One of the purposes of this blog is to take something from our podcasts and expand on it in an interesting and/or humorous way for you, the reader. I’m going to defeat both those goals immediately by telling you about my fantasy football team.
On these episodes of Home Dunk and A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment (which you can also listen to on iTunes, please and thank you), the love/hate relationship people have with football drives much of the conversation. John Moe knows college football is corrupt and wrong, but enjoys the game anyway. Jess and Sherman welcomed author Steve Almond, a diehard former fan who has written a book called Against Football. Almond no longer enjoys the game, as the title of the book should make abundantly clear.
THERE IS NO REASON WE SHOULD LIKE FOOTBALL, yet we do. I do. Here are just some of the hurdles you and I have to clear or flat ignore in order to watch it:
- The physical toll on a football player’s body and brain.
- The NCAA.
- The guy on video dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator was suspended half as long as the guy who was drinking beer in his own home. (And half as long as the guy who was dressed like this at the Kentucky Derby. I will allow that the wardrobe deserves a harsh reckoning.)
- Every football owner except for maybe three is Montgomery Burns. And Jerry Jones IS The Rich Texan.
- Publicly funded stadiums for said owners.
- Want to report a sexual assault by football players on campus? Good luck.
- The major sports network airing a story about the one out gay player’s shower habits.
I could go on. I could have made a list just about the Minnesota Vikings, the team I’ve followed since childhood. Despite all I know about them, their owner, and their special teams coach, I’m planning my Sunday around watching them play the St. Louis Rams.
Back to my fantasy football draft. I consciously tried not to draft assholes this year, in my attempt at a Nobel Prize for The Tiniest, Most Insignificant Gesture Imaginable. This can be tough, because some of the best players in the game have turned out to be genuine, indictable creeps. But this year, it was fairly easy. Unconscious fiancée-dragger Ray Rice is coming off a down year. Possible murderer Aaron Hernandez is in jail. And the bad person who likes to yell racial slurs at Kenny Chesney shows is not the primary receiver in an innovative Philadelphia offense.
Of course, I ended up drafting Alfred Morris and Jordan Reed, two people who seem to be upstanding citizens (Morris still drives a 1991 Mazda, for pity’s sake), but who also play for a team whose name is an epithet for Native Americans and is owned by Dan Snyder. In other words, I failed my asshole goal by proxy.
I’m a flawed human being, is the point I’m trying to make. And a staggering number of other flawed human beings are going to watch Seattle take on Green Bay in the NFL season opener on Thursday night.
I’m ready for some football. And I kind of hate myself for it.