My lifelong disdain for sports fanaticism (which lasted well into my first marriage to a sportswriter, poor guy) was briefly interrupted by a terrible crush on Russ Francis of the New England Patriots, who I once got to watch stand injured on the sidelines in a game in Atlanta. I had a thing for Bucky Dent of the Yankees, but please don't hold that against me.
I saw the light a few years ago. While watching a TV special on Daunte Culpepper, I suddenly realized that it's about the stories. Sports is the vehicle for our modern cultural myths: heroes, villains, feuds, remarkable human achievements. A total geek for legends and folklore, I got it.
When some of the guys at work wanted to start a fantasy football league, I gamely agreed to be one of the founding members of the Ink Monkeys (the only chick, I might add.) I started from scratch ... who knew there were, like, 32 teams?! My finishes in 4 years in a 14-team, nonkeeper, yardage league have been 7, I can't remember, 14 and finally, a trip to the Super Bowl last year, where I got my ... butt handed to me. Still, I finished #3 in scoring. (After leading most of the season, my guys just fell apart in the last few weeks.)
So, I will brag a little, because my league is extremely competitive. All of us are newspaper people, several members are sports peeps and everyone is pretty damn good. We now have three women owners and I've settled down from being psychotic when I lose to just being really pissed. My team is the Claymores, motto: Born Fighting.
Let the trash talk begin.