A ‘fantasy’ marriage: it’s probably not what you think

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Kristi told me a few months ago that her office was hosting a fantasy football league and that she’d be participating.

Hello, dear. You had me at football.’

I’ve got a league that I participate in, too, with workmates. Each year, I buy 2-3 magazines. I study. I make notes, and I prepare only to finish the season 6-8.

It’s so frustrating.

But do you know what’s better than being frustrated by yourself? Being frustrated together – and that’s what we did in 2021 to the tune of 6-8 and, hopefully, 7-8 for Kristi on the season.

We both missed the playoffs, although technically her league has a consolation ladder, which I think is tantamount to the NIT. Or maybe the CBI.

And yet our first fantasy football season together will always be one of my favorite memories. We watched the NFL Sunday Ticket each week, and we latched on to teams and players we never would have picked otherwise.

James Robinson. Love J-Rob. Deebo Samuel. Chris Godwin. (Godwin is so underrated.) Hunter Henry. Ja’Marr Chase. Evan McPherson. Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts.

Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffery, too, curs-ed football gods! Our teams were headed to Title Town in our respective leagues until our stars were dealt a tragic football fate. Who in their right mind is picking CmC first next year? Nobody. That’ll be Jonathan Taylor, big trust.

Each week we’d settle in on the couch for a first game, flipping channel to channel, before going our own ways chore-wise and settling up by dinner to figure out what we needed Sunday night. Or Monday.

My favorite Monday night of the season came Oct. 11. Kristi’s opponent had the Indianapolis D, and she was on the precipice of losing. The Ravens just had to show up against the Colts – except they didn’t. Lamar Jackson and Baltimore were both anemic in the first half, down 22-3 at one point. I went into my usual “Lamar Jackson isn’t actually all that” routine.

And then Lamar put on his Superman cape.

Kristi and were getting ready for bed because Tuesday is an early start for both of us. Lamar not only brought the Ravens all the way back, Baltimore won in OT. I was in full Ravens mode at this point, ready to buy merchandise, the whole bit. This would have presented a conundrum given that Kristi is a 49ers fan and loathes B’More (because of Super Bowl XLVII).

But Lamar helped ‘Montana To Rice’ to victory by crushing the Indy D, so I was happy. Fwiw, my team name in a whole other league was ‘Here So I Won’t Get Fined.’

The Monday night madness continued the very next week as I needed Derrick Henry to go off, and off he went to the tune of three scores. I could not possibly be a bigger fan of that guy.

And then just like that, he was gone. Sigh.

Every Tuesday night, Kristi and I would talk free agents, and we’d even do Thursday night fantasy football dates if the right teams were playing. By the end of the season there weren’t any more really good games on Thursday nights, and both our rosters looked like the walking wounded.

But none of that was the point.

Neither was winning, to be honest. Although …

We’re off to a hot start in our first-ever fantasy basketball league! Too much of a good thing?

This was a fun routine in the middle of an otherwise busy week, and I mean busy. An escape that feeds into some friendly competition. It’s important to have just-because-it’s-fun routines amidst your work and life routines.

Next year though, one of us is winning it all!

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