The fantasy spin

After taking a knee on the one-yard line to secure a victory for the Jaguars yesterday, Maurice Jones-Drew apologized to his fantasy owners.

It’s a particularly hilarious thing to say, and as a Maurice Jones-Drew owner who lost by exactly the difference the touchdown would have made, I appreciate the sentiment.

In the hands of a professional like Jones-Drew, it’s fine. He was obviously kidding, plus his point was that the win was more important to him than the touchdown. But the fact that he mentioned it — even jokingly — shows the way fantasy-football analysis has spiraled out of control.

I’m so sick of the fantasy spin. When an important player gets hurt, it feels like the first thing ESPN tells me is the fantasy implications. And that’s about the last thing I want to hear about.

I want to hear about what it means to his team, and what it means to my team, and what bearing it has on the race for the playoffs. Excuse me for actually caring about real football.

I know this makes me sound like a curmudgeon, too. But whatever. Allow me to continue curmudging.

Too often, it seems like the NFL has become Fantasy Fantasy Football, where players are arbitrarily assigned to teams with other guys who may or may not help them score more points in your league.

And I get that fantasy has contributed a ton to the NFL’s success, plus plays a big role in the web ventures of just about every network covering football. And heck, I like playing fantasy football, because it’s a fun excuse to be able to say really mean things to friends and co-workers.

I just don’t want to hear about it so damn often. Tell me what’s happening in the actual game, not in the games surrounding the game. Break down a coverage, examine a blocking scheme, analyze a blitz package. Help me understand which teams are actually better than the other teams, not just which players will rack up the most impressive fantasy stats.

2 thoughts on “The fantasy spin

  1. This makes for a good discussion.

    I am definitely with you on not appreciating when fantasy analysis seeps into football analysis in the mainstream sports media. I do also appreciate the fantasy-specific analysis, although I kind of balk at how prominent it has become. However, I like that a player like Maurice Jones-Drew (who I also own and who also might wind up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory today pending the results of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice [great, my win rests on the mighty shoulders of the Cleveland Browns defense]) shows so much humanity when most athletes (ok, maybe more in baseball than football) do not.

    It’s a tough thing. This past season was my first in fantasy baseball, and it cut two ways. One, it was a great release from suffering a horrific Met season and it gave me reason to watch more games and exposure to more players. On the other hand, it put me rooting against my team and it made me take two steps back from the Mets and four steps toward being a baseball globalist, so to speak.

    I’m not sure if this rambling makes sense to anyone else though.

  2. I like you think fantasy sports is great. I participatein baseball and football yearly, but I am also in agreement that the fantasy world and the reality world should not be mixed.

    When I am watching baseball or football for entertainment, and enjoyment of the game, I don’t care about fantasy football. When I’m watching a Giants game, all I care about is the G-men scoring, I don’t give a sh*t if the TD is to Kevin Boss (my TE) at that point.

    Same with baseball, if one of my pitchers is up against the Mets, I dont care about the fantasy aspect, I want the Mets to light that clown up.

    Fantasy is fine, there are tons of website directed toward it, and even segments and shows on TV to it, and thats fine, as long as its on its own. I dont want to be watching a College football game on ESPN and see a constant scroll of fantasy stats on the bottom line. Give the screen space to the actual game I want to watch.

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