Monday, January 07, 2008

Do Nice Guys Finish Last? Week 9

(Again, an installment of my approximately weekly column for Love of Sports. This week, I needed to take a break from writing about my fantasy basketball team, "The Centerfolds." The season's just too long to write a weekly column. We still have 16 or 17 weeks left. I'm getting tired of writing about Yao Ming's mom baking cookies for the team, or how Ray Allen cries rather easily. Maybe it's a cop out. I don't know.)

Week 9 of the fantasy basketball season. My team, “The Centerfolds”, have been holding their own pretty darn well up until this point. But it’s a very long season, as I keep reminding myself, and anything can happen.

Case in point, this past week we lost.

Big time.

We barely even won a single statistical category, with a 7-2 loss against a vastly superior opponent.

I suspect it may have something to do with the addition of Stephon Marbury last week. Just by way of his presence in the fantasy clubhouse, lounging around smoking cigars and playing Xbox - it’s enough to degrade any fantasy team, especially one like “The Centerfolds”, otherwise composed of nothing but the nicest guys around the league.

All I can do is sit back and see if the addition of a guy like Marbury continues to impact the fantasy game play of the team as a whole. Of course, as always, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

As I mentioned, we have a long ways to go before the fantasy basketball season is over, and the stress is starting to get to me. In fact, after this past week’s brutal beatdown, I can feel my peptic ulcer flaring up again. Not a good sign with 17 weeks left to go before the playoffs. At this rate, I’ll be nothing but a big, tense bundle of nerves, wrapped in a sheath of cramped muscles, and covered with a pallid, almost translucent, slightly yellowish film otherwise known as human skin.

So instead of again just rattling off stats, such as Yao’s 23 rebounds and 7 blocked shots last week (Both team highs - nice work Yao!), I felt it was high time to shift gears, away from my fantasy basketball team, if only for but a brief moment in time.

How does a serious fantasy basketball manager relax, and kick back? How do I get away from the daily grind of managing all the minutiae involved with running a top-notch fantasy team?

The answer? Lots and lots of beer.

Just kidding of course.

Actually, there are many activities that, much like a Calgon bubble bath, take me away from the troubles of the real world. And when I say “real world”, I’m referring to the fantasy basketball world.

For example, sudoku and crossword puzzles. They’re great fun, and strengthen your brain.

Then there’s television shows and movies. Those are also wonderful ways to take your mind off the stresses of daily life and work. If you don’t have a television or have never seen a movie, you should really give it a try. Highly recommended.

Finally, sometimes I like to go for a relaxing drive. Unfortunately, I live in New York City, and bumper to bumper traffic at 6 in the morning on I-95 or the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is about as relaxing as driving gets around here.

In any case, I get to listen to my iPod while I’m in the car. Which reminds of another way one can escape their real world responsibilities for a time - listening to music. If you’ve never listened to music, it’s really great. Definitely give it a go.

Well, I hope this has been of some help to those of you looking for an effective way to manage stress. I really think my ideas on this topic (as presented above) are top notch. Go ahead and try them all. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

This week, I’ll be watching television and movies, listening to music and sitting in traffic. That should be more than enough relaxation to recharge my batteries, so I’ll be rested and ready for more fantasy basketball next week.

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