Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 3, 2001

Let the games begin


It's football season, and for many die-hard Vikings fans, this is a great reason to celebrate.

I like football, too. Unfortunately, though, football has lost some of its appeal to me because of one thing ­ fantasy football.

For those of you that aren't familiar with fantasy football, it's a competition where people can put together their own teams by mixing and matching players from different professional football teams, creating a new "fantasy" team.

Score is kept by keeping track of how well a player does, in terms of points scored, yards run, etc.

Throughout the football season, players are traded and negotiated for, just like in pro football, and fantasy teams can be improved throughout the year.

The goal is to have the best possible team, made up of individual players from several professional teams.

Fantasy football is fun for a lot of people, both men and women alike. My husband participates in his online leagues every fall, which gives me my very worst competition ­ our computer.

He spends an incredible amount of time setting up his teams ­ drafting, trading players, looking over stats, and picking up players on waivers. When it comes to fantasy football, he is in it to win, so he wants to make sure he has the very best possible team.

Last year, he was the commissioner of a league, which means he was the one that controlled the web site and kept score. This translates into more time involved.

We compromised on his fantasy football participation this year (or, should I say, I compromised on it). We decided that two leagues were plenty, and to be a commissioner was too much.

Last year, he was commissioner of one league, and participated in three others. On top of it, we had a new baby that required a lot of time. Needless to say, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

He had to cut back somewhere, because there simply was not enough time in the day, unless he quit his job, which he wasn't willing to do for obvious reasons. It was difficult for him, because he truly enjoys it.

I get very little sympathy from my football-loving family, especially my brother, who is working with my husband to set up yet another league. My mom and sister don't even feel sorry for me; they also love football.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone needs and deserves hobbies. We all have our hobbies, and not only are they healthy, they are a source of stress-relief for many people, including us. He just prefers to be good at his hobbies, which entails time and a lot of energy.

In my house, we live with a man who has many hobbies, most of which revolve somewhere around a ball, a glove, a bat, a helmet, etc.

For those of you that do not live with a sportaholic, the best example I can give to help you understand how this is for me ­ and I know some of you can relate ­ is to mention the terms "hunting and fishing widows/ widowers," or "work widows/widowers." (And just to clarify, I am not referring specifically to either sex, men or women. I know there are both varieties in each of these examples.)

Now that football pre-season has begun, and the drafts are in process, I am bitter for several reasons. First of all, my husband has very little time as it is, with work and college, so to give up those precious hours is a real sacrifice for both of us.

Second of all, I am denied access to the computer that we share because he is always on it. I rarely get to check my email when he is home because the computer is already tied up and he doesn't want to share.

Many people dread the end of summer because they know that it will be chilly soon. I mostly dread the end of summer because football season is beginning.

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