Sep 132010
Authors: Jim Sojourner

The end of the first week of the NFL season is upon us and so ends the first week of my first fantasy football experience. And I’ve got to say, I’ve learned some important life lessons already.

Now I’ve never been a sports fanatic. I’ve played sports most of my life and follow college and pro sports a moderate amount, but this year a couple of my fellow Collegian staff members roped me into a last-minute fantasy league.

I figured: Why not? It’s a free league and a little interoffice competition could liven things up. Little did I know that fantasy football could shed a whole new light on life. And I figure what better way to use my newfound enlightenment than to pass it on to you.

First off, I learned that if you don’t have good Internet, your life sucks. This is a lesson I learned by watching others.

Live fantasy draft time is an important time in your life as a fantasy football competitor. When two of my fellow fantasy players missed their turn because they lost Internet connectivity, I couldn’t help but laugh at their text cries of anger.

But it also caused me to wonder: What if that had been a stock transaction, an online date or, even worse, something we’d bet five or 10 bucks on? The Internet is important for pretty much every facet of our daily lives. Without it, we’re flightless ducks, floundering in an angry sea.

With bad Internet comes bad quality of life and bad mistakes. Don’t make the bad mistake of having bad Internet or your real life, much like your fantasy football life, could suffer.

Lesson No. 2 might seem odd, but it’s equally important: Do not put your trust in people with dreadlocks.

Sunday I made the last-minute decision to start Arizona Cardinal’s running back Tim Hightower as one of my running backs. He proceeded to fumble twice, run for only 50 yards and score just one touchdown. Not the greatest performance I’d ever seen.

Now, who besides Hightower has dreadlocks? Yep, that’s right: hippies. And everyone knows you can’t trust a hippy.

Be it underperformance, ripping you off, sleeping on your couch for months at a time or just generally being dirty, hippies and other dreadlocked folk are really not to be trusted. I made a mistake this weekend of putting my faith in a dreadlocked dude. I’m going to try not to make that mistake again. Neither should you.

Third, I learned that you should always find a way to find common ground on tough issues with your significant other.

I’ve grown up a Denver Broncos fan. Not a diehard one, mind you, but enough of a fan to hate the Chargers and their whiney punk of a quarterback Phillip Rivers. Imagine my minor dismay when I discovered my girlfriend is a Chargers fan.

So who better to pick for my fantasy quarterback than Rivers?

Really it’s a win-win. Rivers does well and my girlfriend is happy because the Chargers do well. Rivers does well and I am happy because I do well and because I get to lord it over my coworkers. Which means rather than spending our time fighting over football, we can fight over more productive things like her obnoxious cat and how seldom I wash my towels.

Now if only I could figure out a way to find a common purpose with the cat, everything would be great.

And finally, fantasy football has taught me that it’s worth losing your friends to prove that you’re better than they are at anything and everything.

Yeah, so fantasy football is really about using other people’s athletic prowess to make you look like you’re good at something like having knowledge about other people’s athletic prowess. Is it useful knowledge? No. Will it get you something? Yes.

Civilly bragging to your friends about crushing them in fantasy football or any other friendly competition is fun. A lot of fun.

But it’s even more fun to gloat so much about how much better you are at something unimportant that they stop speaking to you. Take their silence as evidence of your ultimate victory.

If I come out on top this week (and as of Monday evening there’s a pretty good chance I will), I’ll be sure to rub my colleague’s nose in my victory all week until they just can’t stand me anymore.

Victory is sweet and silence at work is golden.

Editorial Editor Jim Sojourner is a senior journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and Feedback can be sent to

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