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 –
Team: Tim Holtby’s Militia
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.
Team: Tio’s Nuclear Explosion (But it changes every week).
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.
Team: Bailey’s Irish Creamers
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?”.
Team: Ken Ga Roo Colts
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.
Team: Dave’s All Stars
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.
Team: Ian’s Lightning
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.
Team: Vancity Viktors
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.
Team: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
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.
Team: Petunia’s Crew
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).
Team: The Snow Monkeys
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)
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.
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.