Three years ago, I was sitting in a hotel room in Cleveland wondering why ESPN was only talking about the NFL. It was August. The season hadn’t started yet. Where are my baseball highlights?
I didn’t understand. When a new season begins, for any sport, there’s excitement. Trust me, I know. But this love for football that was coming through my TV screen was on another level.
Is this how Canadians come across when hockey season is about to begin? Perhaps the football fever I saw was just me looking in a mirror, failing to accept that what I was seeing was the same song, just a different chorus.
Three years later, I get it. I understand the football fever in August. Why? Because I currently have it.
Last year, I played fantasy football for the first time. Up until the moment I created the league, I was doubting my interest in it. I had lost touch with the NFL. I didn’t know most of the players. I didn’t know how to draft a team.
I’d say I was a fish out of water, but even a fish out of water is aware of its surroundings.
I remember doing my first mock draft and not recognizing any of the names after the second round. Two weeks later, I knew all of them, their position, which team they played for, and whether they liked their water cold, or at room temperature.
I have a good sports memory. Don’t ask me to remember names of characters in TV shows. Don’t ask me about plots in books. Don’t ask me what I ate for lunch yesterday. Can’t tell you.
Ask me about pretty much any athlete and I can tell you their sport, team, position, and maybe their number, as well as my own personal assessment of how good they are.
That stuff comes easy to me.
Being in a fantasy football league drew me back in to the NFL. All of a sudden, I had a new favourite team, I had players to watch every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday, and I had a reason to watch games in their entirety.
Sunday afternoons on the couch were stressful, exciting, and fun. I was a full-fledged football fan again.
Ever since I lost in the finals of fantasy football last year, I’ve been waiting for this season to start. And now, it’s less than four weeks away.
I reactivated my fantasy league on August 1st because if people can start listening to Christmas music as soon as Halloween ends, then I can start thinking about fantasy football as soon as July ends.
It’s a rule, look it up.
This is the part where I tell you that I’ve already done too much research on NFL players and who to pick in my fantasy draft, which isn’t until September.
This is also the part where I tell you that I’ve blown through about a dozen draft strategies in my head already, convincing myself that each one is correct, only to think of a different one the next day.
The obsession is real right now.
If I didn’t have maple syrup still flowing out of my finger tip, you could probably convince me that I had turned into an American citizen, who has an unhealthy addiction to football, chairs with cup holders, and condiments.
Some of the people in my fantasy league will read this blog post and probably comment, “I haven’t even thought about our draft yet.”
That’s fine, I’m just a weirdo who is elbow deep in football information, struggling to find a way back to a life that doesn’t involve figuring out how I’m going to build a winning team with the 10th pick.
I loved the NFL when I was growing up and knew most of the players, thanks to video games.
But when you move away for school and spend your Sundays on intramural fields and/or your bed napping, you tend to skip out on watching the Buffalo Bills play at 1PM.
It’s 2019, someone needs to tell whoever is in charge that people living in Southern Ontario don’t care about the Buffalo Bills. Give us anyone else at the 1PM game on CBS.
Should I mention my school was ten minutes away from Buffalo, or no?
We would get the Buffalo nightly news – so many Bingo Hall cancellations at the bottom of the screen whenever there was a snowstorm. I think I’ve only ever seen (the outside) of one Bingo Hall in Canada. Buffalo seems to have about 467 of them.
I’m getting off track.
Football has taken over my life. Three years ago, I never would’ve imagined this to be true about me, but then again, this seems to be a pattern in my life. I reject things, or don’t fully understand the hype, and then a few years later I’m obsessed.
Still waiting on my Pokemon obsession, though. I’ve been rejecting it since I was in Grade 4. I don’t think it’s coming.
So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. With velcro.
Now, if you don’t mind, I need to go look at player rankings again. Why? I have no clue. I have them memorized.
This is my cry for help.
Are you excited for the football season to start? Do you play fantasy football? What are you looking forward to this season?
Do I need help? Have you ever found yourself obsessed with something you didn’t think you’d obsess over?