For many of us, today is a celebration of life and a renewal of hope, the first step in a journey toward self-discovery and maximizing our potential as feeling, thinking human beings.
It's fantasy football draft day!
And mine kicks off soon, so the lawns can wait, the cats can tend to their own box (you have dewclaws, which are basically thumbs, so evolve) and I'll scale Laundry Mountain tomorrow.
Today, is all about football, beating my family and friends into submission (in a good, fun way) and creating the world's most spectacular plate of nachos.
Not long ago, I shared a 12-team, first-round mock draft preview and ranked picks 1 to 12 based on numbers and hunches.
Rather than regurgitate that column and serve as your master of the obvious ("Aaron Rodgers is good and you should draft him!"), here's a quick, no-bones top 12:
1. RB Arian Foster, 2. QB Aaron Rodgers, 3. RB Ray Rice, 4. QB Tom Brady, 5. RB LeSean McCoy, 6. QB Drew Brees, 7. WR Calvin Johnson, 8. Chris Johnson, 9. Matthew Stafford, 10. WR Larry Fitzgerald, 11. WR Andre Johnson, 12. RB Darren McFadden.
And there you have it. Good night and we'll see you next week.
Seriously, if you need anyone to tell you where to start at this point, you're in trouble. We've had all summer to visit Web sites, buy every magazine off the rack and devise strategies. There's no excuse for not having a clue.
I have a ... plan
I'm the type of guy who's more interested in doing rather than planning, but even I won't walk into a draft without some idea of what I hope to accomplish.
To that end, I always let the draft come to me. I might go in thinking I'm grabbing a wideout in the first round, but if, by the grace of Jim Plunkett, Drew Brees happens to be available with the 11th overall pick, all bets are off and Plan B is born.
Translation: Be flexible and unafraid to veer from the script.
Doh! You can be a homer
Like many, I'm loyal to those who have delivered for me in the past, and I often go out of my way to draft or acquire them by whatever means necessary.
But how big of a role should emotions play, or be allowed to play, in our fantasy pursuits? My buddy Hans and I kicked that question around the other night.
Both of us have enjoyed decent measures of success, but we've done so by taking different paths. While Hans takes an android approach to drafting, never investing himself emotionally in his players, I am the polar opposite and refuse to go into battle with players for whom I feel nothing or, worse, disdain.
That approach can set you up for disaster squared, especially when your favorite player goes down and takes you with him, but the potential rewards make it more than worth it and twice as fun when things work out.
Lighten up, Francis
With my playing days ending during the Reagan Era, fantasy sports is pretty much my only competitive outlet one I used to take way too seriously.
And I know I'm not alone.
Too often we forget that this is supposed to be fun, and that the sun will rise whether Tony Romo throws four TDs or four picks or if McFadden runs for 200 yards or 200 inches before popping a tire.
As Mom once said, "Stuart Alan, it's just a game, relax ... and watch your language."
So good luck to all and may your QBs and RBs still be standing in Week 17.
Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have to talk myself out of taking McFadden in Round 1.
Bee fantasy sports columnist Stu Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.