The Sports Journal for Friday, October 14, 2011

I’ve never been much of a poker player.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love playing it. I’m just no good. In fact, in some circles they might just call me terrible. 

It’s not because I don’t understand how to play or the strategies involved.

It’s just that I’m impatient and I like to make things happen.

Generally, I’ll have a few good hands to open a game, but then I’ll get bored and start bluffing, and before I know it I’m going all in with a pair of twos and then watching the rest of the game from the couch.

I’ve found over the last several weeks I’m the same way with fantasy football.

Well, let me clarify. I’m actually doing quite well in the fantasy realm.

 Five weeks into the NFL season, team Beast Mode sits comfortably atop The Garden Island’s fantasy league with a 4-1 record .

Led by the dynamic duo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, my team is good, really good. 

If I left my roster alone, it could probably carry me easily through the regular season and possibly a deep playoff run.

But we’re more than several hands into the season and I’m getting that itch. That urge.

I got to start messing with the team.

In our league, nobody trades. I don’t know if it’s a league taboo, but it doesn’t happen.

I orchestrated two necessary trades early in the season. Before week one, I traded New England tight end Rob Gronkowski  to team (name unfit to print in this publication) for Patriot running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It was the basic need-for-need trade. I needed a running back, the other guy needed a tight end. It worked out well for both of us.

Then after week three, I had to make another trade. My workhorse running back Jamall Charles went down with a season-ending knee injury — depleting my backfield. From there, I traded my backup quarterback Cam Newton to team (also unfit to print) for RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Another win-win trade for both sides.

Both of those trades were ones that noticeably improved my team. I pulled the trigger because I had to.

But here we are heading into week six and I’m getting antsy. I was looking at my roster Thursday and scanning for things I could tinker with.

Maybe I could use another receiver? Or how about a running back?

I scoured over players who I thought could make for a potential steal. I decided on trading Denver wide-receiver Eric Decker for Seattle running back Leon Washington.

Why?

I have no idea.

I’m not consciously trying to throw away my season; in fact, I want to win.

Chances are some of these trades and moves that I’m doing are going to come back and bite me in the rear later in the season. But the reason behind them is the same reason I go all-in after the third hand of poker.

It makes the game exciting.

And maybe one of these days somebody won’t call my bluff.

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