And now to shift gears to another topic I am passionate about.
More specifically, I wanted to talk about my passion for American football and the many issues I have with Fantasy Football, from the game itself to the impact on the sport.
NOTE: I have now played two seasons of Fantasy Football. I have played one season using the Yahoo! Sports app and one with NFL app. This means I have never used the ESPN app to play Fantasy, though I do religiously use the ESPN app for general sports scores and updates.
Fantasy is bad for the NFL
Fantasy Football is a scourge on the National Football League, whipping the energy out of the sport. There are books, television shows, podcasts, articles that would disagree with me, but I think that the short-term boost of Fantasy sports will ultimately serve to detriment America’s past-time.
Additionally, I don’t necessarily think that Fantasy Football is a particularly fun or exciting thing. Here are some of my cases.
Here are some of my points.
Fantasy Football Draft Derby
Talking to friends and playing Fantasy Football myself, I have to compare drafting players — and I would argue, the fate of your fantasy season — to betting in the Kentucky Derby.
In both places, we have people betting money on educated yet ultimately random decisions. You know which horses have better odds than others, but nothing is a sure bet.
Those who have grown accustomed to the Madden Curse know that you can never be sure if the “sure thing” #1 Wide Receiver is going to bust in a year. Those who bet on Jamaal Charles or Adrian Peterson this year know exactly what I am talking about.
A Typical Fantasy Draft
Drafting in Fantasy Football looks like this. The best wide receivers are selected first, followed switfly by the running backs. Everything else is gravy.
Quarterbacks, Kickers, Defenses, and Tight End picks rarely impact your play and are pretty similar in stats throughout the season.
What will happen with your team? It depends on if they get injured or not. My team after six weeks could be dramatically different than it was when I started, due to season ending injuries. If it is, I have already lost the fight. Kicking, screaming, and selecting whomever is left from the dregs of the small barrel (especially in 14-person leagues) is a meaningless endeavor.
“I Didn’t Want This”
For a personal touch, consider the 14th member of my most recent draft, a last minute filler team by the name of “I Didn’t Want This”. After an auto draft of Antonion Brown, Amari Cooper, and Mike Evans, the rest was history.
The team that was entered to fill the 14th spot is well in the lead.
What a steed.
NFL Ratings and the Internet of Things
I am not sure which came first, the attention-deficit culture of American entertainment or the NFL Red Zone, but people cannot sit still for a 3-4 hour epic matchup anymore. Fantasy Football satiates the desires of those who need constant action.
I blame some of the recent dip in ratings on the replay and advertisers slowing the game of football down to a crawl. But for the remainder of this, I don’t think that people can stand watching full games anymore. Watching Red Zone touchdowns at the end of any given Sunday is more palatable than watching the tug of war in a defensive battle for the ages.
Fantasy Football serves to continue this shift, with the focus on the individual, rather than the team. “I don’t care if my Pittsburgh Steelers lost by 20 points — did Antonio Brown catch two touchdown passes?”
Feed me ESPN, FEED ME!
Like Dak Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott, sports stations and the National Football League are constantly feeding the pigskin to the public. Even in the postseason, it feels like there is always football news.
With the inclusion of Fantasy Football, consuming football has become a full time job between the months of September and January. And I don’t like it that way.
As a kid, Sunday football was an event. The hors d’oeuvres came out — veggies and dip, wings, beer — and people sat around together and watched football. Part of this joy certainly comes behind rose-colored glasses, but the day was almost religious. Having football on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mutes the experience when it matters most.
Since deciding to stop with the Fantasy Football “nonsense,” (and no longer watching Thursday Night Football) I have grown to start appreciating the fun of the Sunday gameday experience again. It comes highly recommended.
What do you think?
Do you like Fantasy Football? Do you think it is healthy for the sport? Let us know in the comments below.