Normally I’d be ranking receivers right now, and scouring injury reports. But not this year. I’m taking a break from fantasy football, and with Week 1 still a few weeks away, it already feels weird.
I’ve been playing fantasy football for a long time, since the pre-Internet, pre-NFL Primetime days, when we’d go to sleep Sunday not knowing what our players had done and wake up Monday to tally our totals from box scores in the newspaper. I’ve been fairly successful through those many years, usually making the playoffs and frequently going deep into the playoffs. A few years back I completed a championship three-peat in a pretty competitive league. But the past few seasons, my fire has been missing, and when I tried to figure out why, I concluded that, maybe, I’d simply grown tired. Tired of my first-round pick tearing an ACL in Week 3. Tired of scoring 140 points against the dude who scored 150. Tired of bye weeks, Monday night beats and the words “running back by committee.”
So I’m sitting out 2013. I’ll finish up my fantasy baseball season this month and then … nothing. It’ll be strange watching games without worrying about Ray Rice’s red-zone touches or teams doubling up on Larry Fitzgerald. Maybe I’ll feel like a weight has been lifted, and I’ll enjoy football for its on-field reality. Or maybe I’ll miss the fantasy, and I’ll be right back at it a year from now. Call it an experiment to see how much I miss it, or don’t.