Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It ain't Knute Rockne

I am giving up my addiction. I only picked it up this fall. It was given to me by a co-worker. He told me it would be fun to try and he was heavily into it. A few of my friends were doing it, he said. It would consume whole days of my fall and winter. I would secretly check in on my addiction while at work and would relish when others who had this same addiction struggled. I envisioned myself continuing this lifestyle for years even if I knew it was destructive. It made me care about things I didn’t really care about and wasted hours on end for things that were meaningless to me, but they satisfied my urges and fulfilled the gaping void that my life has supposedly been without this addiction.

Of course I am talking about fantasy football. The aggravating, alienating, and mind-numbing game I was forced to play this fall by co-workers and friends alike. It has held my Sunday’s hostage for the last 12 weeks. I would wake up worrying that my players would not suit up and hit the field, not because I cared whether their team won or lost, but because I needed their points. I even found myself rooting against my favorite team if a star player on my fantasy team was up against them and I needed some “pointage.” My last straw of the absurdity of this stupid game is having a 40 point lead in the fourth quarter last night and watching my opponents reserve players collect 50 points against me in garbage time. My quarterback was so lights out and efficient it actually cost me the game because he stopped scoring.

There is no mercy rule in fantasy football. It seems the flaw in fantasy is when your players are too good that they still cost you wins. You can’t even win for making the right picks. This may be a fun past-time and a way to keep Sundays interesting but I am finally free of caring about the Titans vs. the Rams, or the Browns vs. the Jaguars, because my opponent may have a third-string tight end who catches a touchdown pass in the final seconds and gives my opponent a win. You can read the projections and scout the match ups and actually even watch the horrible games as if somehow your eyes and attention will somehow will your player to maximum point potential, but at the end of the day this is merely the fantasy football team “owner” turning the actual player into some sort of stock projection and we all know my feeling about stocks.

We’ve turned what was a fun game into a bad investment. My projections were faulty. I lost and lost and lost again even when I was projected to annihilate my opponents. And worse than the CEO’s who fire employees I was the owner who released players because that one week they didn’t produce. I’ve proven once again our culture’s obsession with numbers and instant gratification by playing this distracting time-consuming game within a game, that requires nothing of me but to sit on my fat ass and watch the game.

Or I could just be upset my team lost.