Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fantasy, the Heroic Anti-hero of football.

Before I rant, I'll lay out my back story with football.  It's relatively new to me.  When I was a kid, I was shunned from pop culture.  Shunned to the extent of not knowing what the Superbowl was when I was 9.

Public high school and a liberal arts college did their part in giving me a crash course on everything trendy.  But I've always been an outsider to the sports world.  I can't speak the language of sport stats. I can't tell you what school whatever burly, short-lived sensation of a running back went to.  At least, I couldn't until Fantasy football brought me in. Hard.  Now, onto my rant.

Fantasy Football makes football relevant in a weird, perverted way.  Granted, I don't get it half the time.  But when I do, it's not rewarding. I don't feel happy when a player does well, I feel relieved.  Fantasy football's a constant stream of worrying about players living up to projections, warding off injuries, avoiding season ending tackles, recovering quickly from a concussion, or finishing off a suspension for being a dumb ass and getting busted for drunk driving in San Diego. Twice.

I don't have team loyalty, I only care about certain players. I obsess over stats like Emperor Dawes (a best friend of mine who's anal about having an immaculately kept wardrobe) obssesses over wrinkles in his starched oxfords.  I root against defenses and pray to all the gods for injuries to rival superstars.  I watch games, but cheer for both sides. I'm a bastardized fan.

Fantasy turns football into sales and turns up the heat for every fan invovled.  Like Alec Baldwin preached in his cinematic apex (30 Rock is tv, not cinema), you have to always be closing.


Matt Grim said...

A friend of mine responded to this with an insight worth hearing. So, hear it out:

"...This is a "what have you done for me lately" sport. Natural selection at its finest. You nailed it... you love your players and your players only. Why else would the good Dr. Raymond have texted me before we played last week, "Seth, I hope Ladanian Tomlinson breaks his leg." If a physician (who took a hippocratic oath) can be so cold-hearted, you have to wonder. My reconciliation is this... While our team loyalty is cannibalized, our love of football, the NFL, and competition is enhanced."

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