The Only Reason Why I Wake up Before 10 a.m. on a Sunday Morning

Many of you are well into your fantasy football season this year and your optimism is extremely high. You might be dominating your league because of your amazing draft or because of the sleepers that you have picked up. Even if you’re not doing so well, there is enough time in the season to make a comeback. I warn you, however, that the sunny days will not always be there for you. Fantasy football has the ability to consume you and take over your life and your mind.

I say these things because I have experienced them myself. I became obsessed with trying to win the money pot, and more importantly, gain superiority over my peers by defeating them at a game that revolves around a truly masculine sport. One’s competitive drive is displayed during fantasy sports; the desire to win at any cost is extremely evident.

I first played a fantasy sport in the fall of 2007 when I was asked to join a fantasy football league by some of my close friends. They told me that it would be easy and I would like it because I knew a lot about sports. I balked a little bit when they said that I would have to put up twenty dollars, because I hate to gamble away money, but I consented and drafted a team. I was not expecting what followed: four more fantasy sport seasons.

I ran into problems almost immediately. I drafted Marc Bulger as my starting quarterback which turned out to not work out for me at all. I then went on to pick up and trade about five quarterbacks throughout the year. I dropped Bulger, picked up Matt Hasselbeck, traded for Eli Manning, picked up Jay Cutler, and settled on average David Garrard in the playoffs. If you have quarterback woes, I feel for you. It sucks to have one of your primary scoring options bring down your whole team.

I became fanatic about the wavier process and free agent pick-ups. Like I mentioned before, I was desperate to find a QB and pick up that all important RB/WR. I would live on the free agent page, trying to find that diamond in the rough. I was hoping that a player who had a good week before would do so for the rest of the year if I picked him up. I didn’t count on the fact that my record would be down the waiver chart and I started to lose my player prospects to teams with worse records than I.

The worst possible thing that could happen to a fantasy football participant is having one of their star players have that dreaded red Q by their name going into Sunday morning. I had my key running back, Brian Westbrook, in question going into Saturday night with the info blurb saying check before game time the next day. Instead of waking up at nine the next day, I went with another player and was pissed when Westbrook played and did well. So the next week when he was questionable again, I woke up.

You have all heard that fantasy football is the easiest fantasy sport to play because it takes the least amount of effort to play. All you have to do is set your lineup once a week and there are only twelve to sixteen weeks in which you actually play. This is all true, but if you want to actually win then you need to be on your computer every single day of the week, right up until kick-off. Player’s statuses change every single day. Players get dropped and added in mere minutes. The more you give yourself to your team, the better the outcome.

Next up was fantasy basketball. I had fielded a strong team the whole year, but limped to the playoffs because of trades and injuries. I beat a better team in the first round and made it to the semi-finals against a seed lower than me. I was happy as hell when I dominated the first week against this scrub and was surely on my way to the finals. Then, my world came crashing down and I committed the one mistake I had never made in my fantasy tenure. I went out to eat with family one night and forgot to set my lineup for that one day. In the end, I was tied with the lower seed opponent and he ended up advancing because of his seed rank. Those four players I didn’t start on one day made me sick for weeks. I had defeated myself and lost out on the chance for money and glory. To be beaten by the better man is okay, but to lose because of your own stupidity is devastating.

I have since given up all fantasy sports because of that painful mistake. I quit the game because I felt I had lost my luck and sports intelligence. I can’t bring myself to play fantasy games anymore because I will always be worrying about my next blunder.