It is Sunday, the final day of the fantasy hockey season for most leagues, the day when championships are made and dreams are broken. Today's games have not even started yet, but it is safe to say that my dreams are so damaged that The Island of Misfit Toys will no longer consider their application for residency.
Like an annual April Fool's joke, my team, Laich a Virgin, cruised to another championship match-up this year – only to have our asses handed to us during the final week of the season, the one week that actually matters. I spent all season wheeling and dealing, constructing the "perfect" roster, balanced to precision like a well-oiled Zamboni...just to watch the aforementioned Zamboni crash into the end boards and murder the first two rows of people, barely missing Justin Bieber who was one seat to the left with his entourage. This was over so early and so quickly, like horrible sex that seems even more cringeworthy because, well, he was sooo gorgeous and I totally expected it to be awesome. Instead, this was the fantasy equivalent of waking up with herpes and a horrible hangover.
To all of my fellow losers out there, I feel your pain. I am not here to tell you pathetic platitudes like "there is always next season" or "you should be really proud of yourself for getting this far." Those people are idiots. This sucks. We wasted months training and nurturing an adorable little puppy and then the goddamn puppy threw up in our shoes and ran away. We wish the puppy had decided to get hit by a bus three weeks ago, because then we could have at least concentrated on our beloved pet chinchilla, fantasy baseball. But here we are on this gorgeous spring Sunday, mourning our last moments with Roman Josi and Patrick Marleau and, ultimately, the beautiful disaster that was the 2014 fantasy hockey season.
The hardest part is saying goodbye, of course. Not to our fantasy players, although we would barter with Satan to keep them all for next year. Not to the other managers in our leagues, although we will miss bantering with many of those assholes. But to our own irrelevant brilliance. It no longer matters that we stole Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Saad in late draft rounds, or that we discovered young wizards named Nathan MacKinnon and Tomas Hertl, or that we were omniscient enough to trade Hertl days before he injured his knee. It is over for us losers. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. History does not remember anything about a second-place fake team regardless of how epic it was. It could have been. It almost was. Almost.
For each of us who are planning funerals today, someone else is getting married. We must begrudgingly accept that we are only bridesmaids at this wedding. Bridesmaids in annoyingly expensive dresses with boring dates who, at this point, cannot do anything except watch our rival's fairytale unfold. And drink. Preferably in excess quantities and on the winner's tab. Before we hit the bottle, however, we send not-bitter-at-all congratulations to our frenemies and adversaries, the 2014 Fantasy Hockey Champions.* We are not jealous or annoyed. We are not regretful or depressed. We are not impressed or mentally giving you a slow clap and standing ovation. And we are definitely not saying this to be classy and sportsmanlike, but to ensure that we can gloat accordingly when it is finally our turn to throw the fantasy ticker tape parade, bitches.
*In full disclosure, FHS's own John and his evil (albeit amazing) Pucknuts are my opponents, they have played incredibly all season, and if I have to lose to anyone, I am happy it is them. Congrats my friend, you totally deserve it.