For The Love of Fantasy Football

I’m rooting for Eli Manning to throw four touchdowns on Sunday. I need him to-why? Certainly not because I am a fan. I’ve hated the Giants since the NFC Championship game in 1991 where Jim Burt and Leonard Marshall broke Joe Montana’s hand and my spirit. The thing is, Eli is my fantasy quarterback, and I need a win this week. Don’t ask how I ended up with him, the whole fantasy draft was a blur of people picking the players I wanted long before it was my turn. All I know is that every Sunday, in spite of myself, and Joe Montana, I want him to do well.

I’m not alone either. In the sports bar I frequent on Sundays, people are glued to their phones to check their fantasy scores and tallying points on the fly. They are yelling at players they never heard of until they got them off the waiver wire on Wednesday to “run” or “score”. They are gleeful, they are angry, they are playing fantasy football.

It is hilarious to me how the prospect of a fantasy win will cause the most die hard fan to root against their own team. You see it every Sunday-the die hard Jet fan rooting for Brett Favre to throw ANOTHER interception. The Browns fan with the Ravens’ defense cheering for a sack. The Steeler fan who is praying that Hines Ward will spend the afternoon blocking and dropping passes.

On some levels, fantasy football is one of the greatest sports ideas ever. It brings a new dimension to the game. The concept is great. Create a team out of your favorite players from all teams across the league and see how many points you can score against someone elses crafted team. Unfortunately, there are some very real lessons to be learned when you start playing fantasy football, and they aren’t always pleasant:

1. Real life GM’s are way smarter than you think they are. They have to do this with 53 dudes and you may have heard of five. Under a salary cap and with real life egos. That can’t be a walk in the park.

2. Picking last year’s “it” guy does not guarantee success this year. Tom Brady, Ladainian Tomlinson and Peyton Manning owners can attest to this one. Injuries are very real and make for strange bedfellows in fantasyland.

3. That chick who knows nothing about football and picked players because she thought they were cute or liked their name/uniform is going to beat you and probably win the pot. This is just the law of the universe. Accept it and move on, and copy off her cheat sheet next year.

4. If you pick in the middle of your draft, you will have a mediocre to horrible team. How do I know this? Because it happens to me year after year. I picked first ONE TIME. I won the whole thing. Last year, in both my leagues I picked in the middle. I finished 10th out of 12 in one, and 11th out of 12 in the other. Coincidence? I think not.

5. Playing against close friends can destroy the relationship for a few hours twice a season. I had to play one of my closest friends last season, twice. He felt the need to talk so much shit to me after beating me the second time, that when the news of his impending divorce came out the day after one fantasy beatdown, I couldn’t be a friend, I was still pissed about the fantasy game. We’re fine now, but I refused to play in his league this year, and probably won’t again.

I know I’m not the only one who is hopelessly obsessed with fantasy football. There are magazines, television shows and websites all devoted to helping you pick a winner. I used to be a faithful listener, starting and sitting who the “experts” said, patrolling the waiver wires for the next big thing. Then I realized I was still in last place. So much for that method.

For some people, it isn’t an issue. They pick, they play, they win, they lose and they’re fine. I wish I could achieve that type of sports nirvana. Instead, I’m probably going to find myself glued to the screen, willing the team I hate the most to complete as many touchdown passes as humanly possible, and drowning my sorrows in my beer when they don’t.

-Terita

Like Terita’s take on sports? Tired of people assuming that women aren’t die hard sports fans? Or maybe you’re using this column to make sure your bf’s weekly sports obsession doesn’t completely put you to sleep and you can make conversation? Either way, read the rest of Terita’s sportie run down here.

Last 5 posts by Parlour

  • 1) Agreed. Fantasy gives you an appreciation for the complexities of the job. Games like EA sports “NFL Head Coach” does the job some justice by giving you an indepth experience in managing a team.

    2)Picking last years it guy isn’t always a safe bet, but for the most part the first round dudes are consistent and do their numbers. Brady went in the first round of our draft this year, which is a big no-no as quarterbacks should rarely-to-never go in the first round. But his injury killed a lot of folks entire draft.

    3)Sorry. No rookie is winning any league where folks have some sense about what they are doing. I say this because its your 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks that really make or break your team. Those picks require research not done by rookies to the Fantasy league.

    4)Not true at all. See point #4. In a league with 10-12 folks, the last dude gets 2 picks. That double pick is always a big pick as its the first pick of the second round. In fantasy basketball the middle to later first round picks are always preferable as many times last years sleeper will slip to the #10 pick. I had a #10 pick in my bball draft this year and got KG. Although he kinda sucks this year, my 2nd-6th round picks are killers and I’m first in that league. I was 7th in football, and got frank gore in the first round and jay cutler in the second. They are both ripping shit up this year. Point being, your selection number only promises 1 solid pick, to build a winning team you have to know how to be a good GM.

    5) Lol. Damn, hold your boy down through thick and thin boo. I feel you though, there were a few dudes that we had to “exclude” from the league after endless shit talking on the list serve. We’ve gone through a few commissioners and alladat.

    There is too much money on the line to sit by the side and not care about your fantasy team. I know of a few leagues where the winning payout is almost 6 figures.

    ok continue on.

  • Terita

    continue on? really dude? I guess you told me! LOL.

    your experience being different is not quite going to fly on this one. some chick who never played before beat 11 other people with way more experience and knowledge than she has, and you not agreeing with it won’t change who got the pot.

    if you play with people who are just as well aware as you are and reading up (which you mention as being so crucial) even the middle round picks that you claim “make or break” teams will be gone by the time things get to you. and you can forget about a waiver wire or other means of improvement. if a player is gone, knowing more than the average bear and having to go with your eighth choice rather than your seventh doesn’t make him appear again, unless you’re playing in a parallel universe. maybe I should do like you seem to be doing and play with people who don’t really pay attention. on second thought, that might turn into casey part 5 (sorry girl-skip this paragraph. I’m still mad) : )

    you have to know how disrespectful it is to call someone you’re not fucking “boo”. if you haven’t learned that lesson by now, let me be the first to tell you.

    I would end with something sarcastic like “carry on”, but that just isn’t my way. so have a nice night.

  • jbaker

    dayum.