Like getting swooped up in the eye of a storm and planted in some strange fictional reality with yellow brick roads, talking lions, scarecrows, tin men and flying monkeys, my time spent as the coach of a fantasy football team was not all its cracked up to be. Ironically, the last time I wrote an entry here was while I was immersed in the excitement of joining a fantasy football league. Like being lost in Oz, I disappeared, got caught up in illusion and no there is no wizard behind the mask - just some little guy pushing buttons and getting nowhere. That's how I felt as a fantasy football coach. Fantasy, a misnomer, because, truly, how many participants of fantasy football are really, really having a great time. Living my fantasy should not cause me so much strife.
For example, early on when I learned how to, I got rid of players I thought would be a hindrance to my progress in the league and I scooped up a little dude named Darren Sproles who was supposed to take the NFL by storm. Well, he did take the league by storm, but not until the last regular game of the season when the Chargers Tomlinson pulls his groin and they throw in Sproles. By this time I'm knocked out of my fantasy league, didn't make the playoffs and the unceremonious end to the season occurs. That's it. It's over. No awards ceremony, no drinks with the other coaches to chat about the season - nothing - silence and Darren Sproles rides off in the sunset as one of the greatest little running backs. Where were you when I needed you Sproles? That's no fantasy.
I was grateful to be asked to join a fantasy football league, I appreciate the thought. But I can tell you it's something I will not do again. Give me Sunday and Monday from September to January relaxing on the couch in my ruby slippers with not a worry in the world outside of the success of my favourite team and players. Because when it comes to football there's nothing like the real thing - there's no place like home.