Go ahead and make your requisite “it’ll really be fantasy football if they don’t end the lock-out” jokes.
I love fantasy football. I have been playing it for three years now, and, outside of my rookie year, I have won the championship every time. In other words, I have won the championship the last two years running, which is no easy feat.
I play in a league with nine of my other friends, for a total of ten competitors. Every year we make slight changes in the group, based not on performance, but on involvement. We don’t care if you come in last, but we care if you come in last because you’re not checking your team and putting in time and effort.
You may be wondering who I mean when I say “we.” I am a part of a core group of members who have either been around for a long time, or were so fastidiously involved for the last year that we consider them part of the “inner circle.” It is me, Matt White, Zach Trepganier, Philip Erikson, and Philip Mcbride–although he can never make the meetings so his status as an elite is cloudy.
We come together to decide who we should invite to constitute the rest of our league, as well as other issues. The league constituent issue is the most important by far. Last year we had to swap three old members for three new members. We took in my brother, and our friends Zach Trep. and Aaron Buenrostro, the latter two of whom have been great additions. My brother did well in the rankings and statistically, but he did not put in the time and effort that we like to see, and he really only did so well because he had the first overall pick.
When the “inner circle” meets, we have to decide on other issues that are particular to fantasy football groups. Scoring, roster size, keepers, size of the winners’ pot, divisions etc. We actually have to do a lot, but it is fun to be able to customize our league and tailor it to our desires.
None of it would be possible without Matt White though, or, The Commish as we like to call him. He does all the online work and is the organizer of the whole thing. He writes weekly write-ups about the week’s activity, in addition to posting pictures and making the web interface fresh and creative. He is also a whiz with the setup of the league, and he and I organize all the events. He is the backbone of the league.
But if Matt White is The Commish, I’m the Patriots, and the Cowboys, and the Steelers combined. I am the flare of the league, the pretty boy, the champion, the Main Event if you will. It is unheard of to win two consecutive titles, and only in my third year nonetheless. Last year I had a rough regular season, despite scoring the most points; I was a victim of bad luck. I squeezed into the playoffs though, and that was all the chance I needed. I won the next four games to take the championship and $80 cash money.
This year things are obviously different because of the lockout, but we plan the same way. I wager most Fantasy Fans are doing the same thing as us: having meetings, scheduling drafts, and talking crap, all under the assumption that the Players’ Union and NFL Owners will come to an agreement. If not, I will be extremely heartbroken. As weird as it sounds, I don’t really like watching football. I don’t have a favorite team. I think that (like basketball), you only need to watch the fourth quarter. Fantasy changes all that, it gives me a reason to watch every game and LOVE IT. Every Sunday in my dorm with Sean, who is also an avid Fantasy player, we had the tv on in the background as we worked, commenting on touchdowns, interceptions, and fumbles. It was a good source of bonding when our relationship was still new, and I look forward to having that bond continue to hold us tight. Fantasy also works as a bond between any two fantasy players, even my RA. We both had Marques Colston and Peyton Hillis, and every week all we had to do was start talking about one of their performances, and we could end up talking for twenty minutes, as other people joined in the conversation, everyone having a good time.
If you have never played Fantasy Football, I strongly recommend it. If you don’t like football, you could still like Fantasy. If you like Football, you will love Fantasy and like football more. It doesn’t eat up your time, you can make some easy money, you get something to talk about with your friends, and it is downright so much fun. I look forward to it like nothing else, and I hope you can too!