From the Sidelines: Coping with geeky sports addictions

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I’m a nerd. I can’t help it. That is a fact I’ve come to embrace over the years.

However, I don’t think my nerddom manifests itself more greatly at any point than it does when the month of June rolls around.

See, in a span of about three weeks both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association conduct their annual player drafts. And like the true sports geek that I am, I get jazzed.

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As I write this column, I am halfway watching a running tracker of the MLB Draft. I like to think about the prospects of how certain players will fit into the mix with certain teams.

Two weeks from now when the NBA has its draft, it is doubtless that I will be glued to the television critiquing each pick to really no one in particular.

And what makes June even more amazing? The NBA Finals? No. Major League Baseball? No. It is the simple fact the fantasy football leagues everywhere start materializing and I get to spend serious time contemplating who I will be selecting after my annual selection of Drew Brees with my first-round pick.

I don’t exactly know where this affinity for forming teams started and studying the makeup of teams started, but I do know that I first took note of it a few years ago.

I found myself purchasing the updated editions of Madden each year. But instead of playing the games like my friends were, I was going into franchise mode, making trades, signing free agents and drafting rookies. I would, on many occasions, spend hours in front of the television constructing the perfect team. And the funniest part is that I would never actually play a game with that team.

It is a sickness. I know. But it is a sickness that has me already questioning what my Braves saw in Vanderbilt left-hander Michael Minor that prompted them to take him with the No. 7 overall pick. It is a sickness that will have me glued to the television ready to rant to no one in particular about how my Hawks are the absolute worst drafters in the NBA. It is a sickness that has me excited about my Saints selection of Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins. It is a sickness that will have me putting in extra hours determining who will again lead me to fantasy football greatness.

But mainly, it is a sickness that I can’t shake. No matter how hard I try, I want to watch each draft. I want to participate in as many fantasy leagues as I can possibly maintain. And, somehow, I’m not ashamed of it. It took 27 years, but I have finally come to openly and whole-heartedly embrace my dorkdom with both arms.