Who among us can rightfully claim to be a victim? You know, the guy like Sideshow Bob who always steps on the rake, banana peel or, worst-case, bear trap. Maybe more relatable, the mediocre golfer playing great when a near-perfect drive hits a tree and never comes down. It happens occasionally at least five times to this mediocre golfer. I’m undeniably under a chilling curse no one – not even “boo-hoo, poor you” cynical cohorts can possibly explain.

Nephew Jay, Lincoln Reese and I discussed my propensity for unexplained, heartbreaking flukes tonight at bowling league, right after I snarled at Terry Vaughn, “You’re lucky you were up against the unluckiest fantasy football owner in history.” He mumbled some nonsense like, “I just had a better team,” but we both knew he was the recipient of victimization.

To explain fantasy football, your chosen team is pitted against another each week – the ultimate prize a possible $1,000 payoff at season’s end. Interestingly, in one week, my quarterback Jameis Winston fell to a broken leg, my best receiver Calvin Ridley decided he needs a break from football for mental issues, and my other speedster landed in jail after a fatal crash, driving drunk at 153 MPH. A rare trifecta, huh?

So against Vaughn, my other QB Joe Burrows had his worst career game, landing me seven whole points. Terry’s QB Prescott was equally bad for 55 minutes till, in what we call “garbage time” in a big loss, threw two last-minute TD passes to which Denver’s defense seemed unconcerned. Entering Sunday’s late game, Terry trailed me by six points with Steelers WR Claypool yet to play. As I told those willing to listen, “Probably my only chance is if Claypool gets hurt early in the game.” He did indeed, just as he caught a pass that left Vaughn 1.8 points my better, likely ruling out any playoff action.

Jay and Linc went into the trendy, “Oh, boo-hoo” eye-rubbing, giggling like they had live fish in their pants. What they can’t deny is that it’s the second time I’ve lost by 1+ points, the first weeks earlier when my two best players were simultaneously benched due to big, late-game leads.

Why derision rather than empathy? I’m guessing few have experienced this kind of emotional robbery over a decades-prolonged period and thus cannot wrap their heads around the reality. It’s worth noting, I then fell two pins short on a $20 wager with Jay, on the heels of last week’s $20 loss to Lincoln by three pins.

I’m way past shock and/or anger; now it’s just an agonizing resignation. Some were born to step on rakes and others to fall into putrid waste and come out smelling like roses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful my curse is restricted to the little, blood-sucking ticks of fate. My late sister Wanda fought MS before suffering a cruel death from ovarian cancer at 53.

I deserve that kind of fate so much more than Wanda did. But no, I die a prolonged death of a thousand paper cuts, but at least I’m alive, fat and healthy. Torture seldom gets in a hurry.

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