Thank You, Fantasy Football

Thank You, Fantasy Football

Taylor
Taylor
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As we're officially into the NFL post season and fantasy football has come to an end, I figured it was time to reflect. This is only my second year playing in my family's league of six, which includes my younger sister who's watched maybe 60 seconds of football in her 18 years. Last year, I placed second. I only became interested in football following Super Bowl 50, so I picked players whose name I recognized or who the app said was going to get a lot of points. This year, I spent hours combing stats, carefully picking my roster based on past seasons success and what their schedule looked like this year. I spent every week watching my teams, making sure I had the right people playing and the right people benched. Carefully making these decisions based on who they're playing against, how that team is doing. Basically, managing my team became a full time job. I placed fourth. I've decided to reflect on my season Jimmy Fallon thank you notes style to wrap up what has been a wild ride of a season.

Thank you......football gods

For what has truly been an unpredictable season. Every other player getting hurt, bad teams suddenly are good, good teams are suddenly bad. Every Thursday/Monday and especially Sunday was a wild ride of surprises.

Thank you......ESPN Fantasy Football computers

For drafting my moms winning team. She let the computers draft her team, the only change she made the whole season was swapping Manning for Mariota, and she kicked all of our asses.

Thank you......Aaron Rodgers

For being my first overall pick, and then being out the majority of the season. An extra special thank you for getting hurt against the Vikings nonetheless. Thanks for a couple weeks of lots of points.

Thank you......Carson Wentz

For being my backup backup when Rodgers went out and my original backup Cousins wasn't doing good enough. And then getting hurt the second week I had you.

Thank you......Case Keenum

For being the unfortunate soul that had to step into the cursed role of Taylor's quarterback, and not letting me down. You're the man.

Thank you......Justin Tucker

For being my only consistently good player last year and deciding to do a 180 this year. I don't expect my kicker to carry the team as far as points go, but this year was embarrassing compared to last.

Ugh. My dad spent every Sunday texting me bragging about how well his team was doing compared to mine. Here's to a year of getting made fun of for loosing despite my countless hours of work. I'm already looking forward to next years redemption, cheers!

Cover Image Credit: http://www.fantasysportstrophies.com/fantasyfootball.png

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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6 Best Feelings You Get When Playing Volleyball

While you're avoiding getting hit in the face, you just might gain something in return.

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Volleyball can be intimidating to get into, especially if you have had zero experience before. From the extremely bruised forearms to knee burns, it's understandable why people try to avoid this sport as much as possible sometimes. However, after the initial few weeks of struggle, the bruises will disappear, and the knee pains will feel much less terrible. In fact, after experiencing these six feelings, you will get hooked onto the sport.

1. When you get the perfect set

Every team needs a good setter, because without good sets, it is incredibly hard to get good hits. Every once in a while, when you do get that perfect set, you don't have to worry about repositioning closer or further away from the net or where to hit the ball. Instead, all you have to do is swing your arms and hear that satisfying bounce of the ball hitting the floor on the other side of the court.

2. When you dive for a ball and actually save it

Sacrifices to the knees are a must in volleyball, but a lot of times, they're sacrifices in vain. When a dive actually turns into a save, it can be one of the best feelings in the world. Not just because your knees didn't just take another bruise in vain, but because your reflexes have actually improved and you just saved your team a lost point.

3. When you get your first ace

Whether it was your serve that was too fast or the other team that just made a mistake, there's just something extremely satisfying about being able to serve a ball that others cannot return. It may also be due to the fact that you wouldn't have to run back onto the court or spend extra energy on this point, but nevertheless, the pride you feel when you get that ace is priceless.

4. When you find a good team

Some people work better with certain people than others, and when people on your team somehow naturally know how high you liked your sets or covers the areas that you can't at certain moments, as a team you will play much better. This can be attained through training and practice, but when you meet those people who naturally work well with you, you know the game is going to be good.

5. When you get a good rally going

When the ball is going back and forth for five or six times with 3 hits on each side, you have a good rally going on. At the end of it, even if your team loses the point, you'll feel an intense satisfaction from all the adrenaline still coursing through your veins. It's not every day that you can get everyone on the team on their feet, passing, hitting and making great plays!

6. When your teammates become some of your closest friends

This is probably the best reward that you can ever get from playing any sport. Whether it's a group trek to the local donut shop or just walking home together, you could end up meeting some of your closest friends. Volleyball is a team sport, and that bond established through numerous games is something that is irreplaceable. You'll naturally gravitate those who you work well with and find out that honestly, you guys get along pretty well off the court too.

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