Fantasy Football: We Take it Seriously


By Gabe Schwartzman

With the temperatures dropping, dead leaves falling, and sweaters being brought back into the rotation, it only means one thing… 

No, not the seasons changing. Football is what it means. Not only is the real football season among us, but the thrills of fantasy football have also returned to the faces of eager, diehard fans. 

While I somewhat understand the appeal of playing fantasy football, it never ceases to amaze me how damn hard some people go when it comes to fantasy. 

For some players, fantasy football comes before anything. Last Sunday, I was watching the 49ers game with my buddy Carson when he got a phone call from his mom. 

“Where are you, Carson,” she whispered.  “Your grandmother’s funeral started 15 minutes ago.” 

“MOM, Deebo Samuel just dropped 90 yards,” Carson replied. “I’ll meet you at the reception.”

It also seems to me that punishments for losing the league this year have developed to a point that qualifies as a concern. 

“C’mon Gabe, join our fantasy league. It’s a blast. The punishment this year isn’t even that bad. All you have to do is hike the Appalachian trail naked … Bro don’t be a wimp, last year I lost and had to legally adopt a child. His name’s Enrique.”

I have noticed, while listening to my friends converse with each other, that when fantasy football is the subject, their IQs increase by tenfold. Suddenly, they gain the vocabulary and syntax of an Oxford professor. And when a trade possibility is in the midst, they somehow obtain the analytical and statistical whits of Bill James, and the ability to foresee every cosmic outcome of their decision like Doctor Strange.

Speaking of trades, I have observed that people are willing to give up any sense of self respect or dignity in order to convince someone to make a profitable trade.

“If you give me Burrow for Watson, I’ll do your laundry for a month. And I’ll throw in a free foot massage once a week because I’m that nice of a guy.”

“Bro please let me have Ekeler, you can use my hot tub whenever you want and I can bring you drinks while you’re in there. You like Piña Coladas?

Before the season, I was with my friend Luke and he got a phone call from the catering service at Nobu confirming his delivery for 8 Black Cod salads, 12 Lobster Tempura Truffles, and bottle service. 

“Wow,” I said, “that must’ve run you a lot of money. Sounds like you’re hosting a huge party.”

“Party?” he replied in confusion. “It’s drafting night. Black tie mandatory. Obviously.”

I believe from the bottom of my heart that these fantasy football players will truly go to any length in order to watch a “crucial” game. I heard a kid faked a catastrophic injury during his soccer game so he could watch the NFL game from the bench. Another kid learned morse code so his friend could bang patterns on the wall, deciphering each play while the kid took his math test in the other room.

Fantasy football is a game that chews you up and spits you out. It is not for the faint of heart, and I give my utmost respect to anyone who is brave enough to dedicate their life to something that is… literally fake and utterly meaningless. Sorry, I said it.