Look at the history of most fantasy leagues, and you'll see one name pop up over and over in the list of previous champions. They're winning three in a row, or maybe every other year, or always making the title game.
At some point, you just want somebody (anybody) to beat them. It's just annoying to see the same team win over and over. If it makes you feel any better, the NFL has that same problem.
Despite what the New England Patriots and Tom Brady were saying the past couple of weeks, nobody is that surprised to see them win the Super Bowl again. They're a solid team who added a good running back in Sony Michel, and they matched up pretty well with a Rams team that isn't getting 100 percent out of Todd Gurley. It was a close game, even if it wasn't a great one.
Winning close Super Bowls is nothing new for Brady and Bill Belichick. They've been to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them, and all but this past one decided by one score or less. You could argue that a play here and there (Seattle letting Marshawn Lynch run the ball comes to mind) would have hurt that record, but a couple plays going the other way (David Tyree not making that wild catch) would have boosted it. Overall, 6-3 sounds about right.
Those numbers also sound like they belong to a fantasy owner who always seems to beat the league on draft day and throughout the season. A lucky win here or there, or a beneficial schedule might help them along the way. But every team has good and bad luck over the course of several years. Still, that one owner keeps coming out on top.
How do they do it? I can almost hear some disgruntled NFL fans saying "they cheat!" I'm not saying Spygate and Deflategate are fake. I'm saying they don't explain how Tom Brady has been to nine Super Bowls in 17 non-injury seasons. Brady and his coach have more Super Bowl rings than the Vikings, Lions, Panthers, Falcons, Cardinals, Bills, Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Browns, Bengals, Chargers, Saints, Chiefs, Rams and Seahawks combined. That's half the league.
If you think that's deceptive by including teams that have no Super Bowl wins, how about the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Eagles, Jets and Bears? The only franchise that has as many rings is the Steelers. And no franchise has as many appearances as Brady and Belichick.
When an owner wins like that in a fantasy league, everyone roots against them. They want their own team to win, of course. But they'll root for whoever faces that other team in the championship game. That owner might be your buddy, but when it comes to your league they're your hated rival, too.
We also know that the fantasy hatred is borne out of respect. That owner knows their stuff. They overcome injuries. They make good trades. They don't let talent slip past them on the waiver wire. They don't forget to replace players on the bye. It's okay to root against them, but it's because we know how formidable they are.
Maybe you're that team in your league. If so, don't bother worrying about being liked. Those other owners will always hate you. You can also expect that the league will celebrate when you fail. It's just part of the game.
The Patriots know the same thing. I think they also know it includes a respect for what they've accomplished. We can argue whether Brady is the best quarterback ever, or if it's Montana or someone else. We can argue if Belichick is the best coach ever, though I'm not sure there's a sound argument against it. But we can all acknowledge their impressive run.
It's the same with that great owner in your league. The season is over, and it's time to appreciate successes; not resent them. Sure, it's not fun when the same team wins all the time, but it will make beating them that much sweeter. You stop a bully by knocking them down, and everyone gets another chance next season. Even the NFL teams.
Until then, enjoy some playoff hockey, don't obsess too much over the draft and get ready to roll this summer.
What are your standout fantasy memories this season? Did the top team in your league win again? Share your thoughts below.