Friday, September 2, 2011

On Fantasy Football

I spent much of my shift at work yesterday rearranging D&D games on a shelf about nine times. Truly, it holds a spot as the pinnacle of Role Playing Games, and thus also as one of the nerdiest games imaginable. To a simplistic sit-com jock, one might even say one of the gayest, what with all the half-naked men in loincloths and dudes playing as chicks and "intelligence" and "charisma" being able to defeat "strength" with a simple dice roll. (Alright, that's not exactly a manly battle, I'll grant you.)

However, to all that I say this:

If D&D is the gayest RPG out there, fantasy football is the most in-the-closet.

Football, by far the most homoerotic American feat of athleticism next to Olympic wrestling and American Gladiators, has a whole class of fans who dedicate their spare time to what is effectively a voluntary Statistics and Probability class. Then they take turns picking the best monster cards players, and as the real athlete fights on a field somewhere, they score points for the fans who chose them to their hypothetical Battle Teams. The Winningest Battle Team Owner then receives the collected wagers of all the Losingest Battle Team Owners and gets to brag for a full year.

I'm just saying, I still tell people about winning the kids' trivia contest at the very first Star Wars Celebration back in '99. I'm not sure how I'd feel about having to defend that title every year, but then again I'm not exactly and team-player or the overtly competitive type. (I prefer deft and deadly but surreptitious.)

Still, I just helped a friend pick his team last night. And by "helped" I mean I sat at the computer and picked who he told me to while he was out and couldn't be around to do it himself. (Hope he had an unlimited texting plan like I did.) All-in-all, it wasn't unenjoyable. I figured out what abreviations meant fairly quickly, there was a queue before you could draft a player, picks went 1-to-16 and then reversed to go 16-to-1 for fairness, hell, there was even a little chat box to smack talk your friends as they picked.

Except that didn't really happen, because it was 16 guys, mostly from  high school (including a former teacher) and I think one drug dealer. All told, the collective I.Q. in that chat box was probably around 2,000 and the combined dead lift weight was probably about 240. With stretching.

So yeah. Fantasy football nerds are still nerds. Cute pun names, team affiliations, loathed semi-fictional enemies with often unpronounceable monickers. It's pretty great. Although I think that makes Roger Goodell like Gary Gygax and I guess Eli Manning would be Sarumon or a Ring Wraith or a goblin king or something.

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