IN THE STANDS: Tips to keep fantasy football from preventing other fantasies

Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse

Every summer, right around the time hurricanes start nailing Florida like a convict nails a $15 prostitute on a conjugal visit, a fever hits football fans with the force of a Category 5 hurricane.

The fever usually leaves a devastating wake of unpaid child support, unkempt yard work and an array of firings from every employer in the nation. The fever, which has caused more divorces than Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime, is known only by one name: fantasy football.

The Hall of Fame game is usually where the virus begins to spread. Slowly it worms its way through the fantasy baseball stars, to the lowly NASCAR and golf pick ’em fans, down to the real salt of the earth type of people: the die-hard fantasy football fans who are too lazy to fantasize about any other sport.

As the preseason progress, a smathering of smack talk floods each league, with every manager feeling as though his team is perhaps the greatest assemblage of talent in the history of the world. Then come the injuries, followed by a flood of apologetic managers trying to worm your second round pick from you in exchange for a kicker and New Orleans’ defense. But everyone knows Peyton Manning doesn’t go that cheap, not even on the black market.

Toward the end of August, I begin to question the fanhood of those who have not already had a draft. Real sportsfans start a league in the bowels of June, when leagues start opening up. Injury reports, preseason stats and Brett Favre trades be damned.

Every league has that one guy, who knows nothing about fantasy football other than the fact they want every single player from their favorite team. ALWAYS do a live draft when you have this guy in your league, for the following three reasons:

He will not show up. He will just set up pre-rankings with his favorite player as the number one choice.

For the sake of sportsmanship. After the first 100 or so picks, he will run out of rankings and the computer will be forced to pick players that are actually GOOD.

It’s hilarious. When a guy drafts Tony Gonzalez with the number 8 pick and gets Adam Vinatieri with his third round pick, it’s perhaps some of the best entertainment you can get in a half-hour without losing a thousand dollars and soiling yourself.

The final tidbit of advice to keep in mind is to remember it’s just fantasy football. It’s no good losing your head with your best friend because he won’t trade you Chad Johnson for Kevin Faulk. However, if your best friend just so happens to be the commish, and he cheats you out of sweet victory, heads may roll. The end.