No Home? No Computer? No Problem for Winner

Whatever the story of the winning owner in your fantasy football league or contest, there’s a good chance Nathan Harrington has it beat.

The Salem, Mass., man had no permanent home during football season. He had no consistent computer access. He had no ability to work because of a car accident. What he did have, though, was a dream fantasy season.

“It was a ton of bad luck and good luck all rolled into one,” Harrington told the The Salem News, after winning ESPN’s fantasy football grand prize.

In fall 2009, he was in a car accident that, according to The Salem News, “left Harrington with nerve damage and unable to work.” A year later, the apartment building in which the 33-year-old lived with his fiancee and their 3-year-old son was deemed unlivable because of rat infestation, and they had to leave. Harrington and his family had to move into a motel and leave his computer in storage.

Because his team sat among ESPN’s top 50 early in the season, though, he stuck with it.

“My fantasy football was the one thing that kind of seemed to be going right at the time,” Harrington told the paper. “There was a lot to be upset about, but the one thing that was steady and heading in a positive direction was the fantasy football. So I thought I might as well stick with it and ride it out. Thank God I did.”

Well, thank God and some tremendous roster decisions. Knocking on strangers’ doors at the motel, jumping online at the nursing home in which his father lives, using his mother’s computer and making stops at the public library, Harrington managed 26 transactions during the season and carried many key 2010 players.

Arian Foster? Drafted.

Dwayne Bowe? Acquired early in trade, as was Adrian Peterson.

Brandon Lloyd? Claimed off waivers.

His final 0.8-point margin of victory, though, came thanks to starting Tim Tebow — of all people — in an improbable three-touchdown performance (two passing, one rushing) in Week 17 against the Chargers.

Of course, this isn’t a story of big fantasy money saving the Harrington family. His prize was a $3,500 Best Buy gift card, which he’s reportedly selling to his mom for $2,500. (One might wonder: If Mom can go for that deal, why wasn’t she helping previously?) Harrington did say he plans to use that money to move into a new apartment.

He also won’t have to worry about his wife-to-be getting on his case about fantasy football.

“[My fiancee] laughs about it now, but there were times when she was really mad at me,” Harrington told The Salem News. “[She] says she’s never going to say a word about fantasy football when I’m on the computer again.”

(Cop out: We choose not to judge whether her beef might have been legit, as it’s tough to know what Harrington’s other options were during that time.)


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