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Extra Innings: Fantasy football

Every Monday morning during football season, I hop onto the Internet to check one thing. Sure, I’m interested in the scores of the games, but the one thing that I need to know is if my fantasy football team won.

For the past few seasons, my team, The Avengers of the Uncle Dan Football League, have wallowed in the basement, plagued my injuries and bad luck. This season is different though. The Avengers stand in second place with a 5-3 record. Thanks to the stats put up by guys like Donovan McNabb and LaMont Jordan, I’m in line for a play-off spot and a chance at the league trophy.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve somehow missed out on the fantasy football craze that infested computers across America. Here’s how it works: a group of guys get together and sign up for a league on the Internet come early Septemberish. A draft is held and the members of the league pick actual NFL players for their teams. Once the draft is done, each team has a field of players from various NFL teams. In fantasy games, real teams don’t matter – only the individual player counts. Yeah, it kind of goes against the whole team philosophy thing, but this isn’t real — it’s a fantasy.

Once the season starts, fantasy teams are matched up against each other each weekend (just like the real game). After the games are done, the team’s whose players put up the best stats wins. Between “games,” managers can pick up or drop players and trade with other teams. It helps to have a good knowledge of the game to prevent getting ripped off in trades ... and to maybe rip other teams off. I guess since it’s fantasy football, I can have fantasy ethics.

Okay, so fantasy football may sound kind of geeky but all the cool kids are doing it so it has to be cool now. Walk down your hallway on any given Sunday and you’ll hear guys yelling at their TVs — not at their favorite team that’s losing but at that defense on their team that’s more porous than our Southern border. The worst scenario is when your star fantasy player is up against your favorite team. I just pray that McNabb doesn’t have to face the Bills this season since I might just have a heart attack.

Originally published in the Cardinal Courier (Volume 5-Issue 5; Nov. 18, 2005).
Bill Kuchman
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