If you saw the end of last week’s Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs, it may have struck you as an amusing, circus-like finale you don’t see very often. But for many viewers, the game’s final play resulted in either jubilant celebration or a furious episode of object throwing. The agony and ecstasy of playing fantasy football.
REDSKINS TRY TO REPLICATE “THE PLAY”
In case you missed it: with the game all but decided, the Redskins tried one of football’s great last-gasp plays: the good old lateral-it-a-bunch-of-times play. In an attempt to replicate the famous Stanford-Cal “the band is on the field!” ending–known to many simple as “The Play”–they made one increasingly desperate hot-potato toss after another; the hope was that someone would break a key tackle or the defense would get caught flocking and spring a leak. Instead, Justin Houston wound up with a fire-drill touchdown as time expired. With one freakish play, fantasy and DFS competitors had weekly matchups decided, and money won or lost.
VICTORY FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT OR MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN?
Losing by five points in a head-to-head league, with your hopes pinned on the Chiefs defense? You’re psyched. Just a couple of points from winning money? Super psyched. Meanwhile, sufferers of the corollary equal-and-opposite fantasy fate had defeat emerge from the jaws of victory.
IT’S ALL PART OF THE FUN
But really, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Just as walkoff threes and baffling turnovers can change the fates of bracketologists every spring–many of whom simply chalk it up to stress of the fun variety, as they throw their brackets in the trash–for most, the thrills and agonies all come with the territory.
Just try to keep that in mind when some sandlot play knocks you out of your league’s playoffs.