Monday, September 12, 2005

Have No Life? You Can Still Have a "Fantasy" Life

Being a superior individual from a elite class of socialites, I will admit that from time to time, I tend to paint with a broad brush when discussing lesser classes of people. I remind myself that not everyone is fortunate to have the education I have nor do most come from the exclusive stock of family heritage as did I. At times, though, my collar-up bretheren and I have no choice but to chortle at the plebieanic methods that many of you rank and file riff-raff use to grant yourselves an ersatz avenue to add meaning to your fustian lives. One of the most pathetic and lamentable ways for many of you to achieve such a goal is to partake in the cyberwretch world of "fantasy football".

For the uninitiated, "fantasy football" is a competitive game played by obese shut-ins who, having absolutely no athletic ability whatsoever, still find a method to find football competition amongst their peers. Normally, fantasy football lasts the duration of the NFL football season and commences when a group of potbellied and socially eliminated males gather to "draft" existing football players to comprise a roster aimed at achieving fantasy football supremacy. Although drafts can take weeks to complete, the ability to study football players without the inconvenience of being gainfully employed tends to expedite many fantasy draft sessions.

Fantasy Football drafts are festive occasions partaken by repudiated misfits who represent the nadir of athletic and social ability.

In the past, the people you wish you were have chided those who play the "game" of poker and how much the card game has contributed to the lives of the classic "out of work, dead-beat dad American male". Many characteristics of fantasy football players are similar to those who spend their weekends playing "Texas Hold 'Em" while maintaining a life completely devoid of female companionship. Both tend to be paunchy and bloated loners who maintain their bachelor pads comfortably nestled in the basement of their parent's home. Also similar, they both take their craft seriously since victory on the fantasy football grid is equally congruent for the fantasy football shut-in to a substantial life victory achieved by a socially adequate individual.

Without such barriers as a job, spouse, or socially acceptable bathing practices, fantasy football "owners" spend countless hours on the internet scouring for quality talent in their draft rooms. (read: mother's basements)

While comparisons to poker players are plentiful, there are some stark differences that make fantasy football players even more godforsaken. Though the poker player mistakenly feels that his success is based on his own skill and not the 100% fortuitous crapshoot that poker actually is, fantasy football gurus rely on accomplished athletes for their rewards. Instead of "bluffing" and "folding" as they do in card games highlighted by high level conversations usually involving alimony payments, these dunderheads rely on the skills of actual employed athletes and merely sit in front of a television as their mode of competition.

Why is this man happy? Did he get a job or find a woman to actually spend time with him without monetary compensation? No. Sadly, this man found his joy in the fact that Oakland Raider Randy Moss was "available" to pick during his 12-hour fantasy draft last weekend.

The one enigmatic aspect of the existence of a fantasy football rube is the strange superior attitudes some display about their hobby. There are few things worse than watching a football game than after an outstanding athletic play on the gridiron, one of these woebegone destitutes informs all around him know that said player "is on his fantasy team." This outward display of giddy and useless information is seen as a cry for help by others, but for the fantasy guru, it is to announce that he is somehow wiser than those within earshot for having the superior "intelligence" in realizing his player's skill and drafting him for his fantasy team.

The etymology of the fantasy football "owner" can be traced back, usually, to his youth. In many regards, fantasy football is simply an extension of years of playing the insufferably aberrant "Dungeons and Dragons" with similar idiosyncratic companions. As years go by, women stay away while these pariahs find new ways to placate their male-centered instincts while massaging their misguided egos in convincing themselves that success in corraling a quality fantasy football team equates to intellectual superiority and social acceptance.

Although having no socially redeeming characteristics whatsoever, the fantasy football owner can hold his head high when "his" Quarterback earns enough fantasy points to help his defeat his likewise downwardly mobile adversary.

In the end, it always goes back to the class and upbringing of the individual. If a person is properly educated and raised in a cultured class, he will becomed learned, attend a fine institution as Boston College, and rise to the top. Without such nurturing, he will likely fall into the morass of worthlessness and spend his weekends, not at the country club, but at the card table or the annual Fantasy Football Draft party.

Collar Up.

- DW

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Six Months To Glory

Last Saturday was one of my favorite days of my summer. Sitting at a table with a handful of collar-up business leaders while enjoying the Symphony and nibbling on lobster salad really makes you realize your own individual preponderence. During the lively performance, one that brazenly mixed such diverse melodies as Kander and Ebb's "Willkommen" and Bernstein's "Tonight", my mind began to wander. Normally my thoughts would only escape to mentally affirm to myself that my salary exceeds those sitting at my table, but this time was different. As America's best college had just defeated a handful of odious 30 year-old Mormons from BYU on the gridiron, my fancies turned to football.

Here in New England, championship football is as expected as the monthly arrival of a Northeastern graduate's welfare check. Since the accession of coach Bill Belichick, a collar-up Phillips-Andover prep school graduate, the New England Patriots have been the beau monde of the National Football League. The great thing about American football is allows the lower and middle classes to share a sporting interest as the people they wish they were. Though your superiors enjoy polo and golf while you likely enjoy Texas Hold 'Em and belching contests, we can all agree on our admiration for America's true pastime.

Each year when the calendar turns to September and a brisk chill in the air kisses the night sky, football pundits from across America put pen to paper and begin to write the obituary for the reigning dynasty of the NFL, the Patriots. From such public school alums as The Boston Globe's Ron Borges to CBS Sportsline fecal dropping Pete Prisco, the demise of the collar-up kings of the NFL is always at hand. After several hours of pontification, your superiors have chosen to enlighten you all with our thoughts about the upcoming NFL season.

Indianapolis Colts fans have become accustomed to a sad conclusion to their season behind their lovable loser quarterback, Peyton Manning.

AFC Predictions

Division Champions:

New England (East) - 2006 AFC East Champion t-shirts and caps are on sale now at Gillette Stadium's souvenir stands.

Baltimore (North) - Proof that "Crime does pay" as Ravens' Linebacker Ray Lewis and Running Back Jamal Lewis spend the winter not in jail, but the AFC playoffs.

Jacksonville (South) - Jaguars fans may pray to the altar of Lynyrd Skynyrd and NASCAR, but this will be the year Jack Del Rio's Jaguars unseat Indianapolis in the south.

Denver (West) - Sure, the Broncos have the most overrated coach in the NFL in Mike Shanahan, but looking at that division, this is probably the best apple in a rotten bunch.

While NY Jets fans are confident, it's likely that it will be a while until famous Jet Fan "Ed the Drunken Fireman" tastes Super Bowl glory.

AFC Wildcards:

New York Jets - Though Chad Pennington is perennially injured and appears to be "light in his loafers", the Jets defense is good enough to finish second in the AFC East.

Indianapolis Colts - With such an offensive arsenal as the Colts, Archie Manning could lead this team to the playoffs. Unfortunately for Colts' fans, Peyton Manning struggled to beat the iron of the NCAA while at U of Tennessee and likewise cannot beat the elite of the NFL.

Throughout gay bars in the San Francisco Bay Area, Raiders fans are realizing that another gloomy year awaits them.

NFC Predictions

Division Champions:

Philadelphia (East) - Sure, QB Donovan McNabb choked under the bright lights of Super Bowl XXXIX and Terrell Owens is the epitome of the 21st century selfish athlete, but the remainder of the NFC East is a division of glorified high school teams.

Minnesota (North) - With pothead Randy Moss no longer running over metermaids in the Twin Cities, there should be plenty of narcotics to go around and keep the Vikings flying high.

Carolina (South) - The NFC's version of Jacksonville. While Sundays in the summer are devoted to rooting against Jeff Gordon in "Trailerpark-land, USA", their focus in the fall is on the Panthers.

Seattle (West) - With Matt Hasselbeck at QB, a fine signal-caller who wears his collar up, the Seahawks look to be the best in the west.

While Pittsburgh fans are in for a down year, some fans in the Steel City are thrilled that prices at concession stands at Heinz Field did not go up this season.

NFC Wildcards:

Atlanta - The Vick brothers may be social sexoholics, but the Falcons should have enough to make the playoffs in a watered down NFC.

St. Louis - Despite having a WVU alum at QB, Bulger will likely have the good sense to avoid moonshine on Saturday nights and lead a diminishing talented Rams for one last playoff run.

Super Bowl XL:

New England vs. Carolina

In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII, it seems unlikely that Carolina's defense, as good as they appear to be, can stop all of the Patriots' weapons. As Belichick accepts his fourth Lombardi Trophy in the last five years, the Patriots coach stuns the nationally televised audience by announcing that he learned everything he knows about football from Boston College coach Tom O'Brien.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Collar Up.

- DW