Football is almost here and with it a serious dilemma for fans: How do you balance your devotion to a team with participation in fantasy sports, something that puts you in a position to root for players from—oh dear god… heaven forbid—THAT team?
This hit me today because of a discussion I had at a family get together. My cousin Dave has the first pick in his upcoming draft and he was looking for some help with the choice. As we discussed Arian Foster or Ray Rice, my cousin Al and his son Alex joined the conversation since they also play fantasy football.
I was curious about the fan vs. fantasy question as they’re both Washington Redskins fans. Alex admitted that any player on his roster that’s playing the Redskins will find himself on Alex’s bench that week. He can’t root for them to do well when they’re playing against his ‘Skins.
How far do you take it? So Greeny won’t draft Brady because the Jets compete in the same division as the Patriots. What’s he going to do at the end of the season when the Jets are competing with the Chargers for the wild card or home field? Will he bench Rivers?
This is the third year that my beautiful fiancé, Tina, and I have played fantasy football. The third year that I’ll have to deal with her staring at me with that “you better pick a Steeler soon” look.
Week 1 last year saw us down 100-45 heading into Monday night. The late 99-yard TD pass from Brady to Wes Welker finished the furious comeback and won us the game. I went running down the hall screaming to let her know we had won. What she said struck me and started me thinking about this subject back then. She laughed and said I was more excited than I got watching my favorite team, the Packers.
Of course I was more excited. I was involved in the Patriots/Dolphins game. Tom Brady’s stats counted for us as one of the 15 players that I picked. And they counted that particular game because I decided to make him one of the eight players whose stats counted for us that week. I did that. And I figure if we’re keeping score then I want to win. I want the eight players that I start to score more points than the eight players that the other owner starts.
I’ve been a Packers fan since I was ten and it’s cool when they win. But I don’t have anything to do with it. You know what? Screaming at the TV won’t impact the game. It doesn’t matter what I wear or where I sit. What I eat or drink is irrelevant to the outcome of the game. Nope. Not a damn thing I do or say has a damn thing to do with the outcome of any game.
What an interesting dilemma. I would pay money to be in the room and watch the reaction of Vince Lombardi to a Packers fan starting Jay Cutler at quarterback or George Halas’ outrage at a Bears fan starting Aaron Rodgers.
So, what do you think? Is supporting your team more important than winning in fantasy? Let me know by leaving a comment on your vote.
Oh yeah, and vote for what Dave should do with that first pick. I don’t think he trusts my advice to pick Foster.
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