Reality meets fantasy football

I used to like NFL football. There was nothing better than sitting down in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon and watching the gridiron battles.

As long as the games were entertaining, it didn’t really matter who won or lost – except when the Washington Redskins were playing.

Well, those days are over.

Now, thanks to fantasy football, Sunday is a work day and I have a job – a frustrating and emotionally draining job with no vacation, holidays, or weekends off.

I signed up for fantasy football for the first time last year. It seemed like fun, but I probably should’ve known something was wrong when I found myself screaming things like “throw it to Peerless Price!” at my television screen.

Regardless, beginner’s luck propelled me to the playoffs in all 3 of my leagues and championships in 2 of them.

This year is different.

I am playing against my friends in a Yahoo! League, making the stakes extra high. My team, “Simply the Best,” is 8-2 and in first place. It’s still good, clean fun, but scoreboard watching is starting to wear me out – it’s too much of an emotional rollercoaster.

Fantasy football is the stock market of the sports world, and I feel like a day trader. One minute we’re up, the next we are getting blown out, and then we make a dramatic comeback for the win.

Stop the madness.

My priorities as a fan are all out of whack. I wasn’t nearly as upset about the Redskins losing this week than I was about Daunte Culpepper committing five turnovers.

No longer do I cheer solely based on likes and dislikes. This is a business and I need wins.

It wasn’t that long ago that fantasy owners were just a small number of sports stat geeks, now it’s gone so far that ESPN, CBS and FOX have changed the way they present game info, focusing more on individual player stats and producing segments shelling out fantasy advice, which is usually wrong. It’s come a long way since the first fantasy draft in an Oakland bar in 1963.

The natural appeal of running your own team means fantasy football is here to stay, but I am giving you fair warning – its not for the weak of heart or noncommittal.

You can do all the research in the world, start all the best players the NFL has to offer, and still lose because you didn’t start the right players.

Like baseball guru Yogi Berra said, “It’s hard making predictions, especially about the future.”

I’d write more except I have to conduct research for my lineup this week. This job never ends.

Hakimu Davidson, 23, is a graduate MBA student from Washington, D.C. He can be reached at