Why We Play This Game
January 31, 2003
In my five-year career in fantasy football I have pretty much seen it all. I have read thousands of articles, used multiple cheat sheet compilers, and used pretty much every tool in the arsenal of the true fantasy football manager. With as much effort that I put into researching fantasy football, I should win the trophy every year. The fact of the matter is that I have only raised the Lombardi trophy once, with the other four years resulting in two-second place titles and a couple less than spectacular endings. The question that I ask myself is what does it take to really win?

In prior years, I have spent weeks researching players' performance against other teams, weighed the strength of defenses against my offensive players, and read every weekly player rating list that I could get my hands on. How did I prevail? Well, lets just say my point totals were the worst in the league, and perhaps they we the worst weekly total in the league for that year.

One might ask why on earth would anyone continue to play this crazy game of ours? The answer that I would give them is that the research and effort that I put into the game is why I play. The nights sitting in front of my computer with beer in hand and Sportscenter playing off in the distant are the true rewards for this game. Those nights may not result with your sleeper picks scoring two touchdowns to push you over the top, but at least you had the pleasure of coming up with that sleeper and putting down a couple of cold ones.

My girlfriend is like most other fantasy football mangers' girlfriends. She thinks that our game is a waste of time, and loves to emphasize the word fantasy.

"Why do you waste so much time on something that is fake? That is so stupid."

If I received 5 points for every time she gives me grief about FF then I would win each matchup by 100 points. Girlfriends don't understand why we do this, and the fact of the matter is... we like it that way. It would be awful if my girlfriend liked this game. Can you imagine taking your girl to the bar with your friends on Sunday?

Back to let question at hand. We play a game were many of us invest multiple hours on research, when nine times out of ten it never pays off. Then other times we go strictly on guy instinct and we steam roll the competition. Is there a true formula to win every week? The answer is no. No matter how much we think we know about a player or a team, there is no way to be able to guess what will happen on Sunday. And lets be honest, that unpredictability about it makes the game fun, and is a big reason why we keep coming back for more.



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