Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fantasy Foo(y)ball.

Marie and I had a good conversation over dinner tonight that made me think just how long I've been doing fantasy football. Started in 1998, in 8th grade. So this is my 11th year. Double digits, I'm old...or am I? I feel like my league was on the cutting edge, still in the diapers era of fantasy football. Our commissioner was Dennis (The Menace) Cormier, a pioneer in the development of fantasy sports and a devotee of the Monday morning Sun Journal which contained all the box scores of Sunday games. Internet? What the fuck was the internet? "Live" updates of scores happened as halftime and postgame shows those first couple years. When 56k became the standard is was a good day if you could check all 6 1 o'clock games before the 4pm games were at halftime. It took until Wednesday at lunchtime to get stats out if the Monday night game ended after the delivery print of the paper had already gone to press. Those were the good old days.

My first year (not to brag, but you'll see I'm the man) I grabbed Steve Young (career high 36 td's and first QB to throw for 6 consecutive 300+yd games, in his last full season) in the 1st round and found a little gem I like to call Fred Taylor (rookie year when he rushed for a then Jaguars record 1223 yds, 1600+ total yards and 17 total the 14th round of a 16 round last two picks were kickers...that's what's up). The rest of the nuts and bolts are a blur other than the "phantom trade" which occured when one Jeff Sloat called the commish and said I consented to a trade (ERRONEOUS!) and STOLE Gary Anderson from me in week ll...but that's neither here nor there. To continue, I wound up 12-4 when it was all said and done and carried the banner of the inagural Auburn Football League Champion (I'll accept handshakes and pats on the back whenever you deem appropriate).

But much has changed in the 10 years that have followed, and my focus has certainly waned at times (Sabastian Janikowski in the 1st round his rookie year was not one of those lapses in judgment...I saw something special in that kid), but this year I decided to rededicate myself to the sport. And what I've found is I hate fantasy football. My team is 6-4, 2nd in the division and ranked 4th overall (though #2 in points scored), and not to fluff myself up, I have a stud team (Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo [who are currently on their way to the Naughty Dolphins for Aaron Rodgers and Larry Fitzgerald], Ronnie Brown, Chris Johnson and LenDale White at RB, Aquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Eddie Royal, Desean Jackson to name a few at WR, Owen Daniels at TE (he's the #3TE in the league this year and plays for the Texans, if you don't know now you know) whatever kicker has a good matchup against a good but not great D so the ball will move but not result in touchdowns, and last usually a defense that is playing either the Raiders or the Rams (the beauty of week-to-week waiver wire moves).

Over the last 5 weeks I've put up over 600 points and have gone 4-1, and this caused me to forget why I hate fantasy football. It's easy to be happy when you're scoring points. But when you see the Titans with 20 total rushing yards (like those dinks did last week in an otherwise entertaining football game) you want to change the channel because your guys are playing like ass. But I guess my point is I like football, not football players. I like watching good football, not the blowouts that fantasy folks want to see. It was a lot easier for me to watch my Giants (2008 Superbowl Champion Giants, I remind you) when I don't have to worry about who has Plaxico Buress or Brandon Jacobs on their team (If you drafted Eli, however, I feel sorry for you). My football seasons were a lot more enjoyable when the 20 bones I threw to the league was just looked at as a night in August I would have to stay in rather than have a few tall, cool Budweisers at Gippers. The minute you start to take this crap seriously, you're ruined, and I'm sorry for you (and 2008 me...).

I fell into the trap this year, and while it appears I may get my money back this time around it's caused me far more aggravation than I need in Autumn. So next year, it may very well be hello Jeff Wolfert (and with good reason, this kid reminds me of a young Janikowski without the Polish heritage).

1 comment:

  1. I liked this post until the last 2 paragraphs...

    I too always brag about how long I have been playing (The same year you took Young first, I took Kordell Stewart) and how we used to add up points via box score. I would try to score games on my own, but there was always a little mystery (because our defense scoring is so complex) until Craig passed out stats on wednesday.

    Man, those were the good ole days.