As a special Christmas treat, here's a little story about how ol' Grinchy Vogt came to learn the true meaning of FPL. Merry Christmas, Gentlemen.
I made a video of the story. If you prefer the text, it is just below the video.
Most of the Gents, they liked Christmas a lot...
But the Gentlemen struggling in the League did NOT!
These Gents hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
And only the FPL Gods know the reason.
For Maverick Mike, his transfers weren't right,
It could be, perhaps, that his senses took flight,
But the Gods think the most likely reason of all,
Is that he likes to fight back, he enjoys the brawl.
Whatever the reason, Marc, Parv and Birkett,
Stood there on Christmas Eve, no worse could it get.
The Wildman, Mack Daddy and Grinchy Vogt, all so dour,
Looking at the league standings made the seven oh so sour.
For they knew they, the Irrelevant basement-dwellers,
Would struggle to catch up with the rest of the fellas,
So Grinchy Vogt came up with a plan and a sneer,
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"
Then he growled, to all the other Gents basement-slumming,
"We must find some way to keep Christmas from coming!
For, tomorrow, all the Gents above us, I bet!
Will check to see just how much higher they get!
And then! They'll check points! Oh, the points! Points! Points! Points!
There's one thing I hate! All the POINTS! POINTS! POINTS! POINTS!
Lord Geord! Dan the Dragon! Deadly Daz and King Ding!
Hitman Hodgson, Ginger Ben and Flash Funk will sing!
Martinez saves! Salah, he plays!
Welcome, Christmas! Come this way!
Son scores again! Bruno, hooray!
Welcome, Christmas! Christmas Day!
The Masterchef and Jockin' Jeeves,
Dan the Ox, they make us peeve!
Sirloin Sean and Iceman Dale!
Slick Rick! Big Steve! They make us wail!
And Helling! Red Hot Rob! Who Horner! THEY'LL SING!
All them Gents! They'll sing! THEY'LL SING! THEY'LL SING!
And the more Si Vogt thought of this Gent's Christmas Sing,
The more Si Vogt thought, "We must stop this whole thing!"
Why for so many years we've put up with it now!
We must stop their points from coming! But how?"
Then Mikey got an idea! An awful idea!
Mikey P got a wonderful, awful idea!
"I know what we can do!" Mikey laughed in his throat.
"I'll make us each a Santy Claus hat and coat!"
"We'll go down their chimneys, through their fireplaces!"
"We'll steal their points and their Wildcards! Imagine their faces!"
And so, the Sour Seven, they got in their sleigh,
Determined to have their revenge on this day,
"This is stop number one," the old Grinchy Vogt hissed,
As he climb the King's roof, empty bags in his fist.
Then he slid down the chimney, as tight as it got,
But if Santa could do it, then so could Grinch Vogt.
He got stuck only once, he had to squeeze hard.
Then ol’ Grinchy Vogt stole the King's first Wildcard.
He saw Dinga's four titles hung all in a row.
"These trophies," he grinched, "are the next things to go!"
Then he slithered and slunk, with a grim facial gurn,
Over to the King's captain, and stole his returns!
Next was Deadly Daz's, where he lay still a-bed,
Vogt stole his green arrow, replaced it with a red!
Then Mikey P went straight in through Flash's front door,
He took his free transfers, left him a minus-four!
Birkett sneaked over to wee Ginger Ben,
"He's not finishing a gameweek at the top again!"
Big-Time's second target was the Rap Rob Roy,
With glee, he destroyed his FPL joy!
Wildman and Mack Daddy, they worked as a team,
Seeking to destroy the Appleby dream,
Red Hot Rob and Sirloin round the Butcher's shop,
All of their new signings, now destined to flop!
Metal Marc was checking off all of his list,
Helling and Horner, their points won't be missed!
Parvesh, he took Slick Rick's Free Hit, 'cause he could!
Then replaced the Iceman's Bruno with Greenwood!
Hitman and the Dragon, two Hodgson's in bed,
"May the best man win," at the start they had said,
Then Mikey P stole in and took their goodwill,
"Their Christmas is ruined! They'll fight! Yes they will!"
And then Maverick Mikey, such a busy man,
Hobbled the defenders of the young Oxley, Dan,
His one final mission, seeing that the Masterchef,
Would be cheated by VAR! Mikey paid off the ref!
Grinch Vogt had saved his fav'rite 'til the end,
He wanted to drive Lord Geord round the bend,
All the Christmas cards gone! Vogt put up pink hearts!
Like the texts Simon sends when gameweeks fall apart!
Now that teasing was just phase one of his plan,
'Cause ol' Grinchy Vogt was a bitter old man,
He hated to see a smile on the Lord's lips,
So into his sack went all four of Geord's chips!
It was a quarter of dawn, all the Gents still a-bed,
All the Gents still a-snooze when Vogt packed up his sled,
Mikey P had their returns, their clean sheets, their cup wins!
Birkett had the goals! Green arrows! Their captains!
Ten thousand feet up, up the side of Mount Crumpet,
They rode with their load to the tiptop to dump it!
"No joys for the boys!" they were grinchily humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!"
Mikey P then said to the rest of the crew,
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the Gents all above us will all cry, boo-hoo!"
"That's a noise," cried ol' Si, "that I simply must hear!"
He paused, and Grinch Vogt put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.
But this sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!
Every Gent without returns, the tall and the small,
Was singing without any returns at all!
They hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And Grinch Vogt, with his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. "How could it be so?
It came without returns! It came without fun!
They had no clean sheets! Assists or goals! None!"
He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore.
Then Grinch Vogt thought of something he hadn't before.
Maybe FPL fun isn't about wins and glories,
Maybe FPL is more about banter and stories!
What happened then? Well, Jez Messing's report says,
That Grinch Vogt's small heart grew three sizes that day!
And then the true meaning of FPL Christmas came through,
And Grinch Vogt found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!
And the Sour Seven's hearts didn't feel quite so tight,
So they whizzed with their load through the bright morning light.
With a song in their hearts, they descended Mount Crumpet
Mikey P blowing a tune on his trumpet.
They rode round the houses, gave the Gents back their chips.
They gave them all back with a smile on their lips.
Birkett gave back their green arrows, assists and their goals,
McMahon and the Wildman, they had smiles in their souls.
Mikey, Parvesh and Marc brought some food for a feast!
And he, he himself, Grinch Vogt carved the roast beast!
Welcome Christmas! Bring your cheer!
Cheer to all Gents, far and near!
Christmas Day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be,
Just as long as we have we.
Then the Boxing Day football we will savour,
May the FPL Gods be in your favour.
"One of the most insightful works I've read on mental health problems in men ... It is very well-written and a real page-turner. I would recommend it to anyone.
Dancing With Disorder
"It communicates a deep understanding of troubled individuals who suffer from the challenges of mental disorders ... Courageous, wise, humorous and thought-provoking ... an easy-to-read, surprising and subtly moving chronicle.
The FPL Nightmare: How to Lose the World's Greatest Mini-League in 38 Simple Steps
The FPL Nightmare II:
The Crying, the Hits and the VAR Probe
The FPL Nightmare III:
The Lawes Rank Redemption
The Complete FPL Nightmare Trilogy:
The Epic Quest From A 4.8m Rank To A Top 0.1% Finish
on Kindle: £3.99
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Having completed the FPL Nightmare book trilogy, Lawes now provides weekly video updates on his progress in his new FPL Expert Mode challenge, along with tips and advice for his rival FPL managers.
Of course, the FPL Gods remain bastards, and they conspire to make his advice look foolish.