How I survived my season without fantasy football

Sunday, December 15, 2013

After last season ended with (another) championship, I decided to retire from fantasy football. Like anything else competitive, the magnitude of frustration from a loss was much greater than the magnitude of happiness from a win.

Losing was horrible. Winning is good because it meant I didn't lose.

The best way to win in fantasy football, and most everything else, is to prepare more than your competition and while I probably could have continued to make the time commitment required, it wasn't worth it.

Day-to-day, week-to-week, I just didn't have enough fun playing fantasy football. So I retired.

Here's the complete list of things that I missed about playing fantasy football:
- The draft

That's it.

Here's a nowhere-near complete list of things I didn't miss:
- Rooting for players I don't care about
- Rooting for teams I don't like
- Losing when I have a better team
- Stressing about my idiot kicker on a Monday night
- Having a reception retroactively turned into a rushing attempt and losing points
- Watching stats update in GameChannel all day on Sunday
- Spending all week deciding which terrible player I should drop to pick up a slightly less terrible player with a more advantageous matchup
- Season-ending injuries to top picks
- Game-ending injuries in the first quarter after I debated all week about whether I should play him or not
- Rooting for a touchdown to get scored against my favorite team
- Having my running back finish with 90 rush yards and 90 receiving yards but not getting to 100 in either and losing out on the bonus
- Missing the trade deadline for Thursday night games
- Getting a trade proposal turned down without explanation
- Losing

I didn't miss it at all. Most weeks, I didn't even think about it. I can't remember having anything be such a big part of my life, for so many years, dropping it cold turkey and not even thinking about it. Fantasy football 1, old girlfriends 0.

So when the playoffs started this week I didn't even know. It was glorious.

As an added bonus, cutting fantasy football led to me caring more about real football. I could actually watch games and root for the greater good instead of rooting for my players to succeed and my opponents players to fail.

The average football game is more enjoyable when you don't get punched in the stomach nine times a game because your opponent's receiver caught a meaningless 11-yard pass on third-and-14.

Mostly, ditching fantasy football has allowed me to focus on more important things. Like my fantasy basketball team.

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