Sports

5 Fantasy Football Life Lessons

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I play fantasy football.

Watch as my machismo drips away.

Despite its rapidly growing popularity (an estimated 33,559,990 players in 2013), people like myself continue to struggle with admitting our rabid and passionate participation. Fantasy footballers are like the new nerds. Remember when comic book nerds were uncool? That is, before Hollywood employed attractive people and dumbed down comic book story-lines?

Fantasy Football is nerdy but not yet cool. Proclaiming, “I was screwed by Dez Bryant,” outside of your respective fantasy milieu, will turn a few heads, juke a few coworkers, and roll a few eyes. It is nearly impossible to get taken seriously while talking fantasy football.

But I understand the stigmas: it is a waste of time, a waste of effort, ambition, mental energy, money, relationships, opportunity cost, all that stuff. On paper, droves of grown men and women pretending to be NFL coaches between August and December certainly reads like a bad idea. We could all probably be accomplishing something more meaningful with our lives. Yada, yada…

Listen, I love fantasy football. I’m certain if aliens invaded during my fantasy draft, for instance, I probably wouldn’t notice. I’m that invested. The entertainment experience is better than most of today’s movies and TV shows, it keeps me engaged to distant friends and relatives, and participation is free (minus time spent and optional buy-ins).

But my favorite aspect of playing the game is the life lessons I can pull from. I’m here to argue that fantasy football isn’t a waste of time, but rather, that there is value far beyond its temporal and waning pride. Fantasy football rewards its players in ways that can prepare them for many of life’s most important ups and downs. Check it out: (more…)

Thoughts on Life & the Super Bowl (or, #StopEatingTheBananaPeel)

Hello world.

The Super Bowl was last night. Boy, was that boring. What a let down! Even as a fan of Seattle (from the Northwest), I was still bored. As a die-hard Peyton Manning fan? Ugh, I could barely watch it. What’s worse, after it was over, the game permeated all my thoughts: brushing my teeth, dressing in pajamas, tossing and turning in bed, eating a midnight snack.

Poor Peyton Manning, in my brain like a mouse. Not just Peyton but his great year and his team—all the records they broke. Then I thought about the Monday Morning Quarterbacks, the anti-Peyton crowd, who with newfound passion will argue again whether or not Peyton Manning is “good.”

Finally, I feel asleep. It was peaceful. Honestly, I don’t remember much. However, when I woke up, the first thing I thought about was Peyton Manning. Poor Peyton Manning. What a miserable soul we both are.

Then it hit me.

Why the Hell am I still thinking about Peyton Manning?

It scares me, that a professional sport has this much power over me, my thoughts, my disposition. If the Broncos would’ve won (or at least competed), I would’ve, potentially, showed up for life in brighter spirits.

Let me repeat that.  (more…)

How to Stay Productive in 5 Easy–Hey! The Super Bowl!

Today’s post was almost about my busy schedule (school, work, exercise, faith, Dexter), how I can stay productive and accomplish it all, lessons learned, and so on. But then I read an article about the Seahawks. Next I read an article about the Broncos. After that came a blog post about Peyton Manning’s faith, one about Richard Sherman’s mouth, and then…

You get it. The Super Bowl is on its way. I’m not above it. The two final teams are my two favorite teams (NOTE: I was as loyal to Indianapolis as I will be to Denver). So this is all pretty fun.

Now ends my talk of the Super Bowl.

Whoa, man, is me!

My 22 credit course-load is proving difficult these days; I haven’t even attended every class yet! However, instead of traversing down a dark and dangerous road which ends with me mounting a soapbox, screaming about the cruelness of time, I thought I’d instead share some great things I’ve learned and experienced, so far, from this new semester.

(What is this blog post even about?–Jim Gaffigan audience voice) (more…)

Baseball for Beginners #KillMeNow

Batting average. ERA. RBI. Sacrifice hits. On base percentage. Good Lord. I never knew the game of baseball required so many prerequisites.

I haven’t been watching baseball very long, if you couldn’t tell. About this time, every year, I find myself jonsing for a good team to root for (the short NFL season always burns me). So, why not baseball? It’s worth a shot, I suppose.

Like any good tale, I needed a hero—a team, something, someone, to root for.

Since I’m moving away this summer, I’ve decided to pass on any California team in favor of my future home state—New York. I’d love to be able to go to a game or two. My friends, the ones who watch baseball, they threatened to disown me if I became a Yankees fan. This left me the Mets.

So, now I’m a Mets fan. (At 22-29, I’m wondering what I signed myself up for).

ExSPECTATON

The Philadelphia game I watched was so slow, TV commentators discussed their favorite restaurants in town instead of calling the game. Consequently, I now know more about diners in Philadelphia than I do baseball.

It’s been a great season for the young Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey. I think… Everyone seems to talk about how good he is. “They” even say he is undefeated. It seems, if the Mets keep losing, then obviously, he can’t be; apparently, I’m missing something here. (I’ve since found out why).

Spectating seemed easy at first: a pitcher, a batter, some bases. Home runs are good. But no. Oh no. There’s more. Much, much more.

Here’s a couple quotes fromHow Baseball Works,” to give you an idea of what I mean.

“A sacrifice does not count as an at bat, but the hitter may be “credited” with an RBI (so a hitter can be credited with a sacrifice and an RBI, but has no base hit and no at bat recorded.”

I see…

 “On Base Percentage is similar to batting average but includes appearances which led to walks and times a hitter was hit by a pitch. It is calculated by adding Base Hits, Bases on Balls and Hit by Pitches, and dividing by the sum of At Bats, Bases on Balls, Hit by Pitches and Sacrifices.

Ummmm…

These stats and rules, they just keep going and going. I’m the type to want to understand what I watch, so it’s been a little overwhelming. This is what I’ve got: home runs, as we’ve discussed, are good, .300 is a good batting average, the lower ERA the better—though I still don’t completely get ERA.

My preliminary understanding, though quite small, has already given me a much more enjoyable watching experience, I must admit. It can only get better from here, right?

The Curve

The crazy stats, the info, the rules, it’s caused me to wonder something. Is baseball so boring that we created stats just to give spectators something to do in the stands? (Or the commentators something to talk about?)

Don’t get me wrong, baseball has been growing on me. I actually quite like it. As of this writing, the Mets have won 5 in a row, including 4 straight against the Yankees. So that’s nice. Could this be the start of something big?

Also, I’ve decided to start my own baseball stat. It’s called, WOB. (Wife on Board). How many games will I get my wife to watch? Here’s the math: Innings watched divided by games, multiplied by watchable games divided by wins/loss record. It’s currently zero.

Oh well, there’s always next year.

Any tips for a beginning baseball spectator?