The Unfriendly Skies Of Fantasy Football

by Kevin Burton

   This is exploratory, just in case. I am doing this just in case.

   One needs to keep one’s options open. Old dogs need to at least consider new tricks, right?

   So, the fantasy football flight has encountered some turbulence, shall we say? Four teams, two wins six losses among them in the last two weeks. The captain has turned on the “fasten seatbelt sign.”

   That’s the sign just above the sign that reads “kiss it good-bye.”

   Week four has started with Thursday’s Miami-Cincinnati game. Despite my playing four of the NFL’s biggest stars in that game, all four of my teams are projected as week four losers.

   It’s tough to predict the bounces of an oblong ball from an air conditioned office. Players get old, players get hurt. Coaches get crazy. So it’s possible that fantasy football may not prove a totally fun-filled, soothing, relaxing hobby for me, long term.

   As a fantasy rookie last year I must have used up all my good fortune. I was completely clueless. Didn’t know how to draft or even how to navigate the Yahoo fantasy software. Did not know how to trade and was not familiar with the players. Somehow I slopped through and even made my league’s playoffs.

   At one point I said that next year I would be much more knowledgeable, much better equipped to compete but that my team would probably drop straight into the toilet.

   Well next year is here, and I am wondering if I shouldn’t select a more suitable hobby.

   So for help in this matter I turned to 55places.com and its handy resource, “The ultimate hobby guide: 50 hobbies for seniors,” written by Maddy Crozier.

   That is perfect, the fifty choices part, because some of the ones Crozier lists (crocheting, snorkeling, woodworking for example) are just not going to happen.

    But as I monitor the pulse of my fantasy teams, I’ll just pluck a few of Crozier’s suggestions just to try them on for size should I need to forget my fantasy failures.

   The one that really jumped out at me dovetails quite nicely with frustration over fantasy football, namely axe throwing.

   “Axe throwing, a rugged activity that has grown in popularity in recent years, involves throwing an axe or hatchet at a large wooden target, focusing on accuracy rather than speed. Similar to dart throwing, multiple games can be played, all of which are extremely satisfying,” Crozier writes.

   Grown in popularity?  I have never heard of such a thing!  I can see the headline now, “Legally Blind Kansan Throws A Mean Axe.”

   Upon further research I have discovered that an axe throwing emporium exists, within easy driving distance of me.  Its website showed a lot of smiling people and boasted a good selection of beers and seltzers.

   Let’s see…hurling of sharp instruments plus people consuming alcohol. No thanks.   

   On the list of hobbies, axe throwing is in a subsection called “hobbies for men.”  On the axe throwing website there are plenty of women, all smiling and many of them looking as if they can handle an axe any day of the week.

  Here’s another option, shelling. 

   “If you’ve ever walked on the beach looking for seashells, then you know how relaxing and rewarding shelling can be. In addition to collecting seashells, avid collectors look for sea glass, driftwood, shark teeth, and whatever else may have washed ashore.”

   That one sounds more dangerous than fun. Imagine trying that in New Jersey. So I am glad I live in a landlocked state. In fact, all the states that border my state are also landlocked.

   I guess I could go out looking for tumbleweeds.

   Antiquing and collecting are both on the list. I think my wife and I have been doing these without trying.  Maybe acknowledging our clutter as part of a hobby would elevate the mess in our own eyes?

   Since we’re making this up as we go, why not combine two or more of the suggestions.  How about horseback riding and swing dancing? Neither one would quicken my pulse, but combining them could be interesting.

   How about golfing and birdwatching?  Birdies are good in golf, right?

   OK, so I can go on in this vein all day, or I can buckle down and set my fantasy lineups for tomorrow.  I thought the sky was falling multiple times last year and it wasn’t. Maybe it isn’t now. 

    But maybe it is. So I am going to do my lineups, but I am also going to keep this list of hobbies, or at least my revised version. Maybe my wife and I can pick a few of them to explore after football season.

   We can get into them earlier if need be, to save what’s left of my sanity.

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