Papa Bear's Dirty Little Secret
I have a problem.
I’m an addict.
There, I said it. You happy?
I’m addicted to fantasy sports. But guess what? I like it! I’m not looking to get reformed. I’m not looking for help. I’m here to tell you, I’m a fantasy sports junkie and no intervention is needed.
Like millions of others in this country, my vices are fantasy football and fantasy baseball. Just to clarify, I’m not an addict in the sense that I join dozens of leagues and drop thousands of dollars. Actually, in recent years I have averaged only two baseball and three football leagues per year, which is about the average amount of leagues for most fantasy gamers I know.
However, the leagues I am in, I go in 100 percent and become completely obsessed – most times to the point where I physically lose sleep at night. The picture above, I drew that about 10 years ago as the logo for my fantasy teams. I know, I know, I'm a loser. I’ve toyed with the idea of asking my family doctor for a medication to help overcome this, but I have shied away from that -- for now.
Right now I’m in full blown fantasy baseball mode. I’m in a keeper league with 11 other guys and I am itching like crazy to get started. I want to start trading keepers and acquiring picks. I just want to get going.
As this blog-o-mine progresses, you will find that my obsession with fantasy sports is a problem. Family trips used to be arranged around when lineups needed to be set (internet phone has helped that a little) and my mood is usually directly associated with how my team is doing. It’s a problem – I know.
There are also dilemmas I run into when I have to decide between my family and my fantasy, and as weird as this may sound, it’s not an easy choice. If you’re a fantasy gamer you know where I’m coming from. If you don’t, you’re not a true gamer. Like the Sunday when you need Drew Brees to throw four TDs to give you the win and you have to go to some great aunt's house that doesn't have a TV or your kids ask you to take them to the playground, knowing your reality team has already played.
Ask any hard-core fantasy gamer out there and they will all tell you that this is not an easy choice to make. Choose the party or the playground and you're miserable for not knowing what's going on, choose the game and, well, you know. It’s truly a problem we all run into.
Currently, for my baseball league I’m on a kick where I want to try and acquire all of my man-crushes and rename my team "The Mantasies." For those of you who don’t know, “man-crushes” can be defined as a guy you (as a male) have an affinity for. Right now, my man-crushes include Chase Utley, David Wright, Joey Votto, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Kemp and Brandon Webb. I don’t completely know why I have man-crushes on every single one of these guys. Reasons vary from they play on my favorite team (the Mets) to I drafted them on my fantasy team the year they played really well and I developed a crush on them as a result.
It is at this point I feel the need to point out to you that I am a married man and add that many fantasy gamers have had numerous man-crushes through the years. I’m not the only on. I swear. If you’re denying it, you’re lying.
Why do I want to do this? I don’t completely know. Probably has to do with my obsession for fantasy baseball and hours I need to kill thinking about it. Who knows?
Did you think I was lying when I said I have a problem?
I have even managed to get my 5-year-old son Junior Bear into it to the point he knows how many points for every 10 yards rushing and how many points for a touchdown. I rationalize this to myself that I am teaching him basic math skills.
Me: "20-yard touchdown is worth what?"
Junior Bear: "Eight points!"
Ah, Papa Bear's so proud.
I also get him in on the decision making when I feel I'm in a rut, but that's a story for a different day.
Despite my joy and bonding, some family members fear I am creating a monster. I'll let you decide.
As we move closer to my draft and then into the season I will be sure to keep you updated on how my team is doing.