You see, I don't think the National Football League is any more flawed than Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League or the National Basketball Association; the NFL is simply bigger and it is therefore under a higher-powered microscope.
Its blemishes simply look larger. It's an optical illusion.
Even though the NFL drives me crazy with some of its rule changes; even though they have made a relatively simple game into something rivaling rocket science, I still love the sport. Sitting down on a Sunday afternoon or Monday night to watch pro football is more than tradition to me. It's a birthright.
One thing that I had always loved about the NFL was that you waited all week for the games. The contests were special because they were played on Sundays and Monday nights.
Once the lights were turned out and the party was over on Monday night, you had to wait five days for the next "wave" of the storm.
Back then, in fantasy football, you could take a deep breath Tuesday. You could take that day to revel in victory or agonize in defeat. You could analyze your roster and figure out what went wrong (or what went right). Heck, you could even take the day off and forget about fantasy football.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, you were able to work the waiver wire, scour free agency and negotiate trades with potential suitors.
You had time.
On Saturday, you set your line-up (and, if you are like me, re-set it and change it around three times until it was back to what you originally had).
On Sunday, the fun started all over again.
Unfortunately, it's not like that anymore.
And if you play fantasy football (if you're reading this, you probably do) you know exactly what I'm talking about.
There is an old saying that goes something like "Too much of a good thing is a bad thing." And that is how I have felt about the NFL for the past couple of seasons. Specifically, I'm talking about the Thursday night games.
Because of Thursday nights, fantasy football is no longer a marathon. It has become a sprint. And I don't think that's the way the hobby was meant to be played.
As a fantasy owner, you no longer have the privilege of taking that deep breath, especially if you are in more than one league.
On Tuesday morning, hours after the conclusion of Monday night's game, you'd better be hitting the waiver wire and start negotiating trades with potential suitors.
After all, you have just 48 hours. And, unless you play fantasy football professionally... if you have a life and career outside the fantasy world of football, 48 hours ain't very long.
And it doesn't stop there. Besides waivers and trades, the decision to start banged-up players is very tricky on Thursday night as well. Do you start your star running back Thursday night with a questionable ankle, or do you sit him and start your healthy back-up on Sunday?
Instead of days, you have hours to make that decision, just as players have hours to get treatment for their injuries.
And there's no break... week after crazy week. Honestly, the Thursday night games have taken a bit of the fun out of fantasy football because a fantasy owner doesn't get that opportunity to take in the fantasy season anymore.
You don't really get a moment to look around and survey the field. It is a pedal-to-the-metal, relentless campaign.
In my opinion, it's too much of a good thing.
Honestly, I think the NFL has crossed that invisible barrier called "over-saturation." There are games on Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons, Sunday nights and Monday nights. As a result, NFL games have lost a bit of their "specialness."
And the Thursday night games are what tipped the scale.
I know nothing is going to change. The main goal of the NFL is to make as much money as possible and Thursday night games are, of course, a money maker, even if the product on the field isn't quite up to standard (after all, NFL games were never meant to be played three days apart).
But I, for one, will always long for the days when games were played on Sundays and Monday nights; back to when fantasy owners had the opportunity to enjoy the marathon.
Because heaven knows I'm not a sprinter.