Tuesday, November 6, 2007

to veto or not to veto

this is a sore spot in any fantasy league. the veto has wide-ranging views attached to it. if you've ever played fantasy sports then you know what can happen whenever a trade comes through that you don't think is "fair". some guys get all bent out of shape because a trade helps their closest competition and in so doing, it hurts them. some don't see why others "trade for need", which is often a necessity. if you've ever played in a keeper league then you more than sometimes see a "dump trade" as somebody tries to solidify his chances at next year while throwing away his chances at this year. the dump trade is often called collusive but let me just say, it isn't.
the veto is evil. it's a fickle bitch that will bite you on the ass the next time you try to improve your team through a trade. you want to hurt your league then go ahead and veto a trade simply because it hurts you. you just know that the next deal you make (and probably many more) is going to get at least one veto attached to it. it'll be attached out of spite, regardless of whether or not the deal itself is fair.
i commish our work league(s) and i'm very up-front with everyone prior to the start of each season; if you want to trade then be sure that you want to that trade since i'm adverse to coming to your rescue with a trade veto. if you make a mistake and hit the wrong button then that's another story or if you flat out tell me that you're cheating in some way so your buddy can win, then i'll veto, otherwise everything goes through. the only vetos that should occur are because of collusion or a manual error. in other words, unless somebody's cheating then everyone has the right to run their team the way they see fit.
what of league integrity? what of fairness to everyone? sour grapes and immaterial discussions. if you think that a trade is unfair, or somebody's getting fleeced then why do you allow a sheep in your league in the first place? are you angry that someone got shafted or that you weren't the one getting a great deal? in most cases people veto a deal because they think it makes one team too strong. well let me ask you this, did the NHL veto the Thornton trade because the Bruins are idiots and it made the Sharks too strong? of course not. the NHL made their choices when they allowed franchises into the fold and if an organization makes decisions that run themselves into the ground then so be it.
Self-determination is a social work concept but it has it's play in this field too. put simply it's the concept that the individual has the right to choose his/her own path. they do, and you do too. you want to make choices that affect you, go ahead and make them. my opinion of your choices is immaterial since i don't have to live with your choices. so why get bent out of shape because some hockey newb gets virtually brutalized on the trading table? you don't have to live with his choices, he does. and your view that a deal isn't fair comes down to sour grapes. if you could make a great deal for yourself and you were sure that the guy across the table from you wanted the deal itself, would you do it? of course you would. so essentially you get bent out of shape because you didn't get to a great deal for yourself before the other guy did. that's the game we play.
numerous times i hear how any potential deal needs to be fair in order for it to go through but i say NO. any potential deal needs to be fair IN THE MINDS OF THE TWO GUYS INVOLVED! only. period. end of sentence. what bearing does the opinion of an uninvolved party have upon my deal? nothing. why should what i want to do with my team need nodded assent from the majority of guys i'm in a league with? guys argue that "it's in the rules so we have to allow for a veto", well then change the rules. making a league with a Commish veto only is simple, and then tell your Commish NEVER to use the veto (within carefully crafted parameters).
some examples for you (and these have happened to me as Commish with veto only powers):
M and G make a trade and it looks lopsided but that's because you know the goalie that M just traded for isn't the starting goalie for his team that M believes is the case. M comes to Commish and says "i didn't realize that the goalie was just sent to the minors and if i had known that i wouldn't have made that deal". fine M, i believe you. i then talk to G who admits this was an error trade and M can have it rescinded. Commish vetos.
L and E make a trade that is very much in E's favour. Commish is talking to L about it and L admits "i didn't even look at the trade offer, i just accepted it because i don't care about my team anymore". Commish sees this as collusive since L is admitting that he isn't paying attention to his team anymore and the deal would help his buddy E win. trade veto'd and L isn't invited back next year.
Commish and S make a deal after Commish sees a guy on waivers who doesn't belong there but doesn't have the waiver priority to make a successful claim. Commish approaches S who has the 1st priority and asks what the price would be for him to make a waiver claim and then trade that guy to Commish for the pre-set price. S sees the situation as getting something for nothing and asks for an upgrade on his worst player. in the end the deal is a low end defenseman for a medium end center. the deal is upheld since there was no evidence that S didn't want this deal in question but the league has an email explosion since nobody trades a C3 for a D6.

things get sticky sometimes. people take stuff personally, even in a league where you're supposed to be playing for fun. if you're playing for something a little more than fun then let me suggest an impartial party acting as Commish to resolve all matters. if you want to use me for that i'd be willing to stand, just be aware that my first question is probably going to be "well, how is your league set up?" if it's already laid out in your league settings then you'll need to follow those rules, even if you don't like it.
in a perfect fantasy world, every trade goes through. if you don't think a deal is fair then you need to come up with some proof that somebody is cheating in order to gain an advantage. no proof? no veto. even if somebody is trading Ben Clymer to get Ryan Getzlaf.

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