Does anyone give a hot, sweating damn about your fantasy football team?
Short Answer: No.
Longer answer: Kind of, but only in certain cases.
Let’s make this abundantly clear—people care about your fantasy football team insofar as it leads to conversation about their fantasy football team.
We as human beings are deeply self-involved creatures with an ingrained need to tell our personal stories, and fantasy football conversations are the perfect storm of that impulse, combining petty minutiae with the conversational narcissism of a law school dinner party.
Discourse between fantasy addicts consists of one person talking about Cam Newton while the others wait for that person to stop talking about Cam Newton so they can, well, talk. Fantasy owners want to be heard but view listening as a speed bump for their Hot Take Mobile.
So the question is thus: When should you talk about your fantasy football team? And when should you write your burning fantasy feelings down on a notecard and walk into the ocean?
The following is a graph plotting the situations when people do and don’t care to hear about your fantasy football team. Our axes are the foundational components of any fantasy football story: Did your team fail? Did it succeed? And how much do we care?
Let’s start with the most compelling types of fantasy stories: Fail stories.
Did you lose on a freak play?
First of all, thank you. Thank you for losing your game on a complete, pants-soiling moment of ineptitude and/or skill.
I do want you to hear this story, mostly because I dine on fantasy Schadenfreude like fail-foie gras, and knowing you lost a game on a “Fail Mary” is a Dionysian feast of awfulness. I want to give you $5 and a ride home.
Did you lose your star player to injury?
Did you lose on a stat correction?
Did you start an inactive player?
Nope. Don’t care.
Were you destroyed by Megatron?
Of course you were.
Lose to an inferior team?
“If I’d played them any other week...” is the mating call of the disillusioned whose star-studded team is actually just an overrated garbage fire.
Did you leave solid gold and/or the winning points on your bench?
You and everyone else, guy.
Were you outbid on the waiver wire?
You mean you didn’t recognize a living god when you saw one?
With these failures addressed, we now move on to the fantasy football success stories, which also vary between “Yes, tell me more,” and, “We could’ve not had this conversation and been better people for it.”
Did you fleece an opponent in a trade?
Did you draft Peyton Manning?
Across the board and without deviation, anyone who drafted Peyton Manning will lead their post-draft conversation with, “So I went for Peyton. HAD TO.”
Did you win on a field goal?
You burn in hell, game-stealer.
Did you find a treasure on the waiver wire?
You picked up Delanie Walker? For a nickel??
Did you demolish your opponent?
Oh, a humble brag. Not like we see those every day at all times on every form of social media available.
HELL YEA DARREN SPROLES?
HELL YEA DARREN SPROLES.
And this concludes our investigation into what is and isn’t admissible in fantasy football discourse. Remember that all judgments are final, and that no one wants to hear about how drafting C.J. Spiller last year screwed your team so far into the earth’s mantle that only Bruce Willis and a team of cowboy scientists could’ve retrieved it.
Have a good day, and don’t forget: People care about your fantasy football team. But not really.
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