Fantasy football just as addicting as the real games

By Mike Romor

NFL opening kickoff is just eight days away, which means millions of people around the country are about to stare at their televisions, binge drink and increase their risk of having a heart attack every Sunday.

Plenty of us risk our wellbeing for the sake of our team, to which we have a borderline psychotic attachment. There is also the other borderline psychotic reason millions of people watch football: fantasy football.

The obsession has started to overtake the actual game for many of us.

I was watching the NFL Network because I am weird and suddenly cared about Cincinnati’s training camp, but the broadcast was nothing about who will make the roster; it was almost exclusively about A.J. Green’s fantasy value.

The worst part about it is I continued to watch so I could know as much as possible about his upcoming season for my own fantasy draft.

According to Deion Sanders, which surely makes it official, he’s going to be great.

I have — and I know this holds true for possibly millions of other fantasy players — actually hated certain NFL players because they are fantasy draft busts or get injured about 15 times throughout the season (yes, I am talking to you, Chris Johnson and Fred Jackson).

I immediately think of a player’s fantasy stats when his name is brought up in conversation.

“Hey Mike, did you see Mark Sanchez yesterday?”

“I saw all 204 yards and three interceptions he had. Oh, and of course I still remember the butt fumble.”

I would stop doing fantasy football, but I don’t think I can coexist with the NFL if I no longer have control over my own quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, tight end, kicker and team defense.

Now that I have played fantasy football for at least 10 years, I can easily say it has taken over my Sundays just as much as Chicago Bears games have.

Maybe that’s a good thing. After all, it helped me through some of those dreadful Bears seasons of the 2000s. At least I could occasionally win in my own football universe.

I know obsessing over players I cared nothing about until I drafted them is as unhealthy as it sounds, but I can’t help it.

It may be absolutely crazy to follow football so intently for the interest of fantasy points, but it’s something I, along with millions of other Americans, must do.