One of the perks of coming in first (or last) in Chode League is the privilege of writing an oral history celebrating your accomplishment which will be enshrined on this website for as long as we keep paying $26 a year for the domain name. Below, our smartest and stupidest owners of last year come together to share their versions of an unforgettable season.
“You Trying to Get the Pipe?”
Worst Place Champion: Mike
MIKE: SHAME. Regret. Disappointment. Failure. These were all of the emotions I felt after the regular season of last year’s Chode League came to a close. I led the league in transactions, and I probably led the league in “time spent worrying about how to improve Chode League.” I helped refine the Chode League scoring formula, I spoke with Commissioner Ricky about the league often, and I was a premier judge of the league. Despite my efforts, I failed to make the Chode Playoffs last year. I could have simply blamed bad luck, but that is the nature of the beast that is Chode League: you can never predict chodery. Chode League is much like Settlers of Catan in the sense that you can have the greatest strategy of all, but then 3 can be rolled six times in a row and you will find a way to lose. During the offseason, I was determined to come back the following year with a roster and gameplan that was better, more reliable, and above all else, chodier.
Enter the draft, which I knew would be incredibly important. Not only had I spent too much time hunting for free agents last year, but with this year’s Chode Leag-ue sporting twenty teams, I knew the waiver wire would be more barren than ever. I researched quality chodes from last year, I analyzed how trades would raise and lower the chodiness of certain players, and I looked into which rookies would be placed into situations that would breed chodiness. However, the most important decision I made on draft day had nothing to do with my player selection. Rather than go with my standard team name I’ve used throughout the years, Victorious Egret, I decided to switch it up. Victorious Egret is a great pun, but I needed something chodier. I looked no further than the ringmaster of all things absurd on my beloved Knicks, J.R. Smith. In honor of his chodiness and as a wish for him to guide me as my guardian angel, I chose the team name “You Trying To Get The Pipe?” and accompanied my new team name with one of the greatest photos of all time.
The auction style draft began, and I knew I had to be smart about which players I chose. I knew I had to refrain from spending too much money on one particular player, as taking that risk had been my demise last year. I let big ticket chodes like DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee, and Kendrick Perkins go despite the temptation of guaranteed Shaqtin A Fool appearances. I knew I had to be smarter with my draft money. I wanted to build the chodey Spurs, not the chodey Heat/Cavs.
My first pick was Larry Sanders, a player that I did not necessarily have my eyes set on, but who fell into my lap at an affordable price. My second pick was the man I knew I wanted all along, Jason Thompson. The two-time reigning Chodiest Man of the Year had been on my roster the previous two seasons, and I knew I needed him back in my life. I then drafted Carl Landry completely by accident (I was trying to ramp up his price but no one bid after me). This minor setback was a wake-up call that reminded me I need to be more alert and careful in this clusterfuck of a draft.
My next draft selection was my first expensive purchase, who I had identified as my #1 target before the draft began. Evan Turner, who was incredibly chodey in the previous year, was now a member of the Boston Celtics. With little talent around him, Turner was going to be asked to be a primary scoring option, and I was confident this would result in an incredibly chodey season. I snagged Rudy Gobert and Enes Kanter, who were both chodey bigs that occasionally found themselves on Shaqtin A Fool. Khris Middleton was added simply because I needed a SF (statistically the least chodey position), he was cheap, and he was chodey last year. I then spent some big bucks to acquire Mario Chalmers and Dante Exum, who were both being placed in the situation of being asked to be primary point guards on their teams while also being bad at basketball. The Exum pick was especially sweet because I outbid Commissioner Ricky by $1 more than he had remaining in order to secure that only I could draft him. If champion Tyler taught me anything last year, it was that Chode League drafts are won in the final rounds when you have more money to throw around than everyone else.
My next pick was arguably the highlight of the evening. With most people out of money, I nominated someone I knew I wholeheartedly wanted on my team: J.R. Smith. The fact that no one had put him up for auction yet in the draft was absurd to me. I knew that my gameplan was to let everyone spend their money so I could get him for cheap, but never in a million years did I expect to draft THE J.R. Smith for one dollar. ONE DOLLAR. This was a sign from the heavens. Clearly, J.R. was watching over me after I decided to name my team after him. The fact that I only spent $1 on J.R. left me with $30 to sign two players. At this point, most people did not have over $10, so I was at a huge advantage to do something monumental.
I made a bold move, and spent my remaining big bucks on Derrick Rose, outbidding the field and the autodraft bots who thought he was a viable fantasy option. It was a risky move, but after seeing Rose shoot abysmally from the field in the team USA trials, I knew he had the potential to be chodey. With my final pick I chose Hollis Thompson because I had never heard of him and he was the starting center of the Philadelphia 76ers, so I knew he probably wasn’t very good.
THE SEASON STARTS
With the season underway, I was incredibly satisfied with my roster, but I knew it wasn’t perfect. I won the first two matchups handedly, but certain players on my team simply weren’t chodey enough. Due to an unfortunate injury to Ricky Rubio, I knew a chode was about to be born: Zach “Fuck Me” LaVine. I shied away from LaVine in the Chode League draft because I knew he would be the third string guard behind Rubio and Mo Williams. However, this injury opened a short and wide door for Zach, and the room he entered was lined with chode-wood flooring.
Throughout the year, I acted as I do in every fantasy sports league I have ever participated in, and started adding and dropping players rapidly until I found solid contributors I could rely on. Isaiah Thomas, Shabazz Napier, Rodney Hood, Lance Thomas, and Nick Calathes came and went, among countless others. However, I did secure Elijah Millsap through this process, and he remained an important member of my squad for the rest of the year.
THE PAIN OF SACRIFICE
Since I was so proud of the roster I drafted, it was tough to part with some of my players that were underachieving in their chodiness. Enes Kanter proved to be a disappointment all season, mainly due to his lack of foolish actions of the Shaqtin nature. He was a regular on Shaqtin last year, but simply was not being enough of an idiot this season to warrant a spot on my roster. Derrick Rose was another one that was tough to let go. I assumed Rose would be a polarizing player; he would either be incredibly chodey or significantly efficient. Despite my desire to see my risky sleeper pick come to fruition, I eventually had to part ways with him. He spent too much time on the sidelines and was too often performing well when he saw the hardwood. I dropped him just at the right time, as he underwent meniscus surgery a few weeks after I let him go.
One of my greatest additions to my roster through free agency was the chode we all know and love, Michael Beaseley. Once I saw the HEAT signed him to a 10-day contract, I immediately placed a significantly large offer for him on the free agent auction. I was confident in his ability to be an enormous chode, and boy oh boy did he prove me right.
My free agency was not perfect, however. I dropped the ball by forgetting to increase my bid on Henry Walker past $1 before the deadline, and had to witness him go off for a 50-point chode outing against me one week later. I spent $50 chode league dollars on Tim Frazier, who was dropped one week later. I signed Draymond Green for a week, thinking that his high number of fouls and technicals he obtained one week would sustain themselves, and he erupted for a week’s worth of smart and efficient basketball. It was not a perfect season by any means, and there was no more evident proof of that than Evan Turner.
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE EVAN TURNER
Evan Turner, the man who I believed would lead the charge of my team into chodey battle, developed into the truest form of chode. When I say he was the truest form of chode, I do not mean that he went out every night and raked in the chode points. Instead, I mean that he either put up solid chode numbers, or he found a way to get the lamest triple doubles that sunk me just enough to lose matchups. Much to my dismay, Turner finished the season with three triple doubles (13-11-12, 10-12-10, 19-12-10), the last of which came against Chode League’s #1 ranked team of the season in the playoff semifinals. I was familiar with this sort of situation, as Lance Stephenson did the same number on me one year ago. Like Turner, Lance either put up great numbers or got a dinky triple double. This sort of output makes this type of chode incredibly difficult to drop. You don’t want to drop him because he often produces great chode games. You tell yourself that the triple doubles are flukes (10-11-10? Of course that’s a fluke! He won’t do that at least two more times this season…). I never dropped Lance last year, and I never dropped Evan this year. However, the scare Evan gave me in the semifinals left me with no choice but to relegate him to the bench for the finals. He almost single-handedly prevented me from pulling off the greatest upset in Chode League history, so I was not going to even give him the opportunity to ruin my first trip to the finals. Evan was not the reliable chode I thought he would be, but the fact that he was chodey even in his chodiness made him all the more frustratingly perfect.
Overall, I was incredibly proud of my roster. Throughout the year, they kept finding ways to be chodey, even though I only had one player make one Shaqtin a Fool appearance. I did not have one superstar chode; I had a team of chodes banding together in their stupidity to put together a true force to be reckoned with. My franchise pick, the Brooklyn Nets, was chodey enough to be featured in the Chode League Curse Lottery twice and fortunate enough to win it once. I tackled a team that went on a 19 game winning streak to make it to the finals, I dismantled my opposition in the finals. It was the perfect storm of a season that came together beautifully. Not in the way I planned, not in the way I predicted, but in a way that I could not control.
That is what made it perfect. Chode Leage cannot be predicted. Chode League cannot be tamed. Chode League is a vicious beast, and all you can do is hop on the saddle and hope for the best. Sometimes you fall off immediately, sometimes you get crushed by the horns, but sometimes… sometimes you ride it into the night and bask in your glory. I am honored to be the 2014-15 Chode League champion. I look forward to the challenge of doing what no man has done before: defending the Chode League title. Bring it on, you chodes.
“Albert and the Ensteins”
First Place Champion: Kevin
In honor of fielding Chode League’s smartest team for two years in a row, Albert and the Ensteins have received a personalized Chode League banner, which will cycle through randomly along with all the others from now until the end of our domain name subscription. Next up, Kevin’s article.
KEVIN: Goddammit I keep forgetting. My genius speaks for itself.
Welp, that’s it everyone. Hope you’re all as excited for 2015-16 as we are. Remember to venmo your league dues to @ChodeLeague.