I love fantasy football.
It’s an uncontroversial statement for a lot of people. It’s not an issue that’s debated about or hotly contested. It’s a game with friends for a silly title or crude trophy.
But for me, it’s something more.
I don’t (or didn’t, rather) watch a lot of football. Fantasy football was even more of a mystery to me than offensive pass interference or defensive plays in Madden. Sports, even e-sports, have always evaded me. My attention span is so tiny and useless that I never got into it. That same tiny attention span is what has made this semester so tough– I struggle against apathy instead of exams.
Fantasy offered me a rare opportunity. It could hold my attention. It could make my brain shake off some of the dust and idiocy that have accumulated in every wrinkle.
I have passion about a few things: animals, video games, rap music. But those are a constant, easily becoming more of the white/grey noise that obscures so much of my energy.
Fantasy finally shook me awake. I poured over /r/fantasyfootball for hours, reading player summaries and what everything meant. I picked up on streaming defenses and the possibility of streaming kickers. I read threads to the bottom, clicked on every link, evaluated every choice.
It gave me another thing to talk to my friends about, something we’re all at least somewhat interested and invested in. I got a small look into the world of stats and numbers that my friends have memorized, as opposed to my knowledge of mixtapes or games. It gave me a new connection to the few people I actually want to speak to regularly.
It gave me a new passion and reason to do something. I actually have the energy and drive to accomplish something– I’m enthralled the day after all the games where I can reevaluate and scan for available players. I can make decisions, regardless of whether or not they turn out to be the right ones. There is no putting off something because I’m scared or unsure. I can actually take action on something. I can be reassured I made the right decision. I can see my choices payoff in real time. I can see them do the exact opposite.
Fantasy football is frustrating, impossible, infuriating, confusing. A million other adjectives that don’t do a good enough job of describing how nervous I am about the games regardless of the fact I’m playing somebody who is still starting Adrian Peterson in week eight or how frustrated I am when I benched the equivalent of 80 points and came up with a loss because of it.
Fantasy football is dumb chance. It’s not even rolling dice, it’s rolling dice that have question marks instead of numbers.
Fantasy football is also one of the only things that’s given me a sense of life in the past few weeks.
It has crossed countless barriers in my brain to give me a deep-seated contentedness that I didn’t know I was missing.
The reality is that this is way too personal and involved for a stupid post about a pseudo-game played by millions. The fantasy, however, is that this stupid game will continue to give me the energy and ability to care that I haven’t seen in a long time.