In the late summer of 1992, three friends hashed out a fantasy football scoring system and drafted players over breakfast at McDonalds. I do not remember if there were just three teams that first season, or if we had the vision that first morning to draft ‘the ghost team’. I do remember the ghost team sticking around for a couple of seasons. They had one win in their existence. We teased John for a long time about that loss.
This was before the age of the internet. So every Monday morning we gathered at McDonalds and grabbed a USA Today, with the boxscores from all the games the day before. No live scoring updates for us.
It was also before the networks even acknowledged fantasy football. No last minute injury updates. No tickers on the bottom of the screen with fantasy friendly updates. We would see game scores and hope that our players were the ones doing the scoring. We’d watch Sportscenter, but even they didn’t always tell who scored every touchdown in a game. That boxscore was the only way to know for certain.
I’ve been playing fantasy football ever since. Kept the same team name through the years as well. But this year I won’t be making any selections. No draft, no trades, no scouring the waiver wire for me.
I realize that it is difficult to judge a writer’s mood or attitude when reading a piece. Let me assure you, that I make these comments without a hint of animosity, nor any judgement on those that love the game. I went back and forth on whether this was even worth writing. I was encouraged to share, so here’s why I’m not playing anymore.
First and foremost, it is no longer fun.
To be honest with you, it hasn’t been fun for a while now. The best part of a fantasy football league for me has always been the live draft with good friends. Nothing tops it. Hands down the best. My original league hasn’t been together for a few years now. People move. Jobs and families take priority. It is nobody’s fault, it just is what it is. The beginning of the decline of fantasy football for me can be traced to this I’m sure of it. I’ve still played. Even took part in some live drafts. But it wasn’t the same- through no fault of anyone’s.
While some love that fantasy football gives them something to root for in games involving teams they don’t ordinarily watch, I still don’t really enjoy those games any differently. When I watch a game strictly because of fantasy players that doesn’t keep my interest. It also strikes me as odd that I am rooting for things that aren’t even the goals of the rest of the crowd or the players and coaches themselves. It’s kind of strange. The NFL game itself really should be enough to entertain me, otherwise I shouldn’t even bother watching.
I hate when players on my fantasy team are going against the Browns. Even more, I hate that I know as a fantasy team owner it is a smart move to plug in any running back at all against the Browns for about the last decade. As I get older, I am just sickened by the fact that none of our three pro sports teams have won a title in my lifetime. All I’m rooting for now is that championship.
Maybe it just speaks to my situation in life as well. I don’t really need the diversion of fantasy football. I don’t really have the time or interest to comb through the waiver wire looking for the next running back coming from nowhere. Maybe I’m already struggling with the priority that following sports has taken in my life.
How about the rest of you? Anyone else feeling this way?
Regardless, I’ve been thinking about it for the past two years, but kept hanging on thinking I might get the interest back. That just hasn’t happened.