Fantasy football taking us away from our beloved NFL teams

Fantasy football taking us away from our beloved NFL teams

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Editor

Over the past five years or so, fantasy football as become increasingly popular. Too popular, in fact, as you hear people brag about their fantasy team more than they do their actual favorite team.

Let it be told. Fantasy football requires zero skill- zip, nada. It is purely luck and a complete toss up on a weekly basis. For those who boast and brag, keep that in mind, but that is a different story.

I’m like the next guy who is constantly tweaking and changing around players on my fantasy team. We do this to perfect our roster and increase our chances in winning something we have no control over. This, however, is not the main problem with fantasy football.

The real problem comes with the deep emotion in every NFL fan’s heart. Believe it or not, fantasy football is pulling us away from our favorite team.

Take it as you please, but hear me out. Perhaps you’re a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan like me. Perhaps you’re a life-long Denver Broncos fan (because apparently, there are more and more of them per week in Eastern Pennsylvania of all places). What does fantasy football do? It takes our primary focus of a single favorite team and broadens that to narrow our focus on 10-20 individuals players around the entire league.

Now, instead of caring about my beloved Eagles, I care about my 12 active players per week in my fantasy league. Yes, I’m obviously still an Eagles fan, but what happens when these players are matched up against them in real life?

Perfect example: a few weeks ago, the Denver Broncos played the Philadelphia Eagles. On my fantasy team, I had the Denver Broncos defense, their very own Demaryius Thomas at tight end, and their kicker Matt Prater. However, I also have LeSean McCoy, the running back for the Eagles, on my team. As a result, I had to think logically and put my own favorite team down in the dumps.

I knew the Eagles were going to get destroyed, as they did 52-20. With that in mind, I played my fantasy team smart. I benched McCoy, because the Broncos defense is too good at stopping the running game at home. McCoy finished with a season-low 9.4 fantasy points and was held without a touchdown. On the other side, of course I started all the Broncos players I had because even though I love my Eagles, I knew they were going to put up big points that would in the end help my team. I was right. D. Thomas picked the Eagles defense apart and got me 20.6 points, the Broncos defense had a season-high 21 fantasy points, and their kicker M. Prater was an obvious starter since they put up so many points per week.

If you didn’t catch what all that meant, I knew the Eagles weren’t going to do well, so I put my favorite team down, and wished for these Denver players to do extra good in the game.

Now, I could’ve been completely off and the Eagles could have shut down the Broncos. Then I would’ve been extremely happy my favorite team pulled off this huge win, but at the same time, I would’ve been angry at my fantasy team for not getting me enough points.

Nothing is better than when your fantasy team wins and so does your favorite team. At the same time, when both of your teams lose, then the entire week is doomed. And it’s true. If the Eagles lose and my fantasy team gets destroyed, then I’m the angriest human being alive. But hey, that’s the competitiveness in us humans.

At the end of the day, it’s just a fantasy league and I’m still a die-hard Eagles fan. I always will be, but people continue to take their fantasy team too seriously and disregard their feelings for their actual favorite team.

Who knows, maybe one day the NFL will turn into a giant real fantasy team with re-picked teams and everyone will be happy. Until then, let’s flaunt our jerseys and not our overly-clever fantasy team names.