Normally, this blog is a place of refuge for me from some of life’s grimmer realities.  It’s a sanctuary of sorts, an online oasis where the focus is on food and fun, production and puppies – although, occasionally, it does touch on a few of the hardships I’ve faced: The sheer impossibility of eating a mango!.  Well, today, this blog takes a serious turn.  I’m setting aside the hilarity to touch on a personal issue I’ve long denied but can no longer ignore.  It needs to be addressed, and I’ve decided that the best way to do so is to come clean.  Publicly.

They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.  Well, I have a problem.

I am a fantasy football junkie.

I know, I know.  I look perfectly normal.  But the truth is it’s all an elaborate facade – the work productivity, the genial social interaction, my seeming ability to hold a conversation without having my mind drift to whether or not I should bench Lance Moore this Sunday.  There was a time  I looked down on fantasy football enthusiasts with their seemingly endless obsessing over game stats and the latest injury reports. I felt actually sorry for them, these shells of human beings, wondering how any sane person could allow themselves to fall so far.

Well, when it happened to me, I didn’t even see it coming.  I remember the day.  I was sitting in my office, talking to Ivon, when a member of the production crew swung by and asked whether we’d be interested in joining the Stargate NFL Fantasy League.  To be perfectly honest, I’d dabbled in the softer stuff (ie. the annual NCAA office pool) but Fantasy Football was something I’d never end considered trying.  Ivon, no doubt sensing danger, passed, but I thought “What the hell!” and signed up.  What was the harm in a little experimentation?  I figured it would be a minor distraction, something to make NFL Sundays just a little more interesting.  And it was.  Until my Snow Monkeys lost their first game despite scoring a respectable 84.14 points.  I was disappointed.  Still, the fact that the team put in a good showing despite the loss gave me hope that we could turn things around.  And, come week two, we did even better, improving on the previous week’s showing by putting up 99.08.

Only to lose again.

At this point, I was passed annoyed.  If the whole league was averaging 100 points or so, I’d have dismissed it as part of the game, but the fact was few teams were scoring more points than I was in those first few weeks – only the teams I happened to be playing!  I decided that my Snow Monkeys could benefit from a little more attention, just enough to secure me that first win after which I would ease up.  That’s all I wanted.  Just that one win after which I could redirect my focus back to more mundane matters (ie. work, relationships, remembering to feed the dogs, etc.).  So I began paying more attention to stats and the latest injury reports, reading expert analysis and adjusting my line-up accordingly.  In short, I had started down that slippery slope.  Still, I went into week 3 with a certain sense of confidence that my luck was about to turn.  I ended up scoring a respectable 84.94 points.

Only to lose to yet another 100+ point!  W-T-F?!!!

THAT did it!  I shifted full focus to my Snow Monkeys, cutting the dead weight and scouring the waiver wire for sleepers.  I redoubled my efforts to secure that first win – wading through endless stats, injury reports, and expert analyses from first thing in the morning to late into the night.  And then, finally, week four: 99.98 points and my first win!  I was ecstatic.  I’d never felt so alive!  I’ve seen people go on about the almost transcendent bliss of shooting heroin for the first time or witnessing the birth of their first child born, but surely those experiences couldn’t compare to what I felt at that moment.  My first win!  I was on a roll!  My Snow Monkeys were unstoppable!  It was an exhilarating high.

That was followed by a crushing low the following week when I lost to the undefeated Militia.

Finally, last Monday, I hit rock bottom after my Monkeys put up 103.06 points only to bow to the All-Stars’ 113.66.  And it was while I lay awake in bed that night, anxious, sweating, regretting Percy Harvin’s inability to get that second foot down in the endzone and my decision to start Robert Meachem of the hapless Saints over gimpy Cowboys’ wideout Dez Bryant that I realized I had a problem.

So, like I said, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.  With that done, I’ve moved onto step #2: benching Robert Meachem in favor of Dez Bryant.  I feel better already.  Thanks for allowing me to get this off my chest and for being so supportive and understanding.  Pray for me.  And also pray for my Snow Monkeys who go into this weekend with Matt Schaub as their quarterback facing the Colts in Indy.

Now, I’d like to a moment to shine the spotlight of shame on the enablers who continue to help feed my addiction on a weekly basis –

Name: Tim

Team: Tim Holtby’s Militia

Record: 6-1

Season highlight to date: Starting 6-0 and simply crushing the competition along the way.

Season lowlight to date: Beaten by a team with a starter on IR and a logo depicting a pug in a pink sweater.

Name: Tio

Team: Tio’s Nuclear Explosion (But it changes every week).

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: Pulling off massive multi-player trade to land Titans’ RB Chris Johnson in a playoff push.

Season lowlight to date: That mysterious “member of the production crew” I mentioned who was dispensing fantasy league slots like not so much as cheap crack?  Look no further.

Name: Mike

Team: Bailey’s Irish Creamers

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: That impressive 4-0 start to the season.

Season lowlight to date: The ensuing three weeks.  In the words of Fred Willard’s Mike Lafontaine: “Wha happened?”.

Name: Ken

Team: Ken Ga Roo Colts

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: Any week the Indianapolis Colts do well since his team is made up of most of their players.  No doubt he’d have drafted their towel boy if there’d been room on his roster.

Season lowlight to date: Week 7 = Indianapolis colts BYE week.  Ouch.

Name: Dave

Team: Dave’s All Stars

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: Beating my Snow Monkeys last weekend despite my scoring 100+ points and his losing his QB early in the game.

Season lowlight to date: Well, as far as I’m concerned, see above.

Name: Ian

Team: Ian’s Lightning

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: Not dropping Raiders’ RB Darren McFadden when he was injured, then starting him in week 7 for 111 points!

Season lowlight to date: A 1-3 start including an anemic 49.70 week 4 performance that included a failure to start a TE – even though he had two riding the bench.

Name: Chad

Team: Vancity Viktors

Record: 4-3

Season highlight to date: A late three game win streak including last weekend’s impressive 131.74 point offensive display.

Season lowlight to date: Hopefully this weekend when they receive an epic beatdown at the paws of the fearsome Snow Monkeys.  Also, last week’s decision to start a player on his BYE week was, in retrospect, a suspect strategy.

Name: Daryl (not pictured)

Team: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

Record: 3-4

Season highlight to date: Three straight 100+ point games.

Season lowlight to date: Where to begin?  If his team management skills were as good as his trash-talking, he’d be undefeated.  A week after sitting WR Brandon Lloyd – who went on to put up 25.50 points – he declares a Meathead award to be bestowed upon the team owner who makes the worst managerial decision of the weekend…then gives himself the award the following week for benching Roy Williams who goes on to put up 14.80 points.  He rectified this error by starting Roy Williams the following week – for a grand total of 0.00 points.  The week after that, poor managerial decisions result in his leaving 23.70 points on the bench.  It culminates in a meltdown post in which he harangues the other team owners for not taking his trade offers seriously enough, then derides their managerial decisions.

 

Unable to download the actual team logo. But this is pretty damn close.

Name: Sarah

Team: Petunia’s Crew

Record: 3-4

Season highlight to date: Beating the formerly unbeaten Militia last week.

Season lowlight to date: Starting an inactive player against the unbeaten Militia (and still winning!  Okay, maybe we can move this one up to the highlight section).

Name: Come on!  You know my name!

Team: The Snow Monkeys

Record: 2-5

Season highlight to date: That first glorious win in week 4.

Season lowlight to date: Last weekend’s bitter, bitter defeat despite another 100+ point performance.  I mean COME ON!!!

(awaiting updated picture)

Name: Ryan

Team: Kozmynka

Record: 2-5

Season highlight to date: Managing to eke out a week 7 win with Jay Cutler as his quarterback.

Season lowlight to date: Trading away RB Chris Johnson.  Have a feeling that move will come back to haunt.

Name: Troy

Team: TRM

Record: 2-5

Season highlight to date: Snagging Wide Receiver Kenny Britt off waivers!

Season lowlight to date: Having Kenny Britt score 40.50 points – while sitting on his bench.  Team TRM goes on to lose the weekend match-up by 12.

With six playoff spots up for grabs and seven more weeks to go in our fourteen week Fantasy League season, we’re all still in it!

Some more than others.

 

SNOW MONKEYS RULE!!!

38 thoughts on “October 30, 2010: A Difficult Admission…

  1. Oh, dear dear Joe. You haven’t hit rock bottom. You’re not even close. You’re not finished with this scene yet.

    You just happened to put up those pictures with the same aspect ratio of baseball cards and then happened to write up each person’s info in convenient, just enough to fit on a baseball card format? What do you think’s going to happen, Joe? You know how your blog readers are. SOMEONE’s going to print up player cards based on this blog entry. Not me, but someone.

  2. Now I remember why I was glad when my husband quit fantasy football. 😉 But I do remember how he and his friends acted during football season when he was doing it. He was even their league commissioner one year. Boy, that was a year to remember. Best of luck in working through it.

  3. Hi my name is Alan.
    I too am a fantasy football junkie and I feel your pain.

    I don’t know if I should be attendng this ffj meeting as I think it may be a bit hypocritical. I not only am a user but also a pusher. Since the mid 1980’s I have been enabling others to get their fix in all kinds of seasons.
    It all started with fantasy Australian Rules. Within days I was hooked. I followed that up in the summer by running a fantasy cricket comp. I ran (and participated in) Aust rules and cricket comps for a few years. Then one year (’94) one of my “users” asked if I could provide NFL stats for a fantasy comp they had been running for a couple of years (they had to wait until Wed/Thurs for an international edition of usatoday arrived in our local (Australian) newsagent). I was again hooked. The next year I joined their comp and lost the superbowl. Two years later (’97) I was running the comp and have done so since.
    I am now Commish of 4 NFL comps (66 teams between them) and 6 Aust Rules comps (varies between 46-60 teams) and supply Aussie rules stats to 1/2 a dozen other comps.
    Nowadays the only thing I pop my head out for is if a new episode of SGU or Doctor Who becomes available.

    I think I need some help!

  4. ps. Harvin – also a huge fan – his second foot not getting in cost me three wins! Romo’s injury cost me another two. Not a happy MNF game for me!

  5. What scoring are you using that allows you to have fractions of points?

    My team, the Specters, is 5-1, with an almost sure win this weekend (I’m a 71 point favorite). Only my second year playing too! I did get first draft pick, so that may have had something to do with it. What’s your team look like?

  6. So Joe if you need someone to talk to, I am all ears, but if its advice on teams to pick, sorry you are on your own..SNOW MONKEYS ROCK\_/!!
    (love the snow m. pix)

  7. Joe,

    For your fantasy football addiction:

    Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable

    Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

    Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of god as we understood god

    Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

    Step 5 – Admitted to god, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

    Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of character

    Step 7 – Humbly asked god to remove our shortcomings

    Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all

    Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

    Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

    Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with god as we understood god, praying only for knowledge of god’s will for us and the power to carry that out

    Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

    😉

  8. Something tells me you are not ready to do what all addicts must do; simply quit. you are doomed, doomed doomed. You have our sympathies. Funny funny post.

  9. Joe,

    I am an FF addict too..I agonise over my decisions each week and study the other players lineups to try and learn and yet I’ve performed no better than yourself (2-5) and I’m on a 3 game losing streak. It’s messing with my confidence. I’m sure the other players are laughing at my choices, having several 49ers players on my team.

    This week I’ve made the decision to drop Donald Driver and Alex Smith (he was on the bench). I’ve promoted Dez Bryant from the bench…don’t let me down.

    Projected matchup doesn’t look good for me and I’m playing someone with a 5-2 record.

    webgurl blues:

    QB Drew Brees
    RB Mike Tolbert
    RB Frank Gore
    WR Dez Bryant
    WR Kevin Walter
    WR Lance Moore
    TE Marcedes Lewis

    Help me….Tim Holtby…LOL

    Cheers, Chev

  10. Joe, I feel your pain. I thought it would be a minor experiment this year… And I’m always obsessively checking my iPhone for the latest info. I holler at the tv. I find myself agonizing over Percy Harvin or Brandon Tate (I have Moss so I always play him. Sometimes spectacular, sometimes a disappointment). I drive my husband crazy and he’s the one who helped me select my team. It sucks you in. I’d join a support group but I’ve got to go check my lineup…

  11. Hmm, why do i feel you’re not serious about recovery? No offense, but now that I’ve studied your competitors, I’ll be rooting for Ken. Ahem.

    I have no idea how FF works in any detail, but I love the comedy based on a bunch of guys playing it, The League. It plays on FX in the US. It’s a single-camera, no laugh track, great comedian-actors. I think you and the boys in your league would enjoy it – have you heard of it?

    Good luck tomorrow!

  12. Coucou!!!

    Comment ça va ? moi trés bien =)

    Hier j’ai pu jouer au jeux HP7 alors qu’il n’ai même pas sorti!!!! Yaho!!

    Alalala le football américain, vraiment dommage que ça ne soit pas diffusé en France, sinon je croit bien que je serai fan!!!

    Tiens today c’est Halloween, enfin je croit, car en france plus personne n’en parle . Je suis impatiente de voir les costumes de vos chiens!! =)

    Allez gros bisou!!!!

  13. Whew! For a sec there I thought this was gonna be an admission to your Asian schoolgirl fetish. At least you’re still keepin’ the mystery there…

    😉

    das

  14. @Gilder, totally agree with you. And if you search around on the net you’d probably get a few people wanting to join you!
    My facebook profile is as follows…
    There’s a saying that Aussies will bet on two flies crawling up a wall… If there were stats available I’d run a fantasy game on it!

  15. I wish I could meet the cast or be on set. I’m not even kidding I actually once embarrassed myself by asking someone who works for syfy if they can make this happen for me, they politely said no and not possible. of course i knew it was far-fetched but it wasn’t everyday that syfy wanted something from me, so I had to take the opportunity.

    As for football, I gotta say, how can you write nerdy shows and like football at the same time, I don’t get it.

  16. Sigh. Face it, Joe: you just have an addictive personality. Once you tire of FF, you’ll find something new to obsess over. It’s not really a bad thing; it’s just the way you are. So embrace it – and don’t take it too personally when non-FF people suddenly remember some pressing engagement when you start regaling them with the most recent scores! 😉

    Thanks for the LDP outtake – he must be a riot to work with!

    @Gilder: I like your idea… fantasy marching band!

  17. You are too funny!

    We pre-ordered the Kinect and it’s shipping Thursday!!!!! I’m a little excited.

    Gilder: my son is in marching band this year. We have been to so many competitions in the last few months! It is interesting to see how band has changed since I was in H. S.. My favorite bands are the ones with Jazzy music or Queen’s stuff.

  18. Joe when you consistantly make as many poor decisions as I do, unrelenting trash talking is all you have left. The beauty is I never have to rationalize or explain myself. Don’t take that away from me.

  19. @TammyDixon: Kinect? I’m jealous.

    Yep, Joe, you have not hit rock bottom yet on your addiction. I see no indication you are willing to give up FF. I think the first step really is the willingness to do what you need to to give up your addiction which you admit to in step 1 and work all the other steps.

  20. WOOOO!!!! The Tingler is coming on!!

    *does happy dance*

    (Psst…Joey…it’s a movie, not a sex toy, so get yer mind outta da gutter! 😉 )

    das

  21. Some people gamble, some people drink, and some people kill (Dexter.. Love that show 🙂 And YOU like Fantasy Football… Oh the horror… Here I was thinking Joe was this nice, hardworker and it’s ALL a facade! You’ve got to be kidding! Say it isn’t so!!!! What’re we going to do with you… What do you think guys? Intervention?
    😉

  22. Hate to tell you Joe, but you are a compulsive personality… addicted to fantasy football, food, Asian women… I don’t see it changing.

  23. WOOOO!!!! The Mad Magician just finished, and House of Wax is next!! What fun TCM is providing for me today with all this Vincent Price yumminess! 😀

    Although…I hate to admit it…but my favorite Price movie is His Kind of Woman – he’s simply a HOOT in that one! HA! That one is on tomorrow at 3!! Double WOO! 😀

    das

  24. You might have mentioned it before, but its cool that parts of Cloverdale were filmed in Cloverdale BC

    (I went to google maps and searched for a “Mason’s Cloverdale Home Furnishings” near Vancouver and found it.)

    Is that the reason the town was called Cloverdale?

  25. Hello Joe.

    Fear not. I myself have an addiction too. Both myself and a friend have put together an office pool on when Derek Jeter will get his 3,000th hit…

    I am curious… Since you and Paul were paid to finish a script for the Atlantis movie, did you complete the rewrite due to SGU guest appearances? Or are you waiting to hear if the film will eventually get made before starting the rewrites?

    How are the pups doing? Any crazy Halloween puppy pics?

    Best wishes,

    Bryan
    PS happy Halloween!

  26. The dogs haven’t tweeted lately. I hope they’re not wasting all their time on Facebook games.

  27. OMG Joe I can’t see how I can lose this week webgurl’s matchup

    Bulldogs has 2 players to play and I have 3 players, including Drew Brees and I’m only 7 points down…he’s playing one bye and has Tight End empty, works for me!!

    How are you going?

    Cheers, Chev

  28. @ Tammy Dixon – Figgers you would. 😉

    It’s one of my favorite spooky flicks. This has been a good afternoon for the scary. 🙂 Now I’m off to watch Sherlock Holmes. 😀

    @ Joey – I went to a used book store today and picked up Relic. I’ma gonna give it a try, though the 400+ pages kinda has me sweating a bit. 😛 Anyway, still interested if you’ve read any of these books…I mean, if you can tear yourself away from your fantasies, and all. 😉

    *smooches*

    das

  29. I’ve seen Ryan Kozmynka’s name on the SG credits for years and I’ve always wondered if he’s Romanian (judging by his name). Now for a short while I even had a photo to add to the name 🙂

    Could you please ask Ryan if he’s really Romanian like me, and if yes, if there is any possible way for me to contact him directly? I’d just like to try to get the localized version of your blog Q/A from him 🙂

    Thanks Joe!

    Alex

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