“You are really taking it seriously this year,” Hank said to Greg without averting his eyes from the television. “You invite me over to watch the Sox game and then you spend the whole time in front of your computer plotting your fantasy football strategy.”
“Sorry I’m being so intense about it,” Greg said without averting his eyes form the stat table displayed on his computer screen, “I just really want to win the title this year.”
“I’m not complaining,” Hank elaborated and shoved an entire White Castle cheeseburger into his mouth. “More sliders for me,” he then spoke around it as he chewed. “You’ve won half the years we’ve been playing in this league.”
“Five out of eight actually,” Greg said.
Hank waved off the correction with a swipe of his hand, swallowed and promptly removed the next miniature cheeseburger from its box. “The rest of us spend our mental energy hoping that your best players will suffer career ending injuries just so we might have a shot at winning.” He ripped open and squeezed a packet of brown mustard. “Still, I’ve never seen you put this much time into it. What’s so special about this year? You going balls out for that three-peat?”
“Part of it is the three-peat,” Greg said then paused and switched browser windows to cross-reference last season’s running back stats with rushing yards allowed. Then he paused a bit longer to cross reference both of these with the season schedule before continuing. “But it’s also because Billy won the fifth year.”
“Oh yeah!” Hank leapt up from the couch and held his hands high above his head. “Konerko, three run homer, baby!” Tiny fragments of beef, grilled onions and steamed-to-perfection bun sprayed from his mouth. “Woo!” He then added quickly before returning to his seat and beginning preparation of another cheeseburger.
“So let me get this straight. Billy, somehow, someway through some obviously freakish occurrence, won the title five years ago. You have won it five times in eight years, including the last two. That is why you want to win so bad this year?” With the mustard properly applied, the new slider was crammed into his mouth and Hank finally turned his attention from the game to face Greg. Barely understandable behind the slider came Hanks comment, “Vhah maygths lo thenth.”
Greg finally looked up from his screen at Hank. “It makes perfect sense,” he smiled. “It all depends on the team name I pick this year.”
“Why does that matter?”
“Go look at the trophy and see for yourself.”
Curious, Hank rose from the couch and walked over to the end table where their league’s trophy sat. It spent the offseason and following season up to the championship with the previous year’s winner, which had been Greg for the last two. “I still don’t know how that clown won a title while I haven’t yet,” he said as he lifted the trophy, a football signed by all the league participants and encased in clear plastic mounted on a base with five rows of small metal plates, four in each row. “Ugh, and the stupid freaking team name he picked. ‘Billy Is A God’? That guy is such a tool. Why did we let him in this league again?”
“He’s Jim’s brother-in-law’s boss,” Greg answered. When Hank met this response with a shrug and a sneer, he added, “Long story.”
“So the name,” Hank got back to the point. “Why does the fact that Billy won year five and your team name matter?”
“Wait and see,” smiled Greg.
At the end of a hard fought season, Greg’s extra diligence paid off. He hoisted the trophy above his head in triumph.
When the time came to place the engraved plate onto the trophy’s base, the ninth season’s commemorative plate started the third row and was placed directly beneath the fifth season’s plate. When one looked at the trophy, season five read, “Billy Is A God,” and directly below it sat Greg’s latest team name, “-damn Ass Clown.”