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200 Miles From the Citi


September 19, 2010 6:26 AM

Out of My League

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Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XXXVIII)

How was your Week 1 of fantasy football action?

Did you draft Arian Foster? Did you pick him up in free agency?  I bet you're excited for Week 2.

I'm not.

Well, in the fantasy football sense I'm not.

I think my fanatic fantasy football days are behind me - and I don't miss them all that much.

Let me explain.


First of all, don't take this the wrong way.  I LOVED fantasy football.  If I tried I probably could still get back into it.  But I have other things to worry about, and I can't play it with the same fervor I once did.  If you're able to find that fantasy football-life balance, well then I'm envious.  Enjoy it.

I won the first league I ever played.  That was back in 2001.  It was a ton of fun, and I was hooked.  I went through a few different leagues over the years, organized my own where I kept intensive stats and records, but that fell apart last year when a couple of guys missed the draft and we ended up with just six players in the league.  It was a good way to wean me off the game.

This year, I'm playing with three other guys, using just players from the AFC and NFC East...a spinoff of our "East Coast Bias" baseball league.  It'll be fun, but in no way do I lose sleep because I started Kevin Kolb over Donovan McNabb and ended up with just one ineffective half of football from my quarterback in Week 1.  (That would have torn me up a few years ago.)

The part I will miss most about fantasy football are the drafts.  The past few years they've all been online - people are busy with kids and work, and it's hard to get everyone together at the same time. I was with some of the guys from the old league last week and we joked about just getting together for a draft, to heck with the rest of the season.  And it also means that I'm sure, somewhere down the line, we'll get our league back together so that we can make sure we carve out some time together.

(I'm playing fantasy college football this year, despite my lack of college football knowledge, just to make sure I speak once a week or so with another good friend who I lose touch with occasionally between February and September.)

In other words, I still like fantasy football.  I'm not totally out of the game.

I'm just slipping out of the fantasy football demographic.

*I read in Sports Illustrated this week that the Houston Texans approached HBO about being the next team on 'Hard Knocks'.  Funny that should come out, because this week I was going to predict that the Tennessee Titans would be next year's team.  And I'm predicting it because of last week's SI, where Vince Young and Mike Heimerdinger broke down that 99-yard game-winning drive from last year.  It occurred to me that Young would be very interesting on the show.  I'll still go with the Titans as a bet - not sure where Jeff Fisher falls on the 'revealing too much info' scale (he would probably be against that kind of exposure) - just to throw it out there.

*Bill Simmons (I'm not a fan, for the record), tweeted this week that he previewed a new 30 for 30 documentary on the 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox.  He said, "Millar's home video of Schilling's ankle pre-G6 is jaw-dropping."  That's a pretty good tease.  I'll watch.  October 5.

*Not too many memorable moments for the Mets this year, but Saturday provided one.  Second baseman Luis Hernandez fouled a ball off of his foot on one pitch, and after a lengthy consultation with trainers, homered to right on the next pitch he saw.  He painfully limped around the bases with what proved to be a broken foot.  The Mets, no surprise, went on to lose the game.

*The friend mentioned above as my college football friend attended a Camden-Newark minor league baseball game Saturday night.  Did you know Carl Everett was playing for Newark?  Neither did we.

*So Jets-Patriots today.  I'll certainly be back with a reaction later in the day...as for a preview, I'm not sure what will happen here.  The Jets can beat the Patriots, I'm confident of that when I go with my heart.  But it really doesn't look good when I approach the game rationally.  Darrelle Revis has a hamstring issue.  The Patriots looked pretty solid last week, the Jets didn't.  Then there's this interesting twist, where the Pats picked up Danny Woodhead, who the Jets had cut last week.  As though the Jets' offense wasn't struggling enough - how do they handle the Patriots picking Woodhead's brain for schemes and strategies?  Interesting to see how the Jets respond to the Kris Jenkins injury too - I'm feeling like it's not a huge loss because he wasn't there for so much of last year...but this team is thinner all around.  Let's also not discount the Sports Illustrated cover jinx for Tom Brady and the Patriots.  It's worth throwing out there.

*Jets-Patriots is always such a hard game for me.  I'm not a trash talker, but so many people I know who are Patriots fans are.  I spend most of Jets-Patriots games praying the Jets will win just so I don't have to hear about a Patriots win over the Jets.  And then my thanks when it happens is I keep my mouth shut.

*With last week's Monday nighter, this week's game on local television, and next week's game at Miami a Sunday night NBC game, I don't have to worry about finding a Jets game at a bar until Week 4 against Buffalo.  Always good when I get to watch the games from the privacy of my own home.

*I keep forgetting to mention this, and I don't really know what I want to say about it, but I do want to throw it out there - Chad Pennington is still on the Miami Dolphins roster.  He's the number two quarterback behind Chad Henne.  If he plays, you can be sure I'll let you know about it.

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