Dance Like No One’s Watching
It’s no secret that I love to dance. I’m not a good dancer and have no formal training, but when the groove hits, I will let loose no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Has that dancing led to some awkward encounters? You betcha!
Among my many awkward dance encounters, there was the time someone turned down the grocery store aisle and caught me during the climactic opera section of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Or the time a car came up the hill as I was going all out to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Work That.” Or when my boss saw me doing the routine to “Oops!… I Did It Again” that I had originally choreographed when I was seven. (Oops!)
Life Is Short
Of course, none of these temporary embarrassments will stop me from dancing like no one’s watching. Why? It’s simple – life is short. While that saying may be a cliché, its meaning in my life stems from some profound experiences that have shaped me into who I am today.
For me, the first realization that life is short came when I was 16. I still remember the moment I found out that one of my closest friends died in a car accident, likely caused by a drunk driver. Facing my mortality before I got my driver’s license was hard, to say the least, but it was a formative experience.
I know now that I’m not everyone’s brand of weird, but I spent my younger years trying to be. Like every teenager, I just wanted to fit in and have friends. But as anyone who has grieved knows, it can be very isolating. From this period of grieving, it became clear who my true friends were. My already small circle of friends shrunk, but those who remained were the friends who accepted and appreciated me as I was, even if I was weird or sad or dancing like an absolute fool.
The freedom that came from not trying to please or appease anyone gave me the confidence to be unapologetically me, even if that confidence may have been faked at times. I remember a conversation I had a couple of years ago with my high school best friend, who told me I was the most confident teenager imaginable. In reality, I was just as confused and scared as everyone else, but I pretended that I wasn’t. Over time, however, I felt more confident in being myself.
Finding My Place in the Fantasy Football Space
So that’s what I’m doing here, faking confidence and pretending like I’m qualified enough to give advice.
I started playing fantasy football five years ago in a league with some college friends. Before that, my football experience was limited to attending some Super Bowl parties. If we’re being honest, I mostly attended those parties for the snacks (I’m still all about that football snack life). I started watching some games throughout that season so I could be a more knowledgeable fantasy player and, in turn, became a casual football fan.
As with many people, 2020 was when that casual hobby went into the deep end, though I think it was for the better. My annual redraft league converted to dynasty and, in the interest of being properly informed, I did a decent amount of draft prep. Not wanting all that brain space to go to waste with just one league, I joined another with some strangers from Reddit.
Right around the same time, I joined Twitter, purely hoping to just post into the void. But within a few months, I found my way to fantasy football Twitter and was (somehow) accepted by this community of wonderful weirdos. I still don’t really know what I’m doing here, but I’m happy that I am and I’m confident that I ended up here for a reason, so I’ll just fake it till I make it. Or, at the very least, I’ll be unapologetically me and encourage you to do the same.
The Confidence to Forge Your Own Fantasy Football Experience
So how does my story relate to fantasy football? Easy – just do you, boo! Fantasy football is a game within a game, and games are meant to be fun. Join the leagues that you’ll enjoy, construct your rosters how you want and play in a way that makes you happy.
Of course, do so within your league’s parameters and in a way that you feel makes your team better. I’m not suggesting you entirely disregard the stats or advice of analysts and just play based on coin flips and wild gut calls, nor am I saying to roster eight quarterbacks in a single-quarterback league. In fact, please don’t be that person.
I am saying, however, that you should have the confidence to go against the grain if it feels right. This season, I encountered some people who were very bothered by the fact that I rostered and started a few kickers in Scott Fish Bowl 11. But, in a format where kickers can be relatively valuable (especially compared to the rest of your trash team), what’s the harm?
I got a good laugh from starting three kickers, finished top 15 in my conference semifinals and I couldn’t be prouder. Plus, I had so much fun playing with such a large and amazing community!
Reflect on What You Enjoy Most
Now, it may be the offseason, but I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about the upcoming season and getting that draft itch. Before you start to draft or prepare for 2022, this is the perfect time to think about your leagues in a broad sense. You don’t have to do a deep analysis, but consider which leagues and teams you enjoyed the most and why.
Did you prefer dynasty or redraft leagues? How many total leagues feel manageable? Think about scoring, roster construction, any special considerations. Maybe you want to get wild with an all-super flex league or a league with only kickers and punters (hit me up if you need a league mate), or maybe you want something more traditional. The beauty of fantasy football is that you can find a league that fits what you want, or even make your own!
For me, I’ve found that I enjoy a half dozen leagues with a mix of everything – dynasty, redraft, superflex, single-quarterback, kickers, unusual scoring or rosters and a little chaos. Although I reserve the right to join more leagues. I like pushing my comfort zone and challenging myself with something new or different each year, though this may not be for everyone.
One important thing I discovered after my playing with Reddit randos is that I want good league mates. While the people in that Reddit league were fine, I had so much more fun this past year playing with friends from Twitter. I loved being able to joke around and get to know folks better. My ideal league mates would be interested in some trades and chatter, though I do tend to get overwhelmed if there’s too much going on in a league. Others prefer a league with constant trading. It’s important to find your people.
The most important thing is that you’re having fun, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks. Have the confidence to be you, and dance your way through the upcoming fantasy season like no one else is watching.
With that being said, who wants to join me in some weird leagues this year?
Thanks for reading! If you like my kind of trash, you can find more on Twitter @trashsandwiches.