I did not grow up watching football. Sundays in my home growing up were not full of the sounds of helmets crashing together or men grunting and groaning in shows of athletic prowess, but rather the sounds of the operatic warbling of Aida or Ravel’s string quartets. My father was never called macho in my lifetime, though he was aware of which quarterback was playing particularly well, or which teams were going to the playoffs, he never sat and watched a game. It must have seemed odd to him when one of his daughters chose to spend her Sundays as a couch potato embracing American Football.
When I chose to accept football into my life it was definitely a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” scenario. Some people like to laughingly remind me of a time when I hated football. Which was true; it was all people talked about for a good three months out of the year and was almost completely foreign to me. So, lose my friends almost all Sundays and endure endless boring conversations, or join the team? The choice was obvious, I became a born again football believer. I guzzled so deeply of the kool-aid I joined a Fantasy League. By lucky happenstance a friend said sure, I will be your partner on a Fantasy football team and by some crazy timing we inherited a coveted spot in the Haystackers League, completely amazing considering vacancies coincided with deaths. I still don’t know how my partner and I were lucky enough to fall into a spot with the Haystackers, the premier Cannon Beach league that you had to have connections to get in to!
The Rabid Raccoons (that’s our team name, terrifying right?) had a breakout rookie year winning money more weeks than not due to our lucky half blind picks. It was the first and only year that a special prize of an autographed football was awarded to the team that ended the season with the most points. Though the Raccoons did not win that year I am the proud owner of a Shaun Alexander autographed football, thank you Jimmy Webb. It wasn’t until 2012 that we got our names on the trophy.
Over the years my approach has changed, I actually try to do some research and planning before the draft as opposed to picking players based on their looks or names. For example, “oooh I love him, he’s got the most amazing green eyes,” or Laquon Treadwell? Sounds like he’d be good on his feet.
The League has also changed. The commissioner is different than my first year and I have been wrangled into being the treasurer. There are some fresh faces, fortunately not due to anyone’s untimely death. Our current base is kind of the American Legion, that’s where we still hold our face to face draft. Though the League uses an internet site now for its operations, the draft is still done the old fashioned way, even with the previous year’s winner supplying dinner.
It has been fun to be part of this group and rewarding in more ways than one. Certain times of the year I may go months without seeing some of the other League members, but we find our ways back to each other and catch up. As the kids go back to school and tourists dissipate the Haystackers come together with a collective sigh of relief and are wrapped in the loving snuggie of football.