Commentator Jim Nantz says that Phil Mickelson once suffered a devastating loss in the championship of their fantasy football league.
Nantz believed the loss was so tough that it affected Mickelson’s play on the course the following week.
Nantz’s story is one of many recounted in a new biography of Mickelson by golf writer Alan Shipnuck.
Phil Mickelson loves to talk trash.
Whether he’s needling longtime rival Tiger Woods or trolling fellow golfers who have yet to win a green jacket, Mickelson’s gift of grating gab is up there with the best of them.
But according to a new biography, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar” by Alan Shipnuck, Mickelson’s proclivity for trash talk has at times come back to bite him.
Shipnuck’s book explores every facet of Mickelson’s career, and opens with a chapter that features figures from Mickelson’s life and around the golfing world sharing their best Mickelson story, for better or worse.
In his Phil story, longtime sports commentator Jim Nantz reveals that he and Mickelson have played in the same fantasy football league for years, and that while Mickelson is one heck of a waiver-wire worker, he’s been hit with the fantasy football woes as well .
“He takes it very seriously, and he’s good at it – he has won the league championship a couple of times,” Nantz told Shipnuck. “We hold the draft in person every year in a hotel conference room during the Northern Trust [tournament], and Phil has never missed one. In 2013, he was staying at a different hotel in Jersey City a couple of blocks away, so he walked over … carrying the Claret Jug. “
“Some good wine was drank out of it that night,” Nantz said.
But while Mickelson might be a fun hang on draft night, Nantz says he gets quite serious when the league is on the line.
“The best story is from 2020,” Nantz said. “Phil had Alvin Kamara as his running back when he went for six touchdowns in Week 16. That gave Phil such a commanding lead in the standings it was a virtual certainty he was going to win the title. I’m talking a 99.999 percent probability . “
Chances are plenty of fantasy football managers around the world remember Kamara’s breakout performance against the Vikings on Christmas day.
“He sent out an email to the whole league, gloating. I mean, he went on and on, really laying it on thick. Well, the team that was in second place had Josh Allen as their quarterback, and in the last game of the season, on Monday night, Allen went for 39 points and Phil lost the title by one point. “
Nantz went as far as to say he believed the loss even showed up on the golf course.
“He was crushed,” Nantz said. “Absolutely devastated. He took it so hard I honestly believe it affected his play of him on the West Coast swing.”
Mickelson’s string of results following the fantasy football loss give a bit of credence to Nantz’s theory – in his first three tournaments of the new year, Mickelson had two missed cuts and one T53 finish.
That said, Mickelson would bounce back by summertime, going on to win the PGA Championship in May, becoming the oldest player to ever win a major in the process. He will not, however, defend his title of him, withdrawing from this weekend’s event at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after announcing a leave of absence from competitive golf in February. Mickelson has not played a PGA Tour event since his incendiary comments di lui (to Shipnuck for the book) about a possible breakaway golf tour and about Saudi Arabia came to light.
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