Missed call. Another missed call. Why is this guy I grew up with – but whom I rarely hear from – calling me at 9 o’clock on a Sunday night in early September? My first guess is that he needs help writing or editing something (which is the reason he usually calls), but then I remember that the NFL season is less than a week away and we still haven’t had our annual fantasy football draft. Full panic mode hadn’t set in by the time I had a chance to call him back, but for this usually mild-mannered grade school teacher, he was awfully close.
“You know, I’m getting pretty sick of this,” he snaps. “This happens every year.”
It turns out that I was one of two stragglers to sign up for a 12-player league that wouldn’t have existed if we didn’t sign up in the next 72 hours.
“Yeah, OK, I got it,” I try to explain to him. “I’ve been busy. I’ll sign up. I just need to figure out how to open this email account I haven’t used since last year’s fantasy football. Relax, we have plenty of time.”
Well, that’s easy for me to say. Unlike my friend, I don’t play fantasy sports to win money (although I’ll admit it would be nice to win for a change). My motivation is to reconnect with friends I’ve lost touch with since last season ended and engage in some good-natured trash talking leading up to each week’s contests.