I’ve never really been into fantasy sports of any kind.
I haven’t, I should say, until this year, when I decided to make up for years of blissful ignorance and throw myself headlong into not just one (or even one variety of) fantasy football experience, but four.
I have always been an all-or-nothing sort of person, and it turns out that after listening to my fantasy freak friend go on about her very favorite hobby for three seasons, the curiosity was too much to take.
(And so was the peace of mind, apparently.)
I started to get nervy about it in my mind. “Hey, I could figure this out,” my nervy mind thought. “I have been to one whole NFL preseason game, and I’ve watched several on tv.”
I was not interested in leaving this thing unconquered.
So I did what any good combination slacker/overachiever would do: I printed out a lot of lists of statistics and names and teams and positions. I made lists of guys I wanted to snag for my teams, learned some new terms, and had some heated GCchat time with a fellow new person to the league just before the draft, wherein we took turns saying, and I paraphrase, “OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL I’M DOING! What does this MEAN? I am not drunk enough for this!”
(That last line isn’t paraphrased at all. I remember that one pretty well.”)
But I was still feeling pretty good. I felt that I knew some solid choices that I wanted to make, and I felt reasonably sure that even a person of my feeble football knowledge could read CHARTS, for God sakes. I’m an EDUCATOR. I own MANY HIGHLIGHTERS.
So I settled in, engaging in ridiculous, hilarious banter with the other people in my league, kind of learning to navigate mastering the website, and even feeling a little bit satisfied. I got a decent running back or two. I picked a solid quarterback.
And then I hit the wrong button and picked a kicker — Neil Rackers of the Houston Texans — accidentally. I learned that this was an error based on the string of giggles coming from the draft chat, and the request of a few people that I return next year because it’s not like I was going to pose any kind of threat.
And then I learned a few days later that my first-string QB, Peyton Manning, was almost immediately put on the injured list for a series of neck surgeries. AND I picked a running back — Arian Foster — who has the hamstrings of my grandma, may she rest in peace, so HE was off of my list for the first week.
And it was an ugly week.
But I will say to the haters that my new friend Neil Rackers, playing a Peyton-less, shell-shocked Indianapolis, and my not-too-shabby backup QB Joe Flacco (Go Ravens!) helped me be in last place by only three points. This is saying something given the lackluster performance of the rest of my team. There really isn’t any guarantee that this week will go any better, but thanks are due to my head-to-head opponent and supposed friend, who not only beat me by many, many points, but rechristened my team NiceRackers.
And I have to admit that this has been a lot of fun so far. Foster is supposedly back tomorrow, so we’ll see if my Texans tag team can get me out of the basement. It’s really too bad I don’t own a Rackers jersey yet, but forget about any other deities — around here these days, it’s WWNRD.
Really. What Would Neil Rackers Do?