As is tradition, here is the FPL Nightmare Christmas Special.
Merry Christmas, Gentlemen. Hope you have an awesome day.
Once in royal King Ding's City
Stood Lord Geord, hands in his head,
With another double hit, he
Doomed his arrows to turn red,
As the Lord became more riled
Ding laid down a challenge wild.
'Keep on playing 'til you win it
You must retire as the King,
Go a season without a hit
See the joy that can bring,
Then, instead of chances blown
Maybe you will take my throne.'
Geord allowed himself seasons three
To ascend this lofty peak,
The first began appallingly
Four point one mil in ten weeks,
Big Steve was so far ahead
Geord's chances buried and dead.
The King, ‘til then, had been lazy
Half-arsed defence of his crown,
He saw Geord drive himself crazy
Then chose to hunt Big Steve down,
To prove his style was the best
Way to complete the King's Quest.
It came down to the Final Day
Ton-nineteen points comeback trail,
Ding emerged from the hectic fray
Four-time champ, the king to hail,
Ahead of Geord was his brother
Deadly Daz, and five others.
Lord Geord finished down in sixth place
Ton five nine points off the King,
Personal best O.R. saved face
Shred of hope on which to cling,
FPL Nightmare endures
The King's Road the only cure.
Season two, Geord's chance to atone
And make up for his mistakes,
New contenders fought for the throne
Ginger Ben, what a piss-take,
The long-term table-topper
In his first season proper.
Big Steve, he was out for glory
To redeem his great heartbreak,
For the Lord, the same old story
Too many hits he did take,
Six gameweeks, four point eight mil
Title dreams brought down to nil.
It became a year of wonder
Watching the story unfold,
Seeing tricks that he could plunder
From the tale the Dragon told,
As he fought off Ginger Ben
Jeeves, the Grinch and Steve again.
Season two had so much drama
As the Dragon soared above,
Geord suffered the hurtful karma
Of giving the Grinch a shove,
At your peril you mock Vogt
From nineteenth to the Bronze spot.
No title win for ol' Simon
But victory from defeat,
From coal he chiselled a diamond
Run of form, could not be beat,
Bad starts can be overcome
No more hits, the rule of thumb.
For the Butcher, double heartbreak
Silver medal once again,
The King's crown, the Dragon did take
Just fifth place for Ginger Ben,
For the first time, Jeeves finished
Fourth, no medal, diminished.
King Ding finished way off the pace
FPL no fun no more,
Intensity he could not face
Obsession become a chore,
He enjoyed a year of rest
Satisfied he was the best.
So, unto the final season
Two years down, one more to go,
No more would Geord commit treason
He swore to walk the King's Road,
One last chance to win the bet
The toughest challengers yet.
King Ding, Dragon and Jockin' Jeeves
Three champions set to clash,
Ginger Ben, the Grinch and Big Steve
Mikey P, Hitman and Flash,
Masterchef, Big-Time and Ox
So many names to outfox.
Deadly Daz introduced Geord's niece
To the game, another twist,
Seventeen new names to the crease
Hardened vets round out the list,
All filled up on title dreams
Pondering their week one teams.
Geord reached out to the King again
To discuss his strategy,
Not yet begun, feeling the strain
Of the third year of his three,
Geord was dealt a hammer blow
When the King responded, ‘No.’
'I will not discuss or advise
You don't listen anyway,
If you want to achieve the prize
You must do this your own way,
Face the King's Quest on your own
Have the strength to walk alone.’
Gameweek One saw ol' Grinchy Vogt
Surge into an early lead,
Tried to make others lose the plot
Used mind games to plant doubt-seeds,
Mo twenty-four, Vardy one
Now eighteenth, his season done.
Hellier, making his debut
Replaced the Grinch in first place,
All his dreams, he thought had come true
Massive smile across his face,
The nightmare followed the dream
Unlucky Gameweek Thirteen.
For six weeks, there's been a new name
In top spot for the first time,
Fighting hard to play a new game
His own Everest to climb,
No hits brought the best reward
First place for the Nightmare Lord.
It all seemed to be going well
As he emerged from the pack,
One by one, the scheduled games fell
Now he finds himself clawed back,
As the Lord starts to look frail
Jockin' Jeeves, hot on his tail.
As we enjoy Christmas Dinner
Thoughts will turn to Boxing Day,
Rap Rob Roy, the proven winner
Will three points hold him at bay?
Go Cartin and Chancellor
Could they make up even more?
Mighty Mouse and wee Ginger Ben
Still a threat, not far away,
Big Steve starting to rise again
King Ding very much in play,
Every week the challenge grows
As such highs give way to lows.
Best chance yet to achieve his goal
Now or never for Lord Geord,
Pressure starting to take its toll
Fending off the chasing horde,
He is Christmas Number One
But his advantage is gone.
And in royal King Ding's city
Story coming to an end,
Getting to the nitty-gritty
Soon Messing puts down his pen,
Will the Quest be completed?
Or will Geord be defeated?
Three years down, twenty weeks to go
Until the grand conclusion,
Hoped-for joy, expected sorrow
Either way, resolution,
To the King's storified dare
To Geord's FPL Nightmare.
So the battle we must savour
Up until our tale is done,
May the Gods be in your favour
Through the final closing run,
Until then, Gents, let me say
Have a merry Christmas Day.
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"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 no longer provides weekly updates on his progress. Instead, he occasionally offers advice to his fellow FPL managers.
Of course, the FPL Gods remain bastards, and they conspire to make his advice look foolish.