Now, I'm officially done. I'm retiring.
Last year I was able to successfully get off NBA and MLB, but I pulled a Roger Clemens on the Football Fantasy this season. At the end of this season, I'll hang up that one too. That'd leave me with only two more guessing games - 1) NCAA brackets 2) NFL Pick 'em. That's it.
Some say that it is totally possible for them to separate their passionate following for a team from their fantasy. I admit. I can't.
1. It is impossible to put together a great roster: When I'm creating a team, I'm constrained because I can't draft anyone from the other teams in the division (AFC East, AL West). It goes directly against my fiber to even think of a Willis McGahee or a Francisco Rodriguez. How could I? There's no choice.
2. Even if I avoid the divisional foes on my roster, I can't control what others do. If my opponent chooses to play Corey Dillon against me, that ruins my weekend right there.
3. Say, I have the Pats kicker on my roster, and Pats are 3rd and 10 at the opp 35 yard line. As a fan, an incomplete pass should leave me cursing. But I find myself thrilled because now my fantasy team has a chance for 5 points if Gostkowski hits a 53 yarder. Of course, Pats would end up punting and give me the worst of both worlds.
4. At home: I can't plan anything on sundays. No guests, no relatives, no chores because it is time to sit down on my ass and follow every freaking point as it goes down in the books. Result - an unhappy household. After all a man would want some kind of consolation when his opponent had just gotten lucky on a 41 yard TD pass. Instantly my mind starts calculating. That's 4 + 6+ 2 = 12 !@#!#)*points, all because the stinking Raiders couldn't defend the pass. While I'm deeply engaged between the laptop and the TV, nothing else gets into my fuming ears. Anything the wife says at that point is totally muted out - only adding to more drama in the living room.
5. Takes too much of my time: I'm not the kind who will draft a team, set up my playing roster each week and take a back seat until the results are in. Just like following the real teams, I want to be closely engaged. In fact, I'd like for TV technology to allow for the ESPN bottomline to appear while I'm watching any channel. That'd be sweet, won't it? Back to the point - Even though there is no proof, like most other devout idiots out there, I too believe that I have some control over game events. It is not superstition, but something like that. My wife calls it stupidity. Anyway, bottomline is that the fantasy team becomes another real team for me, just like the A's, Pats and Jazz. Maybe it is psychological. The prescription is to let go of it and keep it real.
Fandom in itself is expending energy on something outside of our own tangible control - or so, they say. To extend that to an imaginary fantasy world is asking for too much. I quit!