For the first time in 4 years, I am taking the plunge into fantasy sports. I signed up for a fantasy baseball league in 2003, and after about a month I was burnt out and didn’t check the roster again the rest of the season. My inactivity combined with names like Mark Bellhorn, Fernando Vina and Rob Nen lead to a last place finish in the league, unsurprisingly. Prior to 2003, I played in a fantasy football league, which was a little more fun, as it was lower maintenance, but I still found myself losing interest around week 12 or so. I actually tried to set up a league of my own the season after, but none of my friends signed up, and that was the last time I tried to play any fantasy football.
I was approached (via text message, of course) by my good friend Jims this week, though, and asked to join a fantasy football league he was in. I was reluctant. He said that it was all for fun and real laid back, but I still was kinda lukewarm on the idea. Then he informed me that his team was named the Jon-Benet Rams, and I decided that I definitely had to sign up. That is the kind of thing that tickles my fancy…silliness.
This decision was greatly aided by a severe case of being awake for no good Goddamned reason at 6 am this Saturday morning with noone to talk to or nothing else to do on the internet, so I had time to update my Yahoo avatar (it now includes a bouncing purple octopus) and set my draft rankings, as there is little likelihood I will have the ability to sit through the live draft…and really…if I can’t draft Mark Royals, what’s the point anyway?
So I am going through the rankings trying to determine who to draft first. Michael Vick? Billy Cundiff? The Texans defense? I’m sure as shit not going to base it on anything statistical. I’m going to pick people who I like or who it will be funny to pick. I’m not paying to do this, and even if my team did win it all, I’m not going to win anything for it…so why pretend like I give a shit?
The thing is, I actually think the idea of fantasy football is pretty cool, I just hate what it does to me as a fan. I become stat obsessed and unnecessarily interested in football games that I probably shouldn’t be interested in. On balance, my heart tells me that there is nothing in this world that should have me waiting with baited breath for the recap of a game between the Dolphins and Jets, but if my fantasy team is playing someone whose fantasy team contains players from either of those teams, I suddenly need to know how many yards this running back gained or how many touchdowns that defense gave up.
I’ve decided to give it a shot again, though. This time I will try to reign myself in and just try to have fun with it. It’s a chance to have some fun with some friends and maybe even make some new friends. I already know that they are nerds, so we already have something in common. So, if the situation warrants, I will give you updates on George’s Clams in the Keith Jackson’s Evil Twin fantasy football league.