Figuring Out Fantasy Football

I used to love the NFL. Half a lifetime ago, you would find me in front of the TV at 11AM on Sundays, eating lunch and watching Sunday NFL Countdown for two hours before kickoff.

My favourite segment of the show was called, “Mayne Event”. Kenny Mayne would present an offbeat football story in mockumentary style. I always found it entertaining.

That was around 2003.

I remember the first Sports Illustrated Kids magazine I got. It had an NFL Preview for every team; Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers was on the cover. I still have that magazine somewhere on a shelf.

For what it’s worth, I always thought the magazine for kids had a better NFL preview than the magazine geared toward adults.

I didn’t really have a favourite team back then, but my Dad always wanted to know how Buffalo was doing, so I assumed that’s the team I was supposed to cheer for.

That being said, Tom Brady and the Patriots won me over in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

Since then, I’ve switched over to the New York Jets for a few years, and then back to the New England Patriots.

I am not a loyal fan, let’s be clear.

It’s like I got on the bandwagon in 2004 and thought I’d be given a reason to get off by now, but then the Super Bowl rolls around and the Patriots are in it (most of the time), so I stick around.

Hate me. I would. It pains me to know I cheer for such a front-runner, but oh well, what can I do?

Truth be told, I feel like my run as a Patriots fan will end when Brady retires. I’m already looking around to find another team to jump to.

I’ve always had a hard time picking an NFL team to fully support. Even in video games, I have no clue who to play as.

No matter which team I choose, they wouldn’t be followed as closely as a Toronto sports team. Plus, if I can’t see their games on TV, why am I a fan of them?

You may think that Canadians aren’t fans of the NFL because we don’t have a team to cheer for. You’d be wrong. Everyone has picked their own team.

Trust me.

Sitting in a class of 80+ other Sport Management students, you can tell who supports what team, very quickly.

Detroit Lions. Buffalo Bills. San Francisco 49ers. Jacksonville Jaguars. New England Patriots. Pittsburgh Steelers. Green Bay Packers. And more.

This is why when the NFL brought the Buffalo Bills to Toronto a few years ago to play some “home games” at our baseball stadium, I knew it wouldn’t work.

Everyone has their own team and in many cases, it’s not Buffalo. Sure, you’ll have people go check it out once or twice to say they were there, but if you have no rooting interest, you’re going to stay home.

The experiment failed.

Honestly, Toronto doesn’t need an NFL team. We don’t need another team to get frustrated about.

I don’t think we can handle the Leafs, Raptors, and an NFL team going on in this city at the same time.

It would mean we’d have to give up the conversations about the Leafs 4th line and that won’t happen.

You think I’m kidding. I’m already stressing out over how much ice team Connor Brown is going to get this season.

Anyway, some teams that peak my interest – other than the Patriots – are the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Jets.

Besides being really superficial and saying I like their jerseys and/or colour schemes, here are some other reasons.

I remember watching a playoff game between the Vikings and Packers when I was a kid. They were at Lambeau Field, it was snowing, and it was amazing.

With Green Bay, I just like the look of Lambeau in the snow and I guess there’s some nostalgia residue left over from that SI Kids magazine cover.

As for the Vikings, I thought Randy Moss was great. Generally, I don’t like athletes who are cocky on the field. They act like they’ve won the game in the first quarter/period/inning, when really, they’ve just given their opponent an extra boost of motivation.

However, I loved Moss’ theatrics. He was a superstar. Let him celebrate. Let him egg on the opponent. He can back it up. I thought he was great.

For the Chiefs, I just like their jerseys and how loud their fans get.

I seem to have a thing for jerseys that have gold, or yellow – which is always referred to as gold – in them.

And then the New York Jets. I abandoned them after their second trip to the AFC Championship a few years ago.

I don’t know why I like them. I have a Tim Tebow shirt from his time with the Jets. Don’t look at me, it was a birthday gift!

I don’t understand my own fandom, sometimes. It’s very rarely based on logic, and more on a feeling.

Anyway, those are my options if I ever ditch the Patriots.

If you support a different team and want to reel me in, now’s your opportunity. Give me your best pitch.

All of this brings me to fantasy football.

I’ve never participated in fantasy football, until this year. My draft is next week and some of you reading this will be participating in that draft.

Should we start trash talking, or something?

Between 2009 – 2017, my interest in the NFL dropped.

Being away at school for four years and not getting a lot of channels, limited my football options. On top of that, I stopped buying the Madden video games because I felt like they were the same game every year.

Combine those factors and I lost track of a lot of the players in the league.

My Sunday lunches were not spent in front of the TV watching a pre-game show. They were spent in bed, on a muddy intramural field, or in a cafeteria.

I didn’t have much space in my heart for the NFL, to put it romantically (for some reason).

Since launching this fantasy football league a few weeks ago….wait.

The league is called, the Intercontinental Football League because nine of us are based in North America, but Chris is in Europe, so that gives me a reason to call this Intercontinental.

Now back to regularly scheduled blogging.

Since launching this fantasy football league a few weeks ago, my fandom has been reignited, mainly because I’m a competitive person and entering the draft unprepared was not an option for me.

There was one night where I had a dream about fantasy football. I can’t remember what it was about, but it happened.

I’ve always had an aptitude for learning about players, to the point where if their name enters my head, I immediately know what they’re about.

That’s just one of my many talents.

I can also rub my stomach and pat my head while spinning counter-clockwise and doing heel kicks.

Again, you think I’m kidding. Sadly, I’m not.

I’m a visual learner, especially when it comes to sports. Show me, and then tell me.

So over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out fantasy football.

I’ve had to teach myself the ins and outs, as well as who the heck plays in the NFL nowadays.

I decided to throw myself into the fire right away and do a mock draft on ESPN, to see how much I knew.

The third round rolled around and I wasn’t recognizing too many names.

Feeling stupid, I regrouped and scoured through depth charts for each team and read up on draft strategies. Slowly but surely, my brain filled with knowledge. Funny how that happens.

I have to say, I know a lot more now than I did two weeks ago.

I feel comfortable heading into my draft next week. I feel confident in what I want to do. I feel prepared, to an extent. This is what I’m telling myself, at least.

I have to be my own GM, Coach, Water Boy, and Cheerleader in this situation.

Give me a P! PEEEEE! Give me an A! AYYYYY! Give me a U! UUUUUU! Give me an L! ELLLLLLL! What does that spell? Peayuell! Close enough.

These drafts have a way of going off the rails early on, in which case I’ll internally panic. And since I’ve never done a football draft before, I know there will be some, “What do I do now” moments.

I guess that makes it “fun”.

We have operators heart monitors standing by.

As long as the nine other people in my league don’t pick the players I want, everything will be just fine.

I don’t have a team name yet because although I’m good with puns and jokes, I struggle at coming up with punny team names for fantasy leagues. It’s just not something I’m good at.

I think it’s because I find my self-made puns clever for about six seconds and then I’m tired of them, so the idea of staring at a punny team name for five months is really off-putting to me, yet I do it anyway.

I also refuse to steal a team name from a list of internet suggestions. I saw one on Twitter today that was, “Don’t Go Chasin’ Watt or Foles”. I thought that was amazing, but I can’t use it because I’d know that I didn’t come up with it.

Anyway, this has gone on long enough. It probably should’ve been two separate posts, but then I’d have to muster up the energy to start a new post and that’s just downright daunting.

If you’re in a fantasy football league, good luck!

And if you’re in my fantasy football league, I sincerely hope you draft a good team, just as long as your players have an off-week when you face me.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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15 Responses to Figuring Out Fantasy Football

  1. bexoxo says:

    Growing up, my dad was a Redskins fan, so I too became a Redskins fan. I consider myself still a fan, but since becoming involved with my now husband who is a Falcons fan, I can honestly say: I watch way more Falcons games than I do Redskins. Because of this I’ve developed a little twinkle in my eye for the Falcons. Just watching the dynamic between Matt Ryan (aka Mattie Ice) and Julio Jones is somethin’ else. If you pick up either of them on your fantasy team, then you’re doing something right.

    I played fantasy the past 3 years. Though I enjoyed my time, I think I need a break. My team name last year was ‘We Touchdown There’ and the year before that was ‘We Be Jack’d Son’ (after the Redskins newest member DeSean Jackson). I also came up with my husband’s team name last year which was the ‘Falcoholics’ and his team logo was an upside down Falcon drinking from a beer bottle. 🙂

    Good luck with fantasy, but if you’re still rooting for the Pat’s, then you can go suck a duck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hahah Falcoholics is a fantastic name! This is going to sound weird, but I can’t get behind the Falcons for the simple fact that whenever I watch one of their home games on TV, the stadium looks dark and their uniforms don’t mesh with it. I think the artificial turf plays into the whole aesthetic too haha. Good team, though!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Becky Turner says:

    I feel like we’ve talked about you being a Pats “fan” but I’m still disappointed in you.

    I actually really like the “Don’t Go Chasing Watts or Foles” and would totally use that as my name if I didn’t already have one. (My second fantasy baseball team in college was called “Say Yes to the ReYes” after Jose Reyes, before I started hating him.)

    Hopefully this weekend I can take a quick peek at players. Also glad my work schedule didn’t throw the draft out of whack.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Ugh Jose Reyes.

      I’m hopeful that after I pick my team I’ll be able to turn a player’s name into something clever.

      Thankfully, ESPN ranks all the players in the draft so when in doubt, just follow that I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cd says:

    I honestly can’t stop laughing “Everyone has their own team and in many cases, it’s not Buffalo”. This has never been more true when talking about Canadians & the NFL.

    Side not, I am pretty heartbroken that your a Pats fan ….

    Also, really excited for fantasy football, I did take a look at the app & can’t figure out how it works but I guess I still have some time to play around with it

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      For some reason your comment ended up in the spam comments section and I didn’t see it until now, sorry!

      Heartbroken? Haha trust me I’m pretty bothered by the fact that I’m a Pats fan too. I’m trying to change, but it’s hard.

      I’ll try and explain the basics here (sorry in advance if I’m over-explaining).

      So with the draft at 8pm on Tuesday, at 7pm on the League home page there will be a link to the Draft Room. 10 teams, 17 rounds, 1 minute to make each pick, I believe you’re picking 4th.

      The draft room has a list of all the players, ranked by ESPN which is a basic guideline of when players will be taken.

      There will 10 starters (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex – which can be a RB, WR, or TE, 1 Team Defense, and 1 Kicker). Then there are 7 Bench spots we can fill with any position.

      From what I can tell, Running Backs and Wide Receivers are the most coveted. Kickers and Team D are normally picked in the final few rounds.

      As for how scoring works, all that is broken down in the settings section on the league page.

      I hope that answers some questions! If not, message me whenever. There are no stupid questions lol I’m figuring all of this out on the fly as well

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dutch Lion says:

    I’m gonna kick your *** Paul! Haha. I already talked trash to Cass and told her I’d kick her Cass! I know….clever…..I barely even knew ‘er. Maybe I’ll use that team name. Will people think I’m saying “Cleave” her if I say “Clever”? What is wrong with me!

    OK, let’s get serious. I want to comment about some stuff. I don’t mind you basing your teams on feeling rather than logic. To me, that’s what sports is all about. I’ve felt that way since the 80s. My first “feel” team was Nebraska. I’ve been a Cornhusker fanatic ever since. There’s just something about them. My dad had a game on when I was a little kid. I saw the red. I heard the crowd. I was sold!

    Let my hype up the Chicago Bears as your next team. The Bears are on the rise! After years of struggling, watch out for them soon! I love the young talent and the management. Our new head coach Matt Nagy is growing on me quickly.

    So why not cheer for the Bears? Papa Bear Halas founded the league in 1920. He is the guy who started it all. Halas went to school at U of Illinois and brought the blue and orange color scheme to Chicago. He invented the NFL. Chicago has the most Hall of Famers and the second most Championships behind some other team I won’t mention. The ’85 Bears had the greatest defense in the history of the league. Look it up!

    That’s it. I won’t bug you anymore but seriously, look into the Bears as your team.

    PS I’m gonna dominate the Intercontinental! The pressure is now on. I better get out my 3 magazines and start reading. True story. I’m a magazine nut. Watch out Becky Turner, Cass, the guy in Europe, and you Paul. You’re goin’ down!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      You make a convincing argument, plus I liked how they stole Khalil Mack from the Raiders (even though I hadn’t heard of Mack before that trade). I liked an organization with the guts to go get top players. However, I can’t forget the time the Bears made it to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman and I wanted to cheer for them so badly because they were the underdog, even though they had a better record than the Colts but the Colts have Manning so by default: Bears = Underdog. However, the feeling wasn’t there. I couldn’t get behind them.

      Maybe if they air a Bears game here in Canada some time I’ll watch and see if anything latches on for me.

      As for the fantasy draft, I just want to get it over with!!! I feel like I’ve gone through 73 different scenarios in my head and yet none of them will probably happen. Should be fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a die-hard Packers fan, I even have stock in the team. This is probably not the year to be all in on the Pack and expect a positive ROEI (return on emotional investment). But you are welcome on the bandwagon. We eat a lot of cheese and drink beer.

    Liked by 2 people

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