By Jamal Yearwood
It was August and I was preparing to say goodbye to the sunny beaches of Saginaw, once again, as I prepared for another semester at Albion.
As I began to make my rounds, saying goodbye to the hometown friends, the usual end of summer sadness came on as it would be three months before we met up again. Left with no other options for communication, it was proposed that we start a fantasy football league as a way to remain in touch.
I couldn’t believe it. Was I hearing things correctly? A fantasy football league to stay in touch? Had the time finally come to trade in my youthful teenage years for the false joy that propels the married man through his work week? I thought that this was the end, I thought that I might as well start my 401k, I thought…. nothing would be the same.
Fast forward two months later and I’m sitting on top of my league and life has never been better.
As I watched my team rack up the points that first week, I can never forget being filled with an uncontrollable sense of power. With each added touchdown, I could almost feel a supernatural power transferring from my roster into my body. I knew I had to try and stop while I was ahead, but I couldn’t.
By some fluke I half auto-drafted, half picked one of the most dominating teams fantasy football had ever seen. There was no stopping my self-proclaimed “three-headed beast” of Demarco Murray, Matt Forte, and Arian Foster. As the weeks went on, my ego in my fantasy team only increased leading to forced discussions about how great I was doing in my league and how much talent I had on my team.
For those who aren’t familiar with the format of fantasy football, at the beginning of the league individual players are drafted by different owners to create a dream team. These teams can vary on the number of running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks that can play in each matchup but every Monday, the totals from each player’s performances are accrued in a head-to-head matchup and a winner is crowned. At the end of it all, money is awarded based on the position in the league and to the winner of the playoff bracket.
In admittance, no one in my league paid before we all left for school so we aren’t playing for anything more than the right to brag over the league message board. This probably is a good thing because as admitted by multiple league members, they spend upwards to 5 hours a week fine-tuning their team.
Fantasy football isn’t all fun and games though as it can really tug at the strings of owner’s emotions. For example, in week 6, a member “quit” after going 1-5 and losing to me by 64 points. When he quit, he went out with a bang calling everyone in the league “feeble” and “simple-minded” , but nonetheless after going on a 2 game win streak a month later he was back with a post to the league wide message board, “I’m here for the long run boys.”
Two months ago, when someone suggested to start a fantasy football league, I thought of it as a half-hearted way to stay in touch. Snap forward to the present day and it has arguably evolved into the threads of a lasting friendship between the guys. Needless to say, my thoughts on fantasy football prior to playing were misconceptions. Though it may be because of my success, fantasy football will have deep roots in my life to come.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons