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Quit Nerding Up Football

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I've been asked by the Left Field department to share my views on fantasy football and I'm glad to do it because fantasy football is eating up sports fans and turning them into soulless statistic chomping geeks.

Last Sunday, I was jumping up and down in my sweatpants, spilling PBR Light (I'm watching my figure) all over the place as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sent a 26-yard bomb spiraling into the hands of receiver Michael Jenkins, who stepped out of bounds with one second left. The Falcons then kicked a field goal to miraculously beat the Bears.

Now, I don't give two and a half craps about the Falcons or the Bears, but I get an endorphin surge and feel generally better about America upon watching such a dramatic ending to a football game. And when I don't have anyone to share my football high with, I typically pick up the phone, which is why I called an anonymous friend who had just watched the same game. But the strangest thing happened -he seemed wholly unaffected by the impossibly awesome ending to the game. Actually, I don't think he even realized who won, and I don't think he cared. Rather, this son of a bitch was lamenting the fact that certain players who just so happened to be playing in this game "ruined" his fantasy football team for that week.

This is the problem with fantasy football: it takes the "game" out of football and replaces fans with ESPN.com-addicted nerds who could care less if the Chargers win, but want to see Ladainian Tomlinson run the ball every friggin' play so they can take the lead in their league - a spot currently held by someone's wife who begrudgingly "drafted" a team blindly in order to fill a vacated spot. Take your imaginary teams out of football and put them up against the warlocks and goblins of your Dungeon and Dragons and quit taking the fun out of football, you fantasy loving nerds.


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