Last year, I had a sign made that read, “Porch open. Come on Back.” The idea was to hang the sign in the flower bed at the street side of my yard when Andrew and I were sitting out back watching a game and sharing a bottle of wine. We hoped that neighbors or friends who were driving by would stop and visit with us for a bit. We only ever had one taker (more on that in a later blog), and so I have been trying to think of another sign to have made to take its place. After watching the Chief’s game last night and in anticipation of Sunday’s games, my next sign will read, “Caution! Mood swings head. Enter at your own risk.”
With a check in the victory column for the Chief’s first game, one would think my crew would relax, settle in, and simply enjoy watching the other NFL games today. No way! In a few hours, my living room and basement will be taken over with laptops, iPads, and cell phones – all tracking the scores and stats of starters in each league (which, by the way, totals eight between the three boys). After kick off at noon, through the fourth quarter of Monday Night Football, my home will experience more mood swings than a sorority house during a chocolate shortage the week of spring formals. It is possible, at any given moment, to find any one of the boys jumping out of his seat and cheering and then minutes later, groaning into a pillow before throwing it at the television.
Tensions also mount as play-by-plays and Fantasy scores are given out in a similar fashion to labor updates, “At last check, I was up by 5 points. He has two players playing tonight, but I have four going tomorrow night. Assuming the contractions are steady and the cervix continues to dilate as planned, we should be ready to push soon and clinch the win by halftime.” In Fantasy Football, a big lead or a stinging deficit can turn on a dime. Often, I won’t know until Tuesday morning who will be the boastful and proud father of a winning week and who will be the irritable and defensive wreck of a human being weeping in my arms.
I am not going to lie, experiencing the highs and lows of Fantasy Football can be exhausting. Surviving the emotional roller coaster requires constant vigilance; I must be on my toes and ready to run interference, inject perspective, and swoop up any object that has the potential to do damage when thrown. You may wonder why I put up with this behavior and why anyone would want to play Fantasy Football in the first place given the potential stress and anxiety that comes with it. Well, the truth is, there are a lot of really great things about playing in a Fantasy Football League. Friendships are made and grounded when leagues are established, and life skills are built and honed. I could go into more detail on the benefits that I see in playing Fantasy Football but I’ll save that story for a future blog. For now, if you want to stop by today for a visit, heed the warning on the sign, that on second thought, will read, “Mood swing in 5 minutes. Keep a safe distance!”