It used to be a tradition that happened late every summer. I used to go and gather with fellow football fans and draft our fantasy teams. The first league I was ever in was with co-workers and friends from right here at the radio station. It was my first foray into the world of fantasy sports. Soon, I'd be hooked. I'd dabble in baseball leagues. But fantasy football was my passion for years. But this will be the first season I don't do fantasy. To me, it's ruining the game.

I suppose fantasy isn't really ruining the game of football. It ruined the way I watched the game. It changed the way I thought about players and teams. And as the game of football has changed, fantasy has gotten harder to predict. I used to be good at drafting a team that would at least qualify for the playoffs. But leagues are deeper than ever and if you don't put in the time and study you're going to look like a fool. Yes, I said study for your fantasy draft. I just no longer have the time to invest.

I remember Bob James telling me a few years ago that he was done with fantasy. He was ahead of the curve. That said, I will miss some things about it. I was in some really fun leagues. We had live drafts at bars and had a great time teasing each other throughout the season. But sadly, those leagues have since disbanded. Maybe they weren't lucrative enough for everyone. But I had fun and I thought that was the point. What I won't miss about fantasy is remembering to fill out your lineup before the early games. Putting players on IR and then finding replacements on the waiver wire. Being down by 4 points and then watching your kicker only get you 3 points on Monday Night Football. I'm done with it all!

Now I can just sit back and route for my favorite teams. I can enjoy the game and not worry about how many yards I need from my flex wide receiver this week. Sure, fantasy football makes millions of dollars every year. But it nearly destroyed my love of football. This fall, it's just me and the game. The one on the field, not on your phone.

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