy bench. I hate him because he then proceeded to run for over a buck with two TD's against Houston. I hate him because I then decided to start him this week after that performance. I hate him because, after doing so, he gained 18 yards.
Yes, it seems old Willis has been attending the Brian Westbrook School For Always Being On Your Fantasy Bench At The Exact Wrong Time. And for that, he has more than earned my everlasting scorn.
But do you know what I hate more than Willis McGahee? I hate the fact that I cannot tell him to his face how much I hate him, and his breathtakingly uneven performances. Ideally, every fantasy owner would get a chance to address his players personally, even threaten them with bodily harm if need be. But we don't get to do that.
And that's the real problem with fantasy football. While it allows you to draft, trade and cut players just as real GM's do, it doesn't allow you to personally express to them just how very, very angry you are at them. Real GM's and coaches get to take out their anger on players, berate them, even throw things at them. And that's gotta be totally sweet. I imagine nothing makes Bill Belichick happier than the opportunity to tell his players how unhappy they make him.
But fantasy owners don't get that opportunity. And that's why you still see people in my league who, to this day, will snap a hockey stick in half at the sight of Daunte Culpepper in uniform. While the game may be a fantasy, the anger is quite real.
For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend cheats on you, that's gonna make you mad. But guess what? You get to berate them for their betrayal right then and there, which is awesome. You get to lay it all out on the table, throw their stuff out a 5th story window, cheat with someone else in retaliation to deliberately hurt their feelings, and then fight again. Life is good. Everyone's happy!
But that fantasy anger has nowhere to go. It just keeps piling up and piling up and piling up. Mine has built up to the point where every player in the league has aggrieved me in some fashion. God, how I loathe them all. No good layabouts. THESE PEOPLE ARE THE REASON I HAVEN'T WON A TITLE IN OVER A DECADE PLAYING THIS IDIOTIC GAME. I have enough fantasy hate in my heart to fuel twenty-seven world wars. So white hot is my bloodthirsty fury that it could create a tear in the space-time continuum, devouring entire solar systems.
And, if I'm lucky, Willis McGahee as well.
I need a catharsis, but so do you. That's why I've begun the Drew Magary Fantasy Anger Displacement Program. Here are some displacement options:
Inanimate Objects. On gameday, it's always important to have an inanimate object nearby that you can unleash your private hell upon. Make sure this is an object that you can actually break. One time, after Warrick Dunn failed me for the very last time, I tried to take it out on a cinder block. But the block did not break. In fact, it remained quite intact, which only served to make me angrier. And hospitalized.
Ideally, you should choose inanimate objects that you already dislike. Like an umbrella. God, how I hate umbrellas. There's no way to close an umbrella while getting into a car without having it dump a gallon of water right down your back. STUPID UMBRELLA! YOU GO SMASH NOW!
Picture frames are also good. Nothing adds a flash of drama quite like smashing that picture frame featuring your older brother into a million pieces. WHO'S THE FAVORITE NOW, TYLER?!
Work. Be very surly at the office if you lose. If someone brings you work to do, shoot them a glare that could cause their head to wither on the spot. Take offense at the very idea of being asked to do work at such a time of great suffering. If your PC freezes, beat the living daylights out of it, as if it were Connie Corleone. If the copier acts up, kick it as if you were a SWAT team member in full riot gear.
Traffic. No one can hear you scream in your car. So scream. ALL THE TIME. Honk at that one jackass that's going 65 when the speed of traffic is clearly 75. Got a slow biker in front of you? Sneak up behind him and blast the horn to completely throw off his equilibrium. And flip everyone the bird. Even dogs.
Loved Ones. Don't tell your loved ones why you're so upset. They won't understand. Instead, choose a moment of normal relationship bickering and really jack it up to the next level. "Well, why do we have to be there right at 7 o'clock? Why can't I watch the end of the game and then go? WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO PERFECT ALL THE TIME, YOU TWISTED LITTLE DEMENTOR?! GAHHHHH I'M SUFFOCATING IN THIS LIFE!"
Use these four outlets judiciously, and any lingering resentment you may have towards LaDainian Tomlinson or Marc Bulger (or God help you, both) should gradually ebb over time. Now, there may be some people out there who will tell you to "grow up," and that "it's just a stupid game," and that "you really have maturity issues." These people are also good to take your anger out on. Because they are losers who don't understand how much fun playing fantasy football is.
And it is. It brings me great joy. At least, it does when Willis McGahee isn't around to ruin it. God, I hate him.
Drew Magary is the author of Men With Balls: The Professional Athlete's Handbook. He is 6'2", 245 lbs, but would still run away like a little girl if he actually had to fight Willis McGahee.