You will probably hate me for this but it’s time to come out of the “I hate fantasy football” closet.

Every year, every single stinking year, I am bombarded with requests to join fantasy football teams.  Every year since 1998, I have declined.

Until now.

More on that later.

I get that fantasy football is fun.  It fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition few things can mimic.  Hey, I get enough football, real football, on the job.  Add to that the competitive nature of my job is such that I’m always trying to best other reporters and anchors on different stories and I experience the thrill of competition every day.

Fantasy football is also an incredible time suck for me.  My days are already focused from 9am to 11pm on sports.  All hours of most days.  Really.  Ask my husband and daughter.  I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world but I can’t take another sports focused commitment in addition the reporting, anchoring, producing and blog posting I do every day.  Add to that the research we have to do for stories and interviews and it’s nonstop.  On a side note, I always tell college and high school classes I visit or any students I meet that I do more homework as a professional than I ever did while in school.

Perhaps the main reason I dislike fantasy football is the result of something one fellow reporter did to certain Pro Football Hall of Fame running back more than a decade ago.

Said reporter approached said running back during his NFL team’s open locker room session one day.  This happened:

“How are you feeling?” the reporter asked.

“Great,” replied the running back.

“How are you feeling for the game?” the reporter prodded.

“Great, like I do every week,” said the running back starting to form a puzzled look.  This interview didn’t seem to be an “on the record” conversation for a story.  “We match up well against them (the upcoming opponent).”

“I’m thinking about starting you against them on my fantasy team this weekend,” continued the reporter.  “Think I should?”

“ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME?!?!?” replied the running back.  “Get the F*&$ out of here!”

The Hall of Famer wasn’t kidding.  The reporter sulked away, tail between his legs and never broached that topic again.  The running back wasn’t amused and didn’t find the question funny.  He vented a little further to me, sharing more ‘not-safe-for-work’ dialog.

That entire exchange turned me off fantasy football completely.

Fast forward to 2013.  I am a changed woman.  Sort of.   I will be competing with some of my colleagues in our CBSDFW fantasy league.  The thing is, I am automating the entire process.  I don’t want to put any effort into it.  I will use the computer to do my drafting and select my players to compete each NFL weekend.  Think of this as the Fantasy Football version of the Puppy Bowl.  I’m curious how to the computer does against the impassioned fans and expert.

I’ll share the results.  Stay tuned.

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