More Than Fantasy
By: Max The Animal
If you’ve made it this far you most likely have a love for the game. That game of course being fantasy football. If you’ve never played and are reading this, you make me sick… go join a league right now. You are seriously missing out. It’s the sport that you can competitively play your entire life, or at least until the symptoms of dementia kick in. Competition is healthy and fantasy football is a way to compete for the rest of eternity. So if my math is correct fantasy football = competition, competition = healthy, therefore fantasy football = good for you, it’s simple math. To me it’s so much more than just fantasy though. Why you ask? Let’s get into it.
People who don’t play the game will never understand. From the months of research to the hundreds of mock drafts. Watching hours on hours of “fantasy analysts” on both TV and YouTube. Reading hundreds of tweets about random stats that show Player A will breakout this season while Player B will see a decline in production. Googling “fantasy football sleepers” despite the fact everyone in your league does the same thing and they are no longer sleepers. This is the offseason of a fantasy football GM. Long nights, and countless hours spent in front of a screen looking for that edge. This is just the start.
Then we have The Draft!!
The draft is where you can load up on a ton of carbs. Chips, doughnuts, ice cream, deli sandwiches, pizza, wings, beer, tequila, whiskey, more beer, you get the idea. I’m obviously talking about live drafts which are a MUST for every serious fantasy league if your league can logistically pull it off. Were talking about 3-4 hours of absolute chaos and panic. This is your GM experience and you better not fuck it up. You know what players you want in your system, but you can’t have them all. Watching the player you wanted so badly go the pick right before you can really mess you up or even throw off your whole draft if you don’t properly prepare. But if that player is sitting there and you are on the clock than you are experiencing the best feeling one can have on draft night. Walking up to that draft board and peeling off that sticker with your greasy fingers and placing it ever so perfectly inside the box for everyone to see. Some might laugh, you may hear someone yell “REACH” but you don’t care because you did 1400 hours of research and you got your guy. Sounds great right? Some decisions made on draft night can derail an entire season. I know a guy who drafted Matt Prater (K) in the 9th round, that guy was me. I missed the playoffs wide right that year and still get made fun of for that pick. These are just some of the things that make fantasy football more than fantasy. Need more?
Group chats keep leagues together…
League group chats are a popular way to keep in touch during the season and are a great way to talk trash to league mates. Talking trash to the rest of the league was a favorite of mine for years even though it always ended with me eating my words. I made the decision to cut my trash talk back in hopes for a positive outcome… did it work you ask? The answer is I was in 2nd place and had an 80 point cushion going into the last week of the regular season and missed the playoffs!! So no it didn’t work. Learn from me and talk as much trash as possible. Get in your opponents head each week. I’m about to mindfuck my league chat, they won’t have any idea it’s coming either, unless they read this but it won’t matter. You can’t stop a mindfuck!!
Let’s see, what else…
How about watching games you would never care about before, but your RB2 needs 14 points for you to win so you are fucking locked in, it doesn’t matter, he gets 13.7 and you throw the remote and scream at your TV, fire off a bunch of angry messages in the group chat, call your opponent lucky, curse some more, maybe go to RB2’s Twitter and write him a nasty message which then leads to him blocking you. Thanks to fantasy football almost every game has value outside of being an NFL Football game. I have always enjoyed watching the NFL but fantasy football has taken over and with that comes a more appealing, entertaining product for all those involved. Football > everything else.
Who doesn’t love a good trade? A wonderful perk of being the GM of your fantasy team is it allows you to make trades. Trades are fun! #AnimalAnalysis. At times I will fire off 4-8 trade offers a week, most of them are ridiculous and should not be accepted but shooters shoot. I'm always looking for an upgrade and fantasy football is a business just like the NFL, nobody is safe on my team. A trade that fills a hole for both teams is a good trade, only problem is people think a fringe FLEX player and two bench players are equal to a WR1. These trade offers are the worst and I send these all the time. Its strategy, all part of the mindfuck. Smart fantasy owners decline those offers and look to make trades that help both teams. That’s the blueprint to a good trade. Don’t make bad trades! More #AnimalAnalysis
Lastly let’s talk about winning…
We all want that championship trophy, belt, ring, prize money, whatever it may be. Our equivalent to the Lombardi trophy. We all chase it, that’s the reward for playing. I'll tell you right away that I have never won a “serious” fantasy football championship outside of a bullshit college league where half the people didn’t set lineups, so I don’t count that. It feels like I'm always a contender but never finish the job. For a while I was like the 90’s Bills, multiple championship/playoff appearances but just never enough to win it all. Bad beats and poor decisions have probably taken 15 years off my life, but hey that comes with the sport. For those that have won their leagues I say congrats and I hate you. It's more of a jealous feeling than it is hate but for real you’re a lucky bitch and I hate you. Since I can only imagine the feeling that’s what I will have to do for now. I could probably write about this forever but I wanted to keep it short and to the point. So... may fantasy football continue to dominate our lives and bring us all plenty of misery and joy. Best of luck to all those who play the game. Let’s Eat!!