Wednesday - Apr 24, 2019

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COUCH TOMATOES: A chapter ends and another begins

Warning: Reading this column about fantasy football can be hazardous to your health. If you cannot handle humor and satire, mixed in with a few juicy tidbits of NFL facts, this may not be for you. But if you are ready—read on my friends.

Week 14 came and went and I had played in two playoff games. My #1 seeded Sirius XM team finished the season in Weeks 11 and 12 with my two best weeks of the year. After two weeks rest they came out and kicked…

No, I am still in denial. They lost by a 46.80 margin with by far my lowest score of the year. I had over 100 points more in Week 12 when the season ended. If I had just hit my average points, I would have won. If, if, if????? That is the story of fantasy football. About 80% of my players stunk and some of his did as well. Game over! Lost it! End of season!

Yet, George Kurtz of RotoExperts is happy about the outcome. Our game of fantasy football is a lot like a political presidential election. Half of us are ecstatic about winning and the other half are really not too happy at all with the outcome.

As if that loss in which I was favored was not enough. I also had my FFWebmasters playoff game. Sliding in as the #6 seed I played Jeb Gorham and his FF Scout Fantasy team. His team laid a big goose egg and was well below his average. My team actually managed to lay a bigger goose egg and I was walloped in that game, too.

Now, it is back to the drawing board. We Cubs fans have “wait until next year” thoroughly flowing through our veins.

This season has been a difficult one for me personally. My wife Bonnie gave us a big scare a few weeks ago when she was hospitalized with a life-threatening bacterial blood infection. Not to be outdone, I have just started physical therapy to help me regain some of the mobility I have lost over the last couple of years.

When I retired from my “real world” job back in 2012, it was to give me more of an opportunity to take better care of Bonnie’s needs. She has been disabled with diabetes and serious respiratory issues over the last 10 years.

I have grown to love the camaraderie of fantasy football over the years. I have made a lot of friendships with people that I have seldom, if at all talked with, but that I know from that ever-forming online world.

Over the 16 years I have been writing, I have been blessed to meet so many site owners, writers, readers and other people in the sports world. In 2001, I sent an email and writing samples to Mike Nazarek, a one-man site operator who began the FF Mastermind website in about 1995. He is one of the pioneers in this game and is beloved by his loyal subscriber base.

In 2009, I became a part of the Fantasy Insights team that was undergoing an ownership transition from Jim Lenz to Dish Adams. Fantasy Insights was the oldest privately owned fantasy football website on the Internet, beginning operations ahead of everyone else in 1994.

In 2014, Fantasy Insights began a transformation as it became the VIP service of Fantasy Sharks, the great organization owned and operated by Tony Holm. This has been my fantasy football home ever since.

As I said earlier, the last few months have been hard on Bonnie and me. I write three different things each and every week, plus I have been writing about a 30-page primer on several drafting formats for our VIP Preseason Report that goes to subscribers in August. The three weekly assignments take up considerable time and quite frankly, that forces me to step aside and not be with Bonnie much of the day.

In 2012, I had to make a tough decision between working in my career, or in taking care of Bonnie full-time. Now I am forced to make that decision once again. Accordingly, at the end of the 2016 fantasy football season I will be resigning from writing to devote more time to caring for Bonnie. I have also been very active in the Gift Basket industry and I am cutting my ties with much of that work as well.

One thing you realize when you hit the golden age of 67 is that our lives are like a book. Every so often we begin a new chapter and each and every day we turn to another page. Sometimes our book is a feel-good comedy. Alas, at other times it is a downright tragedy. Life is like a random story generator. We have very little control over the content.

While writing about our game for these 16 seasons, my favorite part has been interacting with you, the readers and those people that play the game. We share a common joy about winning and we share that air kicked out of us feeling when we lose. We love it when we discover a gem among unknown players and we lament the fact that a favorite player is nearing his fantasy obsolescence, or has a serious injury.

I invite any of you who want to continue to do so in the future to feel free to ask what I think about drafting, lineup moves, waiver moves or trade ideas, just as you have this year or in the past.

I wanted to write this farewell now as I know our audience drops a tad as people finish their seasons one by one. Couch Tomatoes will return to normal for Weeks 16 and 17.

When we play fantasy football we are so busy with our teams that we forget about the football game as a whole. Be sure to remember that the answers to our fantasy football questions can usually be found within the numbers. And if all else fails, feel free to ask me. You can reach me at mnease23@yahoo.com. All fantasy football questions are welcome.

Good luck! Have fun!

About Mike Nease

Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Chicago, IL You can contact Mike at mnease23@yahoo.com anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.