This past April, I joined an entirely new age demographic that solidified one of my greatest fears. At 35, I’m officially old. Calendar pages are flying off of the wall that is my life. Heck, before I know it, I’ll be subject to one of those death panels that our socialist, Kenyan president is trying so hard to organize when he’s not busy “hating white people.” (Thank you Glenn Beck, a.k.a. the smartest man ever, for that 100% true and accurate information.)
And as I take stock of my life during these golden years, not unlike my contemporary Bernie Madoff (but without the whole “holy s**t, I’m going to die in prison” thing), I’ve begun to ask myself the important questions that any man who reaches such a milestone must ask. Have I discovered true happiness? Has my life turned out the way I thought it would? And perhaps most importantly, why the hell am I still in a fantasy football league?
That’s right. As I write this, it’s a beautiful summer night; but instead of enjoying a nice gin & Geritol on my deck, kvetching about the weather and my gastro-intestinal issues like most Jewish men my age, I’m on the new fangled interwebs, studying whether or not the return of Brett Favre is going to put a dent in Adrian Peterson’s rushing numbers. (I have the number one pick for the second year in a row, and am schvitzing with cold sweats after LaDanian Tomlinson intentionally sabotaged my season last year. You and I have some talking to do, L.T.)
What in God’s name am I doing with my life? I don’t have the time to care about whether or not Tom Brady can stay healthy! I’m in the process of directing one show and writing another at Second City, I have a wonderful girlfriend, and great friends and family who I’m always trying to fit in my busy schedule… There’s barely enough time in the day to turn on the radio and listen to how brutal WXRT is. (Seriously does Tracy Chapman have a photo of Terri Hemmert naked or something? Because how else does one explain the inordinate amount of times I hear “Give Me One Reason To Stay Here” on that once-great station?)
Maybe I’m still involved because I came to fantasy sports a little later than most people. Back in high school, when many of my friends were in rotisserie leagues, I could have cared less. I was far more into the more traditional things that every all-American high school boy should be into, like collecting obscure Paul McCartney imports or rehearsing for “Anything Goes.”
But even that doesn’t explain my inability every football season as an adult to follow the advice Nancy Reagan gave to a young Arnold Drummond: Just Say No. (See? Even my references sound old and dated. And don’t even get me started on trickle down economics or frozen blintzes…)
I thought I made great progress when I ditched my PS2 upon buying my condo a few years back. And giving up the NBA League Pass on DirecTV after one year was such a coming of age decision, it felt like the Bar Mitzvah I never had. (That, in itself, is a blog for another time.) But something about fantasy football, and the forthcoming three hour draft replete with trash talking, beer drinking, and feeling like an absolute genius as you watch your team take shape, just never seems to get old.
Unlike me. In the T.V. theme song of life, I’m one chorus of “Thank You For Being A Friend” away from being one of the Golden Guys. O.K., I have no idea what that means. And I don’t really have the time to figure it out right now, because I’ve got to continue reading an “expert” opinion on what round is too early to draft a tight end; unlike last year, when my surprise pick of Tony Gonzalez in the third round was greeted by the kind of howls usually heard during a Larry The Cable Guy set at the Blue Collar Comedy tour.
Surely, right about now, I could pick up a book, or go to the gym, or really seal the deal as an old man by watching Season 1 of “Murder She Wrote” on DVD. (Face it, guys. Angela Lansbury is pretty hot in that whole, “hey, grandma’s hot!” kind of way.) Instead, I’m at my desk, thumbing through an eight dollar fantasy football guide which has been outdated since before Sarah Palin inspired millions of young women by quitting her job to spend more time on Facebook.
Neil Young once sang, “old man take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you”. Pretty heavy stuff for a guy my age. I realize that lyrics are open for interpretation, but I wonder if he’s saying to me, “old man, take a look at your team; and do not draft T.O. again. Idiot.”
Thanks for that advice, Neil. And if you’re around to help this old man come fantasy basketball time, I’d be all for that as well. Perhaps there’s even an AARP league out there for guys my age?
A man my age can only dream.