The End of an Era
Fantasy sports has long been a part of my life. Since 2004 I have been the Commissioner of one Fantasy Baseball and one Fantasy Football league each season. Some of the friends I have had in these leagues have been with me since the very beginning. Each season, I try to send a thoughtful and humorous league message to the Managers–one at the commencement of the season, and one at the close of the Playoffs. The one common theme throughout, of which I’m not sure my shoulder will ever recover, is patting myself on the back for my superior record of Fantasy play.
Last night I made the difficult but necessary decision to retire as Fantasy Commissioner. I thought this the perfect forum to share my final words to my loyal stable of Managers:
Many of you have participated in my fantasy leagues for football and baseball for the past several years. Thank you for your participation, your passion, your loyalty–and most of all, your respect, of which I am so deserved. My message to you tonight is bittersweet.
I am writing to you to announce my retirement as Commissioner.
Since 2004, I have served as Commissioner of 10 baseball leagues and 10 football leagues. Some of you have been with me since the beginning, and to you I tip my cap. It certainly has not been easy for any of you–not only are you playing under a first ballot Hall of Fame Commissioner, but Manager as well.
A brief retrospective: since 2006 I have taken the Baseball league title an unprecedented four times, finishing lower than 3rd only once (4th). In Football, my accomplishments are equally impressive. In seven out of ten leagues, I have taken home a trophy. Needless to say, my virtual trophy room is nearly at capacity.
While my achievements as a Manager are historic, it hasn’t been the trophies I’ve cared so much about. The thing I’m most proud of, that I’ve enjoyed the most season after season after season has been bringing my friends (and family) together in the enjoyment, competitiveness, spirit and fun of sport. That I could be the one to do this for you (and for me), has been an honor, privilege and monumental responsibility.
On a quick side note, as a gift to all of you, I have nullified the requisite league payment for this season. As I’m sure you all know, I have catapulted to first place in the last few short weeks, and according to the most recent Vegas odds, am a near lock to take the league title. Saving you all fifty dollars was not a decision that came easy, but in my final governing act, generosity prevailed.
After this season, and after my jersey has been raised to the rafters, my face embossed in bronze in the great Hall, you may see and hear from me from time to time. Retirement may not be the appropriate word; nevertheless, I am on to my next great adventure which will require the majority of my time and focus.
This announcement comes now to those who have been wondering why no Fantasy Football league has yet been created. So, to end the ramblings of a (near) former Commissioner, I wish you all the best of luck. I look forward to an exciting remainder of the 2012 Fantasy Baseball season, and will certainly deliver my traditional farewell message when that time comes. A wise man once said:
“Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are [Fantasy League Managers].”