You get a sixer of beer and a four pack of Red Bull. You head down to the “war room,” whether it's your buddy's place, or a “home office” you hastily created between your TV and a dying house plant. You peel the seal on the cheese dip and open a bag of chips. The warm smell of dormant potato air breezes by. You flip open your Hewlett Packard laptop, grab your pre-ranking print-outs, AND IT'S ON.
This is Fantasy Football baby! And there's nothing like it. It's as exciting as March Madness, with the totality of war. It meshes so perfectly with life that it's appalling. It's like Aikman to Irvin. Montana to Rice. Young to Rice. Warner to Ricky Proehl. A perfect union of winners and losers, sinners and saints, Chargers and Rams.
I can't think of anything so absolutely ideal for our current state of technology. You could be riding around on a miniature horse in South Dakota and still pick up a kicker in the 12th round from your phablet. This is a pastime that passes the time anywhere. A power-hobby that has become more aligned with Americana than heart disease and baseball.
And in case you haven't noticed this, Fantasy Football is the greatest circumvention in the history of degenerate gambling. Your commissioner could say “yeah, entry fee is $600” and you'd somehow come up with the money. Because this is our main Fall activity, and we do it for keeps. This “activity” has also turned us into insufferable geeky stat heads who post our draft results to Facebook as if anyone gives a shit. It turns us into fiends who neglect our significant others and forget to call our mothers from September to January. Staying up late on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays compulsively refreshing our scoreboards—even though they now do this automatically.
Who's injured? Who's out? Who's questionable? Who's probable? Who's questionably probable? Does Smitty have the latest injury report? Or is he gonna pick up Sam Bradford again? Should I use Fanduel or Draftkings? Lots of decisions!!
The combination of instant gratification and illusion of power is what makes Fantasy Football the cyber-Viagra that it is. You are the coach, the GM, and the cheerleader. You get hard on your players when they don't produce, hard for your players when they do, and thrust-happy when they score garbage-time touchdowns, allowing you to spill testosterone all over your league's message board just seconds later.
As of this paragraph, you're in six leagues and know more about Arian Foster than Arian Foster knows about Arian Foster. You're thinking about what the weather will be like in Seattle 7 weeks from now. You know players' tendencies, their absolutes, and the dressing they put on their salad. Just imagine if you applied yourself to nuclear medicine. Your contribution to science would be astounding… until Alshon Jeffery drops a wide-open touchdown pass. Then you'd lose your mind and burn the world.
This is your Fantasy Football boner, and no one can touch it.