A Fool’s Paradise: Fantasy football

By The Columbia Chronicle

America has immersed itself into another mind-altering phenomenon. It’s a form of escapism that has engulfed people into the actions of others. No, this is not another urban drug that has been smuggled into the heartland, but on some levels it is something much worse: Fantasy football.

It’s a game that can be played by friends, family or co-workers alike. This game does not discriminate. It is open to all who dare enter this Mintaur’s labyrinth.

It’s rules and strategies are as easy to understand as a Sophomore Calculus book. Points can be scored from quarterback sacks to rushes. From interceptions to points after touchdowns. Had enough already? We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

Now before I upset “true” fantasy fans, I have a confession to make. My name is Patrick Walsh, I am 24 years old and I am a fantasy football junkie.

The week of a junkie starts on Thursday when one reads over the obituaries (or injury reports as those of less knowledge know them). After one observes the carnage of their hobbled teams, an endless waiting game begins. It seems like an eternity of purgatory where you are waiting for anything to happen, and then at the strike of noon the madness ensues. High noon has approached. Let the games begin.

From that point on, no one will answer the phone because from that simple device invented over 100 years ago, only bad news will come. Thrashing from your best friends becomes a ritual. Calling to tell you that the rookie they just started scored a touchdown on a “statue of liberty” play. Anything but that. The dagger just entered your heart and turned sideways so the wound will not close.

Now for those who are wondering why exactly I would compare watching sports to a drug, I pose to you one question: Who would watch the entirety of a New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts game out of their own free will and accord? Case closed.

The rest of the day complies as a waiting game for that darn endless sports ticker to pop up and give one a glimpse of the impending future. There one sits like Pavlov’s dog salivating at the sole extra point booted by your place kicker.

After the games are over, the “junkies” will flip to get the “smack” straight from dealers Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, otherwise known as the gurus of “Prime Time” on ESPN. This is where one can get all of the recaps of everything that darn little sports ticker missed.

But just when you thought it was time to grab a cup of joe and wake up to football sobriety, it’s not. Damn the moguls of television. Still two more nights of football left. That reading assignment can wait until Tuesday, I’ve got more pigskin to watch.

Yes, this is the life that this columnist and many others endure through a cruel seventeen-week season. Sad but true. But I would not have it any other way. Football is life. Anyone who tells you different is just another disgruntled basketball fan.

Join me next week when I explain the ins and outs of fantasy football leagues, from how they are set up to how to score points.

(By the way, did anyone read the assignment for Broadcast News Writing II last week? For some reason I am a little bit behind in my reading.)

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