I play fantasy football. I’m sure a lot of you do the same. I’m in the ninth year of my league (I’m not a multiple-league guy; I have the Bears, and then my fantasy team. Anything more just causes too much conflict for me. But I don’t begrudge those who participate in more than one.) It’s made up entirely of friends, and now my younger brother. I’ve never won. Ever. I’ve finished second or third for the past three years. This year we switched to an auction draft, and I hit some home runs; I also took advantage of the new FAAB waiver bid system and made some of the shrewdest managerial moves of my fantasy career. (Nick Foles being the prime example; I’d opened the year with Eli, then hopped on a QB carousel until I landed Foles.) I rode my team to the #2 seed and the highest point total in the league.
The #1 seed? My brother.
In the semifinals last week, I almost broke the 200 point barrier. My brother also won handily, setting up a showdown that combines the chance to win the league I’ve always wanted to win by beating the person I’d probably most like to defeat. My starting QB (Foles) is running one of the best offenses in football, and he’s facing one of the (sad but true) worst defenses in the Bears. I had absolutely no reason to shake things up.
So I decided to give myself one.
The official Bleacher Nation Bears Twitter account (@BearsBN) just passed 1,500 followers. (Which is obviously amazing, and I can’t thank those of you who already follow me enough. I’m thrilled.) I run a Bears blog, for goodness sake. I should be willing to put my own, deep-rooted, vested, and intense fantasy football interests aside in favor of the Bears if my readers are willing to go along with me. So here’s the announcement:
If I get to 2,000 followers by 1 P.M. Sunday, I’ll bench Nick Foles in favor of Jay Cutler. This isn’t as radical of a move as I’d like it to be, of course. It’s not my fault that Cutler is a legitimate fantasy option. (It’s a good thing this isn’t a Giants, Jets, or Rams blog.) But Foles is a consensus top-3 QB heading into this weekend, and if not for this contest, I’d be sticking with him. But I’m willing to Bear Down and go with Jay Cutler in the most important game of my fantasy life, just to show my complete and total solidarity with my fellow Bears fans.
(I’ll also be starting Forte and Marshall. I bet heavily on the new offense, and I had Alshon to start the year as well. But injuries hit and I needed a running back and a tight end; I tried to sneak him through waivers to free up a roster spot for one weekend but my brother spent big and outbid me for him on the waiver wire, foiling my master plan. He then reaped the benefits. I want to win, and badly. But I will absolutely not be upset by a great game from Jeffery.)
So, to clarify, if I get to 2,000 followers by 1 P.M. Sunday, I’ll start Cutler. I’d originally said 3,000, but that was because I was shooting from the hip; the odds of me doubling my total seemed slim upon reflection. But I think 2,000 is reasonable. (If there’s a swell of support but I come up shy of my goal, there’s still a chance that I cave and start Jay anyway. But I think it’s possible to get there.) So follow me @BearsBN, share this, tell your friends, etc. (Or don’t, I guess; I certainly can’t force you.) I thought it would be a fun thing to try, and we’ll see what happens.
Thank you all so much for your support so far. It’s been a wonderful experience.