Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fantasy Football

I have to admit it - I'm hooked. Bad.

Until last year, I always shook my head when I heard people talking about their fantasy football teams. I mean why should I care about how many yards were gained by some obscure running back on a team I didn't like? Do I really need to know who Selvin Young is? Patrick Crayton? Rob Bironas?

The answer is a big YES.

It doesn't help matters that I lean ever so slightly toward being obsessive-compulsive. Although I wouldn't call the condition a disorder, I will admit that it's a beast to deal with sometimes - it gets very hungry and requires regular feeding. Enter fantasy football. I found something I could do where my OC would be an asset.

Last year I joined a league along with several of my coworkers, and learned what it's all about. Most of the other 'owners' drafted their teams and started the same lineup every week, with a few minor exceptions due to bye-weeks or injuries. Due to my lack of experience, I had drafted what I felt was a weak team. Because of this, I would scan the stats of player after player day after day, looking for matchups that would be favorable for the next game. I'd pick them up, use them that week, then throw them away and do it all over again the next week with a different set of players.

Somehow my team (the Dreadsox) managed to get to the Super Bowl, but was up against a team with all-stars at every position. I won, despite fielding a team headed by backups like Jeff Garcia and Ladell Betts. Who, you ask? Exactly. Matchups - they were in the right place at the right time. My obsessive scrambling and tinkering had paid off, and I got paid.

This year, despite taking a new job and moving 1500 miles away, I was still able to play in the same league with the same friends thanks to the internet. After a very slow start, I put together a strong team but fell just short of making the playoffs. The same team I played against in the Super Bowl last year was there again this year, with an even stronger team. He won, and it's a good thing he did - I think he may have gone postal if he hadn't. Seriously. And I wouldn't have blamed him.

Such is the maddening state of fantasy football. It has completely changed the way I watch a game, and the way I follow the NFL season. I don't really have a favorite team anymore - I have MY team. Who cares if the Patriots keep winning - the season is over for the Dreadsox.

I can't wait for next year.

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