Cheesy Treats, from David Hillman

September 19, 2006 |

One of the great things about the list beyond the incredible benefit of the mutual education and the camaraderie we share, is the opportunity to be involved in events and activities we might not otherwise have been. Often times, participation can spawn spontaneous learning, self-improvement, or perhaps even a conversion experience. This was the case for me over the past few days. It goes like this …

There is a certain waterlogged spec who likes to see himself as a womanizing rake, a bounder of sorts. He is in fact a thoughtful and quite lovable wanker who writes prolifically and very well when he wants to, treating us to observations on the seasons and tomes that remind us of the spirit of the holidays. There are lengthy missives on the joys of major league baseball and the NCAA's, lurid accounts of barely-there bikini contests at the dock bars, and rambling but oh-so-entertaining trip reports, all interspersed with kind words of gratitude for the chair and others here he calls 'friend.'

Though I have been relatively incommunicado for the past couple of years for reasons I will not articulate here, during my absence, this spec encouraged me to engage in a certain 'competition' which I theretofore believed was principally intended for dumb-jock-wannabe's who never grew up, as well as others who had no life and were determined to fill the void with something … no, with anything! This, my dear fellow specs, is the world of fantasy sports … or so I thought. Though my spec friend likes to consider me addicted, he, in fact, badgered me incessantly and mercilessly to the point I agreed to 'compete' in last year's football extravaganza just to shut him up. This was really the last thing I wanted to do. You see, the problem for me is not addiction, but when on the field of battle, mine is a competitive spirit that operates in constant overdrive, forcing my involvement beyond compulsion. I knew that fantasportatition, as I call it, would result in long hours of study and management and encroachment upon other parts of my life. I would have to think and guess and be stabbed in the gut by the each new entry to the disabled list. Still, I agreed, and last season competed reasonably well, enough to prevail and sit atop the football league in my first ever season. Not bad, methinks, but nothing else would have done.

So, now let's rewind to spring '06. The smell of pigskin is still in the air and 'what's this?' My spec friend is back at my in-box badgering, that's what. "It's time for the 'national past time,'" he whines. "Oh, bite me," says I. Yet, fresh from my victory lap, the smell of dirty jock straps in the locker room and the ghost of The Mick upon me, I am easily persuaded and succumb, this time with baseball. There I was, back at it some 24 weeks ago, girding my loins for battle with 11 other hearty and worthy spec competitors. Developing a strategy, setting priorities, pouring over statistics sorted every which way, and asking my wife to pay the bills for the next five months and to shove a pizza under my office door every so often.

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