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The Obsession of Fantasy Football Ownership

You don't have to go far to find out how psychologically unstable fantasy football owners can be. Just ask the wives or husbands of those involved and you'll hear more than you ever wanted to know!! It's almost as though we have split personalities (I say "we" because I have to admit I'm as guilty as anyone in this respect) --- the responsible family-person appears from February through July, and the distracted soul with other obligations and commitments appears from August through January.

From the time we begin preparation for our draft until after the league Super Bowl is a period of distraction from our families, friends, jobs, household chores, or whatever else requires our time and attention. Please note that I specified the "league" Super Bowl, not the actual NFL Super Bowl. That's because the serious, hard-core fantasy football owners don't care as much about the NFL after playoffs begin because our fantasy league championship trophy has already been awarded!! Watching football just isn't the same when you aren't fielding a team yourself.

Okay, so we all can admit to being a little distracted during the season. But how many of us will admit to being obsessed? Probably not many, even though most of us really are obsessed with all the details related to the success of our team. And the obsession multiplies with each team we own.

We spend endless hours on the computer searching website after website. We go through countless reams of paper and ink cartridges as we print off the weekly rankings from 20 or more web sites EACH week. When preparing for the draft we have to worry about projections, and depth charts, and average draft positions, and mock drafts, etc. We can't rely on just one source, so we constantly search for more and more "experts" on the web. We create links and we add them to our bookmarks until we have so many they don't even fit on the screen!!! If anyone else in the house needs the computer, they'll just have to wait. After all, everyone should just understand how important fantasy football really is and why it should be the priority!

The phone line should operate in much the same fashion as the internet connection. Priority goes to fantasy football - no questions asked. After all, I might need to call in a last-minute roster change. Or we should probably keep the line open in case anyone wants to propose a trade. Rules for the kids usually include no phone calls after 10 p.m., but it's okay if a fellow owner calls wanting to "make a deal". After all, it's not THAT late and it's not like it'll wake anyone up!! It's frustrating when the mother-in-law calls on Sunday morning and interrupts a quiet family brunch or makes us get up while reading the sports section of the paper, but it's always forgivable if the commissioner needs to call and give some important, lifesaving fantasy information!!!

Work can be a double-edged sword during the season. If you work with people who are in your league, or even in another league, many water cooler conversations revolve around fantasy football topics. It can progress to mutual agreement, disagreement, or even an occasional argument. Countless work time is wasted having fantasy discussions or doing fantasy research on the computer. After all, maybe the spreadsheet program on the work computer works a whole lot better to compute individualized stats, projections, results, or whatever. If you're like me, and no one else at work is an owner, you're almost viewed as a deviant. They aren't as forgiving when a fellow owner calls to make a trade during work hours. They don't understand why your computer history includes so many fantasy sites. And they sure as heck don't understand what you're talking about half the time - they claim you are speaking a different language when you use terms like "starting QB", "VBD", or "IDP". I've even been asked, "So do you REALLY 'own' those players?" They just don't seem to grasp the concept of "fantasy"!!!

As a fantasy owner, I will admit to a strong distraction, and maybe even an obsession with the game and all it entails. Maybe I need to make some promises:

  • I vow to spend an equal amount of time with the family as I do with my fellow owners
  • I vow to share computer time with others in the house
  • I vow not to get angry when others in the house receive phone calls late at night or early in the morning since I get them also
  • I vow to actually "work" when I'm at work and not spend work time surfing the fantasy sites, talking stats, or making trades with fellow owners
  • I vow to stop making excuses to go to the store just so I can see if there is a new issue of my favorite fantasy magazine on the shelf yet
  • I vow to pay more attention to those who talk to me during Sunday pre-game shows (as long as it isn't while the fantasy advice is scrolling along the bottom of the screen)
  • I vow to go to Sunday church service once in awhile during the season (provided the service ends early enough to get me home before game time!!!!)

This all sounds good, but I seriously doubt that I (or any other serious owner) can stick to all of these promises. There are some serious psychological ramifications affixed to fantasy football ownership. We are all very, very impaired by the impact of our addiction to this "disease". Admitting it is the first step, and I've conquered that.... maybe I'll work on actually doing something about it next year!!!!

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