Matthew Berry AKA Talented Mr. Roto, if your fantasy sports roots date back far enough, was one of the first fantasy sports celebrities. Now that I think about it, he might be the only fantasy sports celebrity. He used to run his own website, went by the alias Talented Mr. Roto, and then got picked up by ESPN once his audience grew large enough.
I used to include Talented Mr. Roto’s baseball and basketball rankings in my yearly preseason cheatsheet. So, I find it funny that he became famous for his fantasy football expertise. I sort of lost track of Mr. Roto after he let for ESPN because I don’t frequent the ESPN Fantasy Section, but I knew he had made it big when I saw him on FX’s “The League.” That was actually a really cool moment when he made a guest appearance on The League. A fantasy sports nerd guest appearing on a TV Show… One of “us” had made it bigtime.
Recently, Matthew Berry released his new book on Amazon and it is getting a lot of great early reviews, even by people that don’t like fantasy sports. I was on the fence about buying the book but this excerpt from the book below convinced me that this book is a must-read for fantasy sports enthusiasts:
4. He’s What???
“Travis” had done it the right way. As the commissioner of a work league in 2010, he finished first in the regular season. And then, in the first round of the playoffs, he squeaked out a victory, winning by two points.
Or did he?
Late on Monday, the NFL ruled that in his Week 15 game against the Jets, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had rushed for 99 yards instead of the 100 he was originally credited with. As a result of the stat change a few days later, Travis actually lost his playoff game by two points.
He felt the way you or I would. “I was incredibly upset and felt cheated.”
Of course, the way Travis reacted is probably different than most of us would.
“I went in that night before I thought anyone noticed and changed the totals. However, because commissioner changes are listed, some guys noticed. They confronted me and I admitted what I had done and changed it back. They then told everyone at the office about my cheating.”
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that’s pretty bad. But guess what? That’s not the worst part. Tell them what the worst part is, Travis.
“I am a pastor.”
You heard him. A pastor.
“At the time, I was a staff pastor for a big church in Oklahoma, as was the rest of the league.”
That’s right. Travis cheated in a league full of pastors. “We were in our weekly pastoral staff meeting and we all started yelling at each other. Not really angry, just being aggressive and challenging each other’s code of ethics. Our boss, the senior pastor, did not play in the league. He just sat there staring at us with this look like, ‘I can’t believe I hired these idiots to help me pastor this church.’”
Honestly, I can’t either.
If you are a fantasy sports addict, then you can relate to the pain the pastor felt when his precious 100 yard rushing performance got corrected to a 99 yard performance. Funny as it may be, the initial $30 price was definitely on the high side. Luckily, it is currently selling for a much more reasonable $17.49 and can even be bought for $5 cheaper if you want a Kindle Edition for your Kindle or iPad. Leave a comment below if you have already read it and have an opinion on it. I have put Fantasy Life on my reading list, but there are still one or two ahead of it in my book queue.