Needing a fix

I promised myself that I wouldn’t get back into the basketball sim scene.

I told myself that I would stay out of the group of participants that, for the most part, populate the “moron” section of society. Still, I retired once and was drawn back into it just a few weeks later. Why wouldn’t I do the same after this lengthy break?

Well, I haven’t returned yet. But I’m thinking about it. And you, the reader, get to read about it because, well, it becomes a considerable part of my life when I’m running a team. Sure, it seems a little weak – obviously it’s a simulation, and obviously it’s not real, so what’s the big deal?

Honestly, though, I talk about this simulated basketball league from time to time because, well, it takes up so much of my time when I’m involved. The reasoning behind my two retirements had as much to do with wishing myself more free time as it did with being bored with the league.

I’m fighting myself on this one. I’m like a junky – this idea of pretending to be a sports general manager is as addictive as anything I’ve ever known. It’s fantasy football, but without the randomness. Instead of pulling real life players from a draft and following their actual performance through the season, we take over real life teams and make trades, draft players, and tweak lineups in order to contend for a championship. Each season lasts about a month and a half, and a program called Fast Break Basketball provides us with the simulation engine.

It’s all incredibly dorky. But it’s also pretty fun. For those of us who enjoy sports and think that we could do a better job creating teams than, say, Isiah Thomas or Rob Babcock, it’s pure heaven. How does your team’s strategy match up against your opponents? What would have happened if Jordan was drafted #1 in 1985? Is LeBron James going to be the same player, or a complete bust?

Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn’t get back into it. But now I’m rescinding my promise a little. I’ve told the “powers that be” in the league that I’d be willing to come back, but only under the most opportune conditions. I’m not willing to rebuild a team from scratch – I did that twice already. I want to take over a winner, a team that I can play on autopilot with for the first few seasons until I retire again or until I decide to get back into it.

This is really sad, isn’t it? A man agonizing over whether or not to devote an hour (or more!) a day to a fictitious basketball league that in no way reciprocates itself in any meaningful way. Chances are, it won’t happen… but if it does, you heard it here first.

I’d feel bad about it, but there are worse things to be addicted to.

I mean, hey – it’s better than meth. And it’s cheaper too.

This was lovingly handwritten on March 10th, 2006