Sports Bites: An Epilogue To My Fantasy Football Career

In my efforts to keep Braised Blue a dynamic entity, I have decided to include an occasional sports/music/film/tv piece. After my open letter to my local MP*, and the inclusion of my photography, the reach of my blog spiked. Since I would like this to be something I could parlay into a writing job at some point, I am going to continue to expand the blog’s purview. Food, Wine, and Mental Health are still this blog’s focus and it will stay that way.  I feel like I have made food something that was entertaining and accessible to my readers and I want to continue that outside of the realm of food, every so often. If what I am writing about doesn’t interest you don’t feel bad skipping over those articles, but keep tuned in because I will continue to provide almost daily content. I thank you for following and engaging with Braised Blue, it means a lot to me.

In the grand scheme of important things in life, fantasy sports falls somewhere between kindergarden and stamp collecting. It’s frivolous and generally kind of boring when it comes down to brass tacks.  It’s not like I can have a grown up conversation about fantasy sports with a stranger for anything more than fifteen seconds, before they think I am an idiot. Conversely, I want to hear about your fantasy team just as little as you want to hear about my most recent bowel movement.

Today, I announce my retirement from fantasy football.

I started playing fantasy sports in university. My group of friends started with a baseball league in 2003. It was a great way for us to keep in touch over the summer and in a group of guys being able to bust balls in different ways is paramount.  Soon fantasy baseball had expanded to hockey and football. As we grew older and went our own separate ways fantasy sports kept us together. We always had a place to keep in touch, bust each other’s balls and talk sports.

Baseball Over Football

My first big problem with fantasy football is that it takes away from the much much superior fantasy baseball.  Summer is a sunbaked sports wasteland, where in baseball is the Road Warrior. By it’s nature lends it’s self to a deeper statistical analysis and during drought times it is something refreshing. If baseball blazes across the parched earth leaving golf and tennis in it’s wake. Football is a quenching rain that gives life to the sports landscape and drowns baseball just as it crescendos.

The main problem with this is that fantasy football impedes the end of the fantasy baseball season. As someone who is busy, I don’t have time to keep an eye on both. I have to make a sophies choice between the two, and the choice is easy, baseball wins.**

Risk Benefit Analysis

Another reason for my fantasy football retirement is that over the last few years I have gotten very good at gambling on football. I would rather put the money and time I use on fantasy football towards tradition sports betting. Fantasy football skews your ability to objectively and intelligently look at a football game, and Vegas’ motivations. Some people will argue that fantasy football makes them pay attention to teams they normally wouldn’t pay attention to.

I would like to submit that even though your knowledge of Kenny Britts’ chances of catching a TD pass, it gives you no advantage over Vegas in why they have set Tennesse’s line against the visiting Jets at +4.5.  If anything you have over valued that Titan team, because your investment in Kenny Britt has coloured your perception of the matchup. In reality the Titans’ passing game isn’t where you should be focusing if you want to make an intelligent wager.

If I lose a bet because I bet on Phillip Rivers’ ability to win in Denver, it’s on me and I can handle that. Never have I said, “I wish I hadn’t put money on this game because it just ruined the experience.” But I have many times said, “Why the fuck do I play fantasy football, I just had an urge to put my hand through my computer monitor because I lost to the dickhead who decided to play a back-up running back he had no business owning and he won because of it.”

For The Love of The Game

My biggest issue with fantasy football is that, as somebody who loves the game of football, I find it unequivocally makes watching football unenjoyable. Fantasy Football is fucking stupid and it gives stakes to a game who’s stakes really don’t need to be raised. And it gives stakes to the very things I dislike about football***. If you have a competitive bone in your body, you should hate fantasy football because it’s a crap shoot. In fantasy baseball or hockey you have time to turn an injury prone season around with savvy moves. The fantasy football season is too short to be anything more than a circle jerk of false achievement.****

Part and parcel with this stupidity, is fantasy football makes me feel like I need to watch bad football games, so that I can give my fantasy players an eyeball test. Have you ever sat through a Jacksonville Jaguars game? I have, you know what I learned watching the Jacksonville Jaguars? Fuck nothing because I fell asleep and missed watching something worthwhile. So on top of going into a fantasy football draft wanting to obtain a good team, I also have to factor in whether or not I actually want to watch the players I draft. Why would I ever want to do this?

In summation, I am walking into the sunset away from fantasy football. It was a wildly mediocre ride which made me at the best of moments shrug listlessly and at the worst of moments dislike something I genuinely enjoy.

*He shan’t be named in the blog again as he doesn’t not deserve the cyber ink.

**Imagine if Sophie’s choice was between a super intelligent, talented and good-looking child, who is destined for greatness and one that loves Nascar and Dane Cook. That is how easy my choice was.

***Wide Receivers..Yup all of them…Fuck them…Fantasy football has made me care about the biggest douches on the football field, who have the least to do with the success of a football team. If your favourite football player is a wideout who’s name isn’t Jerry Rice. Please for the love of god go watch curling and stop bothering the world.

****Yes, I know fantasy sports as a whole is nothing but a circle jerk of false achievement but at least I feel somewhat fulfilled when playing fantasy baseball. Even if I win in fantasy football, I know that I just as easily could have ended up in last place or in the middle of the pack.