Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not My Fantasy

Much better to look at than
angry Browns fans.
As the football season winds down, I quietly wish to myself that the players’ strike would have continued and canceled the season. No, I don’t hate football. But maybe then my poor Cleveland Browns might have been spared another embarrassing season where there best chance for a victory might have been playing against a Lingerie Football League team. It’s been so long since they were good that when they last made the playoffs I couldn’t even brag about it on Facebook, because Facebook wouldn’t be invented until a few years later.

Like most Clevelanders, I’m a die-hard Browns fan. But that’s pretty much where my football interest ends. Other than a few former Ohio State players, I don’t follow the NFL too closely. Living on the west coast and having a 2 year old whose patience lasts almost as long as the play clock means I rarely get the chance to watch the Browns anymore so I keep up via the internet.  And given how terrible they usually are, that’s generally more than sufficient.

But over the last 4 months, I’ve been exposed to a never ending barrage of football information. No, I don’t lurk on NFL.com or ESPN.com.  This dearth of info is all over Facebook and Twitter from friends who are a part of the billion dollar Fantasy Football world.

Personally, I don’t fantasize about 6’6” 300 pound sweaty dudes.  Never have. So I’ve never played Fantasy Football. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, though, either. I did play Fantasy Baseball for a few years and retired as league champion a few years ago.  (Side note: Fantasy Baseball is much more difficult since there are more than 10 times as many games in an MLB season versus an NFL season.)

What shape is this thing anyway?
A lot of people think that Fantasy Football is just a bunch of guys sitting around, drinking beer and gambling. I’m sure that describes the majority of  leagues, but many are non-traditional as well. I know a group of guys who have had a competitive FF league for many years. Their wives and girlfriends got fed up of having to hear them yapping about it and several years ago formed their own competing league.  These women were like the Susan B. Anthonys of Fantasy Football. Except their fantasy winnings are worth much more than old Susie’s awkwardly shaped coins. 

That being said, I did enjoy Fantasy Football this season in an unusual way.  I started noticing a trend of interesting Facebook posts each Sunday throughout the season. I started keeping a log of the best ones and they seemed to get better as the season progressed.

Some were as innocuous as: 
Thank you Drew Brees!”  after a big Saints win.

Some were filled with a tremendous lack of confidence: 
According to my fantasy football league predictions, I should win tomorrow's game by 5 pts. That usually means I'm gonna lose by 30.”
(Written by a fellow Browns fan, so the football pessimism is inherent.)

Some were battles for family bragging rights: 
Any advice on who to start from my pool of crappy RB's? Need to pick two - hoping to beat my husband in fantasy. (Don't worry, my receivers are much better). I've got Barber, Tolbert, DeAngelo Williams, and Ingram. Thoughts?”    
(Sounds like there’s more than just family bragging rights at stake.)

And some were just so crazy that they sought help from above:
Dear Fantasy Football Gods - I need a favor. Can Dwayne Bowe please catch a 94 yard pass? He can't score, though. I need him to fumble so that the Raiders D can pick up the ball and then return it for a TD. Got it? Thanks.”                            
(Written by a friend who is a Detroit Lions fan, so it's not surprising he was looking for divine intervention given their shocking season.)

Brady Quinn was a bust before the
2nd round even began.
As for me, Fantasy Football will continue to be hoping that the Browns’ upcoming first round pick doesn’t break his leg while jumping for joy after his name is called at the draft. 

Are you a Fantasy nut? 
What's the craziest thing you've done 
for your league?



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