Fantasy Football Addiction

Fantasy Football is a terrible addiction. For the last 17 weeks, I’ve wasted almost all of my Sundays watching NFL games I otherwise wouldn’t have watched, all for the sake of a small amount of cash and some bragging rights. I’m so bad that even though both of my league championships have already been decided, I’m watching the meaningless Cowboys/Giants Sunday night game right now because Tiki Barber is still scoring me points.

With the emergence of web-based fantasy sports engines like our own ESPN League Manager, fantasy football has gone, in only a few years, from an obscure fringe hobby to one of the most popular paid services online. I’m the commissioner of two ESPN leagues this year and they are both the biggest leagues I’ve ever participated in (16 and 20 people). I think that growing league sizes and multiple league memberships are signs that fantasy football fever is still very much exploding.

One of the leagues I’m in is a blogger’s league that Keith Robinson and I set up to help get to know some people in the community a little better. It is my jealous pleasure to announce that Keith won the league championship today with a 159-124 victory over Mike Papageorge (a.k.a. The Shifty Spaniard) in the final game. Keith’s team, Kiss My Asterisk, was among the most exciting to watch this year, winning several nailbiters on clutch plays and good coaching decisions. Mike Papageorge’s team, The Alicante Algonauts, was quite strong as well, especially considering it was operated out of Spain, a football starved province in Western Europe. I was one fumble away from taking the title this year, so I can’t complain, but congratulations to both Mike and Keith on making the final game and to Keith for winning it all <marv_albert>WITH AUTHORITY</marv_albert>! Thanks also to the 17 other industry know-nothings in the league who put up with the forked tongue of the Commish for the whole season.

The second league I ran is a money league of friends and co-workers and I’m happy to say I took the title in that one with a 244-139 blowout. I don’t expect any readers to actually care about this, but hey, it was a long season and I’m proud of the win, damnit!

The Cowboys/Giants game just ended a couple of minutes ago which means the fantasy season is now officially over as well. Tiki Barber got me another 34 points. Yay Tiki.

It’ll be nice to have my Sundays back now.

25 comments on “Fantasy Football Addiction”. Leave your own?
  1. Mike P. says:

    It’ll be nice to have my Sundays back now.

    Tell me about it!! My Sunday nights, anyway…

    Thanks a lot Mike, tonnes of fun. The League manager, despite a few hiccups is a thing to marvel at; kudos to ESPN for creating a wicked web app (a “WWA” – Hmm, that could be a blog category…).

    Congrats to Keith and his Asterisks!!

  2. Jeff Croft says:

    Yep, the FFL league was a blast. I’m also pretty hooked on Fantasy Football, although I admit to taking it all a bit less seriously this year than I have in the past (simply didn’t have quite as much time to put into it). I definitely hope we do it again next year!

  3. Steve says:

    Hey, Western Europe ain’t all football starved. Believe me there are hundreds of us wasting our Sunday nights/Monday mornings following fantasy scores. The only difference is the Cowboys/Giants game didn’t finish until 4am!

  4. Mike says:

    Last I heard, Andrei was visiting Volek’s trailer with some pom-poms and KY, but that might have just been a rumor…

  5. Mike P. says:

    I heard Volek kicked him out after he played Brees yesterday…

    Steve, that time diff is a killer.

  6. <marv_albert>WITH AUTHORITY</marv_albert>

    hahaha!! :)

  7. Matthom says:

    What do you mean it’ll be nice to get your Sundays back? What about Fantasy NBA? And baseball is starting in a few months too. ;)

    I’ve never actually participated in a Fantasy league, but I’ve been intrigued, and maybe I’ll do it someday.

  8. Mike D. says:

    Matthom: The thing about the other sports like basketball and especially baseball is that they take WAY more time than I’m willing to put in. Football is unique in that you only have one day per week of games (plus MNF) so you can field a competitive team without attending to it every single day. With baseball, you’re constantly worried about when your pitchers pitch in the rotation and swapping them out every day is a job in itself.

    One of the things I’ve been pitching to the ESPN fantasy staff for awhile now is the concept of low-involvement baseball and low-involvement basketball. There are several ways you could do it; one being to simply only allow moves for one or two days out of the week, and another being to maybe have a “bot” be your shadow GM. I think a lot more people would play other fantasy sports if the time commitment was lower.

  9. Matthom says:

    Mike, you’re right – football is only 16 games – once per week, and relatively easy to keep track of.

    I always thought baseball should shorten it’s season. But it’s been that way for over a century. Who could possibly change tradition?

    Basketball, too, is so sporadic – who knows when games are on, etc. There is too much to keep track of.

    Like you said, it’s a job in itself.

    Knowing that, I could maybe see myself participating in an NFL Fantasy league next year. It’s probably worth a shot.

  10. Mark Wubben says:

    What the hell are you guys talking about?

    (Talk about a football starved country in Western Europe… the Netherlands! At least we’ve got the Amsterdam Admirals, if that’s the same thing…)

  11. We do it here in the UK too and I’m happy to say I am at the top of our private Fantasy Football (soccer) league.

    I have spent most of my time watching rubbish games over christmas :p

  12. It makes everything so much better when you actually know the people your playing with. I’ve played in leagues in years past where I knew at most one other person in the league, and after a few weeks it was a bore. This year I played in a 12 team league with a bunch of my coworkers and it was a blast the entire time. So lots of free agent movement, trades, veto’d trades, witty banter, and of course trash talk.

  13. Jeremy Flint says:

    Thanks for inviting me to play Mike. I had a blast and can’t wait for next season.

  14. I had more fun with this league, and getting to know the folks, than almost any other league I have been involved with. Thanks again Mike, and congrats to Keith.

  15. Wayne Godfrey says:

    I ran a Fantasy Football league for six years, long before the advent of the electronic versions that now exist. It was fun, taxing and a ton of work. I had to look up the stats using the newspapers every Monday evening, compile them to my computer at work, then run home to watch MNF. It changed forever the way I watched football and not for the better. I found I could no longer root for teams and instead I was always watching players’ stats and hoping for that extra yardage, a TD or the opposing QB to throw one the other way. To this day, I still watch the stats as they appear on the tube (calculating them in my head) and wonder who crying and who’s celebrating! I did, however, football myself out and that sucks.

    Congrats to your one championship and your great other finish.


  16. spk says:

    mike –

    who’s baseball league manager do you use? sportsline looks like they are the only kids on the block who offer a full fledged baseball league manager game.

    thanks and peace.

  17. Hey Mike, one other thought to pitch to ESPN regarding fantasy basketball that would make things nice: Several friends and I have always thought it would be nice to make roster moves days or weeks in advance. Maybe this is too much information to track, but it sure would be nice.

    This would also allow you to take the Christmas holiday off and not worry about getting your arse pasted because you didn’t rotate Nash to PG and your opponent caught you napping.

  18. Carla says:

    I’m stopping by to say hi since it’s de-lurker day… so hi and Happy New Year!

  19. Mike D. says:

    spk: I actually don’t play fantasy baseball. Football is the only sport I can handle. In fact, I can play like 4 football leagues but can’t handle even one baseball league. Too much work!

  20. dave says:

    [catching up on my blog reading…]
    we used league manager for the first time this year and it was great! it started off a little rocky because it was very different from the free service we had used for the first few years (not to mention we finally got 10 people instead of the previous 6).
    i felt like i was so in tune with ff this year, that when i heard my phone make the new text message sound, i looked at my watch and i knew who scored. it was uncanny (my wife may have considered it more creepy than anything else). having won my league this year, after three years in the basement, i’m rooting for converting to a keeper league, but otherwise we’re league manager for life.
    there were some dissenters early that did not like league manager. one of them, my good friend, complained that he thought there were problems because lm used flash instead of javascript which our old ff site used. i love my layman friends. what’s more, 7 of the ten teams ended the season with * in front of their team names. I couldn’t help but to mock them and change my team name to “Asterisk Clobbersaurus” (which was the catalyst for my 1-3 team to go on a 9-0 run).
    i could talk about this for hours.
    [waiting for the draft…]

  21. John Tierney says:

    Ah yes. Now the thing is, what do you with Sundays outside of honey dos? I am here at a tech symposium, but still striving to get my fantasy football fix. I write for and will have a comparative receiver article out by the end of this week. I wish you all the best of luck next season, but I wish me more luck. Christ I would love to have a year where I don’t lose my running backs. This year I had eight; by the end of the season I was down to two servicable backs who could hardly be considered top tier.

  22. Angus says:

    Is this for real?
    Like to hear more if it is…just fantasy football though. I’m addicted to it.

  23. JayH101 says:

    My buddy Wes is a horrible addict. He sleeps with his fantasy baseball teddybear every night. He nicknamed his firstborn “Albert “Fantasy” Pujols.” Sportsline renamed their url

    Get him help!

  24. Joe Masterleo says:

    Fantasy football is to football what dreaming that you’re dreaming is to sleep, what snorting coke is to an existing high on weed, what doing hard porn is while doing soft porn, what a bourbon chaser is after downing a pint of scotch, what spending good money is after spending bad, what an anvil is to a drowning man, what a jail sentence consisting of consecutive life terms is to a convict, what mounting a dead horse is to beating a dead horse, or what feeding another troop surge is to an insatiable insurgency.

    By itself, a fantasy is an illusion. Multiplied or compounded, a fantasy becomes a delusion — a parting with reality. I ask you, if past a certain point football ITSELF is a fantasy, then, in real terms, what do you call a fantasy of a fantasy otherwise known as fantasy football? A double-dipping delusion? Do any of you fantasy footballers out there have a REAL life?

  25. Asterisk says:

    Fantasy Football Champion

    So, I know it’s geeky, but I’ve got to toot my own horn a bit here. After 17 weeks of crap from Andrei and Scrivs (and yeah I’m just linking you to rub it in, how’s that for smack?), a…

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