As I thought about it more, Smith's political comeback has seemed like a season right out of playing fantasy football.
I’ve been playing fantasy football for about 15 years. I joined a draft before I really understood how fantasy football worked, and a few years later the guy who ran it decided to get out. I took over as League Commissioner.
We have a 10-team league. It’s a half point PPR and many of the guys in it have been part of it for years. We call it the EKFL, which is the acronym for the Edmonton Keeper Football League.
At the end of last season, I got an email from a long-time participant who told me he was dropping out because he was getting married and wouldn’t have enough time for fantasy football. That didn’t seem like a solid reason to me, but whatever.
I advertised the open franchise to the rest of the guys in the draft and one of them nominated his friend Brady who had fantasy football experience. I’ve never met Brady, but have talked to him and texted with him and he seems like a nice guy.
Problem is, Brady has done really well this year. Going into this weekend, he was tied with me for second place, one game out of first.
I haven’t heard anyone grumbling about “the new guy” picking up a team from the scrap heap and doing well with it, but I’m sure some of the guys have been thinking that.
Who is this guy? Don’t you have to pay your dues for awhile? How can he walk into the draft from out of nowhere and have a shot at winning it all? It's only reasonable to assume that's what some other managers have been thinking.
Isn’t this the same as when Danielle Smith decided to run for the UCP leadership? There were people who didn’t think she should have been eligible. She didn’t have a seat in the legislature, wasn’t part of the party and the last time she had been seen, she was doing a radio talk show.
I’m sure there were a lot of people who figured she was a “Brady.”
"She Wasn't Elected By Me"
Fast forward a few months, and Smith won the leadership and became Premier. She talked about big changes to Alberta Health Services and bringing in the Sovereignty Act. Many people don’t think she has the right to make such big changes because she wasn’t elected by Albertans. She was elected by the party on the 6th vote, not exactly a ringing endorsement.
However, she is the Premier. That’s the way the game is played and she certainly isn’t the first Alberta Premier to get the job this way.
All that talk reminded me again of my fantasy football draft. I have won the last two years in a row (not that I’m bragging. Just making a point).
I’m not sure I had to face the top team in the draft in the playoffs in the last two seasons because I think they lost in the semi-finals both years. But I did have to beat the teams in front of me, just the same as Danielle Smith did. I didn’t make the rules and neither did she.
Once again. If it’s ok in fantasy football, it’s ok in politics too.
"She Didn't Win By Much"
Last week, Smith won the byelection and got a seat in the Alberta Legislature.
But she only got just over 50% of the vote!
Does it matter? In fantasy football it sure doesn’t.
In fantasy football you can get beat by .01 (if you have fractional scoring) and a loss is a loss. A win is a win. It doesn’t matter if you win by one point or 100 points, it’s still a win in fantasy football. You are what your record says you are.
It’s the same for Smith. Does it matter she didn’t wire the field? She still gets her seat in the legislature and can run the party’s agenda from a seat in the front row.
People who have played fantasy football for years can tell you all kinds of stories about tough losses, or wins they feel a little guilty about.
We have a team in our draft this year that has more points than any team this season, but its record is just 3-6. The guy has lost several close ones and played against teams having their best weeks. It happens.
The reality of fantasy football is almost everyone who plays it knows how unfair it can be, but we play it anyway. Winning in fantasy football is 50% knowledge and 50% luck.
Politics is the same. Yes, Smith didn’t have to get elected by voters across the province to become Premier, but it doesn’t matter. She is.
I’m not a supporter of hers. Far from it, but you are what your record says you are.
If fantasy football has taught me anything it’s that life isn’t always fair. Politics isn’t either.
Image credit: CBC