Here I am wrapped up in pennant races and trade deadlines, yet curiously my e-mail inbox is signaling a change of season.
No sense waiting for leaves to change - fantasy football is here.
Late July is a time for riding to Barnes & Noble to pick up thick draft guides, a time for endless, mindless debate about why LaDanian Tomlinson will be better than either Shaun Alexander or Larry Johnson in 2006, a time for peace (I swear it's not too late).
OK, that last bit's a stretch. But it is most definitely time for the Charm City Champions League.
Beginning today, we're accepting applications for season two of the CCCL, which promises to be a heck of a lot better than the lame second season of "Lost." Match your incomparable fantasy football skills against a pair of self-described experts – myself and fellow fantasy guy Sheil Kapadia – along with last year's winner, Jason Allen, and his formidable Fordyce Redbugs.
The deal – if selected, you get to be part of an esteemed 14-team fantasy football league, take part in a live online draft and see if you can hang with the big dawgs.
We're looking for serious owners only. Seriously. Those who have left a player in the lineup during a bye week need not apply. Same goes for anyone who has picked a defense in the first round, or anyone who ever drafted Kyle Boller and honestly thought, "This is the year he turns it around." Not interested.
But if you've ever skipped out on a family function to sit in a bar and cheer for Reuben Droughns - not the Browns, because who in their right mind would cheer for the Browns? - well, that's more like it. We want you.
So if you think you've got what it takes, email Sheil at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us why you belong – you've been crushing your high school buddies for years; your entire house is decked out with those giant Fathead wall posters; whatever. Bonus points for originality and mildly disturbing signs of obsession. Impress us.