GOODMAN: The football may be fantasy, but the glory’s real

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Over the course of my life, my dad has taught me many valuable lessons.

For instance, if there are only a few scoops of your favorite ice cream left in the freezer, you need to hide it. The only time it is acceptable to fake sick in order to skip school is during the early rounds of March Madness. And a healthy mix of hard work, dedication and passion really does pay off.

My dad taught me something even more vital, though. Something that can only be grasped through experience, blood and tears. Something that I can’t even fathom because much to my dismay, I still have yet to accomplish it.

There are few things in life greater than winning a fantasy football championship.

That’s right. I bet you weren’t expecting that one.

This weekend serves as much more than the first full weekend of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and the leaves beginning to change color. It’s even bigger than NFL season openers and the pure bliss of finally being able to watch football on both Saturdays and Sundays again.

It’s a pivotal part of the year … it’s the kickoff of fantasy football.

Here, I could analyze the effects of how the mindsets of many males (and quite a few females) on this campus are about to start revolving around trades, injuries, who to play and who not to play each week; but I won’t do that. I also won’t attempt to offer advice. Instead, I’ll team up with the fantasy football gods and send some positive energy and wishes to you, your teams and your sanity over the course of these next 17 weeks.

First, may your favorite team’s victory not contribute to your fantasy team’s loss … and vice versa.

Let’s have a scenario. It’s Sunday, the Packers are playing the 49ers and Frank Gore is your starting running back. You’re a Wisconsinite through and though, and therefore bleed that Cheesehead spirit. Gore runs all over the Packers’ defense and they lose. Uh oh … conundrum. Should you be happy that your fantasy running back scored major points for your team in Week 1? Or should you be bummed that the team you’ve followed your entire life just got whooped at the hands — or rather, feet — of your player?

Either way, it’s impossible to win them all. Cheer for your teams, deal with the losses and move on. This dilemma is always a tough call, but let’s be real. The last thing you want to do is start wishing that players on your favorite team get injured so your fantasy team has an easier time.

Next, may you stay far, far away from your lineup on weekend nights.

There’s nothing worse than waking up on Sunday morning and noticing that you’ve slotted someone to play who has been injured for the past five weeks. We all know how weekends go. Things … happen. Put a barricade around your computer, change your password and take an oath. Whatever you do, don’t let those “things” happen to your lineup.

And last, when the newcomer who knows nothing about football wins the league, may you recognize that it’s inevitable, brush off the frustration and simply laugh.

It doesn’t matter how much research you did over the summer in preparation for the draft. It also doesn’t matter how many spreadsheets you made, how much money you spent on fantasy football magazines or how much time it took you to come up with a slightly corny but perfect team name. In the end, the kid who put no effort in will beat you … and will probably win the league.

Don’t get mad. Just smile and embrace that good old loser’s trophy. And in 17 weeks, if you happen to pull off the win (or actually are that kid who knows nothing and walks all over everyone else), claim those bragging rights.

After all, there are few things greater than being the champion.

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