The following is an actual e-mail — verbatim — from my oldest son, Matt (28), to my youngest son, Robby (16). Matt, you’ll see, is trying to entice his kid brother into spending some time at the beach with the rest of the family by laying out a very tempting “itinerary” for the weekend:
5:30PM: Matt purchases 4 fantasy magazines and 1 college football preview
5:50-8:50PM: Matt takes train
9PM-bedtime: Matt and Robby watch Mets, FNL [Friday Night Lights], talk fantasy
10-11AM: Matt goes for run/bike ride (unless we decide to play basketball later)
11AM-1PM Matt and Robby talk fantasy, play kickoff game into waves
1:30-5PM Same as 11-1, heavier on talking fantasy
5-7PM Play basketball or talk fantasy; watch Mets
7-8:30PM Get ready for dinner; talk fantasy
10-11AM Wake up; breakfast; talk fantasy
11AM-2PM Talk fantasy; play kickoff game into waves
2:30-5PM Talk fantasy; go in water
Think Matt and Robby are into fantasy at all? And it’s not just the two of them. Greg, my middle son (26) — as well as all of Matt’s and Greg’s and Robby’s buddies — are similarly obsessed. Take a peek at our gang down at the beach on a random summer weekend. You’ll find me reading Blindness, Carol reading Olive Kitteridge — and Matt, Greg, Robby & Co. studying ESPN Fantasy Football 2010, Pro Forecast Fantasy Football, and every other fantasy football guide known to man. Not reading. Studying.
Every day, at least three times a day, Robby tries to sell me on joining a fantasy football league. (Kind of reminds me of how he was when he was 9 years old and wanted a dog. Which, of course, he got.) The thing is, he won’t let me into his league; he tells me there’s too long a waiting list for that. And if I did join a league, I know all he’d do is make fun of my draft, and how bad I’d undoubtedly do week after week.
And besides, as I’ve told him at least a zillion times, I DON’T WANT TO JOIN A FANTASY LEAGUE! Here, for the record, are the Top Five Reasons I Don’t Want to Play Fantasy Football:
(5) Right now, I only need to watch every minute of every Jets game. (Yeah, that’s me in the photo — with the Jet-head.) Aside from that, I have my Sundays free. But something tells me that if I had a fantasy team, I’d feel compelled to watch every minute of every game, like the rest of the junkies in my family.
(4) I have no idea how to do a fantasy draft, and have absolutely zero desire to learn. (Nor do I particularly feel like studying fantasy football magazines.)
(3) If I joined a fantasy league, Robby would look at that as carte blanche to talk to me incessantly about pick-ups, trades, injury reports, matchups, depth charts, weather conditions, etc., etc. Well, actually, he already does this now. He says, “You want to talk about fantasy?”, and when I say no, he goes right ahead and talks about it anyway . . .
(2) I don’t want any additional responsibilties. Even though Matt tells me I could get by spending just 30 minutes a week managing my team, that’s still 30 minutes more than I spend right now.
(1) I never, ever, ever want to find myself in the position of even being tempted to root against my real team when they happen to be playing against any of my fantasy players.
In an overt jab at my masculinity, Robby challenged in an earlier post, “It’s time to play fantasy, like the rest of the male world.” Big deal. There are a lot of things males do that I could live without. Golf, for instance.
Although, come to think of it, I did actually start playing a little golf earlier this spring . . .