Kick the Brakes

Disclaimer: this post did not see my editor before it went it up.

My plan this week was to write about being polite, respectfully declining trades and explaining counter offers in a helpful way. I took over an orphan team over the off season and an owner that came in after me was extremely rude to the point that probably won’t ever trade with them. I know I’m not the only owner who has dealt with people like this and it could not have happened at a worse time. My father was in the hospital (he is ok now) and I “lost” a friend. Life was getting a little intense so I wanted an escape and took to looking for trades.

Losing a friend sucks. Whether it’s because they simply moved or there was a fight or they passed away, it sucks. There are probably a million ways we can lose a friend and they all hurt. This past week I lost a friend. Someone who was (is) very close to me, someone I love. She is not dead, but she has chosen to isolate herself. It hurt because we talked regularly and because it is for her husband who is emotionally abusive and unfaithful… I won’t go into detail, that’s not what is important. Why I tell you this is partly selfish, I hope it helps me move on. It is also to show that real life is heavy, because it is real.

I play fantasy football because it is fun to me. I love watching football at the pro and college level. The competition in a league, the friendships that are built, that’s why I play. Sometimes we join a league or a forum with people we don’t know yet, in hopes that friendships will be built. Which is why when someone is rude or disrespectful it is all the more worrisome. Fantasy football is supposed to be our escape from the troubles in reality. I’m not in it for negative drama. The drama of the game is enough for me, I don’t need to waste my time with immature grown adults and I don’t think you do either.

I recognize that real life takes the front seat and fantasy should sit in the back. That is partly why I try to be as polite as I can in trade negotiations and in any interaction with other people in my leagues or forums. We can’t and don’t know what others are going through all the time. The other reason is just because I believe in common courtesy. (Of course during the season there will be banter and trash talk, but there is also a line for that.)

That offer you got that seems totally off base, maybe today their head just isn’t in it. Or maybe this new league you joined has totally different values than what you are used to because it is a new format. The league itself could be set up “standard” but the owners themselves could just value things outside the norm. There could also be something more important weighing down on an owner but they wanted an escape so they looked for trades.

When you see that offer, being a dick about it is not going to help negotiations. That’s just going to drive away a potential trade partner. Being rude to them is not helping the fantasy, there are nice ways to go about things. I’m not here to give a lesson on being nice. The fact is, that if you need a lesson than you are more lost than I can help. I am here, however, to help you (and myself) remember that though we want to ask a person “what the hell are you thinking?” That’s not the best approach.

Kick the brakes. Step back. Find a way to convey your thoughts in a respectful way so that later when you want to interact with that league mate, they will want to also. Help them escape so that you can too. If you are new to the league, ask questions so you can gauge what the league is like. I could go on but the bottom line is, be respectful.


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