In the 1970’s, I loved professional football. The guys that played the game weren’t that much bigger than adults I knew and they didn’t make much more money than adults I knew. They seemed like real people. Now the athletes are larger than I can imagine and better pay leaves them with little in common with me. I recently found a way to have more interest in professional football through a deeper involvement. It’s called fantasy football.
I spoke briefly of fantasy football during my first season. I guessed a lot the first year and did alright. I would like to say I now make decisions based my incredible knowledge however a more honest statement would be that I feel I now guess a bit more proficiently. I have found that a little research helps; particularly research into the strengths and weaknesses of the defenses which your fantasy players will face. I would rather have a decent player facing a poor defense rather than a fantastic player butting heads with a fantastic defense.
I am currently in fifth place. I have to reach fourth place after this week’s game or I cannot reach the play-offs. We use the last three games of the professional regular season for our own play-off so it’s put-up or shut-up time in the fantasy football league known as “Hat Creek Cattle Company.” The name of the league and most of its individual team names have deeper meaning but to explain the meaning cheapens the exclusivity of team ownership.
“Team No Confidence” sits high atop the league with a commanding 10-3 record. If I somehow pound my way into fourth place, I would face the team leader. I think I would be performing a familial good as the current fourth-place team is “Gun? What Guns?” “Guns’” and “’Confidence” are brothers and for them to face-off against one-another is about as close as we care to come to a Greek tragedy out on the fantasy playing field. I need “Guns” to lose this week and I need to defeat “Red Lakers” for any of this to work so to paraphrase a Robert Frost poem, “I’ve got miles to go.”
It’s nice, you know? It’s nice to sit and pretend that you have gathered a team to compete under your banner while you watch each individual member play for real on the actual professional team which employs them. To have a reason to watch football after the Vikings have declared defeat well ahead of the fourth quarter is nice. To have a reason to enjoy a little online connection to a bunch of fellow plays who I like, even if it’s virtual, is nice. Even if “High On Purple” defeats me or I lose a squeaker to “Asphalt Monkeys,” it is all still real nice.
What will really be nice is the following. It will be nice if I get into the play-offs. We each pay $20 to get into the league and so to earn my money back, I must win the first play-off match-up. What would be even nicer would be to then defeat the other semi-finalist and claim the big prize. But, what would be even nicer, if after all the smoke has cleared and the reporters have gone home (all make-believe,) there is only one team still standing-for their can be only one-and that team will be…”Captain Nordic!” That might be putting the cart before the horse, let’s just see how this week goes.