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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Million Dollar Lineup: What Did Sam Do That I Didn't?

As I sat in the stands for the New England Patriots game Sunday night, a multi generational friends and family tradition for over fifty years, I was awestruck with the fact that I was competing in a weekend long fantasy football game to win one million dollars,, at an expense of only twenty seven dollars.

I and most of the NFL fan base has bet on football and many more play in traditional fantasy football leagues with friends from various walks of life, sometimes for real money, meaning one hundred dollars to win one thousand dollars or five hundred bucks to win five thousand big ones. Yet, here I was, checking my iphone in the stands to see how I was faring to become a fantasy football millionaire and shaking my head as someone I do not know named Sam had seemingly locked up the one million dollar 1st place prize before the kick off of Patriots-Bengals on Sunday evening.

What did Sam do that I didn’t?

He played Peyton Manning and matched him with Demaryus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, obvious picks with a smart strategy of creating tandems of players who both score points together. I did that too, with Tony Freaking Romo. Right idea, wrong guy! He played Arian Foster, and Antonio Gates, which were good choices that both delivered on this particular day. In order to finish first in Millionaire Maker, you need to pick some long shot, cheaper salary players and get them all right. Sam picked the Tate’s, Ben and Golden. I found myself wondering if he intentionally went with the dual Tate’s and if he did, why not include the Bengal’s Brandon Tate. He hit it out of the park with Golden Tate, who literally paved the golden road to his million dollar prize.

In hindsight, that was smart as Detroit was due to have a big game and Megatron was injured. Why didn’t I think of that? It seems as logical as my pick of Steve Smith last weekend when he faced his old Carolina team. We both had the Chargers defense, a good pick vs.Geno “I skipped the Saturday night team meeting to go to the movies” Smith. He rounded out his picks with Cowboy’s WR Terence Williams, whom I had as well.

Sam’s lineup was good but not that earth shattering. Was it lucky? Sure, there is some element of luck as well as skill when picking a fantasy football lineup and certainly luck that every domino falls perfectly together.  Until this past weekend one could not win one million dollars playing anything but the lottery and the odds to win one million in Power Ball are 1/5,153,632.65.  The odds in Millionaire Maker were 1/92,400 to win the million and one out of six h to win money. If you finished fifteen thousand four hundredth it paid out forty dollars.

To win a million betting on football in Vegas requires a bet of one million dollars, reserved for the likes of junkies like Michael Jordan. Yet now, for twenty seven dollars, the price of a few quick picks, I can play fantasy football and have a shot at winning a massive pile of money. I plan to go to,  and play again this weekend, as you guessed it, there is a second chance for NFL week six and I am going to win it! Or not! Fantasy football has found a new home, and the only part of it I do not like is that it has rendered my traditional leagues a lot less exciting. Then again, who needs a night of Patron shots?


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