Sunday - May 26, 2019

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KEEPING AHEAD: Real-Life Flex Scheduling

Ever have that moment?

You know the one I am talking about.

It’s Friday afternoon. You have your fantasy lineups meticulously set. Your trades and waiver pickups have gone perfectly and the Thursday night game gave you just enough of a head start against your opponent that you feel like nothing can go wrong. You text your buddies how excited you are for the weekend, check the fridge one last time to make sure there are the required amount of libations to get you through both the 1:00pm and 4:00pm games without a run to the store, and hang the jersey of your favorite player up in the doorway just so you don’t forget to sling it on.

Then, amidst this entire bustle, you hear the following words from the other room:

“Honey, don’t forget the thing we have Sunday afternoon!”

Uh. What?

First, let’s get a few things out of the way.

  • Yes, you knew about this. You were told weeks, maybe even months, ago;
  • Yes, you agreed to it;
  • No, you don’t wish you were still single;
  • No, you cannot contact the NFL and ask them to suspend play for you.

Ok, with that out of the way, what options do you have? The quick and unsatisfactory answer is not good: you don’t have many, and none of them leave you with both a significant other and an uninterrupted afternoon. But here at “Keeping Ahead, Inc.“ know that you come here to weigh out the potential decisions you can make, so let’s explore them.

The Injury

You’ve spent years watching Sammy Watkins, Dez Bryant, and Ryan Mathews perfect the art of injuring themselves and missing games, so why can’t you? Listen, I don’t condone violence, but if it is between a pulled hammy and a 3-year old’s birthday party, I may go with the one that doesn’t cause blinding, excruciating pain and start running and jumping at full speed with little to no warm-ups or stretches. Plus, clowns are creepy.

The Fake Injury

This option is far more dubious, and one that many of the best NFL players still haven’t found a way to master. Stubbing your toe, blaming a headache, or someone convincing your partner that you may have caught the Zika virus is only going to lead to more questions, a handful of (probably) false sympathy, and puts way too much emphasis on your acting ability to be successfully pulled off. We know you acted in High School; everyone did. Your rendition of “Oklahoma!” still brings us all shivers.

The Wingman

Some men (and women for that matter) think they are smart. Most are wrong. They aren’t smart. Or clever. So just because you called a buddy to have him call you and pretend he has a flat tire at exactly the time you were supposed to be at the cake tasting for the wedding doesn’t mean it will work. It won’t. Spouses talk to each other, will see right through your mess, and may leave you with four flat tires at the end of it all. Just remember this: you are dumb and obvious.

The Earbud

Let’s say you have given in and decided to uphold the appointment like a good team player. Not all hope is lost. Find yourself a good radio/TV broadcast of the game (Verizon offers RedZone for $1.99/week), plug in, and listen along. This method requires a few things however: a) a good set of headphones that aren’t too loud; b) an agreement that attention will still be paid to the details of the meeting; and c) a skillful mix of smiling, nodding, and saying “yes” at (nearly) every opportunity.

The Scoreboard

It’s possible to follow along with just the fantasy scores, and watch your team slowly flounder or excel, but this is a miserable experience. It’s like fantasy football in the days of dial-up Internet. Or riding a mule past a Lamborghini. We aren’t cavemen for goodness sakes.

The Full Attention

So, if none of these options work, why don’t you just ignore football altogether for a few hours, score some major brownie points, and just plan on catching up later?

Ya, right. You aren’t even listening to me anymore are you? ARE YOU?!?!

About MJ Brown

MJ Brown has been an avid fantasy football keeper league enthusiast and player for over a decade. A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, MJ delivers weekly content on multiple platforms, bringing a combination of advice, humor, and tips to keep your team at the top of your league.