The Fantasy Life, Vol. 3

Comments 16

happy-worker Not unlike some overdue library books I kept far too long, my fantasy football teams in 2013 were a reflection of the state of my life.

Unmanaged. Disorganized. Neglected.

The day I wrote about those library books, I was feeling particularly wretched. I’m not sure I can pinpoint why. I just know it was one of my lowest days in what has been a three-year run of major suckage.

Fantasy football is no longer the obsession it once was for me.

There’s nothing like a little personal turmoil to help a person straighten out their priorities.

What I’ve found throughout this divorce-recovery process has been that all of the fun things I used to enjoy when I was married—my individual hobbies and pursuits, I mean—I now have trouble enjoying.

I don’t blame my interest in fantasy football, or my interest in playing poker, or my interest in music as reasons for my marriage ending. But it’s almost as if subconsciously—because they were mine and not ours—I’m having trouble finding joy in these things.

I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

Sometimes, It’s Not as Bad as You Think

Because of—I don’t know what to call it. Depression, maybe. Because of that, I totally neglected my fantasy football rosters this year.

For the uninitiated, fantasy football requires those of us who play to manage our rosters of real-life football players that make up our teams. If they play well in real life, your fantasy team scores points and does well, also.

Sometimes players get hurt. Sometimes they have bye weeks where they don’t play at all.

And because of those scheduling inconveniences, and my inability to find five minutes to adjust my rosters each week, there were at least eight weeks this season where I played someone who received zero points because they didn’t play in real life.

Of the three leagues in which I participate, I started players who were on injured reserve and out for the entire season in two of the leagues for several weeks, and I started a nearly uncountable number of players during their bye weeks.

Despite this gross negligence, I have managed to remain in third place in the league that matters most to me—the one I won for the first time last year. We formed this league 20 years ago when I was 14 years old. I haven’t done anything for 20 years other than be alive, and eat, sleep, etc.

With two weeks remaining in the season, I am 89.16 points behind the guy in first place—an insurmountable lead, unless every player on his team dies.

Because I’m a masochist, I decided to go week by week through each week’s scoring summaries to see how many points I would have if I’d simply not started injured players and guys on bye weeks.

Had I managed my team as I normally would have, I would have scored 151.52 more points this season. I would have a 62.36-point lead—a lead I don’t think I could lose.

I would be preparing to win back-to-back championships.

I encourage everyone reading to ignore this image except for the guys in my fantasy football league.
I encourage everyone reading to ignore this image except for the guys in my fantasy football league.

I was watching The Legend of Bagger Vance a few weeks ago. I’ve seen it a handful of times.

The film ends with an epic golf match between three players. The film’s protagonist—played by Matt Damon—calls a penalty on himself because his ball moved a half-inch when he was trying to clear the ground around his ball.

The ball moving was an accident. It did not give him a competitive advantage. He didn’t have to call the penalty on himself.

But he did anyway. To be honest.

Be good even when no one’s watching.

And on the 18th green, the match ended in a three-way tie.

But you always know the protagonist would have won if not for that silly, little technicality.

So, you smile.

Kind of like me.

Sure, my fantasy team didn’t suffer from some great act of nobility. It was nothing but laziness and apathy. I don’t deserve to win.

But I still like knowing I did it again—that I put together the best team—even in the midst of chaos.

Sometimes, it’s not as bad as you think.

I was frowning early today about the gray, cloudy skies. But now they’ve parted. And the sun is shining.

I was frowning yesterday, unsure whether I wanted to leave the house, feeling content to stay home alone. Reclusive in recovery. But I attended a Christmas party with friends. We laughed. We drank. We laughed some more. It was perfect.

I frown often, because my life is unmanaged. Disorganized. Neglected. But my mom visited for a few days this week and helped me pick up a lot of the literal pieces.

And now many things are in place.

Things are coming together.


And metaphorically.


Always, I choose hope.

And I feel as ready as I have in a long time to continue my pursuit of happiness.

The place where joy lives. Where peace lives.

The fantasy life.

16 thoughts on “The Fantasy Life, Vol. 3”

  1. That non-interest thing? I get it completely. Even though it bugged me that my ex didn’t want to go riding with me, I haven’t felt like riding my bike since she’s back (not really a re-unification), I suddenly feel like riding again. Strange.

    It’s good you kept at the fantasy football, though. Riding it out without going total-hermit will be a long-term good. Short-term, you were just letting the other guy win, right? I thought so.

    1. I think this is pretty standard. Just kind of shutting down in a variety of areas. But I feel things turning back on. Slowly powering up again, if you’ll indulge the metaphor.

  2. It’s pretty safe to say you’ve been depressed. Keep doing the best you can to push against it–noticing when the clouds part and the sun shines in, putting your shoes on to go out the door, putting one thing away that’s been left out too long. One small thing. Every day.

        1. On the contrary, I’d say it shows how thoughtless I was to not make it clear I was writing about American football.

          I appreciate you asking. And reading. 🙂

  3. just trivial, really considering how you’re feeling. I just got confused, I had a momentary picture of you managing Aston Villa {and boy are they having problems) but that said, it’s hard to concentrate on stuff like this when your world’s in pieces. You’ll come through (and so will your team).Chin up

  4. I haven’t quilted, I haven’t scrapbooked, I haven’t had a creative bone in my body. No wait, I wrote a friggin’ novel. (Ok, so it’s only a rough draft, but it’s still a novel) I started a blog that has been viewed thousands of times, I’ve decorated a new house. Priorities do change, and things that once brought joy may not anymore. Then again, someday those pursuits may rise up again, perhaps in another form. Thanks for another excellent read, and congrats on your team, even if it was poorly managed.

    1. Poorly managed, indeed.

      In this new life, I have been writing infinitely more than I used to.

      And I’m quite happy about that fact. I don’t know if a book is in the cards. But I love believing it’s possible.

      I accept that things always change. Some things will get worse. But some things will get better too. 🙂

  5. Sounds like your mon’s visit went well! Glad to hear it. And glad to hear the cloud might be lifting. Cheers to that.

    1. It is. And crucial to our long-term health and happiness, I’d argue.

      Thank you so much for reading. Hope all is well in NZ. 🙂

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Matt Fray

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