Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If this is it, please let me know

Thursday night is the BCS title game. I can’t really remember who’s playing. I’m pretty sure Florida is one of the teams. But whether they’re playing Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota or the University of Regina, I don’t know and I don’t really care. College football is unwatchable, so I don’t concern myself with it.

But it will mark a milestone of sorts. Once the game is over and I settle nicely into a 6th place finish in my bowl pick ‘em pool, that could be the end of my fantasy sports career.

For the past few years, I’ve paid a hefty entry fee to partake in an obsessive league that encompasses March Madness, fantasy baseball, golf, fantasy football, pick ‘ems, the whole thing.

And every year, I do terrible. I made the fantasy football playoffs once, but after a first round bye I flamed out in the semi-finals in a crash so spectacular it made the Kingdome implosion look like a backyard fireworks display.

Another time, I finished third in the bowl pick ‘em, earning myself a nice $10, allowing me to recoup approximately 0.03% of the money I’ve invested in this league over the years.

Frankly, I just don’t know if I can take it anymore. I’m just tired.

Tired of scouring the waiver wires.

Tired of proposing trades to owners afraid of pulling the trigger.

Tired of being offered 4-for-1 trades where someone tries to send me 4 crappy players for my first round pick.

Tired of my March Madness sleeper losing in the first round.

Tired of scoring 320 points in a fantasy football week and losing to someone who scored 322, while someone else wins with 265 points.

Tired of starting fantasy football 1-3 and trying to dig out of the hole.

Tired of watching LenDale White score 3 touchdowns one week when he’s on my bench, and rush for 14 yards and no TDs the next when I start him.

Tired of cursing out Jose Lopez.

Mostly, I’m just tired of the stress. I’m not even sure if I enjoyed myself at all this year. The few victories I did have weren’t even enjoyable. They were mostly just brief reprieves in a season full of gut-wrenching losses. And it’s like this every year. And I just don’t know if I can take it anymore.

I know I won’t walk away from gambling completely. I’ll still bet on every March Madness game with my cousin. The occasional NFL pick ‘em. But I just don’t think I can invest myself in it anymore.

Fantasy sports have become like a job, and like just about any job, there comes a time to walk away. On Thursday night, after that football game between Vermont State and ITT Tech, or whoever the hell it is, it may be that time.

I’ll have a while to decide, the next cycle doesn’t start until March Madness, giving me about two months. But in the past, I’d spend that time jonesing for some fantasy action. Last year, I was happy for the break. Now I wish it was even longer.

Who knows, maybe after this emotional farewell, I’ll pull a Favre and change my mind. And like Favre, my comeback will probably start strong before disintegrating faster than a porn star’s dignity.

I don’t know though. Maybe I need to just put myself out of misery.

I think this is it.


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