Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put Manny Pacquiao on your fantasy football team? What’s breaking a guy’s orbital bone while cruising to a title in yet another weight class worth? The Pac Man may be the most consistent and reliable performer in sports right now. He’s devastating, he’s a sure a thing. So, he’s exactly the opposite of the NFL.
Quick aside on the fight for 15 seconds. Nothing bothers me more than when non-sports people feign interest in sports and then make themselves sound like idiots. It’s not a big deal if you don’t know what you are talking about, but don’t fake it. I heard a DJ talking about the fight on Friday evening. He was trying to sound as if he had boxing “cred” and then went on to call Manny Pacquio, “Manny Pacqui-uh,” which I guess isn’t so bad, but then he said he was fighting Margarita, and I was like, does this guy not know the letter “o” exists, or is he just a moron? Either way, zip it up and go back to taping “$3 You-Call-It Friday” commercials, Mullet.
So, we’ve been beating the unpredictable NFL angle into the ground, and Sunday was more of the same. The most obvious example being the Cowboys, but there were others as well. The Dolphins winning a game when having to turn to the QB they had just benched, the Vikings officially dying, things of that nature. I’m getting ready to watch the Sunday night game, and I have no idea what is going to happen. None at all. And, that should be a good thing in some ways. Unpredictability breeds a certain level of excitement, but sometimes we like guarantees as well.
When it comes to fantasy football, nothing beats a consistent performer, but I feel like most people probably have a roster full of boom or bust guys this year. Take my poster boy T.O. here. I traded for T.O. a few weeks back, and he’s been on an incredible hot streak. It was bound to come to an end, and it did on Sunday against Indy. He wasn’t shut out, or anything of that nature, but his 100-yard, multiple TD games had spoiled me. I’m not surprised he had an average day, just disappointed I didn’t see it coming. So, T.O.’s modest point total will count for my team, while a couple of guys on my bench had huge afternoons.
It’s amazing how frustrating Fantasy Football can be, and yet I guess the interest it creates in the game is good. I do know several people, though, that always ask themselves at the end of each Fantasy season, why do I do this? The outcome is only good for one person, and the rest of the group pulls their hair out. You are waiting for that injury, for the week when your players don’t perform, and there’s always plenty of room to doubt yourself. Could have done this, should have done that. Not to mention the times you are torn between rooting for your real team vs. your fantasy team. Even that sentence makes me feel a little pathetic, just by typing it.
The good news for the NFL is that I don’t think anyone is being turned off to the product in general by these fluctuations in performance. There’s nothing we can do about the cloud of atrocious play that has parked itself over the NFL this year. The game tonight, another perfect example. Pittsburgh taking its turn to lay a total stink bomb, and New England bouncing back from looking just as bad against the Browns last week. There are no guarantees in the league this year, and I won’t listen to you if you think otherwise.
Just a last word on the impact of fantasy. The emergence of the fantasy-tard at the bars is intolerable for me. I don’t watch a lot of football in bars, but I was at a drinking establishment for the 1st half of Sunday night’s game, and seeing how this area isn’t overrun with Pittsburgh or NE fans, I wasn’t expecting it to be too rowdy. And, it wasn’t. Except for one idiot yelling at the TV. WELKER! MENDENHALL! That’s my boy WOODHEAD! Obviously, this guy’s league starts 34 players, or he’s working with 12 different teams. So, on every play this guy has got an interest in someone. I’m trying to imagine an entire place filled with these guys on a Sunday afternoon. Nightmare.