National Game of Disinterest (Week 3)

This if football! - Mwtoews at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of bad games being played this weekend, but only the worst of the worst is this week's National Game of Disinterest.

Having looked at this week's SEC game(s) of interest and national, schadenfreude-tastic game of interest, it is time to identify this week's National Game of Disinterest. This game is of such minimial consequence that only the fans of the teams involved should care about its outcome even a little bit. This week, that game is... fantasy football.

If you've never played fantasy football, it can best be described as Dungeons & Dragons for jocks. (If you've never played Dungeons & Dragons, just ask the nearest Tech grad.) At the beginning of the NFL season, you and 7-15 of your friends draft teams of professional football players to compete against each other. Each team's score is based on the actual statistical performance of each player in his game. It's football through the lens of a spreadsheet.

What's so bad about that? Well, even ignoring the fact that being good at fantasy football has absolutely nothing to do with being good at real football (or even understanding the Xs and Os of real football), it creates perverse incentives. A Giants fan rooting for Tony Romo isn't normal, but in fantasy it is. A Green Bay fan rooting for Adrian Peterson to have a huge week isn't normal, but in fantasy it is. It highlights (and celebrates) the inherently mercenary nature of the NFL, which is the whole reason that we all love the college game so much more than the professional game.

More importantly for our purposes, fantasy football is the very definition of a national game of disinterest: no one cares about your fantasy football team but you. To put that into perspective, even the ACC Championship Game gets more interested spectators than your fantasy football team. And anyway, a machine can probably do a better job of setting your fantasy line-up than you can because, y'know, spreadsheets. Maybe you shouldn't even care about your own team.

Now, since I've obviously convinced you to give up on fantasy football, mind if I take Vincent Jackson off your hands? I need a solid WR2 in my work league.

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