Fantasy Football: Hobby or Addiction?

Dante CocciaContributor IOctober 17, 2008

It all started for me a long time ago. I was in high school, playing my own football, when a neighbor, who was a lot older, asked me to join a fantasy football league.

After many questions and much confusion, I was ready to do it. Little did I know that many years later, I would be addicted! I was running my own leagues, writing about it, and even losing sleep over it. My wife thinks it is nuts, but she has never tried it.

I was young and didn't know what I was doing. The one rule that confused me the most was that no one was allowed to draft Dan Marino. I drafted my team and as far as I could remember, I stunk, but did figure out the Marino thing. Some would have packed it in, but like a smoker who says “last pack”—every year is my last!

What does it to you? Is it the draft? Well, this is probably the most fun because it is the time when all teams are together and all have the same record. BUT no, it’s not the draft. Is it the trades? Although trades are also a fun part of fantasy football, no it’s not. Well what is it then?

It is the idea that you are in charge of your team. Unlike your favorite NFL team that you can’t control, in fantasy football you are in full control. You start whom you want to start, bench whom you want to bench. All week you spend doing homework, checking the injuries, and working to waiver wire. It’s great! 

Another great part of fantasy is the different trading styles. I love all the styles people use to try and make deals—the people who send you three okay players for one stud, or the bye-week-trader who wants you to play a week with no available players. It’s all good, and it’s all fun!

Fantasy football will even change the way you watch football on Sundays. I now look forward to Monday, when just one game is on. The football package was way too much, and I had to shut it down before I overdosed on fantasy. Never watching a full game, just looking for your QB or RB to do something and then change the channel. It is nuts. I even watch the NFL network just for stats. I am addicted!

I started this journey of fantasy way back when. We did it by hand and worked out deals over the phone. Now it’s all on the computer. The rules have changed, and I no longer stink—many years later and much wiser.

I like to think of myself as a knowledgeable fantasy player. It is crazy, and until you try it, you will never understand! I am addicted and LOVE IT! No rehab needed, and the only program I am looking for is one with cheat-sheets in it for next week’s games.

So, to all you addicts, good luck the rest of the year! Unless you are in my league!