Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fantasy Football and Olestra

The holidays bring joy, glad tidings, holiday cheer. For me all that yule shit is wrapped in mouthguards and protective cups. I love football in a way that may be sinful. I dream about blitz packages, I study the BCS formula, I lust after defensive ends.* It's a family thing and more. You don't get away with watching Pimp My Bathroom on Thanksgiving Day if you've got three brothers. Two of which are much bigger and not afraid to punch a girl. So back in the day we played electric football, talking football, tackle football and collected Dairy Queen football helmet ice cream cups. My brother Tobin is more likely to call and talk about the Steelers linebackers than his son's first word.** Football is the tie that binds me to my siblings and the couch for three straight weeks. But with all the hype, the history, the love, let me make this very clear: I'm not down with Fantasy Football. In fact, I hate it like I hate the warning on fat-free Doritos. Anal leakage and Fantasy Football. Just not right.

Fantasy Football is for boys that don't get football. That's tough talk, I know, but I'll stand by it. You - boys! I'm talking to you. If you stand around Monday morning discussing which receiver got 117 yards and no touchdowns and why you started your back-up running back because he plays better on grass, my eyes glass over and I picture myself sitting in my black beanbag, watching John Madden and Al Michael's halftime report. Men that know football versus boys that like to spout statistics. Boys fondle these numbers and their fantasy team record, but it's like fondling a silicone blob, separate from the chest of a stripper. Terrel Owen's individual statistics have no relevance to whether his team won or lost. Fantasy Football guys have no idea who's in first place in the NFC West, they just know who's in first through fifth place in the BALLZ OUT FOOTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA fantasy league. That's not football, that's Dungeons and Dragons for ex-jocks. Emphasis on the ex. Real men snore, scratch their nuts, can barbecue the ass end of a dead skunk, and follow FOOTBALL not fake-boob-statistics.

Jim was coerced into a league this year by his employees and we huddled around the computer on draft day, selecting marquee players and discussing potential trades. It was vaguely exciting, but I felt dirty. I was cheating on football with phutbol. Eating a tofurkey on Thanksgiving. Non-fat Ruffles instead of Tim's Cascade Chips - Extra Oily. There's a reason the fake-fat variety causes anal leakage, it liquefies the soul. Fantasy football has the same effect. I feel like less of a person when I read the ticker at the bottom of the halftime report. Who are these people and what do these number mean?? What the hell is the score of the Steelers-Ravens game fer godsake? Fantasy Football is Metrosexual versus the Marlboro Man. It's Rocky IV versus Rocky. It's 57 degrees and partly cloudy versus 12 and snowing. I'll even go as far to say it's chocolate versus carob. I don't even know what carob is, but it probably causes anal leakage too.

* Jim's celebrity freebie is Steffie Graf, she of the long legs, fierce serve, gigantic nose. Mine is Michael Strahan, he of the 25 inch biceps, fierce pass rush, and gigantic... feet. Actually, Jim said no to Michael. He fears the... feet.
** Pooey's first word, after Mama and Dada, was Ditka. I'm not sure I'm ready for a Bears fan up in here.


Blogger V-Grrrl said...

This is beyond awesome and deserves an even bigger audience.

Sell it, Grrrl Friend! Sell it! Make em Show You the Money!

And anal leakage--doesn't that lead to rectal itch? ; )

11/26/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Ooooooh, Tim's Cascade chips. I ordered a case of wasabi flavor for my husband the Christmas after we went to Seattle.

I don't get fantasy football, but I don't get real football, either, so I'm a bad target for this topic. Still, it seems silly to have fantasy sports when you can watch or participate in real sports. So I think I agree with you.

Where is the second asterisked footnote? Am I blind, or stupid? Either is completely possible, as I am distracted right now by trying to digest my dinner with a baby dancing on my stomach. :)

11/26/2006 4:22 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

I know people who do Fantasy Football, but I don't really get it. Why participate in something that isn't real? That said, I had no brothers and no one to teach me how to play. Everything I know I learned from watching televised football.

11/26/2006 4:52 PM  
Anonymous tif said...

You are brilliant! From WHERE did you come?

11/26/2006 5:37 PM  
Anonymous LetterB said...

Damn, girl, you sure know how to write a polemic. Fantasy football is surely another sign of the decline of western civilization.

A friend who is borderline eating disordered once said to me while eating some olestra pringles: "Fat-free and a laxative effect? What's not to love?"

11/26/2006 6:34 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

beautiful. and no wonder. (I'm referring to your three brothers.)

and my money is on carob causing anal leakage, at least. because carob is satanic.

I hope you had a really nice day on Thursday.


11/26/2006 11:14 PM  
Blogger Ortizzle said...

I never understood football that much, and then... I fell in love with FOOTBALL. Cuz where I lived for a couple a decades, that's what they called soccer. So anyway, I am totally out of it, especially when you get into Fantasy Football. But I get your message loud and clear anyway. Because you are one of those rare writers who can entertain me just talking about envelope glue.

P.S. Soccer players have the cutest butts EVER. I don't have any stats on that, it's just my own version of Fantasy Football.

11/27/2006 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

"Anal leakage and fantasy football."

Girl, you are going to get some fucked up google hits from that little combo.

11/27/2006 6:36 AM  
Blogger meno said...

I didn't know that they still made things with Olestra. Butt what's not to like about anal leakage?

11/27/2006 7:37 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

I thought the new Bond was your celebrity freebie!

11/27/2006 7:49 AM  
Anonymous JMo said...

Go Pooey! I'll give him props for going with the perrenial bad boys even though I'm a cheesehead.

11/27/2006 10:16 AM  
Anonymous kathie said...

Oh, Mignon. I could have written this. I too grew up in a family of football lovers/players and married into one--complete with people who work in football and wield strict rules regarding when weddings, and anything but funerals can take place. I love sports radio, but totally cringe at two things: The early Sat. morning betting shows and early Sunday morning fantasy football shows. There is nothing more disturbing than listening to this phoney football talk...ugh. I need your help at my site. I know you have a story for me??? If you have time, that is.

11/27/2006 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a religious reader of my sister's site, but have never opted to publicly comment,... until now. This piece is so right on the money I hesitate to pile on for fear of somehow diluting its resonance. Instead, I'll give two examples of why fantasy football completely misses the point. The first is Jeff George. Great fantasy player, but one of the worst teammates of all time. While he put up big numbers, his teams rarely won and never liked him. The second is Maurice Clarett's 2003 Fiesta Bowl game. A fantasy poser would criticize Clarett's weak 47 yards on 23 carries but give credit for the 2 TDs. A true fan of the game tosses the poor yards per carry knowing OSU had to keep it between the tackles to shorten the game, and instead credits Clarett for saving his team by pulling himself off the ground to strip the ball away from a Miami DB who had just intercepted a pass and was on his way for a TD. Without this play, Clarett's team loses. He could have left his butt on the turf and no one would have ever blamed him for losing the game. But as bad an egg as he seems to have turned into off the field, on that night he was the epitome of a true football player.

In my line of work, the fantasy guy loves meetings, because they give him a chance to recite the five factoids he's collected from others' research. The true player skips the meeting to make sure his company delivers what they've already promised.

Way to go Prissy. You had your A game workin' today. Why don't you go ahead and digitize that powderpuff football game video and set up streaming feed so all your fans can see how YOU used to move it move it!

11/27/2006 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm integrating this into my dating guidelines. Men who do Fantasy Football = no. Thank you for making my world a better place.

11/28/2006 8:18 AM  
Blogger Orange said...

Go, Bears. (I can't summon up an exclamation point.)

11/28/2006 8:35 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Come, come, Mignon! Aren't you being a tad bit harsh??? My brothers (very manly, football lovin' men) do like their fantasy football. And now my college son is into it.

For me? No way. But, why don't they come up with a Fantasy Food thing? Or Fantasy Travel? Okay, I guess it wouldn't be quite the same thing.

11/29/2006 7:05 AM  
Anonymous PDX Brian said...

Give me a freakin break Mignon. I went to one of your footbal games and enjoyed it a lot. But if I had the opposing team's running back on my fantasy football team I would have really been into it. It's just a newly created extra part of a game that adds entertainment for lots of people. And I'm certain those that play fantasy football can sufficiently scratch their nuts or whatever they may scratch in lieu of nuts. Remember football is just a game that is designed to entertain (and make money, but that's another story). Lots of other people can't fathom how any grown person can pay so much attention to a game. I don't get stuff like The Bachelor, Shakespeare festivals and Burning Man but lots of people enjoy it so good for them.

Tell your self-righteous brother to relax. "True fan of the game"? Ha! He's kidding, right? Great comedy in that sentence. Does he apply that hyper-critical logic to everything he fathoms himself an expert in? Not everybody played football (emphasis on played) so let each fan enjoy it in one's own way.

11/29/2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Thanks Brian. I was really just trying to figure out if there were any Fantasy Footballers out there. One. So far one. Now get yourself to the bathroom - your panties seem to be a littled bunched.

11/29/2006 5:34 PM  
Anonymous pdx brian said...

Sorry to disappoint but I actually don't play fantasy football. Fooled ya! I enjoyed your column and saw it for it's entertainment value as opposed to a real attack on FF. But your brother's response combined with a boring afternoon at work cinched the deal of my response.

Oh, I'm new to this panty bunching phenomenon. Can an expert like you offer any un-bunching advice?

11/30/2006 7:16 AM  

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