Fantasy vs. Reality

From time to time I may be considered a wee bit obsessive. I may have a slight penchant for going overboard when I focus on something. For instance, I’m a gamer… I’m not really a heavy video gamer, although I have stacks of wii and pc games that sit unplayed.. (see dictionary – obsessive). No, I’m a board gamer. Unless you’re a gamer nut with a login on (guess whether I am or not ), I likely own more board games that you’ve never heard of, than all the games you’ve ever played in your life. Seriously… And I’ve even tried to cut my collection down over time. I haven’t tried too hard but I sold a bunch when LM was born.

This is who I am. Moderation is not my strong suit. Before red came along, sports was one of my obsessions, a mood altering obsession. Baseball, football, basketball… Heck I’d watch late night badminton on espn. I even got Red to multiple baseball games when we started dating and she was game for doing things she didn’t like, ah courtship.  Red suffered through several freezing rainy hours at old Shea stadium for me. She did not develop a love of baseball but she did develop a solid cold.

So I’m obsessive, I love sports, and I’m a gamer…. I’ll just come out and admit it.. I’m addicted to fantasy sports. It was a year round thing when we met – 4 baseball leagues, 3 football leagues, basketball… you name it.  For the sake of our relationship I had to let basketball go. I agreed to give Red one season a year off when she realized the magnitude of my crazy. I confess to crazy.  With the advent of internet connected smartphones and live scoring updates I took my crazy to a new level…constant score checking, news scavaging, and team related activity. Reds’s pathological antipathy for my phone is well grounded.

Enter parenthood.  It’s amazing how fast priorities change in the face of exhaustion and vanishing free time. Now I only play football and baseball, but that basically means there’s a 2 month window (January – February) where I’m not tracking a fantasy team. Red is a very patient woman.  So here we are in March, and it’s draft season for baseball.  Neither my 3 year old nor my 5 month old have any plans to adjust their schedules for my hobby.  LM still refer’s to me watching sports as “Daddy’s cartoons”… LMJ still seems to think sleep is optional.

A fantasy draft is a 3-4 hour affair from setup to finish and if you run a league (guess whether I do that) it will take even longer.  This week I had multiple drafts, and had to ask Red to shuffle her night schedule.  We’re trading nights on baby duty so one of us gets sleep.  Scheduling multiple 4-5 hour blocks of personal time with two young kids is no small feat.  Red worked a double for me with no hesitation.

My journey on the path towards moderation is a work in progress.  I no longer let a NY Giant’s loss or a fantasy matchup ruin my week.  Not a typo, 10 years ago it could ruin a week.  I do still yell at the TV when Eli throws it to the wrong jersey.  I don’t buy board games that never get played any more.  I purchase more digital books than digital video games now.  I’m not gonna pretend that I don’t obsess about baseball scores into the wee hours of an August evening when I’m a few points down to one of the guys in Brooklyn from my baseball leagues.  I do.  But this is who I am.  I’m also the lucky guy who’s wife takes a double night shift on short notice.  Who sits in the rain to be with me at a ballgame she doesn’t care about.  Who just this week took the time to make sure I knew that she appreciated how much ‘daddy work’ and parenting I do… while working herself to the bone tending multiple kids extra hours because I like to play a game.  I sometimes obsess about fantasy, but I never lose sight of how lucky I am in reality.


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