The Reality of Fantasy Football (aka Why I Might Have Early-Stage Dementia)

“HERO” – says no one (except for me)

“I don’t understand it. It’s fake. It’s fake football. It’s not real. You don’t really own the team. Why do you get so into it? It’s stupid.” – says one of my girlfriends to her boyfriend about his fantasy football obsession to me about my fantasy football obsession

The year was 2006. By this point, the Raiders were a year away from reaching their disparate low*, and were already adept at testing my patience on a weekly basis. But make no mistake about it — they were already knee-deep into sucktitude, and my football depression was reaching a new high (low?). My loyalty to the Silver and Black was reaching its apex, and I resorted to gambling in weekly pick-ems just to feel any sense of excitement on Sundays. Fortunately, I was damn near a football savant, and I won some serious dough in those weeks. And I took math, I figured out the equation in my head: money makes people happy, and I was making money, so it made me, the broke, depressed college student, feel like sunshine. My depression subsided for the moment**.

*2007 was the year of “The JaMarcus.”

**I’m very aware that this paragraph makes me sound like I had a gambling problem. Did I? Possibly. Do I still? Well, I do have the tendency to say “Wanna bet?” anytime I’m in a dispute in a desperate attempt to prove that I’m right (which is 100% of the time). It’s kind of an automated response to almost everything. Let’s just say, I know there are a few outstanding bets that I’ve yet to cash in on. And if there’s a random bet I made with you, doesn’t even matter if it was 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago, feel free to cash in on me. I’m a man of my word.

(Side note: A couple months ago, I ran into an old college friend who said I owed him a beer cause I lost a 6-year old bet. The bet? Who’d have a better career: Alex Smith or JaMarcus Russell?

Moving on now…)

It was also this year that I decided to dive into the magical world of Fantasy Football. I had always heard about this imaginary world, and it always intrigued me, but I never took the plunge. But this year, I was invited to join a league, and I decided to participate. Little did I know exactly what I was getting into — this was an insanely, demented and sick rabbit hole that decidedly took up way too much of my life. It was an addiction that pulled me back like an emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend convincing me he’s changed, and he’ll no longer make my life a living hell. It’s a promise. Year after year I jump back in, only to realize halfway through that things haven’t changed, and it’s still the same twisted shit show.

And even though I’ve yet to win a championship, and even though I’ve yet to draft a semblance of a “good” squad, and even though I was dead last in 2 out of 3 leagues last season, like the tormented masochist I am, I still love the hell out of it.

Maybe that’s the reason why I’ve decided after 7 years of Fantasy Football futility, I’ve decided to spice up my Fantasy Football career and do something a little different this season. I’m not only going to be a team owner, but you can now also call me “Commish.”

Yes, ladies and gents, I was offered the role of commissioner in one of my football leagues this year, and after careful consideration (approximately 2.7 minutes), I graciously accepted the position.

But what does this mean? Not much really changes except for the fact that I have to:

  1. Create then send out the invite to join the league
  2. Set the draft time
  3. Become the designated mediator should any problems arise

Seems relatively simple right? Except for the fact that this is me. And I’ve decided to make it 10x harder on myself because that’s what I do. I make things hard (insert obligatory “That’s what she said” joke here).

I sent a “Welcome Letter (Email)” to prospective owners of the league a couple of weeks ago. The first couple of paragraphs read like this:

“Hello you lucky person you,

You might say it’s too early, but it’s never too early for the greatest time of the year: Fantasy Football is here!

It was an unforgettable inaugural season for the league known as “The Insignificant Others.” Rivalries were born, veterans stumbled, and rookies made an impact. The second season should prove to be even more competitive with some new teams who are looking to take the coveted Fantasy Football crown, and the veteran teams who refuse to go down without a fight (unlike the Patriots who are falling apart at the seams…can I get a hell yeah?!).”

On top of that, I’ve already reserved a space and time for a live in-person draft party with food and booze. Sure, live online drafts are fun, but they are nothing compared to drafting in-person. Live in-person drafts should be on every fantasy player’s bucket list. Not only is this a live in-person draft — this is an auction draft. If you followed my draft diaries from last season, you will know that an auction draft should be added to that bucket list, as well. It’s a life changing experience.

There are some other commissioner duties I’m looking to fulfill that are probably completely unnecessary but whatever. Oh well. Like sending out weekly newsletters and handing out mid-season report cards. Yup.

This may sound absolutely ridiculous to any non-FF player (or even your average FF player), but I’m here to say if you don’t understand now, you never will. I’m treating this like its the real thing because it is. It’s all real.

…let’s also remember I’m a Raider fan.

Delusion is our middle name.

Now please, leave me be as I go off to start the “Matt Flynn for 2014 MVP” campaign.

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