Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

SI's Don Banks hates fantasy football, I don't

I stopped playing fantasy football about 10 years ago, but I'm still a consultant. I like fantasy football, but stopped having my own team because I couldn't stand rooting for players on other teams, or rooting for a TD pass instead of a run, or having a starting receiver scratch at game time and have his backup catch 332 yards worth of passes while on my bench.

But playing fantasy football was interesting, and really helped me gain knowledge of players across the NFL. It made me watch young players and college players more closely, and understand why a guy might be a fraud or a gem down the road.

SI's Don Banks detests the fantasy football "craze." Calling it a craze is strike one against his argument. A craze is a "short lived popular fashion; a fad" according to the dictionary. Since I was playing in the late 80's I hardly think it's a craze.

Here are Banks's top ten reasons he's not a fantasy guy, and my responses:

1. It changes how you watch a game.

I'll buy that. He equates this with bettors, who don't care about a win, but a win by how much. I admit that if I had Troy Aikman and Dallas won but he threw 0 TD's while Emmitt ran for four, the victory was bittersweet.

2. It glorifies stat accumulators at the expense of team players

Well, duh. And so what? And, I'm not even sure that's correct. It may glorify a guy with stats, but it's at no one's expense. It's in isolation. If a QB plays for a team with a porous OL, or no running game, or no receivers, the fantasy player is probably keenly aware.

3. It makes heroes out of problem children.

I could go on a long time with this one. I don't know about "heroes" but I think the fact that guys like Randy Moss get picked high shows that the vast majority of fans really don't give a damn what these guys do off the field. The media cares if Moss smokes dope. For the most part, fantasy players and fans in general don't.

4. The geek factor.

I don't buy this at all. Is there a geek factor? Maybe. But football stats, unlike baseball stats, especially nouveau geek baseball stats, like DIPS or VORP or Win Shares, are much more straightforward. Even the straightforward baseball stats are unlike football stats. A .300 hitter who doesn't hit homers, steal bases or drive in runs is not very good, but a 1,000 yard rusher, even one that doesn't score has value, and his value is easily understood.

5. The death of the NFL offseason.

This is filler to fill out his list of 10. The draft, free agency calendar, and overall popularity of the game make the NFL offseason short or nonexistent.

6. It's ridiculously and unfairly skewered toward offense and touchdown-makers.

The fantasy leagues I played in accounted for defense and special teams. Too heavily in one case.

7. All those confusing and divided loyalties.

This did queer it for me. The worst situation was when a rival team would score a TD to beat the Cowboys, but it would be the wrong player. Like, I might have Rodney Hampton on my team, but Simms would hit Bavaro for the gamewinner and I'd be doubly screwed.

8. The expert phenomena.

"Fantasy football transforms average fans into quasi-general managers..." I hate this argument. We're just fans, so we don't... know. Fantasy players can become experts in whether the players on their favorite team are really any good or not. Not all great players put up the best stats, but fantasy football can cause you to watch a player with a more critical eye. It causes you to look critically at matchups.

I think fantasy players may be the only one who understand why two different coaches took Barry Sanders out in goal line situations. It wasn't because he couldn't score TD's, it was because his running style did not lend itself to compressed field situations. Sanders would rather lose four yards trying to gain 10 than just put his head down and gain three and , you know, score.

9. The money aspect.

Never played in a money league. Banks thinks it might corrupt the game. Far-fetched; specious. This is more filler.

10. The trendiness of it all.

If Banks had written this in 1995, when I stopped playing, it might make sense. Fantasy football is almost venerable, and can it really be "trendy" if there is absolutely no sign of a downward trend?

24 Comments:

Anonymous Jordy said...

Aw, stawp yourself, "Donnie Brasco." What's he so bitter about?

I could just say "Hi Don, pretend football has and will continue to increase interest in the sport you cover, so that's only good for you" and leave it at that.

People watch some of the shittiest games for no other reason than some fantasy implication. He's bitching that people want to read his columns in April?

I wonder if Don's red-assed because he saw the ESPN heads were doing their fantasy draft on television last night and THAT's going too far now.

I tuned it in for about 3 minutes and thought one thing was great.

Da Ditka drafted Tom Brady, and everyone else started mocking him because Brady's not the best stat QB. Steve Young said Brady's "anti-fantasy."

Ditka, with his usual bravado, said he doesn't give a shit, he knows what he likes and he took a winner.

Contrary to what Banks is shouting, no one including Ditka had trouble discerning pretend and reality. No one said Tom Brady sucks, they said he's a fucking champ but fantasy's a different animal.

Don Banks's whole life is hyping problem children as heroes, for playing a game. It's just a hobby for geeks of my ilk.

7:12 AM

 
Anonymous Jordy said...

And another things!

Naw, but I did notice Banks acknowledged up front that the rant qualifies as biting the hand that feeds him.

7:47 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your new england patriot clothing blog! Check out my new england patriot clothing forum for lots of great new england patriot clothing info.

6:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a **great** site/blog. It pretty much covers football reading related stuff.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)

11:04 PM

 
Blogger FantasyFootballHelpers.com said...

Dear az --- Nice blog! I was looking for Fantasy Football Rankings related info, but stopped for a minute when I found you blog! It is great! I am book-marking it and will come back! I haven't seem a blog quite like this post! Anyway great blog, but no Fantasy Football Rankings info here I I am out! THanks...

11:50 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Draft said...

Hi az - I was out searching for Fantasy Football Draft related sites and stumbled across your blog. this post is not exactly what I was looking for, but I still stayed and sniffed around a bit! Nice site! I am off to find Fantasy Football Draft related stuff, but I will stop by again soon! Keep up the good work!

12:21 AM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets said...

az - nice blog. I was looking for Fantasy Football Draft sites, but I am glad I found your this post blog, because it is quite entertaining! I will come back and check it out! Off to find more Fantasy Football Draft blogs/sites... see ya and thanks!

12:26 AM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Rankings said...

Hi there az, nice blog here! I am looking for Fantasy Football Rankings blogs, but yours stood out to me despite really having nothing to do with Fantasy Football Rankings stuff. Seems like a lot of people enjoy your this post blog and I will bookmark you! Thanks...

2:29 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Rankings said...

Dear az --- Nice blog! I was looking for Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets related info, but stopped for a minute when I found you blog! It is great! I am book-marking it and will come back! I haven't seem a blog quite like this post! Anyway great blog, but no Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets info here I I am out! THanks...

6:29 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Mock Draft said...

Hi there az, nice blog here! I am looking for Fantasy Football Draft blogs, but yours stood out to me despite really having nothing to do with Fantasy Football Draft stuff. Seems like a lot of people enjoy your this post blog and I will bookmark you! Thanks...

1:52 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football said...

Hi az - I was out searching for Fantasy Football Rankings related sites and stumbled across your blog. this post is not exactly what I was looking for, but I still stayed and sniffed around a bit! Nice site! I am off to find Fantasy Football Rankings related stuff, but I will stop by again soon! Keep up the good work!

11:10 AM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Mock Draft said...

az - nice blog. I was looking for Fantasy Football Player Rankings sites, but I am glad I found your this post blog, because it is quite entertaining! I will come back and check it out! Off to find more Fantasy Football Player Rankings blogs/sites... see ya and thanks!

3:58 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Mock Draft said...

Hi az - I was out searching for Fantasy Football Draft related sites and stumbled across your blog. this post is not exactly what I was looking for, but I still stayed and sniffed around a bit! Nice site! I am off to find Fantasy Football Draft related stuff, but I will stop by again soon! Keep up the good work!

1:17 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Player Rankings said...

az - nice blog. I was looking for Fantasy Football sites, but I am glad I found your this post blog, because it is quite entertaining! I will come back and check it out! Off to find more Fantasy Football blogs/sites... see ya and thanks!

12:53 PM

 
Anonymous Fantasy Football Player Rankings said...

Hey az - got lost looking for Fantasy Football info but found your great blog! this post is not exactly Fantasy Football related, but I still gave it a good look and will come back.. Thanks.

4:46 PM

 
Blogger FantasyFootballHelpers.com said...

az - nice blog. I was looking for Fantasy Football sites, but I am glad I found your this post blog, because it is quite entertaining! I will come back and check it out! Off to find more Fantasy Football blogs/sites... see ya and thanks!

5:48 PM

 
Blogger FantasyFootballHelpers.com said...

Hi there az, nice blog here! I am looking for Fantasy Football Mock Draft blogs, but yours stood out to me despite really having nothing to do with Fantasy Football Mock Draft stuff. Seems like a lot of people enjoy your this post blog and I will bookmark you! Thanks...

2:52 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

Hi there az, nice blog here! I am looking for Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets blogs, but yours stood out to me despite really having nothing to do with Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets stuff. Seems like a lot of people enjoy your this post blog and I will bookmark you! Thanks...

7:29 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

Hey az - got lost looking for Fantasy Football Player Rankings info but found your great blog! this post is not exactly Fantasy Football Player Rankings related, but I still gave it a good look and will come back.. Thanks.

2:45 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

Hey az - got lost looking for Fantasy Football Draft info but found your great blog! this post is not exactly Fantasy Football Draft related, but I still gave it a good look and will come back.. Thanks.

9:22 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

Hi az - I was out searching for Fantasy Football Rankings related sites and stumbled across your blog. this post is not exactly what I was looking for, but I still stayed and sniffed around a bit! Nice site! I am off to find Fantasy Football Rankings related stuff, but I will stop by again soon! Keep up the good work!

3:40 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

az - nice blog. I was looking for Fantasy Football Draft sites, but I am glad I found your this post blog, because it is quite entertaining! I will come back and check it out! Off to find more Fantasy Football Draft blogs/sites... see ya and thanks!

12:14 PM

 
Blogger FFH said...

Hi az - I was out searching for Fantasy Football Draft related sites and stumbled across your blog. this post is not exactly what I was looking for, but I still stayed and sniffed around a bit! Nice site! I am off to find Fantasy Football Draft related stuff, but I will stop by again soon! Keep up the good work!

1:33 PM

 
Blogger FantasyFootballHelpers.com said...

Dear az --- Nice blog! I was looking for Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets related info, but stopped for a minute when I found you blog! It is great! I am book-marking it and will come back! I haven't seem a blog quite like this post! Anyway great blog, but no Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets info here; I am out! Thanks...

1:58 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home