As a football fan, let me give a synopsis of the game.
Football is game played roughly (no pun intended) five or six months of the year. The season began a few weeks ago and will culminate in the Super Bowl. It is called the Super Bowl because the name “Bowl game during which there is a chance to charge three million dollars for thirty seconds of advertising time” was too hard to fit on a tee shirt. The Super Bowl occurs in late January or early February. An occasional glimpse of the game can be caught between commercials and commentaries from former players whose knees now have the structural integrity of Jello. The winners of the Super Bowl are referred to as the world champions even though no other countries participate.
The pre-season involves hulking men on the field and loud call-in talk shows on the radio.
The regular season involves hulking men on the field and loud call-in shows on the radio.
The play-offs involve hulking men on the field and loud call-in shows on the radio.
The championship game involves hulking men on the field and loud call-in shows on the radio.
The post-season involves injured hulking men off the field and loud call-in shows on the radio.
This is, you have to agree, enough for any sane person. Except it’s not. As a sure sign of the apocalypse, there is now a thing called fantasy football. Right away we should be a little suspicious about a sport with the word “fantasy” in the name. Fantasy has no place in the game of football unless you are like Steve and me and have our hopes dashed each autumn by pretending there is a professional team in Cleveland.
People are as intense about the fantasy variety as they are about the real version. This is just great because if there is one thing we need more of in this country, it is intensity about made-up stuff.
In an effort to make this an error-free column, I Googled fantasy football to get all the available facts. All the available facts took a distant second to the many opportunities to join a two hundred fifty dollar league and win BIG PRIZES!!! There is a fantasy commissioner, so obviously the game has some basis in real life. But perhaps the best part is the chance to, and I quote, “smacktalk to the rest of your league and show them you can talk the talk.” This also is just great because if there is another thing we need more of in this country, it is an increase in smacktalk and people talking the talk.
Participants enlist a roster of players for their teams. But here’s the most surprising thing about the game of fantasy football. There are no, you know, games. It’s my roster of players’ statistics against your roster of players’ statistics. Who says Americans stink at math?
Another thing I learned online (so you know it has to be true) is that there is fantasy basketball, fantasy hockey, fantasy auto racing, and fantasy golf.
Almost all of this is a mystery to me. Basketball and hockey have seasons that go on and on. And on and on and on. Who needs a fantasy league when you can watch the non-fantasy thing year round? Fantasy auto racing might actually be an improvement on the real thing because, as we all know, a fantasy car crash is usually safer than a real car crash. The attendant fantasy head injury is also much less debilitating than having a real brain get scrambled.
Fantasy golf actually makes sense. Golf is a tough taskmaster and I should know. I used to play golf six days out of seven, plus spend a few hours a week on the practice range, plus take a lesson or two each season. For all that investment of time and effort, I got my handicap down to a whopping sixteen strokes which is to say I was not very good. My fantasy was that I would someday shoot par. Fantasy lives on.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.