Fantasy football and the death of a true fan

fantasy football

Fantasy Anxiety

Today, the Denver Broncos and left tackle Ryan Clady agreed to terms on a 5-year deal. Other than that, fellow Broncos’ fans, I am afraid I have hit a wall on what to write about.

We, as writers, can’t be as lucky as the guys in New England, from Hernandez to Dennard. Which is OK, we will have all our players on the field this season, or at least for training camp which starts in T-minus 11 days.

Because of this lack of news coming out of the Mile-High city, I decided to share with you something I feel a majority of us have experienced: Fantasy Football. If you haven’t started forming your league or at least thought about strategy yet, I would say it is a good time to get on it. Preseason is in less than a month.

Last year, every Sunday night, I wept. The clock ticked down to the final seconds of the Sunday night football game, and I was on my computer, spilling salty tears all over my keyboard. No, I wasn’t a Browns fan. I was a fantasy football player.

Many fantasy football players could argue that I still had the Monday night game to play, and possibly win, but that just wasn’t the case last season. Not only was I the only woman in a league of twelve, but in each of our teams, we started double or triple of each position. What does that mean? Well, if you have an injury, your only options are comprised of players like Jeremy Kerley and Kendall Hunter. That was my team. The bottom of the barrel wide receivers who are what I like to call, “one play a day”-ers. Now, before New York and San Francisco fans everywhere start attacking me, you must understand, they may have been good players on your team, but they just were not working on mine. For the rest of you who have never heard of them, well, that should further prove my point. However, not having heard of Hunter is now doubtful after the 49ers Super Bowl appearance.

I remember simpler days, before fantasy football ever existed. We all had one team. As true fans, we probably still all love that same team. Win or lose, we watched with a passion for the players, and a hate for the other team and their fans. Those were the days.

Now, we wake up, watch the waiver wires and,”Fantasy Football Now” for three hours, while we frantically change our lineup, questioning and doubting our every move. Then, the real fun begins. Let’s say you’re a die-hard Vikings fan, playing your biggest rival, the Green Bay Packers. Sure, you want your defense to destroy Aaron Rodgers…but wait, you have Aaron Rodgers as your fantasy quarterback! Now you are happy when he throws a touchdown pass, but are also happy when he gets sacked. It is exhausting.

You pray that the Patriots lose every single game…but you need, or at least used to need, Wes Welker to do well to win in your league. Now, as Broncos fans…we not only need but want him to do well. We have become a nation of obsessive-compulsive fantasy-point counters and waiver wire watchers. We have lost all the passion we once had for just one team and spread it out across a 12-man made up team.

Our fathers would be disappointed, if they weren’t playing right along with us. Only after the real football playoffs start do we return to true fandom. Unless our team didn’t make it…then we’re back to weeping on our keyboards watching reruns of “The League.”

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