Dear Office Fantasy Football League,

I’m too embarrassed to face you outside my cubicle — and none of you will meet my eyes anyway — so I penned this letter of apology.

I’m sorry for being such a neglectful team owner. The Commissioner – Jack from Legal — just informed me that I’ve been suspended for abandoning my team. Totally justified. I haven’t logged on to in weeks. There are no excuses for this kind of bad sportsmanship.

To each of you who were guiding your teams in earnest and hoping you were going toe to toe with other engaged and invested owners, I let you down. I should have downloaded the app. I should have figured out that “WR” meant “wide receiver” and “TE” was “tight end.” Only now — now that I am on the outside looking in — do I fully appreciate the crimes I committed. Not knowing who Aaron Rodgers was and keeping him on my active roster when he had a “bye” week? That’s not a misdemeanor — it’s a felony. Guilty as charged.

Some of you rightly suspect that I have no idea what a “bye” week is and that I’m exactly the kind of codependent owner who would refuse to bench an injured player. (Come on — having a pulled groin is bad enough, how does a coach, in good conscience, rub salt in that wound? Not my style, even if I had known how to log on and move my players around.)

I didn’t realize that I had taken a spot from other coworkers who would have cheerfully assumed the duties of a team owner. I feel horrible about the guy in accounting who was not invited to play because someone like me took his spot, only to squander it with ignorance and apathy.

So, you are right to shun me. I totally deserved to be concomitantly ejected from the office trivia team. I’ve got a lot of making up to do if I want in on that Final Four bracket thingy come March. I know that. The oatmeal raisin cookies in the kitchen with the caligraphied message “PLEASE FORGIVE ME” are from me.

I hope you’ll take one.

I hope you’ll forgive me.

I take full responsibility for undertaking an enterprise that is morally suspect to me. Yes, I originally hail from Texas — football country — but I’ve spent four decades of my life filtering out football culture. Some of you have seen the posts on my blog criticizing football as racist, exploitative of poor kids, corrupt, and violent. In retrospect, it was sheer folly for me join the fantasy football world.

If you’re wondering why I pursued team ownership this fall, I’ll tell you the truth. While it’s not an excuse, I admit that I gave into the all too human desire to fit into the office culture. In my feeble defense, there were so few choices. I threw my hat into the heteronormative, hyper-masculinized ring in hopes that I would be able to join the camaraderie that sweeps through the halls every fall. I just wanted in! I jumped at the chance without thinking through my moral objections to and total ignorance of football.

I hope we can all still be friends. I don’t expect to be invited to the Super Bowl party — even though I make a killer buffalo wing with my trusty Fry Daddy. Too soon? Well, maybe next year.

Best of luck with your teams,
Christie O. Tate