As I sit on my coach and take in the sights and sounds of the many to come Sunday night football games, I think back to how we all got to this point.
No, not some philosophical question about the existence of man or what the purpose of life is. I’m not even talking about how we all became football fans. I’m talking about how we got to care about the Tampa bay Bucs or the Carolina Panthers.
I know some might holler to defend their teams, but the fact of the matter is that fantasy football makes every game relevant.
My favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, went 6-10 in 2014 and finished 3rd in the worst division in football. Being a Falcons fan can be lonely and quite ugly sometimes and I don’t know if they are going to win anytime soon. One thing, however, I know for sure is that all five of my suitemates sat and watched the game on Monday night, screaming at Matt Ryan to throw the ball to Roddy White so they could pick up the points they needed to beat the person sitting right beside him.
I’ve been a football fan for as long as I can remember and the question I always got was the same… “Do you play Fantasy?” No… I did not play fantasy… until this year. I never understood what fantasy meant. I’d much rather watch and cheer from my team, relaxing and eating food, instead of worry about a game within a game, right?
I found out in little under a week what this game is capable of. There are different kinds of fantasy players. Over-obsessed, under-obsessed and the lucky few who can find a balance. An over-obsessed player may spend hours studying players, defenses, matchups or anything else to give them an edge. This type of player researches injuries and conducts mock draft prior to the season actually starting. The under obsessed player is one who forgets about the draft entirely or is out picking up his mail while it’s his pick.
But for what? Does it really help? Does strategy play any part?
Who can actually tell when you’re playing the guy who auto-picked his whole roster and now is racking up the points with the no name kicker who’s single-handedly beating you into the ground.
I laugh every time I see someone stand up to yell at the TV. Hey buddy, they can’t hear you. As much as I find it funny, why do I also find myself doing the same thing? I, along with many other fantasy owners, envy the person whose laptop died when picking teams and is still running the table. Meanwhile you’ve got “Frank” in the back acting as an NFL scout while he finishes in last place.
Is there any really strategy to this game? Some say yes and other would say no. While many fantasy leagues play for bragging rights, others amp the stakes and get a little risker. About two years ago, ESPN ran a story about fantasy leagues and wagers that are made between buddies. They found a group of 1o guys from Omaha, Neb. who form the self-proclaimed tattoo league. The rules of the league are simple, the person that comes in last place for the season has to get a tattoo designed by the champion of the league. It reminds me of an old saying my dad taught me. When running from a bear in the woods, you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest person.
Seems easy enough if you pay attention right? Wrong again. Fantasy football can be so unpredictable at times that it makes a meteorologist look accurate. The best you can do is hold on and pray that you don’t get inked.