November 17th was a football Sunday much like any other. I had gathered all of the information I could during the week. I crunched all the numbers, meditated, tweaked all of my lineups, daydreamed a bunch. Upon submitting each lineup, I thought “maybe this is the one’…but that was nothing new. In the morning, I double-checked all of my files and made sure everything was entered into the Milly, Slant and Flea Flicker. Typical football Sunday stuff.
But this day would be anything but typical.
Things started off pretty well. I had a Sam Darnold stack that jumped out early which led me to some silliness in our Discord chat.
That lineup finished in 17,727th place. But there were others.
As my ill-fated Jets stack continued to slide down the leaderboard, I peeled myself off the couch to get my son to his basketball tournament. It’s travel-ball, his team was playing against some real hotshots and yeah, I’m that Dad, so it was gonna be intense.
12:51pm PST: I checked DK at the end of Luke’s first game and saw that Josh Allen and John Brown had gone ham…and Miami was actually answering back with some Fitzmagic to Davante Parker action. I sent this screenshot to my buddy, Ted, with the “look” emoji.
Once the morning games had finished I had a lineup that was top 50 in the Milly but with only one player remaining. I’d been here before and was somewhat resigned to the probability that I’d watch my Current Winnings dwindle over the next 3 hours. 8 of my players were already finished and many of my opponents had multiple players going in the afternoon games. My Wife, Son and I watched some football while we waited for his next tipoff. I turned to them and said “Welp, if I win a million dollars today, I’ll have a new favorite player. I’ll buy his shirt…hell, I’ll buy a car and name it after him”.
“Who do you need to go off, Dad?” Luke asked.
“Deebo, pal. We need all the Deebo”
Deebo Samuel was chalky (highly owned) that week but made a nice flex in an otherwise contrarian lineup. He and CMC were owned but the Allen/Singletary/John Brown stack with Davante Parker on the other side had ownership of 24%… TOTAL.
By 2:51pm I was in 7th place in the Milly.
There’s a cool feeling that comes when you’re playing a guy that everyone else was on that week yet none of those other lineups are ahead of you. I had a clear path to 1st place but Deebo needed to go apeshit and I was fading all sorts of players including: Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, and the SF Defense.
My pals in Discord were going crazy. Cheering for my team as if it were their own. I realized how tight we had become despite having never met in person. Pretty damn cool.
By 3:30pm, our basketball game was in full swing and Deebo was making plays on the football field. My lineup had risen to 3rd place. I was stressed out enough watching my son compete but now we have a real Milly Sweat happening. Whaaaaatttt???
Halftime of the hoops game. Our team was up big and none of the other parents understood why I was still pacing furiously along the baseline.
An alert came up on my phone with an Adam Levitan retweet of an ominous Deebo injury report. I turned to my wife and said “the dream is over again, Honey. Deebo got hurt.”
Resigned to the fact that I had fallen short again, I focused on the important things of the day: Family & Basketball. Our team started pulling away and my boy made some cool moves. All was OK. I’d been through these failed sweats before and I’d give myself another chance next week.
At 3:49 pm my phone starts blowing up. “Deebo Samuel is on the sideline and will return to the game”.
“Holy Shit!” I yelled aloud…during a quiet timeout…of a youth basketball game. Not a good look.
By 3:57pm, Deebo had made 3 consecutive catches and my lineup was in 1st! With the kids playing on, I casually walked over to Mrs. Sonic and handed her my phone with this on the screen.
She handed the phone back and continued to watch the game.
Chick has always been so much cooler than me.
Now came the dreaded anti-sweat. Getting to first place is exhilarating. Staying in 1st place is a stress like nothing I’ve ever imagined. There was still 8 minutes left in the Eagles/Patriots game and my beloved Pats defense needed to keep Goedert under wraps.
Our basketball team wins the championship and Luke takes a minute to pose for pictures with his teammates and the trophy. His day was going perfectly. Could I be as fortunate? As we were exiting the gym I flashed my screen to Luke and casually said “Bruh.” His eyes lit up. “We’re sweating the Milly again!!!!????” Luke and I were no strangers to sweating games together. We’d attended SB51 when our Pats fell behind 28-3 only to…you know.
As the basketball families drove away, Luke and I remained, under strict orders from Mrs. Sonic not to drive while sweating the Milly. Solid advice.
After the longest 20 minutes of my life I found myself in the car with my son, last car left in the lot. Radio on. Laptop open with Draft Kings page next to the Discord chat. Inside 2 minutes now and the Eagles were down 17-10 and driving. I was ahead of the Goedert team by 4.6 points. With PPR scoring, 2 catches for 27 yards would be enough to beat me.
It eventually came down to a 4th down hail mary and Luke and I couldn’t contain ourselves.
We cranked the radio up, jumped out of the car and paced around the parking lot. “Wentz releases ball up high towards the end zone… and… it… falls harmlessly to the turf and the Patriots will win.”
The inevitable out-of-body experience ensued. Screaming with tears in my eyes, I leaped into my son’s arms and we fell to the pavement.
WE DID IT!! WE DID IT!!! THIS TIME WE REALLY DID IT!!!!!
“Dad, I’ve never seen you jump that high.”
He was right. I think I could’ve windmill dunked over Olajuwon at that point. So relieved, so elated, and so thankful that my boy was there to share this moment with me.
I’ll never forget that day, but my focus is on getting better every Day/Week/Year. Writing this course has been huge step in that direction. I hope you guys get as much from reading it as I did creating it.
REPORTER: Tom, which ring is your favorite?
TOM BRADY: The next one.