Jamaal Charles.  C.J. Spiller.  These two hyper-talented NFL ball carriers have been on my mind constantly for nearly two weeks now.  I just can’t stop thinking about them.  And honestly, it’s driving me completely and totally insane.  And I’m certain it’s making my blood pressure spike to wholly unhealthy levels.  And it’s all because of stupid, awful, godforsaken, “wish I never ever tried it” fantasy football.  Honestly, I hate it.  I hate how it consumes me.  And I hate how it makes me feel.  And I hate how many hours a week I waste on research and strategy.  And I hate how one bonehead play can ruin an entire weekend.  And yet, I simply can’t ever seem to walk away from it.  And that’s because when it’s good… when my players are making the plays they’re supposed to make and my team is hitting on all cylinders… man, there’s no bigger adrenalin rush and no better high in the world.  It’s amazing.  It gets me so jacked.  I’m head in the clouds and on top of the world.  But then on the flip side, when things aren’t happening as they should and guys are getting injured or coughing up the ball or throwing picks or missing field goals… I think it literally eats away at the core of my soul.  It seriously steals a part of my very being and leaves me with wounds inside that will never heal.  I mean it.  When I go to sleep I have recurring nightmares about the plays and players who cost me a win.  And I’m not just talking about when it happens.  I’m talking about years later.  Three and four years later.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s sad.  But it’s the truth.

Anyhow, right now I have 24 hours to select my five keepers from last year’s team. Four of the five are nailed down.  The fifth is gonna be Jamaal Charles or C.J. Spiller. One of these two Top 5 running backs stays and the other goes.  It’s a decision that could make or break my season.  And I know it’s a decision that’s gonna haunt me for the rest of the year because I’ll forever be computing scores based on what the guy I let go would have gotten for me.  I still don’t know who I’m keeping.  I’m gonna sleep on it one more night and hope for some clarity.  Hope that the answer reveals itself by morning.  But instead, I’ll probably just revisit that horrible dream where Dallas linebacker Sean Lee forces a fumble with less than a minute left in a game that Dallas had already won and Lee had no good reason to still be playing with that kind of intensity. But for that stupid tackle/fumble combo, Sean Lee earned 2 points and that was enough to give my opponent (who had Lee) a 1/2 point victory.  One half point.  I lost by half a point on a stupid “run the clock out” carry where Sean Lee had to be the big man and go play hardass hero.  The runner would have basically laid down if Lee just touched him.  But no.  Lee had to drill him and knock the ball loose. I’ll never forgive Sean Lee for that play.  And for that reason, I’ll never like him.  Ever.

Similarly, I’ll never forgive myself for being talked into joining a fantasy football league.  I hate it.  And I love it.  And the next four months are gonna be excruciating. And here’s the only thing that’ll get me through… the only thing that will keep me from inducing an aneurysm or goin’ full-on cardiac arrest.  I just gotta keep repeating that little Serenity Prayer.  Over and over and over until about the third week in December. It’ll relax me.  It’ll center me.  And it’ll keep me from putting my foot through the television screen.  Well.  Maybe.  I guess I can make no promises…

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  Amen. 

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