What a difference a fantasy makes
It's football Sunday. The whole family is gathered around the TV in anxious anticipation of the kickoff. Dad, my brother, and Uncle Bob are all Bears fans. I never understood why. The adults would watch the game, beer in hand, swearing out load, slamming the team, the coaching staff, and walk away from the TV after the game ended feeling defeated and demoralized.
After I grew up and married, I watched a similar scene happen in my own home with an odd twist. I married a Minnesota girl, a die hard to the bones Viking fan who would sit on the edge of her seat screaming with excitement through the whole game. Our Doberman mix would cower in fear, wondering what invisible monster had possessed her owner, knowing she was next. I often wondered the same thing - I had been a Packer fan from my early youth and the Ice Bowl days. I couldn't understand how anyone could like the dreaded, hated Vikings. Although I would later find out when Favre left the team that it wasn't the Packers I liked. It was the excitement of watching a QB thread the needle between 3 defenders and watch the receiver make a miracle catch to continue the drive.
But Sundays hadn't changed much from my youth; the exciting anticipation at game time, hoping for a victory, wanting a miracle. If victory came, it brought out a temporary emotional high and feeling of well being. But the losses, those dreaded losses, left us feeling broken, worthless, and somewhat less than worthy of society. Add in that I was a Packer fan and Marie a Vikings fan made Sundays in our home less than cuddly.
Things improved when Favre came to town. I dumped the Packers, didn't look back, and have no regrets in doing so in spite of their Super Bowl win last year. We became Vikings season ticket holders, bought Favre jerseys and other assorted Vikings paraphernalia, and got on the band wagon for our Super Bowl run. Then last year happened. The team stunk, the dome collapsed, we played a "home" game in Detroit, (???), and those hated Packers won the Super Bowl. Game days not only did we have to suffer through losing, we had to sit in downtown traffic for the better part of an hour trying to get away from the Dome and back to the sanity of home. Now I know why fans drink so heavily at the stadium. It's the only way to deaden the pain of losing. Or so I thought.
Then we found Fantasy Football. This year Marie and I decided to take the plunge. We now co-own our own team. I can't believe the difference around here on football Sunday. The final score of the game no longer determines our self worth. We actually have some control over the team instead of being forced to sit back while someone else makes all the decisions and totally ignores our input. And instead of having one game we hang on each week while the other games on our NFL package provide little to spur our interest, week one this week found us sitting on the edge of our seats all day, screaming for our fantasy players instead of randomly picking a team to support in a match up that means nothing to us. When Dallas was in the red zone, I was on my feet shouting when they gave the ball to my starting RB Felix Jones. Going back the other way, passes heading in the general direction of Plaxico Burress received the same excited response. I don't give a hoot who wins. Dallas and the Jets? Why would I care? But for the first time in my 50+ years I had a reason to enjoy the game.
As for the Vikings and their performance on Sunday; Winter Park still won't listen to my input. No problem; I just waved all the Vikings on my fantasy team with Marie's heartfelt support, and am replacing them with players on teams who actually have an offense. And tonight we're going to watch the Denver - Oakland game. Never thought that would happen. If Brandon Lloyd has even a mediocre game, we're far enough ahead at this point that Marie and I will win our first fantasy football game. :D
Adam Schein, I'd rather have the gunslinger Favre as my QB than what happened yesterday. At least with Brett the offense consistently moved the ball down the field. :mad: