September has arrived, so that means one thing—FANTASY FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!

I shout those words in both ecstasy and anguish. It is the cry of a desperate and determined man. Hope and despair echo though the words in equal measure.

Fantasy. Football. Is. Back.

This will be my third year playing Fantasy Football. I started because I watched the TV show The League (about a group of friends who all play) and I thought, “Hm, that looks like it would be fun to do with a small group of friends.”

I thought it would be fun. Fun!!

How wrong I was.

Two years of failure and pain. Of coming so close yet falling so far.

I feel like a character from an H.P. Lovecraft story—driven slowly mad in their quest for forbidden knowledge. Obsession and mania gripping them. Terror and elation coursing through every fiber of their being. Like Dr. Herbert West searching for the reagent to resurrect the dead no matter the cost, I continue to play Fantasy Football in the hopes of finding victory.

I started the league simply as a way to keep in touch with friends and family scattered across the country. An easy way to come together week after week. The first year was fun and filled with camaraderie. We talked about close fought games, commiserated with one another over injured players, and generally had a good time. My team was smack dab in the middle of the rankings at the end of the season, so I resolved to do better the next year.

That resolve took hold in me. By the time the second year started, I could feel my veins burning with the desire to win. With an explosive first game, I knew that I could go the distance. But my dreams turned to ashes. Week after week, my own bumbling hand caused me to snatch defeat when victory was within my reach. My mind was clouded by Dark Forces unseen; they fomented indecision and doubt causing me to be unable to set a proper lineup. A year started with such promise turned to ruin, and it was only through some miracle that I did not come last in the league.

But this year….this year will be different. My team radiates with eldritch powers. Led by the dark priest Roethlisberger, the strength and conviction of disciples such as Eddie Lacy and Dez Bryant shall not fail me.

Like dead Cthulhu sleeping in his house at R’lyeh, waiting to awaken from his slumber and return to earth, so too shall my team rise from the watery grave that was last season and claim our rightful spot as champion of the league!!

Paul Menn
Paul ('10) lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Emma ('10), and cat, HandsomeMarcoCat. He loves board games, Babylon 5, and honey-curry chicken. Everything else is negotiable.

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