Every Sunday, I flip open my laptop and track my game within the NFL’s games.
On Mondays, I usually watch the primetime stragglers that will decide who gets the “W” that will make the week’s preparations a success.
On Tuesday, I comb Yahoo’s list of who got thrown to how many times to see if anyone on the waiver wire is worth picking up. The rest of the week is spent exchanging e-mails and keeping my trade rumors from the other owners in my league while I tinker with my roster before Sunday’s kickoff at noon.
I play in four fantasy football leagues.
Hi, my name is David. I have a problem.
In case you don’t play, the concept is fairly simple. Before the season begins, I bring my sealed manila envelope filled with my notes from, quite literally, weeks of preparation and reading and get together with 11 of my friends. The 12 of us draft a team with 15 players, and based on the on-field production of our best nine or so players, our teams get points. The most points for that week’s game between the two teams wins.
It gets more complex, but if you aren’t already playing, I’m sure you don’t care.
July has arrived. It’s time to read and assess who I like and don’t like in relation to where most “experts” believe players should be drafted this season. More importantly, it’s time to devise a snarky, semi-offensive name for my team and league.
I’ve been able to do this without guilt and self-loathing for a little more than 24 hours. It didn’t take much of that time to figure out that this will be a unique season.
I serve as commissioner for a league composed of some friends from high school. My other three leagues are made up of owners from two distinct social groups at Missouri.
Since the majority of the owners in my leagues at Missouri have graduated, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to meet up and draft without the help of the Internet. My league at home’s offline draft is still up in the air.
Unlike the passive social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, which just chronicle our existence, fantasy football forces me to keep in contact with people I might not get a chance to see until one of us dies or gets married. (This is the point in the post where someone makes a dated joke about the two not being much different.) My leagues can get intensely competitive at times. It’s not unusual to wake up to ten e-mails when a late-night lopsided trade comes across our league wire. That won’t go away. That competition used to be the best part. This year, I’m not so sure.
I’d heard of the phenomenon before, but never really thought about it until now. I’m excited to finally experience it for myself, and be glad I have a competitive outlet, to give me chances to interact with the people who have made the last seven years of my life so memorable. A league bulletin board post making me laugh out loud is a daily occurrence in almost every one of those leagues. I don’t see that changing.
Rarely do trade negotiations begin without a little small talk. I bet that small talk is a little bigger this season.