Photo credit: Rick Wood

PowerDown-tvDateline – Charleston, SC – 7 p.m. (Six hours down, six to go):

This fantasy football business is hard work. I drank a pot of coffee, watched SportsCenter, tinkered around with my team, and spent 30 minutes trying to decide which Packer t-shirt/hat/sock/jersey combo to wear. I charged my phone, scrolled through the 500 channels carrying football, and made other arrangements for the one dude in the bar who wanted to watch golf on First Sunday. Geez.

I had every intention of monitoring my players. Games were on all over the place and I could have seen Lamar Miller run for a couple yards and Eric Decker score a touchdown, but frankly, I was wholly uninterested. Maybe if the Packers had blown the Bears out of the water I would have cared more about my fantasy team, but I was 100% engaged in that game and not even the DB yelling “Gino Machine!” (not even giving me the satisfaction of a rhyme) Jets fan could pull my gaze.

But guess what? My guys scored the exact same number of points with me watching the Packers as they would have if I’d had them up on my phone, iPad, computer, and ticker. I didn’t have to hit REFRESH or switch channels or wave my phone around looking for a signal for them suck all on their own.
A guy walked by me and said, “Go Pack go.” I gave him the secret handshake and asked why he was headed out instead of sitting down to watch the game. He shook his head and said, “I can’t. They lose when I watch.” He also has a $150 jersey tucked away in his drawer which he swears brings on loss and injury.

I’ve never been THAT kind of Packer fan. I mean, it helps me feel the love to wear my shirt and use my Packer coozie, but I’ve never thought for a second that my wearing it or drinking from it actually affected my guys’ play. (Unlike yelling that the TV which OBVIOUSLY has an impact).

But what if all this switching channels and obsessing over the ticker and doing math all over my poor guys actually causes disaster? I mean, how often do you turn the channel just in time to see YOUR fantasy quarterback throw for 80 yards to your receiver who scores a touchdown, followed by your special team’s guy run it back for 90 before turning it over on a ridiculous interception by your defense? Never. It’s always just in time to see Jordy destroy his ACL.

I can see how you can get sucked in. I’m watching the second SportsCenter loop–fearing I missed something the first go around–instead of Fixer Upper. I’m talking fantasy with the girls at work and a solid 90% of it is stats and picks and spreads and a measly 10% is about Kiko Alonso’s hair. This is serious progress. But, as I try to figure out what sort of owner I am, I’m finding myself leaning toward the hands-off model. My micromanaging isn’t going to help them so I’m keeping quiet, lining up my guys and letting ‘em ride.

Right after I pick up James Jones…

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Meredith Short
Writer, Packer Fan, Utterly Underqualified Fantasy Football Consultant. Growing up in Green Bay made Meredith into a life-long Packer devotee and consumer of cheese curds. She was a three-sport athlete until college and fancied herself a real sports aficionado—right up until the night she met her future husband, the Rainman of sports trivia. The same night she met Voodoo Brown, she fell for Chris, winner of beer pong, spouter of sports stats, and the only dude at the bar with a collared shirt. She tech writes for the government, has published a comic and a book, and writes grants for non-profits—qualifying her not one iota to write sports. Today, she watches football, engaged in the action and occasionally commenting on Jordy’s forearms or so-and-so having a pretty good season, while Chris runs phone, laptop, and multi-screen TV tracking every number trackable. And this year, they’re both playing fantasy. Will his hard work and savant status win out or will this be like Preakness 2004 when she picked every race based on cutest horse name or prettiest silk? And won. Watch and learn. Or at least watch.

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