Tuesday, September 18, 2012

There's no "I" in team, but There Should Be One in "Fantasy Football"

Football season is two weeks old and I'm feeling nauseous. Not due to the scab refs, the unsettled debate on concussions, or that my Sundays are booked from now to February.

It's due to fantasy football.

I must admit that I've played fantasy sports for about three years now. I started a league after my buddies and I went our separate ways in college. It was a good way for us to stay connected and talk about things other than our mind-numbing jobs for the 500th time. We didn't do it for money. Just good old-fashioned bragging rights.

And then I noticed something with my cheering. I didn't care about who won or lost games. I just wanted to know the answers to questions like, "Did Arian Foster get over a 100 yards?" and "Did Wes Welker get a touchdown today?" To hell with my Vikings, I just wanted to know about Percy Harvin.

I told my friends about my fantasy football struggles. I told my co-workers, parents, and anybody who had a heartbeat and a passing interest in football. I was obsessed. Just like most other red-blooded, football loving males who had access to a computer.

And now this obsession has boiled over. A replacement referee told Eagles running back DeSean Jackson, "I need you for my fantasy team."  I don't know if Jackson misheard the comment, but if its true, it's pretty disgusting.
Aren't there insider trading laws against this type of stuff?

I think the thing that bothers me most about this is that Fantasy Football is inherently selfish. If you're a Patriots fan and they lose, the blow is softened by the fact Tom Brady threw for 400 yards. And if the biggest problem you face all week is deciding whether to start Joseph Forte or Reggie Bush, your life is pretty good.

There was a post on The National a while back called, "Hell is Other Peoples Fantasy Teams." It's so true.

A comment on the article from SportsShakesepeare summed it up perfectly,

"Fantasy Sports is entering the hallowed list of things no one but you gives a f#*$ about:
1. Stories about your kids
2. Things your cats/dogs do
3. That restaurant that just couldn't get your Filet medium-rare
4. That new song you learned on guitar/piano
5. ** Fantasy Sports **"

Yeah, he's about summed it up.

So in the end, will I stop playing fantasy sports? No, probably not. But you won't hear me yapping my trap when Trent Richardson has a crappy game. 

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