I have come to the conclusion football has ruined my life.
The anxiety. The heart palpitations. The stress. The disappointment. These are all things you can look forward to while watching your favorite football team play every Sunday. Out of all 32 teams in the NFL, only one is crowned champion, which means if you are a fan of the other 31 you have to wait months before you are likely let down the once again.
Excluding Cleveland Browns fans, we all have hope though going into each season that this is the year our team will go all the way.
Being an Eagles fan, every single year I have to endure local sports radio hosts dangling the hope of a Super Bowl in front of me like a horse with a carrot. The team could go 4-12 and there would still be talk in the off-season about the Eagles making the Super Bowl.
Before the season started last year, for example, one of the top NFL analysts, Adam Schefter, predicted the Eagles to win their first Super Bowl in the history of the franchise. After this news broke, Eagles fans (including myself) went wild. The team went on to go 7-9 that season and I went on to block Adam Schefter on Twitter. Being an Eagles fan has given me the privilege to experience disappointment so often, I feel as though I’m immune to it, though I’m far from it.
Fans have been dealing with this since a time when they could only see their team’s scores in the newspaper on Monday morning, but then some genius wanted to make us frustrated about players on other teams as well— and thus created fantasy football. Fantasy football allows you to carry the stress of as many as 10 different teams – depending on which players you own – because apparently one just wasn’t enough.
This year I drafted Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, which, being an Eagles fan, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. He has been the top running back in the league this year and watching his success on my fantasy team is bittersweet. Although he wins me fantasy games, all it does is remind me of how great of a player he is for a team I despise, throwing me deeper into my depression.
So now I have the stress of the NFL weighing down on me, but also the stress of the Computer Football League (CFL) – the aptly named fantasy football league I am in. This is a very high stakes league, but the stakes are bragging rights and forced humiliation instead of dollars and cents. First place gets to brag to everyone he is the best, and also gets to create a humiliating punishment for whoever comes in last. Every week I sit nauseously watching the games unable to shake the thought of being publicly humiliated should I lose.
Anyone who has ever played in a league with their friends will understand me when I say it is the absolute worst when you lose to a friend in fantasy football, especially after trash talking them for a week straight.
Any fan of football can relate to the emotions I experience on any given Sunday. However, the beautiful thing about the game is one day the triumph will outweigh the pain and all will be right again. If you are a fan of one of the 31 teams that don’t win it all, I feel your pain and I would like to share with you a phrase I, as an Eagles fan, should have permanently tattooed on my body:
“We’ll get ’em next year.”
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