If there's one thing I took from the Athletic Business show last month in Orlando, it's that people love football.
It wasn't just the fact that former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was the keynote speaker at the show. (Although the attendees did respond in full force when he mentioned their hometown teams.) What really blew me away was how many people walked over from the welcome reception at the Hark Rock Cafe next door to the NBA City Restaurant, which had the Packers-Cowboys game on in the lobby. I was worried that I wasn't going to see this game since it was on the NFL Network, which wasn't on the hotel's cable package.
Before heading over to NBA City, I was checking my cell phone for updates of my fantasy football team, Gold's Gems (catchy, huh?). I had one player on my team in that game, and my opponent that week had three guys. I'm glad I followed my instincts and found the game on TV.
Looking back at the year, I can trace my most memorable fantasy football moments through the shows I attended. The night I got back from the Las Vegas Planet Fitness/World Gym summit was the opening night of the NFL season. I had two guys playing in that game, and I ended up losing that week by 22 points.
You might recall my dilemma before the Club Industry show in Chicago when I went for a walk the morning of my trip, only to find that another team had picked up a running back I really needed during my walk. That was a tough lesson learned.
Then came that Thursday night in Orlando. I fell behind by 18 points that night, but I ended up winning that week, which earned me a first-round bye in my fantasy football league's playoffs. I went on to win the semifinal game, and just last week, I won the whole she-bang in a Super Bowl rout. Not bad for a first-year owner.
I hope it will please my boss to know that the fantasy football league season is finally over. I don't have the heart to tell her that there's a playoff fantasy football contest, too.
I also don't have the heart to tell her that I already signed up for it.