Every sports fanatic is an armchair coach. That's why managing an office fantasy league team can be so intoxicating. You review rosters, negotiate trades, bench bums. Ah, there's nothing like the rush you get when a cheap late-round draft pick goes on a tear. But what are you in charge of, really? The truth: You've morphed into a fantasy freak, obsessed with statistical minutiae. Teamwork no longer inspires you. Hometown fealty? Who cares? Your fantasy first baseman is leading the league in ribbies. You spend hours plotting trades, an entire season coveting a coworker's leadoff hitter. Real life becomes a nuisance. You keep your wife on hold while you argue with your league commissioner about rescheduling the draft. You pour over stat sheets instead of analyzing spreadsheets. Pretty soon your numbers are down, your wife refuses to hold you and your boss calls you into his office to renegotiate your contract.
Run a squad of kids—of kids—now that's a noble challenge. Sure, you'll have to deal with parents who pester you about playing time and try to usurp your authority and degrade their underperforming offspring at half-time. But one word from you and they're banished. Kids need to be coached. If you inspire them, they will listen. If you earn their respect, they'll play their little hearts out. The biggest payoff is the vicarious thrill of watching your least capable kid, the one whose confidence you've been trying to boost all year, score his first goal ever and turn to you in stunned euphoria. That's priceless.