So, anything new happening in the world since the Super Bowl? No? Okay, great. Same old, same old.
If only that was the case.
Every sports league on the planet has been affected by Covid-19, but the NFL was luckier than most. The season wrapped up at almost exactly the right time to avoid critical work stoppages, missed games, and lost revenue from television and ticket sales. Free agency and the draft went on as scheduled. Teams have new players, a calendar filled with opponents, and every intention of playing out the season as planned. And that means you should do the same.
The truth is that there might eventually be adjustments to the schedule, or how the game is played. Or maybe other things we probably don't want to consider just yet. But until that happens, NFL coaches are getting their teams ready as best they can. You should follow their lead right now, and prepare for your fantasy season as if nothing will be different than any other year.
Of course, there's a good chance that you've had other things on your mind, and you're not exactly up to speed on what's new in the NFL. And that's not going to be a problem, because you have plenty of time to catch up. Each year I make note of how some fantasy players follow every transaction in real time, and how that leads to absolutely no advantage whatsoever on draft day. You can sit down in the summertime with no idea what's happened since Kansas City held a parade and catch up in an hour or so (maybe add close to $500 million for a certain quarterback's contract). So you'll be back up to speed in no time.
No matter what happens between now and September, it's a good idea to start staying on top of things. After all, your league probably has its own schedule. You might have to declare keepers, or set a draft date. You might want to offer a trade or propose a new league rule. You might even want to start a new league yourself. If any of those ideas are on your agenda, now is a good time to get started.
I think it's also a good idea from a mental health perspective. Football is my favorite sport, but if I was a total sports junkie, these would be even tougher times. Basketball and hockey are scrambling to complete their seasons. Baseball is planning to come back with fewer than 40 percent of their games and call it a "regular" season. Even Major League Soccer had to postpone some of its MLS Is Back tournament due to positive tests for the virus. There isn't too much to cheer about, and even if there was nobody would let you in the stands to do it.
But fantasy football? All you need is a keyboard to trash talk a buddy. As of right now, it's the only sports-related game that hasn't really been affected. Until that changes, you're allowed to strategize, discuss, trade, and re-strategize to your heart's content. Unless you have something better to do with your free time, why not enjoy this part of the game?
Because really, it is part of the game. Fantasy football is more than watching games on Sundays and comparing scores. It's pondering a trade while on a conference call. Wondering who you should start while mowing the lawn. Discussing touchdown vultures and untimely injuries among friends and rivals. Thinking about your team winning a title several weeks before any games are played. You have every right to enjoy those aspects of the game, right now. Whatever happens in the future will happen. Right now you have a team, and you get to have all the offseason fun associated with running that team. Even in July.
I say you should take advantage of any amount of happiness it can give you. We could all use some of that, right?
What off-season rituals have you been sticking with this year? Have you been keeping up to date with NFL happenings? What would you do with a spare half-billion dollars? Share your thoughts below.