We Now Interrupt This Marriage For Fantasy Football Season

by Barrie Bismark
fantasy football
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Ugh. Well, here we are. It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end, it’s back-to-school time for the kids, and the most dreaded part of the year upon us: fantasy football season, 17 weeks of pure hell at our house, where life, responsibilities, house projects, and family time are at a standstill until February.

Can someone please explain to me the appeal of playing fantasy football? Seriously, I just don’t understand. To me, it is honestly one of the dumbest things I have ever experienced. First, it is not even real. I can’t understand how a person can focus so much time, energy, effort, and money agonizing over an imaginary, make-believe roster you put together.

These “leagues” are just a bunch of beer-bellied old men sitting in their mom’s basement who think they can run a professional sports franchise of their own and do it so much better than the real thing. They sit around, drink, eat, and fantasize about their childhood dream of being a real football player. It reminds me of the nimrods who play Dungeons & Dragons, only not with wizards and elves. They think it is not as nerdy because they’re using real-life football players. I would argue it is just as bad.

What guys THINK people think about their imaginary football league.

What people ACTUALLY think about the imaginary football league.

I don’t know about you, but I am married to a fantasy football fanatic. Hours upon hours are spent analyzing and reading about different players. He even spends all summer “researching” and planning his team for the upcoming season. So much time wasted on something that is not real and may win you at most $200 at the end of the season. Seems worth it. All that time could have been spent with your family, or doing projects around the house — not just glued in front of the TV and/or computer.

This year, when the all-important draft was just a couple short weeks away, my husband was in full-force research mode. ESPN was constantly on (when the Disney Channel was not), and any amount of free time he had was devoted to analyzing stats, listening to radio shows, and making plans for his killer make-believe team that will kick the asses of all his buddies. Dedication.

And about those fantasy football experts…are they really? I can’t stand all the alleged “experts” on the TV and radio shows who are constantly flapping their yaps about stats, injuries, players, and predictions. What makes them experts? Are they magic? Can they see into the future? How can you be an expert on something that is imaginary? They are full of obnoxious advice and think fantasy football is a game of intellectual skill. It’s not. It is unpredictable, changes week to week, and even you, the expert, can’t predict the future. Your guess is as good as mine. But man, you look so cool with your “Fantasy Football Today” logo on the big screen behind you on your douchey show. Bravo.

Before we got married, I didn’t realize that I would lose my husband half of every week during the football season. I knew that he enjoyed football and participated in a couple leagues, but I had no idea how much this would impact life. I certainly did not realize that the pending birth of your child, timing of summer vacations, family events, and church Sunday school registration could be affected by draft dates and football games.

One year, he was the big winner of one of his leagues and took home a whopping $200 in cash. That’s good, right? I thought so. At least the months and months of annoyance and eyerolls had paid off. Well, he left this “hard-earned” cash out on the coffee table when we went out to dinner one night. We returned home to discover that our Jack Russell, Riley, ate and shredded the entire cash wad of $200! My first thought was: Aw…even the dog says eff you to fantasy football! Haha! But then it registered what had actually happened. I’ll be dammed if I am going to let that damn dog eat that cash! I suffered months of listening to the constant sound of ESPN, football games, godawful TV experts, and long drawn-out conversations about something I couldn’t give two craps about. This cash is mine.

So, what do I do? Gave the dog peroxide to induce vomiting. Yep. I really did this, and I have the photos to prove it. Don’t worry, I called the vet first to ensure I have him the correct amount based on his size — wouldn’t want to hurt the little guy. So right there in the middle of the bathroom floor the dog barfed up all the money. Pretty nasty. We separated all the pieces, cleaned them off, and let them dry. Then, like a giant, really expensive puzzle, we put them all back together with Scotch tape. We meticulously had to match up all the numbers to ensure that we could get most of the bills back together. It took weeks. Once they had all been put back together, off to the bank we went to deposit it. Phew. That was close. Not even vomit could keep me from that cash!

Barrie Bismark

But the best story: Nearly three years ago I was pregnant with our third child. Her due date was in late August — right at the time of the football draft. Oh shit. If only we could have planned that better. What was he going to do if he couldn’t draft his super important made-up, fake football team? Thank goodness that in the year 2013 doing the draft remotely from the hospital room was an option (for him…not me). Let me clarify: not auto draft. No. He still controlled what was happening. Literally, our daughter was born just a few short hours before the beginning of the holier-than-thou football draft.

I was exhausted because I just had a baby and was up all night delivering her. A quiet nap and spending some time getting to know our new little angel was all I wanted to do. He, on the other hand, he spent hours pretending he was a badass coach drafting football players to his make-believe team while I lay there in bed trying to rest and recover from having a baby. Dedicated. All I could hear was the constant “clicking” of the mouse over and over and over again as he was selecting his players — and the occasional cuss word when the internet connection wasn’t going quite fast enough for him. I’m actually surprised that we are still married after that.

So, in a nutshell: Guys, stop being such dorks. I’m not against you having fun and playing your special little game with your friends, but when it starts to affect your relationships, lives, and your wallet, perhaps you should take another look and make sure your priorities are straight.