Today is a special day for me. Today should be a special day for many of you, as well. Today marks the start of the NFL season and more importantly, the start of a brand new year of Fantasy Football.
Fantasy football is more than just a game or a hobby to most of us; it is a job. It is a job that requires us to “work overtime” most weeks, causing wives, girlfriends and significant others to get furious and wonder what it is we like about this job so much. Being a fantasy football owner is more than just a “silly game” that puts our manhood ego over the top. Its not meant for everyone. Only the strong will survive.
Many of us (myself included) came out in the red last season. We put so much effort and enthusiasm into our teams, and for what? Sometimes, being an owner tests your will. So what you lost last season? You have to get back on the horse and guide your team to victory. So what you drafted Percy Harvin in the 5th round? You owe it to your team to replace him with the best waiver transaction of the year.
Its not easy.
What are you going to do this season? I’ve seen just about it all in the fantasy football biz. The owners that have the best drafts rarely come out on top. The best team in the league throughout the regular season loses to a team that picks up Matt Flynn in week 17 who guides him to victory. A former champion watches his new team go down in flames all year to the point where he can’t even stomach Sunday mornings (and not because he’s hungover). There isn’t much that I haven’t seen… and that’s what makes fantasy football so great.
Anybody can be a champion. Even this guy.
To remind you of how awesome fantasy football season is, here are 5 things to look forward to as the weekend approaches:
1) Football Every Thursday Night
This may be the best addition the NFL has made in the last decade. Now, instead of having to wait an entire week to see our players and teams play, they shortened the week for us. That means that we can watch football Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while finding time to fit in all of our other priorities on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Going off of the last point, possibly the best addition to television in the last decade has got to be the NFL Redzone channel. For those of you who do not know what the Redzone channel is, you should be ashamed. Aside from the iPhone, it is the most convenient tool in the technology world for football fans. Scott Hanson does a marvelous job commentating for 7 straight hours as we are blessed with no commercials and live action all day long. It is a fantasy football owner’s dream as we get to sit our ass on the couch and watch our players dominate Sundays.
3) Fitting Dinner in at 7:30 ET and being done by 8:15 ET on Sunday Night
There is only a small window on Sundays in which you can afford to eat dinner and that is between 7:30 and 8:15 ET. That is in between when the second round of games concludes and Sunday Night Football begins. I know that all of you experience this during at least half of the fall. You will wake up, get what you need done out of the way on Sunday morning, and then sit on the couch all day long, only getting up to go to the bathroom and get a drink. My mother used to be great at timing dinner at this time, fully knowing the tight time frame we were on.
This is simple. Today, you have hope that your team will make it through the battles of the season and win the title and the grand prize. By Tuesday, your hope will still be alive, it will be new found, or it will cease to exist any longer. Unfortunately, too many times I have fit into the last category. THIS IS THE YEAR!
5) The Ridiculous Amounts of Trash Talking That You Undeservedly Get To Do
Most sports fans around the country have teams that they are passionate about. But, only after your team either a) beats a rival or b) wins a championship are you allowed to dish out as much smack talk as you want. When it comes to fantasy football, you get to talk as much trash as you want and have no basis for it. Your team wins a game? Trash talk starts. Your first round draft pick goes off for 40 fantasy points? Trash talk the people who passed on him. A friend’s best player gets hurt for the season and his team goes down in flames? The trash talk continues. There is an incredible amount of praise and insult that goes on in a fantasy football season for no reason… and I love it.
Fantasy football is a job. All of us put endless hours into strategizing our every move and picking apart our teams. Like many of you, I will be managing more than one team this season, taking up far too much of my time this fall.
Cheers, owners! Fantasy football is back.