It is 3 weeks since I stated, “Fantasy Football Begins, Today“. It was the day after the NFL Draft, with all the excitement of new young talent acquired by your favourite team. Since then though, there hasn’t been much to get too juiced up about on the fantasy football front. A lot of fluff pieces masking as breaking news, and Brett Favre rumours of course.
While it was the “start” of FF season – the time we start turning our attention to the upcoming NFL season – it comes in with a bit of a whimper compared to the impending bam of training camps and pre-season. Even then, the majority of fantasy football players, the Casual Fans, won’t even begin catching up with the latest news, consensus rankings, projections, sleepers, undervalued, overvalued, rookies, injuries, training camp battles, etc., etc., until mid-to-late August, maybe a week or two before their local league fantasy football draft.
This has to be blasphemy to the Diehards out there. The Diehards know, you keep up with things 365 days a year. There is no end to football season. The NFL Network, where even annual owners’ meetings are an event, pretty much tells us so.
I used to be firmly in the Diehard category. Depending on a person’s perspective, I still am. I check the news and fantasy football message boards regularly all year long, and play in a couple dynasty leagues, but I’ve scaled back my fantasy football since last season. I retired from my most active dynasty league, one that actually drafted the top 16 rookies before the NFL Draft. You really needed to know your prospects and assess veteran player value early to prepare for the flurry of trade offers while everyone jockeys for position leading up to that fantasy rookie draft. I dropped two other leagues that were less active, and I’m considering another.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love fantasy football, but I’m trying to achieve a better balance in my personal FF cost-benefit ratio. The cost is my time and the benefit is my enjoyment playing fantasy football. As with a lot of us now in our mid-30s who developed an affinity for this hobby some 12 to 20 years ago, when it was little more than hand checking scores from USA Today and reading Pro Football Weekly (note, without specific fantasy tailored commentary), available time for hobbies is drastically reduced with family and greater work demands taking its place.
Where does this leave me today? I feel like a Tweener. Technically a Diehard by definition, but when I think about all the time I used to spend on fantasy football, it is hard to call myself a Diehard. The past was Diehard. Present day, Tweener. The future – Casual Fan? I don’t think so, but don’t knock the Casual Fan. They’ve closed the gap considerably to be very competitive with even the hardest Diehards. As a former Diehard, we can blame ourselves for that, too. What category do you fit in?