Why fantasy sports matter

The universal reaction to my hiring as a staff writer for Xpertsports was positive. There was one comment that made me pause, though. My dad told me something to the tune of “Let them know that it doesn’t really matter.” Now this is the same dad who’s in three fantasy leagues with me, so he wasn’t being mean. What he was trying to say was that in the grand scheme of things, fantasy sports isn’t that important.

Sure, we’re not curing diseases here, but as Chris Rock once said, no one cures diseases anymore. If fantasy sports meant nothing, no one would play them. I’ll outline a few reasons why fantasy football (had to get specific) really matters.

Competition

There are a few females sprinkled in fantasy leagues around the country. For the most part, it’s a male-dominated sport. Males are, primarily, competitive creatures. We want to win. We’re supposed to win. Deep down men are programmed to provide, and many moons ago that meant beating down other men. Now that resources are slightly less scarce, men need alternate avenues to express that competitive energy. Some guys play Ultimate Frisbee, some indulge in pick-up basketball, and others use fantasy football. Defeating your peers, especially your close friends, in any kind of competition is immensely satisfying.

Know your sport

Come on, before fantasy football did anyone know, let alone need to know, that Abercrombie Echemandu is the fourth-string running back for the Cleveland Browns? One thing that owners must know before assembling a draft ‘cheat sheet’ is a team’s depth chart, offensive philosophy, and any number of silly statistics to determine a pecking order. This is not true of all fantasy owners, because we all have one owner in our local league who buys a fantasy football magazine (amateur) for their draft preparation. Those owners get David Boston and deserve him.

Conversation

Face it; guys converse on a limited number of subjects. Generally acceptable topics include women, beer, chicks, drinking, broads, booze, and meat. When you add sports to that, men can talk for hours. What’s more titillating than bemoaning the fact that Bill Cowher took Duce Staley out of the game after he ran the ball to the one-yard-line, allowing that has-been Jerome Bettis get the cheap touchdown? There is no limit to the value of this knowledge.

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