I never seem to get excited about the opening of any season other than baseball anymore, but this year was an exception. I had a really good fantasy football draft last week, which got me fired up about the NFL. But Sunday came around, my favorite NFL teams lost, and my fantasy team got clobbered. Well, at least the Dodgers won.
I have concluded that participating in fantasy sports leagues is a good thing if you are a sports fan, but right now I'm not really thrilled about that conclusion. I decided not to play in an NBA league last year, pretty much gave up on the sport, and didn't even miss it. At least that shows that being in a league keeps your mind in it. Maybe I'll play in a hockey league this year.
As for football, I hate it right now. My team got blasted by a team that didn't even have a quarterback. My opponent started Cam Newton, who didn't even play for Carolina this week, and I still lost 70-49. I had Peyton Manning and got clobbered! My opponent did have the Niners defense and San Francisco Tight End Vernon Davis. Those two and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell combined for 46 points, and almost beat my whole team by themselves.
Despite the fantasy hell I went through on Sunday, I still watched the Monday night games. I didn't really care about the Giants and Lions, but I am a Chargers fan, and the San Diego-Arizona game still had possibilities for a comeback win in my league. I figured all I needed was Antonio Gates and Larry Fitzgerald to combine for three touchdown catches, and I good still get a victory. False hopes are cruel, but I have no one to blame but myself. The Cardinals didn't even throw the ball to Fitzgerald until the fourth quarter. Gates had a good night, but didn't find the end zone. My team is 0-1.
What hurts more, though, is my pretend baseball team. I'm in a pretty competitive year-to-year league, and have been an elite team for the last five seasons. This year I finished seventh and out of the playoffs. It would be easy to blame the lost season to injuries to Prince Fielder and Yu Darvish, or slumps by Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, but after protecting six players from last year, by first draft choice was Josh Hamilton. That didn't work out too well. I also made what I thought was a steal of a post-draft trade. I sent Coco Crisp and Huston Street away in exchange for Matt Holliday. Holliday has had a sub-par year, by bullpen hasn't been that great, and Street is the best closer in baseball. I do have Clayton Kershaw, though. Maybe that's why I finished as high as seventh.
Before our trade deadline, and trying to make the playoffs, I traded Fielder for a high pick next year. Ahh, next year. I guess fantasy sports are like the real thing. Both can have real long off seasons.
The real deal: Many people are praising the NFL for suspending Baltimore running back Ray Rice indefinitely after a domestic violence issue, however, it took a video obtained by TMZ for that action to happen. The video shows Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in the face in an Atlantic City casino elevator. After a previous video only showed Rice dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator, Rice was suspended for just two games! The NFL has had murderers, thugs, thieves, and dog killers, and don't care as long as they can carry a football or hit someone. This is a popular publicity move, but it wouldn't surprise me if Rice is back in the league before the end of the year.