It's official.

The optimism I wrote about a couple of weeks ago has officially blinded me to my weaknesses. I have heard from reliable sources that I have some minor flaws, shortcomings, problem areas, whatever you want to call those issues that tend to keep us from fully realizing our potential.

But, as those who know me best are painfully aware, I tend to focus on the positive.

So while others lament the tarnished reputations of baseball, football and even cycling, I'm just glad we still have volleyball players to look up to. Why foment and torment on what's wrong with sports when we can fool ourselves into believing the next good thing is just around the bend.

So with that, I announce I'm taking back my resignation from fantasy football. I'm un-retiring. Now while my re-entry into the Greekleague will be a bit less exciting than say Michael Jordan's various un-retirements from the NBA, it is actually happening. And you can't say that about Reggie Miller, now can you?

I'm baaaacckkkk!!!!!

The Greekleague boys are happy for a couple of reasons, and no, it's not because I bring an astounding level of football knowledge to this collection of friendly, well-mannered suits, who double as second-rate trash talkers on Tuesday mornings.

First, my checks are good.

Second, with my first pick (and unlike everyone else who plays fantasy football I didn't keep this a secret), I chose Peyton Manning. Instead of letting the suspense build, I spilled the beans. Our wily league commissioner sought to trick me into telling him before our official draft this Wednesday, but I gave up my pick without any manipulation or pressure. I would never have made a good poker player.

Now it's up to No. 2 to make the other imaginary GMs squirm.

I know that most of you who play fantasy football are laughing at my pick. My brother-in-law is still reeling. He advised me to go with LaDainian Tomlinson or Larry Johnson. My nephew suggested the same. But I just can't do it.

If I were to be soul-searchingly honest, I'd just admit that the temptation provided by Peyton Manning being within my grasp was just too much to resist. The only hint of hesitation I had when I announced my retirement after last year's costly debut into fantasy land, was that by coming in dead last, I could pick first this fall. It's what lured me out of a comfortable retirement where I could safely make fun of fantasy football geeks the way jocks used to torment me and my friends in the newspaper club.

Last year I was the laughingstock of the Greekleague when I chose former Ute quarterback Alex Smith as my backup. It turned out, he wasn't such a ridiculous choice after all.

Now I did make other mistakes, or as I choose to look at them, growth opportunities. I never really did get that whole bye-week thing down. Turns out I played guys who had the day off — more than once.

I also never could bring myself to trade those on my roster I was sentimentally attached to, and after Tiki Barber talked about how much he disliked fantasy football, I had to keep him on the roster, despite his aversion to the end zone. He scored five touchdowns in 2006, but only one of those when I played him.

My only other serious issue was that I couldn't remember my fourth receiver. I had to keep looking him up, and baby, when you're doing that, you need to make a trade.

Some see my need to have "good guys" on my roster as a flaw. But I just can't feel like a winner with guys on my list who may be great athletes on the field but are scurrilous villains in the real world. And let's be honest, that seriously reduces my options.

I also like a little sentimental attachment, which is why I like to have one on the roster with some connection to Utah. So while there is a method to my madness, I understand it might not make me the winner of the Greekleague.

That's not really my goal. My goal, as the Fantasy Virgins enter their second season, is to torment those who take this pastime seriously. I understand why football fanatics want to play fantasy football, but as the market for this activity grows to ridiculous proportions, I'm trying to help the boys in the Greekleague keep it all in perspective.

I have no illusions about my abilities. And, my friends, that's where I feel my strength lies. While others hold onto the pain sports inflicts on them, I let it go. I move on, as they say. Play forward.

And it is that spirit, the spirit of a person who now remembers the agony of defeat in a light that can only inspire and energize, that I ask, " Are you ready for some football?"


E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com