“I’m Coming Home” by Jeff Spencer

Posted on August 21, 2016 by

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JEFF SPENCER (AS TOLD TO Dennis Lazar)
August 21st, 2016

Before anyone ever cared about anything I did, I was a part of the TCFFL. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m both their father and their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with the TCFFL is bigger than Fantasy Football. I didn’t realize that a week ago. I do now.

 

Remember when I resigned from the TCFFL last week? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Auction, for me, was too drastic a change for this time in my life. This past week helped raise me into who I am. I became a better GM and a better man. I learned from living a life that had been where I wanted to go — one without Fantasy. I will always think of the snake draft format as my my first love. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I loved to snake draft because of the GM’s and personalities it had shaped us into. We made sacrifices for each other. I loved being entrusted to lead this team by Tommy Wiseau. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave was the memories I’ve shared with that guy. I’ve talked to him and some of you throughout the week about these great memories. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life.  I also want to thank Riley Cooper, Jamaal Charles and Nick Foles for giving me that first championship. Love you guys.

 

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: I told you that he was just faking.… He and JG had this planned all along. … He couldn’t live without Groupme. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When Pops Lay and I started the TCFFL, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we, The Wiseau’s, won one. But I realized I already knew that feeling in Snake format. Our franchise hasn’t experienced it in Auction. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing an auction trophy home and to shepherd the TCFFL through these uncertain times.

I always believed that I’d return to TCFFL and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After this past week, returning this year wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Judy, is always on the precipice of being pregnant. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family without the TCFFL. I looked at other guys like Tim Kipp and Zac LeMieux, who have had great lives without fantasy, but I wasn’t going to abandon those who I love and those who love me. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of JG, who can be very tough and downright scary/nasty at times. The email threads of hate, the Instagram booing, the hurtful Tweets– seeing all that was hard me and my family. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a young GM like Dylan Thorington, and that GM (Me) made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with JG, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. We’ve hugged it out. We’ve kissed it out. Like we always do. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?.

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I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2013. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a new format and no experience. I will be child learning to walk. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these enthusiastic pragmatists. I think I can help Rob Lay become one of the best chat analysts there ever was. I think I can help elevate Josh Thorington, Nick Pinto, Nick Loynes and Jason Anderson. And I can’t wait to reunite with Dennis Lazar, my spiritual adviser, and Tome Aprik, one of my favorite Spartys.

But this is not about the draft or the Wiseau’s. I feel my calling here goes above Fantasy Football. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in the non-Fantasy world, but I think it can mean more in the league I started. I want the future generations of the TCFFL, like Brayden, Cason, Bowen, Charlotte, Ellie and Evan, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will go to college, meet some mutual friends and start another Fantasy League. That would make me smile. Our families, which have struggled so much among the few 99%ers/Smashers left in this League, needs all the talent it can get.

In the TCFFL, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

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