The National Fantasy Football League.

Announcer: “It’s third down and one for the Bengals on the Titans’ forty-yard-line. Bengals are up 20-14. There is twenty six seconds remaining on the clock. Just a kneel down and the game is sealed. Just a few years ago any sane coach would call for his quarterback to lay down like a wounded deer, but in today’s league they play for more than just a team victory. Johnny G. in Charleston, South Carolina needs four more points out of A.J. Green. So the Bengals will march on to make sure A.J. Green receives his targets in the end zone, even at the risk of a Bengals’ loss…”

We, as the spectators of the NFL, are inching closer to a new phase of the game. At the direction Commissioner Roger Goodell and his swine friends got this league going, we could be hearing this come out of the mouth of each announcer on Sundays sooner than the norm acceptance of a robot titillating your carriages. Where did the simple pleasures of watching a game and being able to scream foul language at your favorite team for stinking to high chedder go?

If we’re showing our cards, I might as well reveal what I’m holding. I am just as guilty as the next guy of this obnoxious ritual. As an active member of the “League of Strangers'” for the past seven years, I have spent a greater part of my free time during harsh winters being studious of the arts of managing football players. My wife has probably spent just as much time laughing at me for managing a feux football team.

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I haven’t screamed at the TV for a player opposite the 49ers to run it down their throats and score as will! Hell, just last week I was skipping from hallway to hallway after Cardinals’ running back David Johnson scored twice on their asses. Who am I?!? Ho ho. But don’t consider me too inhumane. Each year I attempt to snag up a couple of San Francisco Gold Diggers so I don’t stray too far away from the home nest. [NOTE: Each year becomes more difficult to support a team that pays for Trent Baalke to run the show.]

On the flip side of it all, participating in a fantasy football league hasn’t been all that bad. There are some perks that many don’t shine light on. Not only the does the satisfaction of winning a few hundred dollars and being entitled Fantasy Football championship have a nice ring to it, but the ties that keep one attached to another helps warm the heart. After moving halfway across the states, it was difficult to keep up with old friends. Because of the league, we excuse ourselves for flooding of text messages on Sunday’s.

I can also high-five myself for containing myself from swimming at the bottom of a barrel. Rather than going out to some annoying chain restaurant/bar and drinking several pints of beer until I can’t remember how piss poor the San Francisco 49ers played that day, I can sit at my own home with my little boy and watch my fantasy team fall to pieces along with my favorite piss poor of an excuse of professional team.

So thank you, ESPN. Thank you for providing me this life of playing manager of a professional team I’ve dreamt about since I was eight years old. Those days of watching hours upon hours of sports and going to my notebook to create the “Ultimate Team” for each and every sport have not gone without worth! My nights of shelving Barry Sanders and replacing him with Ricky Watters actually turned out to mean something.

Who knew the fantasy life could bring so much good?

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