Monday, December 22, 2008

My Unnatural Obsession

I feel like my past few posts have poked fun at Deaner a bit so I am about to call myself out big time here. Every January I have a feeling of impending doom as bowl games wrap up and I am facing seven full months without college football. As we approach September every year I start to plan ahead and speculate about the upcoming season. I make no apologies for my behavior and the smack talk comes naturally to me. Until last year, these intense feelings of excitement for the upcoming football season have been limited to college football only. Professional football has never meant a thing to me until the infamous day when I received an invitation from a college friend to participate in a fantasy football league. I really had no idea how this would come to affect my life for 17 weeks a year. All this fun for $20 a year?!? Count me in until I am 99 years old!

Last year I was a very mediocre fantasy football team owner. I set my schedule every week and made sure that all my positions were filled each week but I never made trades, hardly checked the waiver wire, and was never looking ahead to the future. I should have known how bad things would get when the draft was scheduled on my birthday and I was set to have dinner with my parents at the same time the draft was supposed to start. Most normal people would have preset their draft order and let things fall into place. Our dinner reservations were for 7. My mom and dad, my sister and her fiance, deaner, myself, and my laptop. I just couldn't bring myself to auto draft. I know, an illness in the making.

My first three round draft picks were as follows: Ryan Grant, Willie Parker, and Derek Anderson. I know this probably doesn't mean a lot to most of my readers but I can only say that these 3 players, seemingly my most solid reliable players, have been my worst nightmare. Willie Parker has been the bain of my existence for the past 16 weeks. He has a hurt knee, he's on the bench, nope now he is coming back, psych, he is still out, oops, now his shoulder is hurt. Jesus Christ! Just retire if you are going to be such a baby! And don't think I will ever draft you again! Parker was a bigger bust for me than Marc Bulger was last year, and his name still sends a chill down my spine. Anyways, I experienced several low points this season as my neurotic obsession reached new heights, and I think that my actions warrant a bit of poking fun of myself. At least I KNOW that this is insane.

1. Back in week 3 of the season I was playing a friend of mine from Memphis. The game came down to the Monday Night Matchup. I had to fight sleep to the end of the game but my kicker kicked a field goal with 19 seconds to play in the game and I went ahead of my opponent by 2 points to win the game. I promptly fell asleep.........but only to dream all night long that ESPN had made a scoring mistake, or that I had not seen the field goal correctly, or that somehow my points got taken away and I lost. I was exhausted at work the next day and figured I was slowly losing my mind.

2. Sometime around the middle of the season, the league leader made a severe mistake. Like a little baby, he posted a message to the league that neither of his two quarterbacks could play that week for some reason or another and he was being forced to drop Tony Romo. Who by the way was on a HOT streak. This MAN asked for nobody to pick Romo up because he still needed him and wanted to pick him back up after the week's games. Uhhhhh, I think not. I announced that if he was dropping Romo, he was free game. This started a rather heated debate about how rude I was but I really didn't care. It wasn't until I was setting my alarm clock for 2:55 a.m. on a Tuesday morning to get out of the bed, boot up my laptop, and get to Romo before the other guy did (3 a.m. EST is when Romo would be available for pick-up), that Deaner pointed out that I had clearly lost my mind. Sigh. He was right. I did let the other guy get up in the middle of the night to re-claim his QB but my dreams of snatching out from under someone else were very vivid.

3. The final low came last night as I was watching the Monday Night Game and pulling for Matt Forte. I am in the semi finals this week and if I beat my opponent I advance to the final game. $175 is on the line here! All of my players did terrible this week. I should have beat this guy handily and yet going into the game I was only leading by 5 points. No room to feel comfortable at all! I had Forte left to play and my opponent had Donald Driver. Oh course the Bears had a terrible first half and Forge wasn't running the ball AT ALL. Driver was looking like one of Rogers favorite targets of the evening. Not a good thing. When Deaner shouted to me in the kitchen that Donald Driver had just gotten hurt and was being taken off the field, my immediate response was, "ON A STRETCHER?" Oh no, that is bad. My first thought was that I hoped he was hurt badly enough to have to leave for the rest of the game. That would ensure my win right? Unfortunately for me Driver was back in the game after a few plays. Fortunatly for me, Forte scored and solidified my win. Next week is the championship game. I'm not sure my nerves can take it.

So, only one more week of fantasy football. I can't say I am relieved because despite the stress that it causes me on a day to day basis from September-December, I am really going to miss playing! It gives purpose to my Sunday afternoons in the fall/winter! But the end of the season does promise that I will be less irritable, way less crabby, and might even venture away from the lap top on a Sunday afternoon. A few years ago my father made a statement that I believe is extremely appropriate and applies well to my life. After a UGA loss to Auburn in the last minute of the game in 2005, and a trial schedule start date set for that Monday morning (he's a lawyer, not a criminal), he stated that he was envious of those who did not get into college football, for SURELY their lives were easier than his. I agree wholeheartedly. While I would never give up my love for the game, I am certain that my life would be easier without the anxiety and angst that football brings into my life. But how would I fill those 5 months?? I'm totally sticking with it......


Fred said...

Sarah: This has been a hideoous college football season for the Dawgs, certainly the worst 9-3 season in history. We got rolled in every game that mattered. For some reason, however, I did a little better at getting over the beatings this year. Actually, I think having the Falcons win on a majority of Sundays helped. Also, with Sam's Marist career over, I had no season ending disappointments on Friday nights. Also, I enjoyed the Rebs, if not LSU. Or, I am getting old.

I tell you this though, I am not really looking forward to baseball. The Braves are going to "blow" and I am really depressed about player salaries. Do you think there is any future in becoming a soccer fan? No, I didn't think so.

Emory said...

Now that I can finally comment on your blog I will try to remember what I was going to originally going to write.
I originally read this wonderful fantasy post on my phone while sitting in the drive thur of Arbys on a very rainy night. I had been Christmas shopping and was not in the best of moods, since it was pouring down rain. While reading this I start thinking "I think I am this friend from Memphis that she ended up beating". When I finally get up to the window of the drive thur I am laughing so hard the lady must have thought I was crazy! Why was I laughing so hard...because I too have this Unnatural Obsession! Next season, this friend from Memphis won't lose!