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Tips for coping with life after fantasy football

NASCAR's Kasey Kahne thinks breastfeeding women are fucking disgusting.

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It ended last weekend. My fantasy football season, that is. It ended in a ball of underperforming flames, leaving me hurt, my spirit vacant. Tebow's four interceptions. Brady's second half. Graham Gano's right leg. They all played a part in the drama. But when the dust finally settled I was done. I'd lost the fantasy Super Bowl, and all I was left with was my own regret.

And that was just one of the three fantasy football leagues I was in this year. They all closed up shop last week.

The question is: What do I do now? Where do I go from here?

I'm not the only poor sap left pondering this sad dilemma. It happens every year.

The readjustment period that directly follows the fantasy football season can be rough. Here are some tips for coping.

The first thing to remember is there is no easy answer. It's best to face this challenge head on. Distractions or diversions will ultimately only string out the pain. For instance, some of my buddies play modified versions of fantasy football during the NFL playoffs, but only because they're degenerate gamblers. Go cold turkey and throw yourself back into life. It may not be easy, but no one said anything about fantasy football being easy.

Hopefully, however, the first thing you'll notice is how refreshingly fun watching football can be without the weight of your fantasy score tugging on your soul. Sure, there's no more intrigue in garbage-time stat padding, or any game involving the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the good news is the playoffs are nearly upon us and good football should abound. Remember what it's like to watch football purely for the sake of the real game. Remember why you fell in love with the sport in the first place. Remember how good it feels not to give a fuck what Roy Helu does. Take deep breathes. Feel the tension slip away.

Next, you may need to reintroduce yourself to the family. There's a decent chance they haven't seen you for the last few months, what with the long hours spent diligently working at the office (read: checking your fantasy and Facebook) and the entire Sundays spent strung out in front of the NFL RedZone channel. Play catch with Johnnie. Take Suzie to Jamba Juice. Tell your wife you love her - without simultaneously checking anything on your phone. Be human.

The biggest void you'll feel will come on the weekend. When great athletes retire, they don't pine for the drudgery of practice, but they still long for the thrill of competition. Chances are, you'll feel similarly on Sundays - at least for a while. You may slip into an addictive and mindless habit, like that Angry Birds game. But you'd be better served by playing some basketball at the YMCA. Or challenging your wife to a game of Words with Friends. Turn that competitive energy into something more tangible than sweating through your t-shirt because Hakeem Nicks dropped three sure touchdowns.

While you may have gotten lucky and walked away a big winner this year, chances are you didn't. Those are just the stone-cold odds of the situation. Fantasy football has a way of humbling people - of crushing souls. With the season just concluded, you may need to take some time to rebuild your self-worth. It's important to remember that no matter how much the fact that Yahoo Fantasy Football Expert Brandon Funston makes more than an elementary school teacher may suggest otherwise, fantasy football is not actually a game of skill. It's largely chance, and predominantly luck. You honestly had no way of knowing Jamal Charles would tear up his knee or Chris Johnson would crap the bed. Stop beating yourself up. No one can predict the future. See fantasy football for what it is - a generally entertaining distraction that's not as sleazy as full-on sports betting. Remind yourself of your positive qualities. Spend time doing the things you're good at. Kick your 12-year-old's ass playing Xbox. Get your swagger back.

Most of all, however, amidst all the self esteem building and positive affirmations and games of pickup basketball at the Y, remember one thing: life was good before fantasy football, and it can be good again. You just have to take steps to remember how to live without it ...

Until next year.

BOX SCORES: University of Oregon offensive lineman Mark Asper, in the week leading up to the Ducks' Rose Bowl battle against Wisconsin, reportedly saved a man choking on a hunk of steak during the traditional "Beef Bowl" at Lawry's in Los Angeles that's part of the lead up to the big game. Asper, who said he's a former Eagle Scout, used the Heimlich maneuver, coming to the rescue of man later identified by newspapers as Paul Diamond, the father of an Oregon student. Asper told reporters "a big piece of Lawry's beef" came out of Diamond's mouth, and after the scary incident Diamond took smaller bites. Believe it or not, I'm, not making any of this up. ... Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak said this week that he has absolutely no interest in the Penn State head coaching position vacated by the disgraced Joe Paterno, despite the fact his name has been rumored to be connected with the job. Munchak adds his name to a list of other people not interested in the Penn State head coaching position that also includes: everyone else in the known world. ... The pride of Enumclaw, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, made headlines this week when a chance encounter with a breastfeeding mom in a supermarket sent him to Twitter to air his disgust. According to widespread reports (which is all that's left to be referenced, as the dreamy driver has deleted the Twitter rampage and since posted an apology to his Facebook page), Kahne started the stir by Tweeting the following: "Just walking though supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because obviously I was seeing things. I wasn't!" Kahne followed that up with, ""One boob put away one boob hanging!!" throwing in the hashtag "nasty" - because he's classy. Later, when a female fan took issue with his stance against mothers feeding their children as god and nature intended in a location where his eyes might fall upon it, Kahne fired back, calling the woman a "dumb bitch." In a related note, by being active on Twitter Kahne is believed to be the first person from Enumclaw to ever do anything on the Internet beside look at horse porn and check MySpace, so he does deserve some credit.

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