Quitting Fantasy Football
For the past 11 years, August marked a time of unique excitement and anticipation for me. Cheat sheets were printed, strategies were formulated. The slates were wiped cleaned and anything was possible. It was like New Year's Eve.
No longer though, since I have officially quit Fantasy Football.
I don't know how, but Fantasy Football managed to turn my relaxing Sundays into 12 hour marathons of roller-coaster, maddening, torture. It was nice when my team won. But it was worse when my team performed badly and life cease to have meaning.
Exaggerations aside, here are the main reasons why I'm leaving Fantasy Football:
Completely alters the way I watch football.
I would nitpick every miscue my players made and react irrationally afterwards. I can't believe Calvin Johnson dropped that pass! Come on Peyton, your tight end was WIDE open and you decided to throw into double-coverage? Okay, this time hand the ball off or take a sack as long as you stay in field goal range or throw it to anyone EXCEPT Reggie Wayne.
It use to be simply rooting for a team to score and win was good enough. Now it only mattered if certain players scored or touched the ball.
It's a part-time job.
Fantasy Football has evolved over the years and the work required to stay competitive is ridiculous. A typical week for me would look something like this:
Sun - Watch football from 11am to 10pm.
Mon - Keep track of MNF game, prepare for waivers.
Tue - Research players to add/drop.
Wed - View waivers, scour free agents to pick ups.
Thu - Adjust roster for Thu night game. Keep track of game.
Fri - Day off.
Sat - Prepare final roster and make last minute substitutions.
This is on top of the time spent listening to sports talk radio, reading "expert" blogs and articles, and watching FFB shows on ESPN. Of course, all this may not even have been necessary, which brings me to my next point.
It's mainly a game of luck.
It didn't matter how much analysis I did or how risky my moves were. In the end, success in Fantasy Football is 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill. There are so many variables that are out of your control: injuries, off-field issues, suspensions.
Two years ago, I finished the regular season 12-1 and promptly lost in the first round of the playoffs to the worst team. Suffice to say, I was irked. In any given week, anything and everything could happen, which gets tiresome.
I understand for most people, Fantasy Football gets them more into football. It makes meaningless, unwatchable games interesting and fun. It allows people to compete and measure themselves against others.
At the very least, it's a good way to bond and stay in touch with friends.
Perhaps I've outgrown Fantasy Football, if there is such a thing. All I know is, what use to be entertaining and enjoyable is now a chore and stressful. I certainly won't miss being glued to my TV, computer, and phone watching football and checking stat lines all day.
I use to laugh at all my friends who had to go to the mall or run errands with their significant others on Sundays. Now that I look back on it, they were probably laughing at me too. I hope to wean myself off the addiction that is football one day. For now, I'll enjoy watching football games casually, and acknowledge it as a step towards reclaiming my Sundays back.