Ah, fantasy football. First, you pick your team name, like an "ingenious" twist on a disgraced athlete. Like A Rod 4 President.
Then you pick the players. You talk about who's hot and who's not preceding the draft as if you have unparalleled intuition, when really you might have just watched ESPN the week before and jotted down notes on players.
You play with friends, family or colleagues and are engulfed by the delusion that you are an elite scout. It's all in good fun, right?
Well, most of the time. Sometimes, when striving for bragging rights, there are fantasy fails.
"We were [in first and second place] by a wide margin all year, destined to meet in the finals. I was making a roster move and accidentally dropped one of my best players. [I] asked the league for a gentlemen's engagement not to pick up said player, as it was a mistake. Lo and behold, [Peter], my only real competition, picked him up. I was set to play my friend in the title game. After letting him know 'Next time I see you, don't say what's up. We aren't cool,' he dropped him. However, due to waivers I couldn't claim him back in time for the game. [A] feud lasted a bit after that until we made amends over Sunday brunching/creeping at Duffy's. All's well that end well I suppose."
—Phil Torrisi, 28, former Wicker Park resident.
Though Peter, 30, of Lincoln Park, declined to give his last name, he admitted his wrongdoing and said he was happy to move on.
"We had a heated conversation via email and I ended up dropping [the player], he still beat me, but threatened to never be friends again," Peter said. "We had a few beers and hashed it out."
"It was Week 1 of the two-week championship. As we're watching the games that day, Dez Bryant ended up going off for tons of points, and I laughed because the commissioner had him on his bench to start the day. I go to check his score and am utterly shocked to see that suddenly Dez Bryant is in his lineup. My boyfriend ended up posting a message on the league board to him; all he said was, 'We know what you did.' … Finally, the commissioner responds with a wildly defensive and unapologetic note, slamming his opponent and trying to claim that because he's on Eastern Time he thought he had extra time to do it, and then proceeded to brag about how awesome he is at fantasy. Suffice to say, we were pissed. The next week though he came back to earth, sent an apology email and played an empty team to give his opponent the win."
—Kara Intrieri, 27, East Garfield Park
"It was quite a ways back, well before you could check your team's score on your phone. The commissioner would print out sheets that you could pick up on Tuesday to see how your team did that week. Our first two seasons were won by our commissioner. [Season] 3 he drafted a great team, but with a bunch of injuries in Weeks 1 and 2. Our playoffs were set up for the top 3 teams from each division met in the playoffs. With one week left in the season and the commissioner's team on the outside looking in, he announced a change to the playoff system. Now the top four from each division were in the playoffs. Guess who was No. 4. Everyone called bull[bleep]. I think he ended up winning the Super Bowl that year. In the end I'm sure it was a hollow victory because NOBODY paid at the end of the year."
—Fritz Nothnagel, 39, Oak Lawn
Scott King is a RedEye special contributor.
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