Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mono Award

After my fantasy hockey draft this fall, which I stupidly let go to auto-draft, I ended up with a surplus of goalies and no right wings. Definitely a problem.

The commish messaged me the next day. "I'll take one of those goalies off your hands if you want. Name your price."

I offered him Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for Phil Kessel, my favorite current NHL player. Odd choice for a favorite player at the time, sure, but I had my reasons. See, the first goal I had ever seen in college hockey game (which as most of you all know is my first love) included an assist by him, and because of that, I've stuck by him since. (And for those of you wondering, that game was January 8, 2005 - USA Under-18 Team versus Boston University.)

The commish was a little shocked. "Okay. You sure you want Kessel?"

"Of course." I messaged back.

Of course, at the time, I figured that Kessel would be on my fantasy hockey roster for no real hockey value, just because he's my favorite player. I do this with every fantasy sports team I have - I always pick up Gabe Kapler for my fantasy baseball team, and I picked up my Tampa Bay Bucs practice squad member cousin on my fantasy football team one season. Usually these moves make no sense, and I usually drop them when I need to add another player. But this time, my throwaway silly pick ended up being a great deal.

My move for Kessel and my later pickup of Blue Jackets goalie and Calder Award shoo-in Steve Mason off the waiver wire put me near the top of my fantasy league for most of the season. I looked like a genius for trading for Kessel prior to the start of the season, if I do say so myself.

Then came word that Kessel had mono. Not only did I feel bad for him, but I felt bad for my fantasy team. I was getting tons of points from him. And in my giant league, available scoring forwards were few and far between, and no one was willing to trade, so I lost his production and lost a big fantasy matchup. I placed Kessel on the DL, and watched the blogs for any indication of his return.

But then, the inplausable happened. I went to set my fantasy lineup before making dinner one evening, and saw the little red note next to Mason's name. Expecting it to be another, "Mason shut out fill-in-the-blank team again tonight. If you have him on your roster, you look like a freakin' genius," note from the ESPN.com fantasy gurus, I clicked on it.

And instead of another boost to my fantasy self-esteem, the note told me Mason too had mono.

If I was a swearing woman, I would have sworn at that point. I would have sworn many times. There would have been more curse words than The Boondock Saints.

I had lost one of my leading scorers and my leading goalie to the same annoying disease. What were the odds?

I've weathered the storm - both are back, although Kessel's production hasn't been the same. But due to having had two players suffer from the same disease in such a short period of time has earned me a new award from my league's commish: The Mono Award.


3 comments:

Shan said...

Maybe some of your opponents decided to sabotage your lineup by kissing your players.

k.m.stiles said...

hahha, what are the odds. Do you also have Sammy Pahlsson??

Katherine said...

No Sammy, believe it or not given my luck this season!