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Fantasy Football Is Over, Now What Do We Do?

James Pearson@JKPIIICorrespondent IDecember 30, 2010

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  A dejected Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans walks off the field after Houston was defeated by Baltimore in overtime at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Fantasy football is now officially over, well it should be unless you count week 17 and then I hope your players are even attending their game this week. I just lost my fantasy football championship. It was close and I had a good season, but it’s over and I was the last team to lose. Losing in fantasy is very unsettling, while I do control it a little bit, who I start and bench, but I can’t do much else than that.

That’s what’s so maddening about this, I have no control over what happens after the ball is kicked off. Is it my fault Peyton Manning pulls up on the two-yard line? No. If I were his fantasy coach I would be yelling at him as loud as I could (as I lost by four points) but his real coach probably gave him the game ball for that one. If I could, would I have handed the ball off to Arian Foster 60 times? Absolutely. Was it something I did that made the Buffalo Bills turn the ball over seven times in a 3-point effort?

I don’t think so, but now I have to carry that with me till next season. Fantasy football greatly enhances football on Sundays and even friendships. If nothing else, we always have our season to talk about, and when we did get together that’s all we talk about. 

Upon losing, my first reaction was: what am I going to do on Sundays now? Not so much that I lost and how I lost, but that it’s over. I hate to think about how much time, and let’s be honest here, I wasted the last four months researching, overanalyzing match ups, and making numerous pickups and trade offers. And now it’s all over.

I spoke with a colleague (who made it to the finals in his league) and asked him “Did you win your matchup?” 15 minutes later, I found out he lost. Why did it take that long? We are so invested in this thing that when he was explaining to me how he had lost in the last game of the season, it seemed like he was actually playing in the game himself.

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Is it the competition we love? Being able to brag about a win and how we beat a close friend? Is it the fact that we can run a fictional NFL team? I don’t know exactly why I get into it so much, but I can't get enough of it. It could be when one of my players scores that excited feeling you get, but now that feeling is gone. I’m sure I’ll get over it soon, but now I can’t imagine a weekend without fantasy football.

What do we do on Sundays now? Yeah, the NFL playoffs and bowl games will be fun, but I‘m not going to have my own team playing on Sunday anymore. Me and my friends aren’t going to go to the bar on Sunday to watch teams we don’t even really like play in the playoffs. If it were the 49ers or Raiders maybe, but we haven’t had that option in a long while. Definitely not going to get a call from one of my friends with “hey, the Ticket City Bowl is on, let’s go watch it.” There is a lot of time now to fill, which is probably a good thing, but how are we going to fill it?

I poked around the Internet to see what other people are going to do now that fantasy football is over; someone suggested a fantasy system for the playoffs with the total team points for the entire playoffs wins. Hmm, I don’t really want to play in a league where my entire team could be eliminated after one game.

Someone else said he would start prepping for fantasy baseball (suddenly I don’t feel like I wasted that much time). Someone else said we should start reading. I like to read. However, it takes me too long to read a book, especially since after I read about five pages I’m out like a light.

The real problem is when you're done reading a book, say it was a good book. Okay, now what? There is almost a guarantee that no one else has read it, so who can you talk to about it? It’s not like a movie where someone else has seen it and you can talk about it, and unless I get a sex change and age about 30 years so I can join a book club, there's no one to talk to about the book.

What I won’t miss about fantasy football is the losing. If you’re like me, a loss stays with you all week, and depending on who you lose to in your league, it could be a very long week. I also won’t miss the feeling when Sunday Night Football is about to start and I am exhausted from sitting all day and watching TV. By then, it’s tough to even sit up out of a chair, and my body actually hurts.

What to do now? The people who are most excited about the end of fantasy are the wives and girlfriends of team owners. They put up with you for 16 weeks, now it’s time to pay them back for lost time. Maybe even reconnect with your kids, just don’t teach them about fantasy football. I know how much I don’t like losing to someone that will let me hear about it, imagine how humiliating it would be to lose to your kid. Start going back to the gym (that was even painful to type), and I don’t know what else other than we now have a lot of time on our hands.

So goodbye fantasy football, thank you and we will see you in August, which feels like an eternity away.

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