Living in a fantasy world of nerds
One is wearing wizard’s robe, a fake white beard and introduces himself as Gandalf’s cousin, Blargonzodorf.
One has a bowl cut reminiscent of Lloyd Christmas and a button pinned to his Dance Dance Revolution T-shirt that says, “Math is radical!”
And one looks like Bradley Cooper, dresses like George Clooney and spends his free time managing four fantasy football rosters and worrying if a shoulder injury to Tom Brady will prevent his team, Mayor of Pimpville, from beating his friend’s squad, LadiesLoveMy6Pack, to win the fantasy league trophy made of empty Keystone Light cans.
Tell me: Which of these three is the biggest dork of all?
I don’t think the average person fully understands the severity of dorkiness that resides deep in the souls of people who play fantasy football. Because it is associated with the NFL (America’s most popular sport) and is based on the real-life actions of world-class athletes, its participants are mostly given a reprieve from being what they are: a monstrous collection of nerds.
You cannot deny your place among the village of nerds just because you’re a fan of a manly sport like football, or because you otherwise look like you belong to the “in” crowd. You are a weirdo who does weird things in a fake football league. There’s no way around it.
Today, I’m sad to admit that I am a fantasy football dork of the highest order. I don’t dress like Clooney, look like Cooper (he’s no Gosling, anyway), nor do I have a team nickname that instantly identifies me as The World’s Biggest Tool, but I must acknowledge that I have a problem.
I spent nearly the entire weekend thinking and worrying about my place in Sunday’s fantasy league championship. It wasn’t unlike the anxiety a regular sports fan feels before a favorite team plays — except for the fact that my team doesn’t really exist.
Here is fantasy football explained to the layman: Take 10 green army men, give them names, and give each “player” points for their actions during the course of a battle against another team that is being controlled by someone else in another state. Agonize over the fact that you used one player instead of another, thereby costing your team valuable points, and then sacrifice precious hours of sleep doing Internet research in order to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
That’s how I felt yesterday when I realized what a loser I am. I was a nervous wreck all day. I ignored my wife for a handful of hours (oddly, she didn’t seem to mind) and contemplated suicide every time the tide appeared to turn against me. I flipped back and forth between the day’s four TV games, and I had three games on at once on my laptop.
I cherished every point I accrued as though they directly benefited the life of my unborn son, Indiana Jones. No one in the history of nerddom was as pathetic as I was yesterday. I made George McFly look like the prom king.
In defense of fantasy football players, there is money on the line — and sometimes it’s a nice chunk of change. Nonetheless, it’s amazing and humiliating the things we fantasy team owners do to put ourselves in the right competitive mind-set and in a position to win money.
I am not admitting that I have done any of the following, but I guarantee you there is a substantial number of fantasy football players who have:
- Given their team a pregame pep talk to encourage maximum effort
- Staged a press conference in their delusional minds to answer questions about their team’s performance
- Discussed (out loud and to themselves) their reasons for using or not using certain players, as though they were real NFL analysts
- Prayed incessantly for God’s help to beat Da Bone Crushers in order to make the playoffs
- Refused to brush their teeth because their current winning streak began one Sunday four weeks ago when they were hungover and forgot about basic hygiene
This is the community I belong to. If I were still in high school, I’d be getting swirlies all day long. Fantasy football dorks were made to have their heads dunked in toilet water.