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franklin county times

I may be going a little overboard

By Staff
The brochure said it would add to my excitement of watching college football.
If I had only known.
Through the years, I've played in fantasy baseball, basketball and football leagues. And with the urging of a buddy who played an auto racing game from the same company, I signed up last fall.
A little more than a year later, I'm hooked.
Welcome to my world: Fantasy college football.
Unlike our college picks here in The Meridian Star, I have some control over which teams I'm choosing from each Saturday. For 12 weeks, I pick eight college teams of my choice, with the point spread having little effect.
In short, the object is to win and in the process light up the scoreboard. There are two catches: The eight schools (all assigned a mythical dollar figure) must stay within a salary cap; and only three trades are allowed per week.
Doesn't sound like anything earth-shattering. But somehow, I've become obsessed.
I'm more excited than my soon-to-be 4-year-old when Zoboomafoo comes on and more nervous than those Bush and Gore characters taking a polygraph.
I'll admit the game was fun last year, when more than anything, I picked up a little strategy for this season. But now that I'm actually in the running for some of the cash prizes, I've gone off the deep end.
You'd be surprised how many times I've leaped for joy by hearing that Boise State or Toledo has run the score up on another opponent. And you can't imagine the rolling laugh from sports editor Robbie Robertson a few weeks back when I called from the road to get a score on the Ohio and Buffalo game.
In fact, in the past month, co-workers have used the phrases "sick," "insane" and "you need help" when speaking to me.
You see, because of the aforementioned salary cap, no one has a roster of just Top 25 teams. For every Florida State, there's a Central Florida.
How intense is this thing? I jumped off the bed when I saw that Oklahoma had scored two quick touchdowns in the first seven minutes against Baylor. But my heart sank when Ball State kicked an early field goal to go up on Western Michigan.
How bad is it? After a third straight good week, I found myself Sunday studying college schedules for the remainder of the season.
How bad? I had to leave the house Saturday afternoon with seven minutes still left in the Northwestern game. I searched frantically for an ESPN radio affiliate in my truck for a live update, and hit the jackpot when I found the Northwestern AM radio station instead.
How bad? After covering eight basketball games at Choctaw Central two weeks ago, I came home and found San Jose State at Hawaii on some FOX station on DirecTV. They kicked off at midnight our time, and I fell asleep with the Spartans leading 50-41 in the fourth quarter.
When I woke up on the couch at 4:30 a.m., I stayed awake for another hour waiting to get the final score on Headline News.
I even sat up to watch San Jose State upset TCU Saturday night, pumping my fist into the air as the final seconds ticked away at 1 a.m. Heck, I didn't even have the Spartans on my team this week; but I knew that a lot of other folks had TCU.
Sick? Insane? Need help?
But it sure is fun.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@meridianstar.com.