Monday, November 7, 2011

How fantasy football killed my NFL Sundays

"Why couldn't Romo throw to Dez Bryant instead of Laurent Robinson??" This was a quote from one of my friends yesterday while watching the Cowboys/Seahawks game. This friend, who happens to be a Redskins fan, made about 100 similar comments over the course of the day prompting myself and my other friends to threaten a fantasy intervention. What happened to the good old days where we just watched football on Sundays rooting for only our team?

Now, I wish I could say that this is just the case of one overly invested friend of mine, buts its not. Its an epidemic. Here is a scenario. I am a NY Giants fan living outside of Philadelphia, home to the WORST sports fans. During a Giants/Eagles game last year, I ordered pizza and wings from a nearby eatery. The delivery guy, looking like he crawled out of the dingiest Philadelphia alley, came to my door holding my food and donning a Desean Jackson jersey. I of course, fearless as usual, was wearing a Giants hoodie and hat secure in the safety of my own home. Here is the exchange. Doorbell rings and when I answer, he says "A Giants fan? I shouldn't even give you your food today." I explain "Thats why I'm having food delivered instead of sitting at a bar risking my life." And then, he fires back with "Its cool man, I have Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs on my fantasy team. Hope they score me some points today. Good luck!" What the hell was that? These are the worst sports fans in America and even they have been softened up by fantasy sports?

And to be honest, I cant say I am completely immune to this illness. I am constantly looking at the tickers, checking the Ipad or listening to the NFL Sunday drive on Sirius for updates instead of exclusively watching/listening to the Giants game. And when the Giants were driving down the field late in the game yesterday, Id be lying if I said I wasn't rooting for an Eli TD pass instead of a Jacobs TD run (I mean, I'm starting Eli in 2 leagues this year!) Argh, that's not the way I want to be thinking, but its intrinsic at this point.

I wish I could go back to the good old days where myself and some friends would crowd around Augie's dining room table and live draft, watch Sportscenter together, read box scores and wait for stat reports to come in the mail (That's right, stat reports came in the mail before computers). At the end of the day, we loved fantasy sports, but we loved our teams even more. Now that gap has shrunk to a level no sports fan should be comfortable with.


  1. I don't know...I understand the points you are making here but I was interested in a hell of a lot more football games because of a) the fantasy players I needed to play well and b) the 8 games I bet cash money on. Yesterday was a pretty awesome day for football and I'm not sure it would have been as amazing if I didn't have some kind of personal investment in many of the outcomes. In fact, I gave very short attention to the Steelers_Ravens game because I didn't have fantasy players going, I didn't bet on the game, and I hate both teams.

  2. I tend to come down on both sides. I do check box scores all day based on bets and my fantasy team but I do agree that when it starts meaning more than rooting for your favorite NFL team it irritates me.

    I could never do it but when you step back and look at it, can you fault someone for caring more about their fantasy teams and bets than their favorite NFL team? Your favorite football team's success does nothing to benefit you financially where winning bets and/or fantasy football leagues does.