Mostly amusing, kind of pathetic fact: To an almost startling degree, people really care about their fantasy football teams. And that's before we even consider leagues that make it interesting, so to speak, by betting on fun things like "bragging rights" and "pride." Can you imagine if gambling actual money on sports wasn't a felony punishable by years of federal imprisonment? The stakes!
Probably the event that causes the most ill will among fantasy footballers of any league is the completion of a trade, wherein members usually assume (in most cases correctly) that one team was intentionally screwed by another. This development inevitably leads to several heated email chains featuring otherwise emotionally-stable friends yelling at each other about millionaires. Feelings are hurt, people cry, etc.
Which begs the question: Does there even exist a way to make a fantasy football trade without pissing people off?
Of course, silly! To begin, let's briefly go over some common trade proposal personalities that are good to adopt only if you want to be rightly punted in the genitals. To know thy d-bag, you must become thy d-bag.
The Playground Bully
This guy gives you flashbacks to when you were picked on in grade school. He not only asks for your best player, he does it while insisting you'd be foolish to not accept his awful trade. Moreover, he's probably calling you "bro," e.g., "You really gonna just hang on to Jamal (sp) Charles, bro? Your (sp) 5-6 with no chance. Cruz is more then (sp) fine." Tip: Usually the Human Piece of Garbage remains a human piece of garbage in non-fantasy football-related settings.
The Shy Hamster
Almost like he's ashamed to even be asking, the guy who just proposes the trade without any explanation knows he's in the wrong, he's just hoping you're gonna be drunk when you see it. And you might be, which makes his efforts admirable, if dodgy.
The Phil Dunphy
For those of you who don't watch "Modern Family," Phil is always trying way too hard to be everyone's best friend. You don't want to adopt this personae when trading. It's pathetic. Most conversations will go like this:
"Hey man, what's going on? Dude how's NYU? You loving it there? Sick, I'm gonna have to visit! LOL anyway you know more about this stuff than I do, just wondering if you might be interested in a swap? Say, Bowe, Dalton, and Hilton for Lacy? Let me know man. Take care."
The Overly Explanatory Guy
Not to be confused with the Reasonably Explanatory Guy (more on him later), the Overly Explanatory Guy uses his esteemed powers of patronization to clarify to an excruciating degree why his trade proposal is great for you without bringing up what it does for him. Always be suspicious of the Overly Explanatory Guy on and off the cyber gridiron.
The Guy Who Makes The World A Worse Place
Easily the most baffling, this f**kstick -- often a graduate of a major university, usually well-adjusted, sometimes even with kids (!) -- repeatedly offers you wordless trades comprised of the following formula: (piece of trash) and (piece of trash) for (stud). At least the Human Piece of Garbage has the decency to call out my alleged lack of manliness instead of my intelligence. TGWMtWaWP inspired this entire article. He is the living, breathing worst.
Ok dude, we get it, you're a bitter misanthrope who is really into make-believe internet football. But how can I not be any of those people when making a trade?
You just have to be this guy...
The Reasonably Explanatory Guy
It's not that hard. Just follow these steps:
1) Identify a fringe-contending team with a level-headed owner -- say, someone who doesn't quickly add "but I also do amateur MMA on nights and weekends" whenever he describes his actual job.
2) Find a weakness in your potential trade partner where your team has a strength, and vice versa. (Seems obvious, is astonishingly not obvious.)
3) Broach the subject of a trade charmingly and delicately, never forgetting that his fantasy team is an extension of his manhood and insulting it potentially means Freud-level emasculation and tears.
4) Have the stones -- and perhaps more importantly, the decency -- to actually give up something meaningful. Do it. None of this matters. Quit being the worst. Be a human. For f**k's sake.