It's been hard to update the blog over the past several weeks for two reasons:
1) My back has hurt so bad that it is hard to sit and type after doing it for 9 hours at work every day. Aside from the pain, it's difficult to type while laying on your stomach with an icepack on your back while simultaneously being hooked up to a TENS unit that is pumping electric currents into your lumbar muscles.
2) I've been very upset at Forrest, Dave, and Grandpa Hiatt for their anti-fantasy football comments. I've needed some time to cool down so that I do not write anything that would strain my relationships with any of them.
I think I've adequately settled down to the point that I can restrain myself from writing a Moroni-to-Pahoran type of post that I will later regret, so today I'm defending my passion for fantasy football. Based upon the comments from Forrest-Dave-Grandpa and knowing Andrea's absolute disdain of fantasy, this should get some pretty good reactions. Before I explain to the unenlightened why fantasy football is the greatest human invention since ice packs, TENS units, muscle relaxants and pain killers (in moderation, of course, not like Brett Favre's usage a few years back. Oh, Favre has been awesome this year! I wish Brett would have been my fantasy QB instead of stupid, stupid Donovan McNabb......wait, Andrew, hold it together....try not to sound like an insane fantasy nerd......), I would like to know where you rate yourself on the Fantasy Opinion Poll. Please post a comment and tell me where you fall by rating yourself on a 1-5 scale:
5-Passionate. I love fantasy sports. I manage multiple teams year round and spend a couple of hours every week tracking/updating them. I talk about fantasy results on a regular basis with friends/co-workers, even if I know they couldn't care less. I get pumped up when I win and get upset when I lose. I have withdrawls during the offseason (kinda like most MLB players when they have to cycle off HGH before spring training).
4-Enjoyable. I enjoy fantasy sports and may run a team or two every year, but do not spend a whole lot of time managing them. I want to win, but don't get very upset when I don't (kinda like France when it gets involved with anything that doesn't begin with "Tour de...."). I like playing fantasy sports but can put them in the proper context.
3-Neutral. I usually do a March Madness team or something else low key. I see why people might like fantasy, but I don't spend a whole lot of time on it.
2-Contempt. I truly dislike fantasy sports and think they are a complete waste of time. I can understand to a small degree why people may like them, but most fantasy players take it way too far.
1-Hatred. I hate fantasy sports and pity those who play them and desperately wish they would get a grip on reality and do something productive with their lives. I get facial tics when people tell me how their fantasy team did an have to restrain myself from punching them mid-sentence.
0-Guh? What in the world are fantasy sports?
I am unequivocally a 5-Passionate, especially when it comes to my annual fantasy football league with the same group of 12 co-workers and acquaintances that make up the league every year. This year I snuck into the playoffs with a 6-8 record as the #8 seed (the last team to qualify) and proceeded to shock the world and win the Super Bowl. I even knocked off the team that went 13-1 in the first round. Take a look at the "Gonna Make You Sweat" team's run to glory, which was especially gratifying after finishing second last year:
For those of you who rate yourselves a "1" or a "2", there are a few things that you need to understand about fantasy sports in order to understand the "4's" and "5's" of the world:
-Fantasy Sports Are Reality. I desperately wish that I could turn into Superman, fly in the opposite direction of the earth's rotation, and go back in time to the genesis of fantasy sports. I would have campaigned to call the burgeoning industry, "Reality Based Sports Knowledge Challenges", or "Manly Men Demonstrating Their Understanding of Actual Sports" instead of the lame "fantasy sports" designation. "Fantasy" makes the whole enterprise sound so puny, lame, and detached from reality. You immediately associate fantasy anything with 30-year old guys living in their mother's basements who still play Dungeons and Dragons. (If I pulled the Superman feat I could also send myself a letter warning me not to draft Ahman Green in the first round of my 2005 fantasy draft.....but don't say that because only a fantasy dork would think like that and give credibility to the "1's" and "2's".....). Successful fantasy managers have to do REAL research into REAL games played by REAL players in order to beat REAL people in a REAL league that determines a REAL champion at the end of the year.
-It's a Great Competitive Outlet. For those of us who do everything possible to manage the work-family-church cycle, it is hard to find competitive outlets that do not cause you to neglect one of those three priorities. I love competition. I like to go head-to-head and see who is going to win. I have very few opportunities outside of fantasy sports to actually compete anymore. Some people compete by seeing who can kill the largest defenseless animal they find in a corn-fed field (Forrest), who can create the best magma-spewing volcano at the science fair (Dave), or who can pick the most Academy Award winners (Grandpa). The point is, most men like to compete and I have found that fantasy is one of the best ways for me to get my fix. (Like the time I had Roddy White go for 14 catches, 147 yards, and 2 TD's to lift me past our Safety Manager....oh, wait...nobody really cares about that.....)
-You Make Friends. I have been able to make new friends through my fantasy football work league and keep in touch with some of my U. of A. MBA buddies through fantasy basketball. If it weren't for fantasy sports, I would have either never met or lost touch with a lot of friends who make my life happier. Fantasy sports does for sports fans what Facebook does for teens, Christmas cards do for families, and Linkdin does for people who are too old for Facebook but too lame for fantasy sports. It brings and keeps friends together.
-It Makes Watching Sports Even More Enjoyable. Watching a sporting event is normally enjoyable enough, but when you have a fantasy player in the game it is like putting Magic Shell on a banana split. Banana splits are already delicious, but Magic Shell takes it to a whole new level. Fantasy sports takes an otherwise average game, like the Panthers versus New Orleans, and makes you care about every play. You are constantly saying, "Sweet. Steve Smith just caught a 26 yards pass, that's 3.6 points for my fantasy team!" My favorite is the opposite, however, and you watch a game featuring your opponent's player and they stink it up, or even better, get injured. It's almost sad, but when you see your opponent's player go down you catch yourself thinking, "Oh, I hope it's an ACL. Don't be a mild sprain, be an ACL!" (Horrible, I know, but it's true). Anyway, watching a game that has fantasy implications makes it as compelling as TV as you will find.
Okay, that's enough. You can now all go back and change your ratings to "5's". By the way, the Season 2 Fantasy Basketball seasons starts just after the All-Star break so let me know if you would like to join our league......