Flying Under the Radar: Time to get your fantasy on

Photo of Eric Scott, a blogger for the Pioneer Press from Lincolnshire.
Provided photo of Eric Scott, a Pioneer Press community blogger.

We’re coming up on one of the most pivotal times of the year.

Throughout the country, millions are about to face moments of agonizing decision-making under unbearable, intense pressure. One wrong move could mean months of disaster and depression delivered on a weekly basis. Yup, the fantasy football draft is near.

Truth be told, I am one of the many who have printed out sheets of top 200 ranked NFL players by position in hopes that the sharp insights of “fantasy experts” would give me an advantage. Igave up on buying any fantasy football magazines to prepare; it seemed the more pages of my “Ultimate, Greatest Ever Fantasy Guide,” I marked up, the worse my team would play. But, inthe “friendly smack talk” league of neighborhood football geniuses I’ve battled in for several years – there’s much more about it than just picking players we could never pay.

Part of it is a chance to be part of a group that doesn’t give you a weird look when you offer up otherwise useless NFL team trivia that would grind even the stuffiest and most boring cocktailparty discussion to a screeching halt. Draft night is one of the few times of the year we can all unload our encyclopedic knowledge of NFL reserves and injury reports. I’m still in shock that my brother and fellow league participant, who could not name one member of the Chicago Fire soccer team, knew one year that Cleveland’s backup running back was heading into the regular season with an upper ankle sprain.

My fantasy football team page also becomes the “go-to” first website I check between September and November. Facebook and breaking news headlines have to wait until I figure out if I got my waiver wire pickups overnight and learn if my starting running back’s knee injury has been upgraded from doubtful to probable. And of course, the best is watching other non-fantasy types try to figure out why you are wildly rooting for the San Francisco 49ers’ tight end as you watch Monday Night Football, praying he scores the one point you need to win your game that week. Don’t get me started on my reoccurring football nightmare known as Vernon Davis.

So to everyone who puts up with us fantasy football geeks, please have some patience — it only lasts a few months. And when we’ve been eliminated from the playoffs, we’re glad to get an update on what our kids have been doing since they started school.

Eric Scott is a Pioneer Press community contributor and former TV newscast producer now working in corporate communications. He serves on the Board of Directors for the the Stevenson High School Foundation and on the foundation’s communications committee. Eric is also a member of the Lincolnshire Lightning Travel Soccer Club’s Board of Directors. Interested in writing or blogging for the Pioneer Press? Email richard@aggrego.com. Submissions also can be made here.

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