Daily Fantasy, Daily Life: Volume V

As you might remember, I made it all the way to the Underdog Best Ball Mania II finals, where I then promptly finished 151st out of 160. Instead of winning a million, I won $1,000. Nothing to sneeze at, certainly, but not exactly life-changing money. It’s more like life-staying-the-same money.

But still: I won, and less entry fees and other winnings, I netted about $600 on the Underdog season. I wasn’t going to do the playoff best ball, because that really seems like a total crapshoot, but you know how things go and 51 entries later (45 in the $5 Mitten and six in the $25 Gauntlet) I had even less life-staying-the-same money to show for my finals appearance.

“I want to take the kids into the city this weekend,” my wife said to me Friday morning, moments after I stole Kyler Murray in the 10th round (note: not a steal). “Let’s take them to see a show.”

I then did the patented husband shrug-and-grimace – you know, the “I don’t want to do anything you just said and my body language is demonstrating this but we both know my opinion counts as much as having Leonard Fournette, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Darrel Williams as your best ball running backs in the wild card round so who are we kidding, sure, I’d love to skip watching all this playoff football to go to New York with you and the children” – and said, “Yeah, OK.”

She totally saw my body language, and then went into a lengthy screed about how we’ve hardly done anything like this since COVID, how we haven’t spent money, how it was our daughter’s birthday last week and she loves New York, and how since we all just had COVID we had no zero risk of getting it again (at least for now), and besides, New York has vaccine mandates, so all the restaurants and Broadway shows will be safe and …

“Yeah, OK, fine, let’s go,” I said, doing the math on dinner and a show for the five of us. If I didn’t enter those playoff best ball tournaments, the winnings from my regular season Underdog stuff would’ve covered it, and I could’ve followed the advice of Jordan “Blenderhd” Cooper and used the big – well, moderately big – winnings on my wife and family.

Instead, I’d be reaching into my pocket and (eventually) cursing the fact I had way too many Fournette// Edwards-Helaire and/or Williams teams.

“Let’s get a hotel also,” my wife said. “Kids don’t have school Monday.”

I could’ve used the million dollar win, as it turned out.

Sunday morning, we wake up early – already this is terrible – and I set a bunch of Sunday-only DFS lineups and make some tweaks to my six-game DFS slate teams and I start loudly complaining about the weather forecast (rain and snow) and the train (over 90 minutes) and the cost of everything and …

“Just stay home,” my wife snapped. “I’ll take the kids.”

Now much like the above-referenced husband shrug-and-grimace is a naturally-occuring phenomena, so too is the split-second response to the trap my wife just laid. I mean, sure, I can say, “OK fine, I’ll stay home, see ya, have a nice time,” and then spend the next 36 hours watching football, drinking beer, eating frozen pizza, drinking beer, and drinking beer, but everyone knows if I chose that route I’d be hearing about this decision until my death, and if there is any sort of afterlife, I’d hear about for eternity, and if we live in a multiverse, by doppelgangers would undoubtedly also somehow be dealing with the fallout. So instead I said …

“Sorry. Just a little stressed. Probably work or something. It’s fine. I’ll drive.”

And away we went.

We got into New York by 10:30 a.m., and did the Times Square tourist stuff. My kids – 12, 11, and 8 – are still young enough to be legit wowed by the spectacle. We all ate a slice of pizza the size of a Packers foam cheesehead for lunch. We saw “The Lion King” (it was awesome, truly). We checked into the hotel. We bummed around. We went out to dinner – Tony’s Di Napoli, which is obviously a touristy Broadway thing, but it was also delicious – and then we walked around for a bit, with snow falling in New York and my wife happy and my kids not yelling at each other and …

And sure, I suppose I could’ve taken the remainder of the Underdog money and played a few more playoff best ball tournaments, but I can say, with full candor, I am so freakin’ glad I chose this instead.

We had a blast.

Yeah, I probably spent a few bucks – and a few bucks after that – more than I would’ve liked, but my kids are growing up pretty fast (just because it’s a cliche doesn’t make it any less true) and these are the memories they’re going to take into adulthood and, wow, as I type this, I’m realizing I need to do more things like this, especially – especially – with “found” money, like the Underdog haul.

Sure, I skipped out watching playoff football, but I gained so, so, so, so much more.

The next morning …

I was up first. My wife was next to me, beautiful as always. I got up and peeked in on the kids. They were all asleep, sharing two double beds they decided to push together the night before. It was magical.

I looked out the window, which had a great view of the city. I took a deep breath, counted my lucky stars.

I climbed back into bed as happy as I’ve ever been.

I then promptly entered The Gauntlet Returns. Had 1.1, grabbed Davante Adams, someone stole Aaron Rodgers from me, but took Aaron Jones and A.J. Brown at the turn. Things broke weird from there, basically I’m Packers-Titans-Bengals, though I grabbed Jimmy G. in the 10th round, and if the 49ers somehow beat the Packers, I’ll still maybe have an out to advance.

Single bullet this time though. Just the one. That’s it. Solemn promise. No way I’m going to do a bunch. Not even thinking about it. Zero chance. One and done. I mean, I’d really like to build a Chiefs team and a Bills squad, but that’s probably overkill. Wouldn’t mind a Bucs-centric team either, but you know, the more I think about it, the Rams looked awesome and …

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Jeff Edelstein (jedelstein)

  • Jeff is a veteran journalist, now working with SportsHandle.com and USBets.com as a senior analyst. He’s also an avid sports bettor and DFS player, and cannot, for the life of him, get off the chalk. He can be reached at jedelstein@bettercollective.com.

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