Every year, it’s the same thing.
I get my hopes up that this is going to be the year that I don’t finish dead last in my fantasy football league. Everything looks great for the first week or two of the season, and then the bottom falls out.
And, yet, I keep coming back for more.
I’ve been in the same league with several of my high school football buddies for the past decade or so, and the best I’ve ever done is fourth place. Sure, there are various factors that contribute to my fantasy woes — not the least of which is a busy work schedule that keeps me from updating my lineup before the Thursday night game starts being a big one. (The other one is the fact that I like to sleep in on Sunday morning, if I’m being honest.)
You would think that year after year of being humbled would discourage me from playing fantasy football anymore, particularly because I’m so competitive and hate to lose at anything. But, maybe that’s why I keep coming back.
It’s like the people who keep rooting for the Cleveland Browns, despite knowing deep down that their team has absolutely no chance. With a new season comes a renewed sense of optimism that maybe this is the year that everything turns around.
Maybe this is the year that I don’t oversleep and leave my quarterback in the starting lineup when he has a bye week. Or I won’t lose my star wide receiver to a season-ending injury in Week 1. Or I won’t lose in the final week by a tenth of a point, costing me a playoff berth.
Or maybe this year will be just like all the others, in which any or all of the above happen and I’m the subject of ridicule and joke YouTube videos as I plummet into yet another 10th-place finish. After all, what are friends for?
Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. His goal this season is to avoid losing to his former teammate’s teenage son in fantasy football. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.