The Dynasty Confessional: The Bathroom Emergency

Karl Safchick


Editor’s Note: With your lineup likely set for the week, we take the easy reading time of Saturday afternoons to bring you the Dynasty Confessional featuring entertaining stories from your DLF brethren.  If you’d like to have your tale told, fill out the Dynasty Confessional Form and we may choose to interview you.

Today’s story comes from Corey S. from Kingston, Washington.

My friends and I played redraft-style fantasy football for years, and 2011 was the last season before converting to a dynasty setting. That year we had 16 teams with guys of varying levels of talent. I was one of the better owners, and I was brandishing a team with the likes of Matt Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Marshawn Lynch, LeGarrette Blount, DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin and Rob Gronkowski.
I was a student at Central Washington University in 2011.  In addition to being a student, I played piano at my local church. I enjoyed participating in the church festivities, but my hobbies were watching football and winning fantasy championships.

One disadvantage of living on the west coast is that the early NFL games always start before, or during, early morning mass. In my case, our service started at 10:00 am, also known as kick-off time.  East coast guys who chose to go to church can do so, then go grocery shopping, arrive home safely, set their television to the exact angle to effectively see the maximum area of the 72 inch screen, set their 14 fantasy lineups, check 32 injury reports, crack open a beverage, and put their feet up with time to spare. I was not afforded this luxury. I had to create a routine.

Sunday mornings I would wake up at 9:00 am. The next half hour was dedicated to setting my lineup and investigating the injury report. My church was only a few miles away, so I would get there right on time.

October 23, 2011 was no different in terms of my routine, but it would prove to be a very memorable day in my fantasy career.

I usually implement the strategy of drafting players who have the same bye week. This year, most of my relevant players would not play in week seven. Gronkowski, Spiller, and Jackson were all on bye, and Blount was out with an MCL sprain. I won five out of my first six weeks, but the seventh game would be the most difficult of the season. My opponent was not the reason for the problematic matchup. He recorded only one win in the first six weeks. I would play many of my backups that week, leaving me at a sizeable disadvantage.

That morning, I had a much tougher time in setting my lineup than I was accustomed to. Nonetheless, I submitted a respectable team, and left for church. I sat at my piano at 9:45 am. It was proving to be a normal day in Kingston, as I started playing opening preludes. Normally, I would play for 15 minutes until everyone was seated, then I would play an opening hymn and the congregation would join in song. Today turned out to be divergent from the norm.

While playing opening preludes, a friend approached the stage. “Have you heard about Lynch” he said. Lynch was one of my healthy contributors and I was relying on him. The music stopped. I knew all eyes were on me with the sudden disturbance of melody. I immediately responded “What happened to him?” My friend proceeded to tell me that Lynch was experiencing pre-game back spasms, and the Seattle Seahawks would hold him from the upcoming game.

I panicked.

Everyone in the chapel was finding their seats. Church would soon begin, but I had exactly two minutes to find a viable running back to replace Lynch. I turned to the chorister and told him “I have to use the restroom.” He seemed to comprehend that I had something other to do than what I indicated, but he awarded me with an approving nod. I began a fast paced walk out of the chapel. I can only imagine what most of my church counterparts were thinking. Once I entered the hallway, I reached a full sprint. I needed to find acceptable cell phone service, and I knew I would find it in the restroom. The clock was ticking.

Once I reached the restroom stall, I pulled out my phone and examined whether Lynch’s replacement would come from my bench, or from the waiver wire. I could replace him with Earnest Graham, who filled in admirably for Blount in the previous game, but was facing the sturdy front seven of the Chicago Bears. There were some reasonable free agent options, but I would have to release someone from my roster. My worst player would undoubtedly be claimed immediately if I released him. Whomever that was, he would be important to my playoff run. The most memorable moment that day was my speculation of the greater meaning of this situation. I thought “This must be a test from God. He is testing me to see if I can sacrifice one game for the whole season.” I decided to start Graham.

I returned to the chapel, and I was tardy. The entire congregation was literally waiting for me to begin. The pastor was glaring at me disapprovingly. While hundreds of people were relying on me to play the opening hymn, I was having a fantasy football dilemma over a toilet. The room was silent, but I was able to hear laughter coming from the area of my injury informant. He found my humiliation amusing. He was a fantasy football owner as well, so his amusement was equaled with empathy. We had an understanding. The only thing more sacrilegious than leaving an injured player on your active lineup, is actually being sacrilegious. I sat at my piano, and as I produced a tune, the people began to sing.

I ended up losing the game. My opponent had Arian Foster who exploded for 115 yards rushing, 119 yards receiving, and three touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans. Graham had a paradoxical game to Foster. Graham had two carries for 13 yards. His second carry yielded a career ending achilles rupture. I did win the championship that year though, and every player had an essential role during my playoff run. I was able to find solace in my decision to keep my roster intact, while sacrificing a higher probability of winning one week.

That day, after the service was over, the pastor drew near and asked “What happened?” I replied with “Bathroom emergency.”

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Follow Karl on Twitter @KarlSafchick