The NFL: How Fantasy Football Has Changed My Sundays

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The NFL: How Fantasy Football Has Changed My Sundays
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

When it comes to Major League Baseball, I have always been and will always be an Atlanta Braves fan. When you talk NBA, I’m a Utah Jazz fan through and through–despite the “sands of the hourglass” drama that is Carlos Boozer.

But when you talk NFL, I have just one team I care about: Kyle’s Krushers of the Gridiron Gaggle Fantasy Football League.

I don’t care that the New Orleans Saints are 9-0 on the season. But show me a Drew Brees touchdown pass to receiver Marques Colston, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get me a set of Bourbon Street beads.

Brees’ six touchdown passes in week one of the NFL season were even enough to make me forget about my Eli Manning fanship from last season.

I wouldn’t exactly say the San Francisco 49ers are my life. But when Vernon Davis reeled in seven passes, for 96 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3, I was the  the first one on the Mike Singletary bandwagon.

This year, I was a  huge New York Giants fan—well, at least a fan of their defense. But my Giants loyalty ran its course after their defense gave up 48, 24, 40, 21 points in their last four games respectively—all four losses.

But what about the old fantasy football conflict? Any fantasy football player sees this at least once a season.

For me it was the New York Giants’ defense facing my potent quarterback, Brees.

Brees tosses four touchdowns and 369 yards in the Saints 48-2 victory. One of Brees’ four scoring throws goes to my receiver, Colston—who finished with eight catches for 166 yards and the score against the Giants defense.

That’s a conflict you’ll take.

I don’t care for the Dallas Cowboys or their owner, Jerry Jones. But show me a highlight of a Patrick Crayton 50-yard touchdown pass, and I’ll show you my cardboard cutout  of the Lonestar state.

I used to view football stats for what they are (i.e. Peyton Manning throws for 327 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in Sunday’s 35-34 win over the Patriots).

Now I see stats in a whole new light (i.e. Peyton Manning throws for 15 points (yards), plus 24 points (TD’s), plus 10 points (Over 300 yards bonus), minus four points (two per interception) for a total of 45 points—for my fantasy opponent.

There was a time in my life when I viewed a running back’s 100-yard game as brilliantly played football. Now I view a  100-yard performance as brilliantly drafted fantasy football.

Four years ago if you would have asked me who John Carney was, I would have asked if he graduated high school with me.

Now, when John Carney’s name is thrown around, I’m the first to respond with how many 50-plus field goals he’s knocked down this year (0), what his PAT percentage is this season (40-42, 95 percent), and what his career long field goal is (54 yards twice, 1991 and 1998).

I lose sleep over the fact that I took a chance on the former Kansas City Chief Larry Johnson with a third round pick. I smile when I see Jericho Cotchery catch six passes, for 66 yards and one touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I wonder how he slipped to me in the ninth round of the fantasy draft.

I was devastated when Leon Washington went to the injured reserve list—not because I care about the New York Jets but because, up until his injury in Week 7, he had pulled in 64 points for my team.

Late Saturday night lineup changes make me happy. Informing an opponent that his quarterback is on a bye (before Sunday’s games) is a classy move. Tipping your hat to an opponent whose pick you made fun of, rattles off 100-plus yards rushing is the mark of a gentleman.

But despite the joy that is brought to the over 27 million people who spend an average of nine hours a week on fantasy football, there are some that  say that fantasy football has ruined the game.

But me, I offer thanks to a former Oakland Raiders’ limited partner named Bill Winkenbach for his fantasy football idea in 1962.

I look the critics of fantasy football in the eye and say, “Go Krushers!”

 

*This article originally appeared on www.howtowatchsports.com

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