My Dearest Gretchen,
It's 12:06 a.m., on a Wednesday. I'm still at the office, coming down from an adrenaline and Coke Zero buzz, folders and spreadsheets sprawled across my desk.
The year's first fantasy football draft just ended. One down, two to go.
You're sleeping now, but I wanted to tell you this, in the most heartfelt way possible:
I'm sorry that football - both fantasy and real - will dominate my life for the next five months.
I'm sorry that we probably shouldn't plan too many "date nights" on Sundays for a while.
I'm sorry that I'll spend far too much money on a ticket to a Bears game, because I absolutely need to see one game a year.
I'm sorry I'll forget to clean out the crock pot after making lil' smokies, and it will get that nasty crusty layer of calcified grime on the side that's so impossible to clean.
I'm sorry that while we're cuddled together watching your favorite show, "Amazing Race," I will run into the bedroom every few minutes to check on a meaningless game between two last-place teams, because my bye-week fill-in tight end is playing.
I'm sorry that at any point over the next 19 weekends, as many as 10 men and 100 chicken wings will appear in our living room, with little warning.
I'm sorry that I failed to tell you the real reason I just bought iPhones for the two of us. (Mine for checking fantasy scores. Yours for checking fantasy scores while mine's charging.)
There was a time last year (probably the week I was eliminated from playoff contention) when I looked at how much time and energy I was spending on fantasy football, and thought, "Hey, why not just quit fantasy football for a year?"
Those were some of my darkest moments. I don't like to talk about them anymore.
I appreciate your patience. Your kindness. That you continue to put up with my irrational football obsession still astounds me. You're like a saint, wrapped in an angel, dipped in Mother Theresa.
You genuinely try to enjoy football, which is adorable. Sure, you couldn't tell me how many points a touchback is worth (Ha! Trick question!), but when you curl up on the couch in your Bears sweatshirt and say things like "Isn't the Daily Show on?" I know you're at least making the effort.
A few times, I've been asked what I would do if you told me I had to make a choice: Fantasy Football or Wife.
I tell them, let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Gotta run. I need to print out everyone's roster and analyze by morning.
See you soon (Early February-ish).
Tim, aka "Eleven Mini Ditkas"
P.S.: Now seems like a good time to tell you: The guys are coming over Sunday for opening weekend (Bears-Colts!). Not many. At the most, seven. I'm sorry.