So, listen to what happened to my team last wee … No.
We’re in the home stretch of the NFL preseason, which means one thing and one thing only: At water coolers across the country this week, guys with truly good intentions are going to start conversations with the words, “I had my fantasy football draft last night, and…”
Do yourself and them a favor.
Be civil and just stop them right there.
When one of these kind souls begins a harmless conversation that way, take your pointer finger and press it against his pursed lips. Then, before the shock wears off, softly whisper to him the very words you’re thinking in your head: “I don’t care.”
Say it once.
Then, remove your finger from his face, and look him in the eyes and say it once more: “I don’t care.”
Because you don’t.
One of the great misconceptions of the modern, evolved man (or good man, in this case) is that he believes other people have even the slightest bit of interest, concern, or any stake in his fantasy football team.
The truth is that in just about every instance—whether this is your child’s first foray into fantasy football or the CEO of your company just looking to make some pleasant small talk in the elevator—whatever comes out of the person’s mouth after the words “fantasy football,” is going to go through one of your ears and right out the other.
Would you share the details of your grocery shopping list with someone else?
Would you list out all the first names you almost named your second child?
Probably not. And that’s because both of those things are very unique to you. They don’t have any real world impact outside of your home.
Talking about your fantasy football league, the picks you nearly made on draft day, or the magnificent waiver-wire pickup you stole from a friend is no different. I hate to say this, but I’ll only rarely flip through a friend’s honeymoon-picture album on Facebook. The wedding pictures? I’ll almost always take a peek at that album. Why? Because I was at the wedding. The honeymoon? Eh, well, that one didn’t really involve me.
The same thing applies here.
An owner’s fantasy football team matters to one person: that owner. It’s why every time a sports website tries to wrangle up a parade of C-list celebrities to partake in some heavily-promoted kooky “Celebrity Fantasy League”, no one cares at all.
It’s why there are 30,000 fantasy football mailbag columns online, written by “experts”, that nobody really reads.
It’s why the guy at the cubicle next to you rarely ever answers with much conviction when you ask him for his thoughts on some “blockbuster” trade.
You’re not being rude or elitist. You’re being honest and up front. If you don’t say, “I don’t care” this week, you’ll be fielding inquiries and waiver-wire pickup recommendations for the next four months.
Do the right thing. Say it.
The whole pointer finger to the pursed lips thing? Well, that one’s optional.
—Photo Beth and Christian/Flickr