The Week I Stop Giving A Shit About My Fantasy Football Team

Every year, as fantasy football season approaches, I get really excited. I’m tortured by anticipation for months as I look forward to my league’s draft. I can’t fucking wait. I think about how maybe this will be the year that I actually do some research, buy some fantasy football nerd magazines, print out multiple spreadsheets filled with statistics I don’t fully understand, and draft the greatest team of all time. I look forward to spending every waking minute of Sunday on the couch flipping back and forth between games and watching my players rack up a record-breaking amount of points. I dream about going undefeated and individually telling each member of my league to suckle my scrotum with a mouth full of Pop Rocks. I fantasize about being awarded the trophy by our league’s commissioner, raising it triumphantly over my head, and then doing the D-Generation X “suck it” motion over and over in everyone’s faces.

Draft day finally comes, and I have done zero preparation. If I’m feeling spry, I’ll pull up a few mock draft projections from ESPN, CBS Sports, and Yahoo 15-minutes before the first pick is taken. I stumble through the draft, executing desperate Google searches of different player names as precious seconds tick off the clock, pathetically filling my roster with has-beens and wannabes. When it’s all over, I somehow convince myself that I love my team, and that this is my year.

Then the season starts, and all hell breaks loose.

Every single year, without fail, my first round draft pick goes down with a season ending injury. Then I go on a losing streak of five or six games, fall to last place in the standings, and attempt to drown the pain with dozens of ice cold Miller Lites. I ask myself, “Where did it all go wrong?” Everywhere. Everywhere is where it all went wrong.

Slowly but surely, I realize that every single player I drafted is a fucking loser. I panic and start firing out desperate trade proposals left and right. Eventually someone accepts one of these idiotic proposals, and I immediately realize that I’ve somehow managed to make my team even worse. The entire league chimes in on the message board to ensure that I know I’m the stupidest fucking person to ever lead a team into battle on the e-gridiron. I’m accused of collusion, and words like “fantasy integrity” are thrown around. I receive insulting texts, emails and voicemails that take shots not only at my manhood, but at my girlfriend and mother. As the pile of personal attacks grows higher, my sanity starts to slip. I begin to suspect that the entire league is in cahoots to destroy my team.

Then I win a game, maybe even two, and a false sense of hope begins to build within my fragile mind. “Maybe I can sneak into the playoffs,” I think to myself. “I still have a chance if I win out.” These are the thoughts of a desperate fool at the end of his pitiful rope. I lose my next few games, at least one of which is an absolutely embarrassing blowout where my opponent’s team accumulates more than triple the amount of points that mine does, and then the commissioner releases his mid-season power rankings. As expected, I occupy last place.

Week by week, the shit talking between members has grown more and more intense, but with the release of the mid-season power rankings, everything is taken to a disturbing new level. The stability of the league as a whole begins to wane. Guys can’t even go to the bar together on Sunday because they’d end up breaking bottles over tables and attempting to slit each other’s throats. Everyone turns on the commissioner and accuses him of a being an over controlling, power-hungry dictator with a soul of pure evil rivaled only by Hitler. Every single trade is vetoed by a league vote, even the ones that are undeniably fair, because everyone hates each other so much. Then the death threats start. This is the only thing that brings me some semblance of joy, as my season has long been in the toilet by the time the league crumbles and succumbs to chaos.

But none of this changes the fact that my team is absolute garbage, I’m out of playoff contention, it’s not even fun to talk shit anymore, and I actually like myself less each time I have to set my lineup. That’s when I stop giving a shit about my fantasy football team.

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Ross Bolen

Ross Bolen is a New York Times Bestselling author, co-host of the Oysters, Clams & Cockles: Game of Thrones podcast, co-host of the Back Door Cover sports podcast, 2017 Masters attendee, bigger and more loyal Rockets, Astros and Texans fan than you, cheese enchilada aficionado, and nap god.

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