In almost every 12-team fantasy football league around the world, this week’s slate is Championship Weekend. It’s no different for the Just Juan Football Association. For the 2nd consecutive season, I’m playing in the title game. This year, I’m squaring off against my longtime friend and one of the charter members of the league, Lisandra Jones. I’m ready to atone for last year’s heartbreaking loss to my cousin, Reggie, whom stole the title with a crazy Doug Baldwin performance. Being on the precipice of another fantasy football championship brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the 2016 fantasy football championship.
How I first came across this moment? It was the day after Christmas in 2016. By virtue of a convincing win the week before, I had advanced to the championship game. I would be facing Reggie, who had thrashed me in Week 6 by 64 points. We both ended up with the same regular season record but the head-to-head win gave him the #1 seed and the 5-point playoff advantage. He started the game fast but on the strength of sterling performance by Jordy Nelson, I staged a comeback. When Ezekiel Elliott busted off a 55-yard touchdown run to give the Cowboys a 14-7 lead over the Lions, I had essentially secured the championship.
What it meant to me then? In the moment, I was filled with pride. I had exacted the ultimate revenge on Reggie by capturing my first fantasy football championship since 2013. It was the culmination of a couple of years of being burned in the playoffs despite being the #1 seed, including blowing a 12-1 season the year before. I immediately took to Instagram to celebrate once I was assured of the title. It was my 2nd Just Juan Football Association championship in my 2nd championship game.
What it means to me now? The 2016 fantasy football championship was a high point for me. Last year was a disappointing year with the championship game loss and 2017 was the worst as I had my first-ever losing season, going 5-8 and missing the playoffs. I started this season strong, ran into a rough patch, and advanced to the title game from the wild card slot. Of course, the tradition of throttling Deondrea in a season sweep was good but nothing has felt as good as winning that title in 2016. Hopefully, when it’s all over on Sunday night, I’ll have a similar feeling.