Is this the Real Life? Is this Just Fantasy?



Ahhhhh…the pinnacle of fantasy sports: fantasy football. The only thing that can make a grown man cry both tears of joy Monday morning, and tears of sadness Tuesday morning in the same week. C’mon, we’ve all been there before: you’re up by 15 points going into Monday night, and your opponent has the Texans defense/special teams playing in the Monday night game. You think to yourself, “Oh, I’ve got this in the bag”, so you start preparing your best shit-talking-one-liners for Jim, or Sarah (because I’m not sexist, and some girls like fantasy football too) while at the office Tuesday morning. Then, the impossible becomes the possible: Ed Reed returns two interceptions for a touchdown, J.J. Watt has 3 sacks and a fumble recovery, and you just lost by 3 points all because of the Texans D/ST. You think to yourself, “but…but…this isn’t fair! Adrian Peterson had such a huge day! Why couldn’t Victor Cruz catch two more passes?! Did Tony Blomo Romo really have to throw that Hail Mary at the end of the game?! It’s not like it would have counted for 12 points had Dez Bryant caught it!” Well, sonny, listen here. If you have Tony Romo as your starting QB, you shouldn’t have even been as close as you were to winning that game. You’ve got other problems to worry about. Have fun trying to keep the water-works in as Jim/Sarah tear you a new one in the morning, and Tony Romo crushes your heart.

It isn’t just friends/colleagues that give you shit about fantasy football. A majority of the time it is the girlfriend/wife. Unless you’re one of those lucky ones who has a girlfriend/wife who doesn’t mind that you play fantasy football (in which case, she’s a keeper) and are constantly on it changing your line up, you rarely have to listen to the nagging of, “but honey, it isn’t real football. It’s just fantasy. It even says it in the name. There’s no need to get worked up over it.” Yeah, well…YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE ISN’T REAL “HONEY”?! GREY’S ANATOMY ISN’T REAL! NEITHER IS THE NOTEBOOK! AND, YOU GOT “WORKED UP” WHEN JACK DAWSON (Leonardo DiCaprio) DIED AT THE END OF THE TITANIC?! WELL, GUESS WHAT?! GOOD OLE’ LEO IS STILL ALIVE AND KICKIN’! SO DON’T GIVE ME THAT SHIT, OKAY?! JUST LET ME WEEP IN MY ROOM WITH NO DISRUPTIONS. YOU CAN LEAVE MY DINNER IN THE MICROWAVE. (Just kidding, assuming only women make dinner in a relationship is sexist, and I ain’t about that life).

Anyways, moving on from my little rant there, I remember watching some show on the NFL Network, and these three guys had this scenario: you have Calvin Johnson on your fantasy team and he’s playing the team you’re a fan of in real life. He catches a touchdown with 5 seconds left that lifts your fantasy team over your competition, but also lifts the Lions to a one point victory over your favorite team. Are you more excited you just won your fantasy match-up, or are you more angry your real life team just lost? They then went on to discuss it. To be honest, and I don’t want you to think I’m a fair weather fan, but I would probably be super stoked I just won my fantasy football match up, and I’m man enough to admit it (I have a beard) – especially if there was a buy-in for your league of $50. I look at it two ways: A) you had no say in your favorite teams acquisitions, whether that be trades or draft picks. You had ALL OF THE SAY in who was on your fantasy football team, as well as who is starting in place of who, and B) unless your team isn’t in the playoff hunt, a loss won’t really hurt you that much, right? Don’t judge me, because that makes you ugly. #rhymezfordayzzzz

Although I look forward to fantasy football earlier than most people, there is one thing I dislike about it: the projections. They make me question my decisions way too much! I don’t know if this is an option on any other provider, but I wish there were a way to turn them off, or at least hide them on ESPN. Too often do projections the “ESPN Fantasy Expert’s” make play a role in whether or not I play running back A over running back B, and I hate it. When setting my lineup, I’ll tell myself, “Okay, Manny. Don’t bother looking at the projections. This guys guess is as good as yours.” But, because the stupid projection is there, and these guys are titled as “experts” I constantly look at it, resulting in me questioning my pick. To put it in analogy form: projections are like annoying boy bands, you just want them to disappear (or at least I do), but fantasy football, overall, is like…ummm…fornication? Did I do that right?


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