Woe is the Commish

Life as a Commissioner

By Melissa Jacobs

Talk about a thankless job. You spend months having to argue about potential rule changes, recruiting new teams, selecting a commissioner service, and spending way too much time trying ensure that all teams will actually log-in on draft night.  Then that fateful night come.  The excitement over who is going #1 turns into a mess when the team with the 4th pick actually takes four whole minutes. You see, I’m playing nice commissioner and not setting a time like I should.  Even I if did – say for two minutes – certain owners would be livid it wasn’t ninety seconds or get .   I’m suddenly reminded of all the things the various team owners could be doing other than this draft, most of which sound pretty boring if you ask me.  Homework with a child, watching  America’s Got Talent or Top Chef, blah blah  Why they can’t just shut up and enjoy the myriad benefits the Internet has to offer?  It is as though my league was designed for those that have been officially diagnosed with OCD (Official Complaining Disorder).

Next comes the excruciating process of collecting the money.  Okay, I realize $100 is not chump change, especially now, but if you are going to partake in a league with an entry fee shouldn’t you expect to have to pay up?  Of course I send reminders that become increasing unfriendly; in fact, I even appointed my husband as the league “CFO” in hopes that two voices would do the trick.  It doesn’t matter.  There will always be a few teams who think I am their personal creditor and wind up having to be sent to collection agencies at the end of the season.

Week One arrives.  All the pre-season hassle is going to be made up for by a wonderful commissioner service which will run smoothly.  I know — I inputted the rules to perfection.  Ah, kickoff begins.  Felix Jonesdoesn’t get the touchdown we predicted, but does give the Cowboys decent field position..OH NO, WAIT…  Did I remember to uncheck the box that says all position players get rushing yards for kickoff returns?  Uh oh!  I quickly make the fix mid-game, but Team X is already about to committ homicide since they didn’t get the point Jones would have earned on a regular offensive play.  Even though the rules were sent out multiple times before and after the draft, I already have a big problem.  After talking Team X down from the ledge, I quadruple check and there are no other clerical errors.  Whew.  Now onto enjoying the season.

Week Two.  Team Y plays Brandon Jacobs , who has 93 yards rushing.  Team Y’s opponent, Team W has Maurice Jones Drew and his 105 yards.  Suddenly Team Y is on a crazy crusade to rescind the 100 yard bonus rule at once, Team Y literally takes the week off of work so they can spend the week clogging the other teams’ email inboxes with a million reason this rule “sucks.”  That is coupled with veiled threats to quit the league at once if that rule remains.

Week Three.  Team Y’s other running back is Michael Turner.  After Turner’s gritty 104 yard performance, Team Y decides the100 yard bonus rule isn’t that bad.

And so that’s how most seasons go.  Lots of complaining (that’s luckily not rubbing off) and virtually no thank yous for actually running the damn thing.

I’m sure you are thinking, why are you a commissioner then?  Maybe I am a masochist, but the truth is there are some very major benefits to carrying that job title.  First and foremost, my football credibility instantly skyrockets amongst those of the opposite gender.  And I always claim that knowing your league’s rules is more important than knowing a Cover 2 defense.  Who knows the rules better than the creator of the rules?   And while the cyclical process of declaring said year as my last commissionership, the league usually calms down by about Week 4 or 5 so I do get to enjoy the games; the fact that I run a pretty successful league; and, oh yeah, all the winning!

After four seasons, I’ve come to expect the early season friction, but it’s okay because I have karma on my side and will always be a winner –  if only I can collect those damn entry fees.

Note:  Melissa has won her fantasy football league for three out of the past four years.