Living out your fantasy

For fantasy footballers, it can be hard to justify their addiction to loved ones who don’t understand. That is why I have provided five simple reasons why fantasy football is good for you. I can’t guarantee your loved ones will understand these reasons, but if nothing else, it can help you justify your addiction in your own mind, and that is all that matters, right?

  1.    Fantasy gives you a legitimate reason to watch more football.

Ok, so this one is obvious, but true. Homework suddenly becomes less important when you need to watch football to see if your flex wide receiver Doug Baldwin gets enough production to give you an edge in your matchup. Professors will surely understand if you need to catch an afternoon Panthers-Buccaneers game over an assignment because your opponent is starting Doug Martin and Kelvin Benjamin. Your friends will be more than happy if you skip a Sunday afternoon hike up in Hyalite to make sure your quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t choke against Miami (oh wait…). When you say, “I’m busy,” you are giving a perfectly legitimate excuse because football is much more engaging with the TV on and your laptop in hand with live fantasy scoring updates.

  1.    Fantasy makes you care about games you wouldn’t otherwise.

Fantasy not only gives you an excuse to watch more football, it gives you an excuse to watch bad or boring football. Normally you wouldn’t care about a midseason game between the Bills and the Jets, but if C.J. Spiller or Chris Ivory is your No. 2 running back, your heart will be racing with every carry. You may hate Jay Cutler and the Bears with the passion of a thousand suns, but you will be leaping for joy if he has a career day and passes for six touchdowns against your favorite team. And blowouts are a fantasy footballer’s dream as long as it means your players are racking up the points.

  1.    Fantasy helps give you a competitive outlet.

I’m sure many of you played sports in high school, and while you were most certainly the star at “Your Town HS,”  there is a reason you were in the bleachers wearing gold instead of on the field in pads and a helmet this past Saturday. While you’ve tried intramurals, it is hard to be competitive when half your team doesn’t show up because of “exams,” and you do one sprint and start sucking wind as you realize how pathetically out of shape you are compared to your high school glory days. Fantasy can fill your competitive void without making you leave the couch and feel bad about yourself. It includes strategy, drama, close calls and you can feel good about your superior competitive instincts on the weekly waiver wire.

  1.    Fantasy connects you with friends.

Of course, it helps your competitive appetite even more when you can rub it into your buddy’s face when you beat him because you called it that Matt Ryan would go off against the Saints. Then when your friends have graduated and moved on with their lives, it can keep you all connected because it gives you an excuse to catch up and talk smack. Even though they are winning in life as you are stuck an extra year finishing your degree, you can win where it really counts — on the fantasy gridiron.

  1.    Fantasy lets you imagine what it is like to be an NFL General Manager.

Many young boys dream of playing in the NFL. When they realize they don’t have the skills to make it past PeeWee, they dream of becoming billionaires and owning an NFL team. When it becomes apparent that they don’t have the skills or the luck to become a billionaire, they dream of managing the team as GM. Then the soul crushing reality sets in that they don’t have the skills, luck, or drive to work for an NFL team in any capacity. Fantasy football is a small way to live out a slice of these distant, warm, fuzzy, childhood fantasies.

If, after explaining these reasons to your loved ones, they leave you, disown you and move onto other things, don’t let it discourage you. As fantasy football legend Prince Bernardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything; winning fantasy is.”