Fantasy Football in Exile: Why I Won't Be Participating in the 2011 Season

Brendan O'HareContributor ISeptember 6, 2011

Peyton Manning and Eli Manning throw passes to fans at the 2005 Fantasy Football Training Camp held at the South Street Seaport on July 18, 2005 in New York City (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

It is 6:30 p.m. as I am writing this and my fantasy football draft was 45 minutes ago. And I missed it.

A day spent in New York City has rendered me without the ability to properly emote, although that may just be the adverse effects from my Gray's Papaya hot dogs (which are still worth the intestinal distress that may ensue).

The draft was to begin at 5:45 p.m. and I got home at around 5:10 p.m. Even though this technically gave me enough time to get to my draft site, I just couldn't do it. This really depresses me; I am too lazy to go to a fantasy football draft. Also, I had to write this article, so maybe that choice wasn't all that bad.

Anyway, I am still without a team, a day before the Thursday NFL kickoff sponsored by Pepsi, Kid Rock, NASA, Drew Brees' baby and the International Satellite of Love. This is uncharted territory for me—an obscure labyrinth that I do not know the answer to. This may seem like a really stupid problem to most, and in a normal society it is. If I was complaining about this in Uganda, I'd probably be finishing this post with bloody fingers and half of a right arm.

American males—most anyway—realize how integral fantasy football has become to our livelihood during the months that encapsulate September through February. It gives us an excuse to watch football for 12-consecutive hours without blinking or knowingly using the bathroom, and has subsequently increased the popularity of America's most popular game.

Fantasy football has configured the fandom landscape to such an omnipresent degree that I actually care whether or not Michael Turner ran for 77 or 80 yards. If he ran for 80, I can sleep. If he ran for 77, I cry until my tear ducts are anhydrous. Such is the life of a fantasy football "owner."

Owner has to be used with quotations, otherwise you are accompanying yourselves, by virtue of the word, with Mark Cuban and Tim Cook. It doesn't take a whole lot of skill to run a fantasy football team, but it takes a whole lot of skill not to burn alive while trying to.

For some reason, every Sunday becomes stressful. Some freaks are forced to root against their favorite teams (I would never start a player who was facing the Steelers—part of that is because of the defensive prowess of the Steelers and the other part is because I just can't root for Jamal Lewis, dammit) and others are forced to salvage lost pride against Jerry from accounting—that jackass with his stories about his perfect prep-school kids. I DON'T CARE, JERRY.

Fantasy football stories are a lot like the drivel that comes out of Jerry's mouth. They are boring, they only appeal to the storyteller and they induce rabies in the ears of the listener. That is why I will wrap this up.

For all the reasons listed above—the stress and rabies—I am kind of happy that I will not be participating in a fantasy football draft this year. I can probably get some more tangible work done and that rash will finally go away.

I love fantasy football and part of me will truly miss the game that has dominated part of my autumn/winter eves for almost a decade (That's right, I started playing when I was eight!). Although I will now be able to calmly watch a football game without wanting to watch nine other football games, I will miss the knowledge that comes from knowing that Tim Hightower sucks on a repeated basis—all that talk that he will be a "breakout star" this year is a load of horse excretion.

That is valuable knowledge and came only from a stint where Hightower was a second-string running back on Kromartie's Kidz. It kind of sucks that I will be missing out on that, but I am also kind of glad that I now have this free part of my brain to store with politics and facts about Uganda. This is not a eulogy or a retirement, as I likely will return to the game next season. But maybe this break is good.

What's that, little brother?

You want to join a random ESPN league with me and the draft is tomorrow?

Let's do it. But first I need to go buy an ESPN Official Fantasy Football Guide from Wal-Mart. Otherwise, I am doomed.

Do you think they have hot dogs?

Brendan O’Hare runs the sports/pop culture blogging conglomerate PineRiders, which has been linked to by Deadspin, EDSBS, Puck Daddy, and With Leather. If you want to be in Brendan’s next mailbag, contact him Follow him on Twitter @BrendanOHarePR.