Fantasy Football Maniaxs

September 21, 2009 8:09 AM

Fantasy 101: The Art of Crying

I'm sure most of you sports fans have shared some emotion with your television before.  Let's face it, for us die hard fans, we live and die by our teams.  When they do well, we celebrate.  When they're in a close game, our hair becomes expandable and our loved ones look at us like we just got out of the asylum.  And when we lose... well, sometimes, that's when we realize that it was a good idea we stayed in after all, since a lamp through a television might not go over so well when it's not in the privacy of your own home.

But what about your fantasy teams?  How do you properly root for your fantasy players?  And what if they lose?  What's the proper way to react to all of this?

Fantasy sports are very tricky, friends.  Fantasy sports require you to be more than just a die hard fan of your team (go Vikings!).  Instead, you have to be (or develop into) a die hard fan of football in general.  For example... the most frustrating thing for me yesterday?  Not that we (the Vikings) let the Pussycats Lions stay in the game for so long, but rather that our rivals, the Green Bay Packers, were being so frustrating.  Their defense was playing pretty decently (fantasy points wise), while Greg Jennings couldn't seem to hold onto a pass to save his life.  I've been second guessing myself for the last 18 hours on why I started Ben Watson over Dallas Clark.  I'm annoyed that even though Marion Barber had an outstanding game, 4 of my opponents players/defense scored higher than him.  I HATE the Cowboys organization, and I was still rooting for Barber to have a career-defining game the entire night.

What's wrong with me?

Look, let's be honest with each other, you and me.  We both know, deep down, that we have secret passions for other players in the NFL other than just our favorite team.  I love watching Kurt Warner do well, both because he's my fantasy QB as well as the fact that he attended my university (Northern Iowa) back in the day.  Any former Iowa player gets that love as well (Dallas Clark, Nate Kaeding, Bob Sanders, Chad Greenway, Aaron Kampman, etc.).  I always had great admiration for what Brett Favre could do, even if he would destroy my precious Vikings nearly every time we met.

The fact is, in fantasy sports, we have to put aside our differences and not feel insanely guilty about seeing the Packers succeed our rivals do well.  You also have to not feel guilty about hoping your team's players don't do as well on the field as you normally might.  I kept praying all game that Adrian Peterson would get more handoffs, so Favre wouldn't have any reason to give the ball to Percy Harvin.

Fantasy sports are a combination of who's got the most (insert sport here) knowledge, the most luck, and the most intestinal fortitude.  You know that your team's run defense is pretty weak?  Better start your opponent's running back then.  You have Chris Johnson as your running back because all your ideal RBs were off the board already?  You suck.  Your fantasy opponent have a bunch of Vikings players on his team?  Grit your teeth, smile, and hope your players have career days.

If you want to see the source of my angst, this should help you out a little.  There's a huge difference between losing and getting beaten like a red-headed step child (I'll leave it to you to determine what end of the spectrum I ended up on).  The positive?  I didn't get 100-pointed.  Yippie!

And for the love of all things football... Greg Jennings... catch the damn ball.


Nic Lake is the author of Words to Play By, encapsulating sports, satire, and humor along with personal experiences for your reading pleasure.

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