We’re well into the 70’s on the toteboard of lockout days and nothing has changed. Waiting for court rulings, owners and players sniping each other, could miss games, fans are getting restless, blah blah blah…Everything these days is the same story with another spin. The one storyline that has been neglected are those of us who suffer the most. All of us as NFL fans are suffering each day there’s no progress. The ones who are agonizing the most are the FANTASY football fanatics!
The subculture of fantasy football grows exponentially every year. People are not recruited into fantasy basketball, hockey or baseball leagues. Why? Too many games! Too much time that is not our own that would have to be invested! The NBA has 82 games, MLB has 162 games and hockey has, well, who cares about hockey were in America not Canada. The point is with fantasy football, you sit down once a week, figure out the best matchups, check free agency, lock in your roster and you don’t have to do anything until the next week. Quick, easy and highly addictive.
Enterprising fantasy owners sweeten the pot by adding cash. Every team has a buy in and cash is paid out to the top two or three in most cases. Cash keeps anything interesting and this only drives the trades, free agency and player waiver orders and weekly fantasy call in shows on local radio. When is the last time you heard a fantasy basketball broadcast on the radio? You don’t because it doesn’t happen. For those of is like your own intrepid journalist, this has become a dependable source of income. (Back to back championships in my cash league by the way…hold your applause until after the three-peat.)
Never mind the fact that there’s an impasse over revenue. There are no trades allowed while the lockout is in progress. We’re less than a month from when fantasy football leagues start forming and we’re waiting on pivotal players who will be switching teams. There’s no way to draft wisely until we know where these guys will end up. Kevin Kolb will finally be a starter but where? What will happen with Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush? Both can be game changers with their blinding speed and the kickoff return touchdowns they’re capable of. One swing pass can get 50 yards in their hands. Chances are both make too much to remain on their current teams so they could make a huge impact wherever they end up next. Is the rumor of Brett Favre returning if the season is shortened possible? What will happen to Chad Johnson? Carson Palmer? What defense will benefit from getting Nnamdi Asomugha? That defense automatically becomes a top five defense in the league. Asomugha is a very smart player and he’ll be smart enough to run from Al Davis at top speed! Imagine the passing and touchdown records Philip Rivers will break if the Chargers add Steve Smith or Plaxico Burrress and the franchise tag is intact, keeping Vincent Jackson in town. With the number one offense adding another weapon Rivers will be worth more than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning OR Drew Brees!
Too many questions, not enough preparation time. Without our ritualistic June through August drafting we fantasy geeks die inside a little more than the rest. We defending champions have to hold our trash talking for an extra three months? What’s the fun in that?!? Lest we forget it takes time and creativity to come up with an awe-inspiring team name! The longer this lockout goes on the more lockout inspired names will turn up due to lack of said time and creativity. The lockout must end now, if not for the players, then for the (fantasy) owners!!