By Aaron Garcia
Its 3rd and 3 and my beloved Chargers are up by three points. Their D is backed up on their own 7 yard line. Still the 2nd quarter and there is a lot of time left in the game. Tom Brady is under center and LaGarrette Blount is lined up right behind him. I’m thinking to myself “this would really be a huge stop and could give us some momentum, especially if they miss the field goal. Getting Rivers back on the field we can hopefully get scoring drive before the half.”
Fantasy Football Fan:
Same scenario as above, with a slightly different mindset, “Damn, Deon’s fantasy team is killing me right now. I don’t want the Patriots to score, but I could use a touchdown from either Brady or Blount. That would help get me some points in order for me to have a chance against his squad this first week.”
Now take these two scenarios into consideration and answer me this, would I be considered a bad Charger if I want the Patriots to score with either Brady or Blount? Obviously I want the San Diego to rebut with a scoring drive of their own, but am I wrong?
People who have no idea of fantasy football would ask me how I can enjoy football if I’m rooting against my own team. Simple I tell em’. Never do I wish for a Chargers loss and I will always put my beloved Chargers before my fantasy football team. Hard to believe, but I have been able to balance both being a football fan and fantasy fanatic for about 5 years now, and that I have never loved my Chargers or fantasy football so much.
Look at it this way; after your team is done playing, technically the football weekend could be over for you. Your football weekend could be done by early Sunday afternoon, or even worse, Thursday night. And all because you really don’t care how the other teams in the league did. Meanwhile us fantasy football fans will be watching football till Monday night hoping a player on our team can go off. Fantasy football brings more excitement to the game and to whatever team you root for. Of course you’re excited when Rivers to Gates gets the Chargers 7 points, but maybe you’re just as excited when Romo to Bryant gets you 20 points. That doesn’t make you a bad Charger fan. It makes you a great football fan.
But things can sometimes get interesting. The Chargers, being in the AFC west play the Raiders, Broncos and Chiefs twice a year. And I can already feel people saying “this guy does not have the audacity to draft any player from a division rival”. Well, Hell yeah I would! Drafting nothing but Chargers would make me happy, but losing to my friends every weekend in the league would not.
Here’s your perfect example, I hate the Raiders with a passion (what non-felon doesn’t). And I would never voluntarily see them play on TV (of course unless it was against San Diego). Their stadium is trash and their fans are extremely annoying with all the talk about rings their team won before they were even born. Saying all that there was legitimate thought on draft night to pick up Latavius Murray this year, who is projected to be their starting tailback. Now never would I go out of my way to draft him, but if he fell to me in a round where he is undervalued and I needed a running back, I would most definitely pull the trigger for him. Do I have any raiders on my fantasy squads this year? Thankfully no, but that is a scenario some of us fantasy football fans go through. One buddy of mine is a diehard raiders fan, and refused to draft any players from the AFC west other than Oakland. It didn’t take long for him to quit playing fantasy football considering the poor guy couldn’t make the playoffs with four Raider offensive players on his squad every year.
However I must confess, I did draft C.J. Anderson, Demarius Thomas, and Jeremy Maclin on different fantasy squads this year. Having high hopes for all three of these players do to extremely well this year, doesn’t mean that I want the Broncos and Chiefs to have good seasons. What I do hope is that all 3 of these players can live up to this year’s fantasy projection, which is to finish the season top 10 in their position, and I could care less what the Broncos or Chiefs do just as long as my guys get me some points. There will of course be four games this year where my Chargers will play Denver and Kansas City each twice, making these pickups much more interesting. Do I hope that C.J. Anderson and Demarius Thomas find the end zone against my Chargers one week in either team’s venue? Sure, but before I get chastised let me say, that I only want them to score if my Chargers beat the Broncos. The game would only be that much sweeter having brought joy and excitement to my weekend. Sometimes it does not go that way; sometimes you walk away with the Chargers losing because somebody on your fantasy team makes too many plays. Are you happy? No. Are you a little less angry? Yes.
So all in all fantasy football doesn’t take away from your team’s game. It makes it better. It makes the whole football weekend better. It makes life better. Fantasy football is almost as good as real football. Almost.