To the casual observer of professional sports, fantasy football is a welcome activity that makes football more palatable. In the average National Football League game, there are a lot of commercial breaks, the play starts and stops continuously, and to someone that does not comprehend the game, it can be dry in between the big plays. For some one that does not understand football, fantasy football is great. For the real NFL fans though, fantasy football is awful.
The first reason that fantasy football is a horrible game is because being a fan of football gives you no real benefit in your fantasy league. People that really love football will understand some of the complexities of the game. Football fans know that any offense only works if all eleven men are on the same page. If the wide receiver cannot get open or runs the wrong route, then the play is wasted. If the quarterback is late on a throw or does not have the arm strength to get the pass to his wide out, then the offense stalls. If the offensive linemen do not protect the quarterback or make running lanes for the running back then the team suffers as a whole. Theoretically, knowing these things, having a better understanding of offensive strategy, and possessing more general knowledge of the game of football should help a football fan that plays fantasy football to perform better in their league. In actuality, there is no differentiation between the scores of guys that watch football regularly and the people that watch games only to see the player that is on their fantasy team. Now, there are fantasy websites (not Dungeons and Dragons or lingerie sites, football you pervert), fantasy books, and television shows about fantasy football. Therefore, people that do not regularly watch football are just as likely or more likely to succeed at picking a fantasy team because they are also more likely to research their players thoroughly. That’s right, the guy that played college football and watches football all day will inevitably lose a game to the guy that eats chips all day next to his computer. And, any game that gives no advantage to the more knowledgeable player is worthless.
Fantasy football also gets people into completely pointless conversations about their fantasy teams. Here’s a little tidbit that you might not know about fantasy football. Be informed. The only person that wants to hear about your fantasy team is you. No one cares about your team. They only care about their own. No one is impressed by your wherewithal in benching your starting running back for some nameless guy from a small college. They care about their mid-season trade in their fantasy league. The people that play fantasy football could not possibly care less about your team. The people that watch football, but have never played fantasy football are annoyed that they have to talk to you about some loser from a crappy team. The people that do not play fantasy football or watch the games on television have no clue what you are talking about. And, everybody in the office, at your house, or in your life is completely exasperated with football talk about your fantasy players. By talking about your fantasy football team, you have effectively alienated yourself from the rest of the world. Good job, loser.
In addition to fantasy football alienating you from society by making you a rambling pariah, it also insures that you spend every waking hour of your life from September to February checking your roster to see who you can replace. Fantasy football owners spend countless hours trying to find the best lineup for each Sunday. That entails checking the waiver wire for hidden gems, switching players in and out of their starting lineup, and making horrible trade offers in hopes that some idiot will accept them. The average fantasy team owner spends between 20 minutes and two hours everyday on their fantasy team. By the end of football season the average fantasy player has spent from 60 to 180 hours engulfed in an inconsequential competition.
The worst thing about fantasy football is that it can corrupt even the most steadfast fan of football. Having a fantasy football team forces you to watch meaningless games, and ultimately sucks the enjoyment out of watching football. The heart of football is in the strategy. Coaches move their players in a close chess match trying to isolate their best players and hide their weakest players. There is real art and beauty in watching a well-coached offense execute their plays. The offensive line shuffles in unison flowing into the defenders and then ushering them away from the quarterback. The quarterback feels the pocket that is made by the offensive line and shifts subtly to avoid the pass rush. Then, he sets his feet and fires the football to his target. The wide receiver has just faked the opposing corner into running in the wrong direction and is now open to catch the well-placed ball that the quarterback has thrown and races down the field for twenty yards. All this takes place in 6 seconds or less. Fantasy football shrinks that entire play down into, ‘Did my guy catch the ball? Great! Two more points.’ And, in order to know how many points that your players have accumulated, you have to watch them play. The best fantasy football players do not only have players from good teams. The best fantasy guys draft players from good, mediocre, and terrible teams which means that the real football fans that engage in fantasy football have to watch quite a few bad games. Bad games wear on fans, and focusing on one player in those games hides the limited successes of the teams. Football is about the big play. Fantasy football is about the points and that undermines the beauty of the real game.
Fantasy football is a waste of time and brain activity. Knowledge of the game of football does not offer any advantage in it, it causes awkward, fruitless conversations, sucks up all your time, and it eventually will cause you to hate football. Now, let me go change my roster and check the waiver wire.