Addicted vs Don’t Care

It’s been an interesting FPL season and we are not even to the full complement of BGW and DGWs yet. We will know more information regarding the run in by Thursday that will help guide our planning and decision making for the remainder of the season. For me, it’s been rough patch to a point that I’ve dropped recording the Pitch & Pint Podcast and The FPL Roundtable. No longer to listen to ANY podcasts specific to FPL. Strangely, I’ve been rolling in green arrows since GW20.

Much of the first 20 weeks of the Premier League season were dotted with red arrows, nine in all. Now that doesn’t sound overly poor, does it? Means I recorded 11 green arrows, which is still above 50%. Guess I can chalk that up as a win, in some convoluted way of thinking. Unfortunately, the early weeks I traded green for red weekly and never was able to establish any consistency, as witness by the first 11 games weeks. In fact it was a double red for GW5 and GW6 that dropped me outside the 1 million mark but it was destined to get worse before it got better.

Just six weeks later in GW12, a 45-point gameweek saw another red arrow, which felt like I was getting kicked, already being down I dropped to 1.3 million. I was still heavily invested in Twitter and podcasts and what others thought, to fill my mind with all sorts of players, strategies and more importantly opinions when it came to what I should do. It was prior to that point, I started dialing back on listening to 8-10 podcasts and started concentrating on the ones that were good entertainment value, which dropped that list to about three podcasts.

Take nothing away from the FPL managers that write, produce and host podcasts or provide original content, it take A LOT of time! and a big effort I only ran the Pitch & Pint Podcast for 55 episodes, but just one weekly episode, without much interaction in the way of questions from the community and it was still 4-5 hours of work to get a 30 minute podcast released. However, time and energy I felt was being misdirected with all the walls of life crashing around me. I couldn’t continue in the same vein and something had to give.

Looking at my “Beautiful Mind” spreadsheet, there was a 5-week period starting GW20 that I didn’t care. I made transfers without much research and you know what? It was a string of five green arrows in a row that saw my OR jump to 321k by the time GW25 had finished. Correlation? Lucky?

So what happened? Life. It’s been a rough few years on the home front and that’s usually not information that people divulge freely. We are a “close” community on Twitter and it does feel like we look after each to some degree, even being spread out across the world. I couldn’t continue pumping countless hours into FPL, while the home front continued to move in the wrong direction. So for that period I existed in FPL, not really played.

I gave up all podcasts and honestly, really reading many of the FPL accounts I follow on Twitter. I couldn’t do it, I felt it was ruining my life. It had taken over, much like fantasy NFL did the last few years before I quit caring about the game and just existed in the league. Thankfully, it’s been the FPL Beer Club that has helped to keep me sane (not Sané). But I found myself losing time in the #30SecondBeerReview posts and trying to keep pace with the lads in the UK, Ireland and Scotland. Too much beer, like too much fantasy wasn’t a good thing.

Now I’m not going to preach Jesus and spirituality, but I’ve had a change in my outlook on life. It’s been refreshing and really has given me a “rebirth” even though there are problems that need to be resolved. The rigors of daily life and FPL don’t weigh heavy anymore, as I’ve slowly put a few more hours into FPL weekly. Since GW25, it’s been two out of three greens and I’ve cracked into the top 263k, a season best for me. Again, it’s been one of those years.

Over the last eight weeks, it’s been seven greens without worrying about my rank or who I am going to transfer or did I listen to the Cheaters, or go around the Planet or even trying Diving. Life is improving, as is the FPL game. The goal of fantasy, for me is to have fun. Once that is lost, what reason is there to participate? Much like  the fantasy NFL league I’ve run for 35 years, it’s the childhood friends who are still involved. For FPL, it’s the lads in the beer club that has made this the most enjoyable season to date!  I keep swearing I am going to hope a flight across the pond and shack up in the UK for a week visiting these guys and hopefully checking out some football.

So what’s the correlation? Massive time and investment this season and I struggle. Release the time I’m investing in producing content and I am sailing a sea of green. In some respect, not listening to opinions of others has left me to my own decisions, which isn’t a bad thing. No herd mentality here! Yet, I still believe a big percentage of ANY fantasy sports game is down to luck.

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