“Demons of war came between them. What can bring them back together?”
The movie “Brothers” was actually released in 2009. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire; “Brothers” depicts intense conflict between two brothers resulting from war torn emotions and altered states of complete detachment.
The entirely fictional plot of this film was rendered in exact non-fiction between my brother and I over this past weekend…
However, the stakes of this actual brotherly civil war were much higher than that of the movie. Instead of family, marriage, and war’s effects on humanity; My brother and I waged an epic battle of FANTASY FOOTBALL.
This was a very key matchup. I stood atop the league with a perfect 4 – 0 record. My team has put up astounding numbers of points on multiple weeks to leave me in a commanding position. My brother’s team stood in 2nd place. His record of 3 wins 1 loss was met with similar numbers of fantasy points. It was clear and certain that this was nothing less than a battle of giants, the supreme battle for 1st place. The titans of the WPE fantasy football league clashed with such force, the entire universe trembled with fear.
My team’s projected fantasy numbers were heavily favored – 147 points vs the 115 of my brother. His team was heavily injured, hurting, limping, but poised with dedication to claw their way to the top. His star running back, LeSean McCoy put up a 25 point game while wearing a FLACK JACKET covering his FRACTURED RIBS. A truly remarkable feat. Meanwhile, my star running back Arian Foster rushed for a bastardly 25 yards on 11 carries resulting in a despicable 4 (FOUR) fantasy points.
The brutality of this contest weighed heavily on our remaining warriors.
- My brother’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, put up equally disappointing numbers in what must be his worst fantasy output ever. 8 points.
- Anquan Boldin held to one singular catch for 8 yards; making my WR2 position nothing but a sheer travesty.
- Single digit points continued from at least 3 players on both sides of this contest. The misery and disbelieve in what was taking place continued to add up.
As others fell, the dark horses emerged with valiant efforts to pull their respective teams ahead. Philip Rivers put up astounding passing numbers coming from my bench. He now leads the NFL in passing yardage and is tied for most touchdowns thrown. For my brother, Santana Moss and the Philadelphia Eagles defense combined for nearly 50 fantasy points. The battle raged at even keel as night time drew upon them.
As Sunday came and went, my brother enjoyed a 20 point lead over my team as we looked to Monday Night’s game. The final and deciding battle in this epic 2 day war. I still had one last hope: The New York Jets defense. My brother’s lone combatant still remained as well: Jets’ tight end Dustin Keller. Keller posed a worthy foe; as he has been the favorite target of QB Mark Sanchez lately. Meanwhile, the Jets’ defense faced an aging and somewhat injured/interception prone Brett Favre. Both sides lined the battlefield stacked with an agonizing blend of hope and frustration.
As the final battle drew closer, we each seemed certain that the other was going to be the victor. Vanbergs awaited numerous interceptions by my defense on the “pic-prone” Favre. I dreaded the notion of Dustin Keller catching multiple touchdowns as he has done in the red zone this year.
With the utmost anticipation; we clutched onto our very souls for the final game of the week: Monday Night. Jets vs Vikings.
The stage poetically set in heavy rain, thunderstorm delays, and utter warfare; the game begins with optimism on both sides. The rainy weather seems to foretell many short yardage passes to TE Keller; While Favre’s age and health would eventually lead the Vikings scoreless throughout the first half at the hands of my defense.
As the first half drew towards a close, Jets QB Mark Sanchez targeted Dustin Keller for a touchdown pass that was sure to be the nail in my coffin. I couldn’t bear to watch. I had to turn away. Through the complete downpour of rain, the killing strike of my undefeated season had been unleashed. As the play closed, the slow motion replay was simply poised to agonize me… but it was time for me to face my fate. I watch the replay, and the image of Keller dropping the touchdown pass will never leave my memory.
With only a couple receptions for Keller, and a couple turnovers in favor of my defense, I had cut the margin from 20 to 7 at the half. But time was running out. Two Vikings touchdowns early in the 3rd quarter increased my uphill climb to victory; but the Jets were heavily run focused and not passing to Keller at all (at the detest of my brother). As the game wore on, the Jets maintained a narrow lead over the Vikings and my brother was under 2 minutes away from squeaking out a viciously epic, hardfought, and utterly narrow victory.
But with some terrible clock management, the Jets had given the Vikings a striking chance at a final game winning drive. The offense took the field for Minnesota, and they would serve as salvation for one of the VanBergen brothers. As the aging Favre drew back his next throw, he unleashed all of the torment and hardship that this fantasy war has caused. The most momentous and profound pass ever thrown was screaming through the air; the outcome of true warfare spiraled into the rain soaked air. With only 1 minute left, in one of the last plays in the last game of the week, Brett Favre threw an interception to my Jets defense that was returned for a touchdown.
I simply cannot imagine the blinding red infuriation caused by this singular play. In one play, my team wins by one point. In one play, Vanbergs’ team falls from 2nd place to 4th place. In one play, I have maintained an undefeated season thus far. In one play, the relationship between brothers may never again be the same.