Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fantasy or Reality?

by SonDog

I've always considered myself a serious NFL fan. While I enjoy baseball and basketball to a greater extent than football, I've always appreciated and enjoyed the tingling sensation in the loins that comes on Sunday morning during that period between sleep and the first cup of coffee. You know, during that time when all you can think about is football.

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to turn on the CBS or NBC pregame shows. I vividly remember Brent Musberger and Jimmy "The Furman!" Snyder chatting away about the day's slate and the important names you needed to know. The music, the corny computer-generated graphics (like the GIGANTIC graphic that would say BRENT MUSBERGER, CBS SPORTS), O.J. reporting from the Buffalo sidelines in frigid conditions (I still love his Naked Gun character, by the way)... I loved it all.

Ah yes, a time of innocence, when all men were created equal and race rarely entered into the conversation... er, wait.

It was a simpler time when 150 players compiled a complete set of Topps football cards. You pretty much knew the lead running back, starting QB, number 1 receiver, and maybe the tight end for each team. For your team of choice (the 49ers for me), you knew most of the players. You would know your team's obscure names like Wendell Tyler or Russ Francis or Jeff Stover or Bubba Paris. But for the other teams? There was no need.

I would get excited to see highlights of stars like the Dolphins trio of Dan Marino, Mark Duper and Mark Clayton; or Eric Dickerson running like a gazelle in a Rams or a Colts uni; or Mike Singeltary and The Fridge dominating defensively in Chicago; or Jim "Don't Call me Chris" Everett tossing passes to Henry Ellard, or just going ballistic on the Jim Rome show.

I consider those days a time of innocence. They were beautiful and uncomplicated.

Then came fantasy football.

If you would have told me five years ago that I would be solicitous in studying the New Orleans Saints wide receiver depth chart, I would have told you that to do so I would have to be living in New Orleans. Otherwise, there would be no need.

Like I said, then came fantasy football.

Suddenly, the injury report is critical to my sanity. I mean, I probably know more about the extent of T.J. Houshomozoode's heel injury than any sane man not related to him should. I know more about Michael Vick's playing weight than I know about my own son's birth weight. If for some reason I play in injured player, Mondays might as well be reserved for a funeral.

The dynamic between quarterback and third-down running back has more importance than my retirement fund. I spend countless hours scouring the waiver wire looking for bargains that could put my teams over the top. The words "sleeper" and "upside" are more commonly used in my vernacular than words like "I should" and "pay my bills."

It's more complex watching football than ever before. I swear they should be teaching a class on this stuff in college. And by "they" I mean the geniuses who invented this game.

Today, I'll be reading up on all the injury reports. My NFL Ticket is set and ready to go with all of the days games. (By the way, there are a couple of channels on NFL Ticket that were delivered straight to the network by Jesus himself. Take, for example, the NFL Game Mix channels, where you can watch 8 games at the same time. It's one of the sexiest things I've seen in my life.)

My wife thinks I'm insane, but I can live with that. If it means she is too scared to talk to me on Sundays, then all the better. In fact, she's decided to take Jackson with her to Oktoberfest in Vail Village today just to get away from me. I think she's looking out for Jackson's sanity as well. That is, unless she wants his first word to be "sleeper."


Stapes said...

Here's my take: I think the NFL sucks right now. I hate all the parity in the league and the players switching teams because they have too - the Edge to Arizona doesn't fit! Plus I just hate the NFL marketing blitz and it's suspect pass interference calls. Combined with the niners sucking most of the last 6 years drove me to back off from the NFL and become more of a college football fan. Now college seems more real to me and the NFL is like an artifical made for TV event.

However - This is the first year I've played fantasy football in about 7 years and it has brought me back to the NFL. I don't like the game any better and while Fantasy football is kinda evil, it has at least made me obsess over the NFL again. And that is the most important thing.

DMo said...

I do like college but I think the ncaa is worse than pro's. At least they don't disguise the fact they're in it for the money, yes I'm sure Bush gots tons of cash along with many other good players in college. Calls are just as bad, see oklahoma vs. Oregon this past week. Since I'm a duck I don't care and enjoyed it immensly. Last and definitely not least, BCS, nough said.

With all that I must say I am a college fan but not to the intensity that i feel for the NFL.

I"m back baby!!!!