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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    Personally, I think this is a poorly written article that is just going for readership. I guess Don is a little too pin-headed to handle following his team and delving into the fantasy world too. Fantasy football is a perfect match for a football fan, little Donny needs to give it a shot and he will be as addicted as the rest of us.

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    Fantasy? More like a farce
    Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze
    Posted: Wednesday August 24, 2005 3:01PM; Updated: Wednesday August 24, 2005 3:38PM
    by Don Banks
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...nfl/index.html


    Stand back. I'm about to commit treason, heresy and other various forms of slander in the eyes of the nation's rabid NFL fans:

    I hate fantasy football. Hate it. Hate it so much that I refuse to capitalize the f's, as if it's a sanctioned league unto itself. And if you're wondering, no, I've never played it. Never wanted to. Never will. Thanks for asking.

    Every year about this time, with everyone's fantasy drafts just around the corner, I'm deluged with people wanting to know some inside scoop or tidbit of information that might help them assemble their roster. I try to help. I really do. But my heart's not in it, because I really detest the whole idea of fantasy football.

    My standard line is that I have enough trouble keeping track of everything NFL-related in reality, so there's no time for extending my work world into the realm of make-believe. But that's not really the whole story. The truth is there are a lot of reasons why the fantasy game just doesn't appeal to me.

    And yes, I realize this rant qualifies as biting the hand that feeds me.

    While the NFL has truly been America's favorite pastime for the past 40 years or so, the rise and monstrous popularity of fantasy football in the past two decades has fueled interest in the league to unparalleled heights. It's not a stretch to say the voracious appetite that NFL fans have for information -- a hunger that helps keep me employed -- is at least partly attributable to the fantasy craze.

    I know that, and appreciate the paychecks, but I'm still not a fantasy guy.

    Here are my top 10 reasons why:

    1. It changes how you watch a game. We all have some experience with a person who has perfectly illustrated this point from time to time. Being a fantasy player means you can't see the forest for the trees. Rather than watching a game in its context and meaning to the standings, fantasy folks often ignore the big picture, focusing only on how their players are performing around the league.

    Every week in press boxes around the NFL during the regular season, I can easily pick out the fantasy players among my fellow reporters. They're the ones who are ticked off that Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis just scored on another 1-yard touchdown run. Not because they're anti-Steelers, but because they started Duce Staley in their backfield and needed the all-important six points in their quest for the final playoff berth.

    Point-spread bettors have been doing the same thing for decades, of course, watching a game not for who wins or loses, but for who covers and who doesn't. It's like tuning into NBC Nightly News not to find out what went on in the world that day, but to count the number of times Brian Williams uses the word "Pentagon.' It elevates the irrelevant to a level of real importance.

    For some, staying attuned exclusively to the bottom line isn't enough. But until they start giving out a big shiny silver trophy for point-spread winners and fantasy championships, keeping track of the winning and losing teams is enough for me.

    2. It glorifies stat accumulators at the expense of team players. All you need to know about what's wrong with the fantasy game can be summed up in this fact: Because of his superior statistics, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is far more valuable in fantasy football than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Never mind that Manning can't beat Brady in a real game to save his life. Manning is 0-6 head-to-head against Brady in his career, including losses in each of the past two postseasons.

    But it doesn't matter in fantasy-land, where some numbers are far more significant than the final score.

    3. It makes heroes out of problem children. Randy Moss is a heck of a fantasy player. But that didn't keep the Vikings from deciding he was all-too-expendable this offseason. Fantasy players don't really care if Moss leaves the field with two seconds remaining and a kickoff still to come. They don't care if he sows turmoil in the locker room, becomes a headache for team management, and gives his quarterback nothing but trouble.

    Moss wasn't special enough to make the Vikings a Super Bowl team, but he does rack up the fantasy points, and that means all is forgiven by the millions of players who draft him every year.

    4. The geek factor. Sorry, but we have a name for people whose primary source of entertainment stems from stuff that didn't really happen. They're called Trekkies.

    In the immortal words of William Shatner, playing himself at a Star Trek convention on Saturday Night Live, sometimes I'd like to shake a couple of the fantasy players in my midst and say, "Look at you people. Did you ever kiss a girl?'

    5. The death of the NFL offseason. I realize this is a purely selfish one, but I happen to believe that in most things, less is more. I blame fantasy football for the NFL game's current status as a year-round, 24/7 national obsession. If there really is an NFL offseason any more, I don't know when it takes place. Maybe the two or three weeks before training camps open, but even then, there's still something going on that creates a headline or two in Paul Tagliabue's fiefdom.

    Whatever happened to the quaint notion that you can't miss something if it never really goes away?

    6. It's ridiculously and unfairly skewered toward offense and touchdown-makers. Any game that makes short shrift of the skills of a Dick Butkus, Deacon Jones, Bubba Smith, Lawrence Taylor or Ronnie Lott and what they contributed to the lore of the NFL is hopelessly out of whack in my estimation.

    Defense still wins championships in real-life football. But in the fantasy game, defenders are bit players, in place only to be scored upon by all those coveted offensive stars. It's like trying to put together a baseball team with no concern for a pitching staff or fielding. The balance between offense and defense is one of football's greatest strengths, and makes it the ultimate team game. But not in fantasy world.

    7. All those confusing and divided loyalties. It's not enough to follow the league and root for your favorite team any more. Instead of having a team to live and die for -- say, the Bears -- fantasy players must now root for a division rival's quarterback, because, well, Daunte Culpepper was their second-round pick.

    Is nothing sacred?

    8. The expert phenomena. Fantasy football transforms average fans into quasi-general managers, and Lord knows we've got enough experts to go around in today's world. Some of them even write about the NFL on the Internet.

    I wouldn't have as big a problem with fantasy football if it really was a nice little diversion, something to keep track of while you're watching the real games unfold. But why do we need the game within the game, when the diversion overwhelms the importance of our original diversion? Folks take fantasy football so darn seriously that all else seems to pale in comparison.

    Get real, people. It's not so difficult or tedious.

    9. The money aspect. I'm shocked, shocked to learn there's gambling going on in this establishment. I'm no Pollyanna, but it seems to me that the money gets a little bigger every year in every league. Fine. I know it spices up the action on the field and makes everything more interesting to watch. But, and I'm not breaking this story, money tends to corrupt a thing or two in this world. You can look it up.

    And the anti-gambling NFL reeks of hypocrisy for its embrace of fantasy football -- which you can play on its NFL.com site -- albeit without money being involved. That's as rich as the league looking the other way all these years when it comes to the Vegas betting lines, even while it maintains its staunch no-gambling policy.

    10. The trendiness of it all. Some times I think everybody loves fantasy football but me. Which just might be a good enough reason alone to walk into the wind or swim against the tide. I mean, somebody has to register dissent. It's still a very American principle, isn't it? After all, popular opinion isn't always right. And conventional wisdom sometimes isn't either.

  2. #2
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    "Prophet" wrote:
    Personally, I think this is a poorly written article that is just going for readership. I guess Don is a little too pin-headed to handle following his team and delving into the fantasy world too. Fantasy football is a perfect match for a football fan, little Donny needs to give it a shot and he will be as addicted as the rest of us.
    The addiction part of it is right. I can't stay away from it once I get started. That is why I am trying my hardest not to get into any leagues this year. I am still clean. Haven't touched it since the early part of Dec last year.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    The first reason was enough for me...not to knock you guys that do play FF...but I only want to watch it for the pure sport of it all...and I never want to be stuck rooting AGAINST my team...for any reason!

    GO VIKES!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    The first reason was enough for me...not to knock you guys that do play FF...but I only want to watch it for the pure sport of it all...and I never want to be stuck rooting AGAINST my team...for any reason!

    GO VIKES!!!
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I agree 100%
    Even babies know the difference.

  5. #5
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    FF is kind of like society now, IT IS ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS.

    Kind of goes along with point number one and mostly number two.

    Number 3 is the only reason why we tolerate TO.

    The article does have some good points to think about. FF is shaping the game today. The players even mention it in interview so they are thinnking about it off the field and probably on the field.

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    I just end up watching the game at different levels. I never want the Vikings to lose, even if the other team has a bunch of my FF players on the team. I have always been a fan of football and FF ended up being a perfect match for me. Some people do get a bit too serious about it, and that can take the fun out of the game.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    whoa!

    Sorry, but what's wrong with an excuse to watch more football? Fantasy football actually makes things matter. Watching a game without your team in it becomes more than 3 wasted hours of sitting on the couch. It makes you more aware of the game. I see nothing unhealthy about FF.
    Have you ever had a Big Kahuna Burger?

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    The most fun in fantasy football is playing against people you actually know in real life and getting the digs in when you see them. The trick to being a fantasy footballer is enjoying the game at multiple levels.

    All of us that are football fans are watching many aspects of the game anyway, from the O-line to the playmakers to the intricacies involved in watching a DE adjusting his moves througout the game.

    Fantasy football adds a whole new level of enjoyment in the game. There is often a big difference between a fantasy hero and a real-life good player. I would hope most fantasy footballers are able to distinguish the difference.

    I get the opinon from Mr. Banks' article that he thinks people that play fantasy football are not mentally capable of distinguishing between reality and real-life. Maybe that's true for some, but there are a lot of fans that know the difference and are able to differentiate between the two and watch the games at both levels. Man, if my job was to write a sports column I would be playing fantasy sports because it would just make you that much more knowledgable about the subject matter that you are writing about. It never hurts to open up a few more dimensions and get different insights into the game.

  9. #9
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    1. It changes how you watch a game.

    It actually makes me more interested in games that don't involve the Vikes. Normally I wouldn't watch the Ravens or the Falcons, but since I have Vick and Jamal Lewis on my FF team then I'll watch those games for fun. It actually makes me watch MORE football.


    2. It glorifies stat accumulators at the expense of team players.

    Because stat accumulators aren't glorified already :roll: Why even have the MVP, rookie of the year, or the Pro Bowl if we're not glorifying individuals?

    3. It makes heroes out of problem children.
    Football in general makes heroes out of problem children. We rooted for Moss for the last 7 years, Eagles fans rooted for T.O. like there was no tomorrow last year. Both of those guys are problem children, but if they're playing for an NFL team, then someone is going to root for them anwyay.

    4. The geek factor.
    I obviously have no problem finding entertainment in "things that never actually happened." :lol:

    5. The death of the NFL offseason.
    You can't blame FF for there not being an offseason! People in this country LOVE football, it's our game! We love the games, the schemes, the players and all the drama that goes on during the offseason. That has very little to do with fantasy football.

    6. It's ridiculously and unfairly skewered toward offense and touchdown-makers.
    You still get points for Defense, dickwad. And it's fairly hard to make up a roster of defensive players. Offense is just easier to score.

    7. All those confusing and divided loyalties.
    If anyone actually let's a FF team ruin their loyalty to an NFL franchise, they're not much of a fan in the first place. Sure, I may want Vick to throw a few extra TDs so I can get some points, but if he's playin the Vikes you can be damn sure I'd rather lose my FF game that week than see my boys take a dive!

    8. The expert phenomena.
    Some people take it seriously, and sometimes they make some serious money off of it. It's no different than guys playing poker who think they're experts cuz they watched the World Series of Poker on ESPN. It's all what you make of it, and you can't let the assholes who think they're God's gift to football ruin it for you.

    9. The money aspect.
    Big deal, welcome to a capitaistic society my friend.

    10. The trendiness of it all.
    Yes, because you're so anti-establishment with your writing articles on that damned internet. :roll:


    Listen guys, I'm no FF lover, and I'm not that hardcore into it, but this guy is smoking dope.

  10. #10
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Ten reasons why I detest the fantasy football craze

    I think he also misses the fact that it makes people more aware of other players in the NFL apart form your own team. There are too many people who are so die-hard for their team that they ignore the fact that there are players of equal and better abilities than their own. Something like FF makes you look outside and can also give you an idea of what to expect when your own team comes up against these players.
    He's obviously ticked off because he is useless at FF and therefore something that he can't bore the arse off people talking about :lol:
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


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