We can only assume that with the Vikings having their best season in about a decade -- recent events notwithstanding -- nobody wants to hear about the 1998 or 2000 NFC title games. And we also know that it's scientific fact: nobody likes to hear tales of fantasy football woe.
But: what if we COMBINED both elements into one post? Naturally, that would be awesome, right? So we give you: how this weekend of fantasy football was our 1998 AND 2000 NFC title games rolled into one.
First, 1998: in a ridiculous 16-team league we play in with some work pals -- not affiliated in any way with Fidelity -- we went 9-4, thus winning the division and earning the No. 1 seed. We had a first-round bye directly into our conference title game, which was this weekend. Our team was a juggernaut, fueled by early WR draft picks (Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson) as well as a key early season trade that netted Matt Schaub in exchange for Mike Bell. In a 16-team league with rather difficult scoring standards, 50 points is a decent total. Over the weekend, we put up 63 in our playoff game. That would typically be good enough for a victory. In fact, we were 6-0 during the regular season when topping that magical 50 mark. We went into MNF leading 63-51, but our opponent had Hakeem Nicks and Fred Davis going. The margin, which had been 17, was reduced to 12, by the way, after Ben Roethlisberger's final drive against the Packers. You can see where this is going. Davis and Nicks did just enough -- with Davis catching a TD early in the third quarter and a pass that gave him one extra point for yardage midway through the fourth quarter -- to make our fantasy matchup end in a 63-63 tie. And the tiebreaker? Highest-scoring individual player. Roethlisberger. Juggernaut out in a heartbreaker. Just like 1998.
Second, 2000: In another league, we went 10-3 but just 3-2 down the stretch. Again, we had a first-round bye into the conference title game. But all along, we had been living on the edge -- too much emphasis on Drew Brees, too many marginal players at key positions. It all came crashing down at the worst possible time, with an embarrassing 37-14 loss in the conference title game. And that was our 2000.
We invite for one day -- and one day only! -- an abundance of tales of fantasy woe in the comments. Let's keep this fire burning warm and bright with bitterness and spite as we await the STORM OF THE CENTURY.