August 28, 2003

10 reasons why life is better with Fantasy Football. :     I've been a fan of the NFL for decades, but fantasy football has racheted my interest in the game 1000%. I probably would still have no idea who Freddie Jones was if I hadn't spent the 2001 season cursing his lack of production. Graham Hays really captures how fantasy sports makes old fans learn new tricks.

posted by danostuporstar to culture at 09:28 AM - 11 comments

My favorite quote:

When you call your opponent a "whining ball of puss" because he thinks it's unfair that you traded Jon Kitna for Deuce McAllister, what you're really saying is, "thanks for being part of my life, buddy." And you'll need those new friends when you figure out sometime in January that your wife and kids have been living with your in-laws in Albany since Thanksgiving.

posted by danostuporstar at 09:28 AM on August 28, 2003

I haven't played fantasy football for the last two years after about a decade playing. It's fun, but it detracts from your appreciation of the team nature of the sport and from big-stat, low-touchdown players such as possession receivers and running backs who are good until they get within the 10 yard line. Also, it's nice to be able to watch my favorite team and not care who scored in other games. I used to go to Cowboys games with season tickets and be distracted whenever someone talked about players in other games. That's twisted.

posted by rcade at 10:16 AM on August 28, 2003

This site is temporarily too busy to process your request. Please try again later. Must be a good article! (or is something else exciting happening on that site?)

posted by gspm at 12:50 PM on August 28, 2003

I'll grant you, maybe, "detracts from your appreciation of the team nature of the sport," rcade. but I'm not so sure about the "big-stat, low-touchdown players." before i started playing fantasy, i don't i think i realized how many goal-line only backs there are in the league. now i can rattle off the names of 3 or 4 without even thinking, along with their workhouse counterparts that move the ball between the fives. i really didn't appreciate how much the game changes inside the red zone. every game, you'll hear an announcer spout off about how the defense has to cover less field inside the 20 and how that gives them an advantage. but with fantasy you begin to notice how the offense reacts to the new dynamic as well....something you won't get from the talking head. as far as concentrating on your favorite team, it's true that you become less focused. but i like to think of it more as a bigger interest in the whole league, rather than a diminishing interest in your team. the site seems to be up at the moment, gspm.

posted by danostuporstar at 07:13 AM on August 29, 2003

You're helping make my point by calling running backs like Fred Taylor "workhorses" because they only move the ball between the less-significant 90 yards of the field. That's how I was when I played fantasy football also. I could name every scorer in the league but was far less knowledgeable about the backs and receivers who move the chains and made those scores possible. The game also devalues defense -- a fantasy football fan would've had little reason to watch the Baltimore Ravens during their Super Bowl year, missing one of the most dominating defensive performances in 20 years. It's not a major knock (I may play this year), but a fantasy football owner sees a different game than a football fan. I think the argument that the game deepens your appreciation of the sport is a bit bogus.

posted by rcade at 09:41 AM on August 29, 2003

heh, i did think twice about the term 'workhorse.' but something better didn't come to mind....mebbe 'peanut brittle' for taylor?

posted by danostuporstar at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2003

The lack of emphasis on defense sucks - I'd like to participate in a league where defensive players are drafted and scored on tackles, yards per run, interceptions, etc. rcade, I disagree with your last point. This will be my first year in a fantasy league, and I've learned more about the NFL this preseason than in the two decades before. I'm still rooting for the Niners, but I have a lot better idea of the quality of the teams they're facing.

posted by dusted at 10:35 AM on August 29, 2003

Fantasy football can increase your knowledge of the NFL by making you a more involved fan -- I became seriously geeked about the league when I started playing -- but I think the same would be true of anything that hooked your interest. To me, it's like gambling on NCAA basketball. While that might make you more knowledgeable about teams you'd never care about otherwise, how much of that knowledge relates to the actual sport, and how much relates only to the separate game of wagering on it?

posted by rcade at 12:46 PM on August 29, 2003

And regarding Fred Taylor ... ouch.

posted by rcade at 12:46 PM on August 29, 2003

Fred Taylor is my running back in the SpoFi fantasy league. Now let's all pray for peanut brittle.

posted by dusted at 01:02 PM on August 29, 2003

Sure, you learn a lot about individuals (and in the case of NCAA pools, specific teams) but I think there’s a ton of carryover to the understanding and appreciation of the sport as a whole. If you’re doing it properly and totally immersing yourself in the league, you’re paying attention to offensive and defensive schemes, strength of schedule, coaching tendencies, historic rivalries, etc. In baseball you have to get even more esoteric. And in a good football league the defense and ‘chain movers’ can be very valuable and most of the better fantasy owners have these aspects dialed in as well. Of course, once you reach this unique nirvana you then find yourself wandering around the house mumbling about “YAC” and “+/- turnover ratios” as your children scatter out of the way to avoid being stepped on because you never look up from the USA Today agate. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard anyway.

posted by kloeprich at 02:14 PM on August 29, 2003

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