The NFL season kicked off last night with the Denver Broncos playing host to the Baltimore Ravens. The long, tedious summer of Major League Baseball is coming to a close and there is no better remedy than good old-fashioned football. Let’s be honest, MLB doesn’t hold a candle to the NFL (or college football for that matter) in popularity.
It also doesn’t compare in fantasyland.
I started playing fantasy football in 2006 in an 8-team league with some of my friends. I won our leagues’ inaugural championship going 12-2. Since then, I’ve lost in the championship game two other times and have only incurred one losing season. My overall record stands at a healthy 60-36.
If you have never played there is something you need to understand…fantasy football COMPLETELY changes how you watch an NFL game. If you are not careful you may develop a fantasy football obsession.
Fantasy football allows an individual to become a pretend owner of an NFL team they select through a league draft. In the draft, players are chosen to fill out the various spots of an NFL roster like quarterback, running back, wide receiver and so on. Each week your team is pitted against another fantasy team from your league.
The players on your roster earn points based on what they accomplish in the actual game. In my league for example, a quarterback gets five points for every touchdown they throw. They also accumulate points for passing yardage and also have points deducted for miscues like interceptions or fumbles lost. Your opponent’s players are also accumulating points. So whichever roster has the most points at the end of the week’s games is the winner for that week. And so the season goes all the way through a playoff and championship game.
So, when you watch a game you become really more interested in the amount of points your player is tallying than the actual outcome of the game. I ended up many weeks watching teams I didn’t care about just because I “owned” a player on one of the teams. And watch out if you have the DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket and can pick up EVERY game. The years I purchased that service, I got nothing else done on Sunday afternoon.
After the first couple of years, I found myself developing a fantasy football obsession.
The Impact of a Fantasy Football Obsession
Each day centered on the upcoming weekend games as I tried to adjust and improve my roster. (I used to get up at 4:00 am to draft free agents after the weekly waiver wire period had passed. Insane, I know.)
Players have a bad Sunday and it affected my emotions.
My family lost time because I was glued to the TV.
Work didn’t get done around the house or for my job (well, not until late at night once all the games were over).
A fantasy football obsession – like many other things in life – can have a negative impact when taken to extremes. I realized that several years ago and have taken steps to not get so worked up about it. I only took a few minutes before the draft this year to read about the players and I no longer subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket. I’m OK to do other things on Sunday other than watch football and I don’t obsess about my roster every day of the week.
My faith teaches me to have balance in life…to do things in moderation, with gentleness and in wisdom. I’m to make the most of the time I’ve been given and spend it engaged in activities that have meaning and create value. Clearly I had gotten out of whack at some point and needed to gain a different perspective on something that is really only a game.
There are so many other worthy activities vying for my time. Fantasy football shouldn’t dominate that list (or even be near the top of it really). In the grand scheme of things, in light of eternity, it matters not at all how I do.
Questions: Do you have a fantasy football obsession? Have you ever been obsessed with something kind of silly that negatively impacted your life?
Just in case you are wondering, here were the draft picks I managed to select for my team this year:
Round 1, Pick 8 – Marshawn Lynch (RB)
Round 2, Pick 9 – Tom Brady (QB)
Round 3, Pick 24 – Julio Jones (WR)
Round 4, Pick 25 – Matthew Stafford (QB)
Round 5, Pick 40 – Matt Forte (RB)
Round 6, Pick 41 – Maurice Jones-Drew (RB)
Round 7, Pick 56 – Marques Colston (WR)
Round 8, Pick 57 – Chicago Bears Defense/Special Teams
Round 9, Pick 72 – Matt Schaub (QB)
Round 10, Pick 73 – Ryan Matthews (RB)
Round 11, Pick 88 – Jermichael Finley (TE)
Round 12, Pick 89 – Antonio Gates (TE)
Round 13, Pick 104 – Phil Dawson (K)
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