Fantasy Football: It Is Addicting

“We’re becoming a nation of fantasy football addicts. Whether this is a good thing or not is a topic for another time. I know only this: While the Summer Olympics were doing such gangbuster ratings for NBC in August, the most-searched term on for those two weeks wasn’t ‘Olympics’ or ‘Phelps’ or even ‘Sacramone.’ You know what it was? That’s right … ‘fantasy football.’ A few weeks later, the Eagles-Cowboys game (on Monday, Sept. 15) became the most-watched cable event of all time.”
Bill Simmons, 


Bill Simmons is right.
Fantasy football is addicting.
I hate it, but I play it.
I hate it mostly because you start pulling for individual players and the games become secondary.
Last week I jumped off the sofa when Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (my one legit fantasy star) took a lateral from teammate Anthony Gonzalez and made it to the end zone for a bizarre touchdown. Instant replay later overturned the TD because Wayne’s knee hit the turf at the one. I was sick.
It makes me sick I care so much that I couldn’t get those FLPs (Fantasy League Points).
And I’m not in a bunch of leagues like some FF addicts. Just one. It’s an eight-team league made up of co-workers or former co-workers at The Sun.
In the first couple years, I did zero homework. I went with my gut feeling during the drafts and had a set lineup. Somehow, I ended up with runningbacks Shawn Alexander and Edgerrin James a couple years ago. Ran the table one year. Didn’t lose a game — regular season or playoffs.
Did a lot of smack talking. It was fun.
It’s still fun, but now I find myself paying way too much time trying to decide on a starting lineup and wondering if I should pick up quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan because Mike Martz, the 49ers’ offensive coordinator, is going to turn him into the next Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger.
So I added O’Sully to my roster, but didn’t start him. I stuck with Big Ben Roethlisberger. He threw for a whopping 131 yards during a 15-6 loss to Philadelphia Sunday. No touchdown, one interception. Big Bruise (he was sacked eight times) scored three points for my fantasy team, the Illahee Idiots. O’Sully wasn’t great, but he did throw for 189 yards and two TDs with zero interceptions. Tack on 32 rushing yards and that’s 24 FLPs.
I gave Detroit rookie Kevin Smith his first start at running back (3 carries, 14 yards) and that move backfired, too. And I gambled at tight end, going with Denver’s Tony Scheffler instead of San Diego’s Antonio Gates (nobody said the Idiots were well coached). Scheffler, who had two TD catches last week, caught four balls for 32 yards. No TDs.
My Idiots are off to an 0-3 start and came close to setting a league record for lowest score this week.
I hate Fantasy Football, yet I’ve already spent way too much time on my computer today, checking out the stats of players who might be available, concocting possible trades and wondering if Marshawn Lynch will ever rush for 100 yards.
And as much as I hate it, even this middle-aged (I think I’m still in that category) greyhair knows that it’s relevant. Fantasy Football, like it or not, has become a big deal. Bigger than I ever imagined. It’s big business.
Bill Simmons has got it right. We’ve become a nation of Fantasy Addicts.
Simmons has been involved in this phenomena since 1990. You can read more about his interesting, and entertaining, take on FF here. He writes that the Eagles-Cowboys game mentioned in the quote at the top of this post could go down in history as the greatest fantasy game of all time.
Simmons also writes: “Miss out on fantasy, and you miss out on the draft, biting e-mails, jokes, barbs, funny team names, inane arguments, idiotic trade offers and everything else. In some cases (like with me and my East Coast friends, who have something like 58 kids among us), the draft is the only day of the year when you’re in touch with friends who were once essential parts of your day-to-day life.”

5 thoughts on “Fantasy Football: It Is Addicting

  1. That is the pain and pleasure of fantasy football. The competition, outwitting your family member or co-worker, bragging rights if you win it all.

    Fantasy Football is part of the reason the NFL is so big right now. They might not want to admit it, but we all know it is true.

  2. Pingback: Eric

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