I’m a baseball guy.
I always have been and always will be. I can watch pretty much any baseball game and be happy. The same can’t be said about football.
Despite, at one point, being the beat writer at a newspaper for high school football, I’ve never been much of a football guy. I can enjoy a game and high school is fun to watch and cover. I learned a lot over the years being the football guy at the one paper I worked for. But, the intricate details still evade me.
I’m a Colts fan, so I pay attention to them. I don’t mind a couple of other teams, such as the Packers and Giants, so I’ll somewhat pay attention to what they do. Outside of that, I’m pretty oblivious to football at the pro level.
With colleges, it’s even worse. I like Notre Dame. I’ll watch them most of the time, but I can’t usually name you starters or anything like that. I just like Notre Dame. I don’t really watch much else when it comes to college football.
The way I used to see what was going on in football was through fantasy football. Having to prepare for a draft gave me the incentive to having a clue about football and who could or is a good player. The problem is, I often drafted with my heart more than my head.
During the year, I stuck with my team for the most part. Sure, I’d make a few moves on the free agent wire, but it would be very rare for me to actually make a trade. It wasn’t that I might not like another player, it was more about me thinking the guy I drafted would go crazy and become a fantasy stud if I traded him.
Oh the life of fantasy football owners.
This year, for the first time in more than a dozen years, I’m not in a fantasy football team.
For the most part, the decision was financially driven. The reality is, with my employment situation, paying $150 to play in a fantasy football league (one I co-founded, for the record) didn’t make any sense. I’ve had a partner the past few years, but he’s been needing to tighten the wallet a bit, too. We tried to find a third person to no avail, so I respectfully backed out of the league.
It wasn’t without great thought.
Another other offered to be a majority owner in my team. He basically said he would be a money backer and I would run the team as I saw fit and he’d not be involved (he really wouldn’t be able to be, considering he would have had money invested). In the end, he’d only cash in if I did anything to place.
It was a thoughtful and appreciated offer, but I turned it down.
See, truthfully, fantasy football has lost its luster in my eyes. I don’t pay attention enough. I don’t get into it like I used to and, honestly, it’s not as fun for me.
When we first started this league, the other commissioner did all the stats by hand and would send them to me. Then I’d turn them into a weekly story. I had fun with it. I’d poke at others and I’d make it entertaining — as much as I could. But as time wore on, we switched to CBS Sportsline, which took away the personal feel. Even a switch to Yahoo! (to save money) wasn’t going to bring back that personal feel.
So, without any regret, I stepped away.
This would have been the 10th year of that league. I would have liked to have been around for that year, but I’m just not into it. I won’t be upset knowing I don’t have to worry about lineups or trades or free agent deadlines or anything like that.
I don’t have to get any cold sweats wondering if I benched somebody or if there was a bye week or anything like that.
Instead, if I feel like watching a football game, I will.
And the beauty of it is I won’t worry about Peyton Manning or some other quarterback not having a great game. Or worry that my running back is barely getting any carries. Or that a wide receiver dropped two would-be touchdowns.
There’s no care that a certain defense allowed 24 points.
Or that a kicker sent two easy field goals wide right.
Nope, no worries.
I have to admit something, too. I’m happy about that. The past few years, I’ve lost interest in fantasy football — and, for the most part, fantasy sports in general. I don’t always pay attention and my entry fees become donations to winners. Sometimes the fees aren’t so bad, so you can somewhat deal with it. Or, the sports are such where if you catch it quick enough, you can right the ship.
Football isn’t either of those.
And so, I go this year without fantasy football. And I’m happy about it. The draft is usually decently fun, but it often drags. I didn’t have to sit through it. I also don’t have to worry about day-to-day or week-to-week operations of the team and the hope it will perform. And, I don’t have to worry about hoping to at least break even.
I know many people who are fanatical with this game. They do a lot — study the stats, watch everything etc. I’m not like that. The one year I won the league, I got on a great run and had a healthy team. That’s rare.
It’s safe to say my fantasy football days are behind me. When I originally decided to get out of it this year, I held it in the back of my mind that I would return next year. I have a feeling this is a more permanent thing for me. And I’m OK with that.
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