Before the NFL season began, I made the decision that I was done with fantasy football. I wrote about that decision and the two years worth of thought that had gone into it here. I wasn’t entirely sure what this football season would hold for me without updating a starting line-up and making waiver wire moves for the first time since 1992. I thought it would be worth a post to let you know the results, for the couple dozen who responded at the time.
I want to highlight something from the original piece first-
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.
The same still applies. I hold no grudges nor would I consider condemning those who love to play. Enjoy the game.
I will say though, being a non-participant in fantasy football, that I do understand why those that never played could get agitated by it. You can’t escape fantasy football if you pay attention to the NFL. Every NFL show caters to the fantasy player. There are tickers, updates and last minute start ‘em-sit ‘ems everywhere. That doesn’t even mention comment sections, message boards, Facebook status alerts and tweets.
Pros and Cons:
-I can honestly say that I did not miss playing once this season, which tells me I made the right decision. I was able to watch Browns games this season without any thought of whether my fantasy players were doing well. Then again, perhaps that would have been a welcome distraction. Not once did I have even a twinge of satisfaction because a fantasy player of mine was ripping through the Browns. (You know, like every Ray Rice owner did this season.)
-There is no doubt that I paid less attention to the rest of the teams in the league without my fantasy team. I would never have guessed that Victor Cruz out-performed Larry Fitzgerald. Truth be told, Cruz didn’t enter my radar until the NFC Championship game. It would have taken me a while to guess Jordy Nelson as a top five fantasy WR as well.
-Part of the reason for those players flying so far under my radar is because I seldom watched a game not involving the Browns. I can’t remember an actual Monday Night Football game that I watched more than 15 minutes of this season. Would I have watched more with fantasy players in the game? Possibly, but that isn’t to say that I’d have enjoyed it. No question I had a better grasp of the league as a whole when playing fantasy sports.
-When I did watch other games, I may have enjoyed them a little more. There was no pressure to root for one team or individual. I could watch comebacks or close games and just enjoy them for the athleticism and greatness of each game or team or moment. I’ve really enjoyed the playoff games I’ve sat down and watched. Of course, there have been some outstanding playoff games, and fantasy football doesn’t usually factor in to those.
It was a good ride, but I think I’m done with fantasy sports. Except those visions and dreams of Cleveland holding a championship parade. I’m going to hang on to that fantasy.