Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How 'Bout Them Cowboys

Not much political to say today, so I'm going to talk fantasy football for a bit.

Intense game last night. I'm not a Cowboys fan, exactly, but I do have Tony Romo and Marion Barber on my fantasy team.

I went into last night's game 14 points down in my weekly match-up, and considering Romo and Barber averaged a combined 42 points per week heading into the game against the 1-3 Bills, I wasn't too worried about it.

By the time I tuned into the game, Romo already had thrown two picks. That surprised me a bit, though I had Romo for part of the season last year, so I know erratic play isn't exactly out of the question. Nevertheless, it was still the first quarter, so I wasn't worried.

Then I proceeded to watch Romo throw his third, fourth, and fifth pick, and lose a fumble. Two of the INTs were returned for touchdowns by the Bills, which actually doesn't matter so much for a fantasy fan.

And therein lies the fundamental difference between a fantasy fan and a team fan. While the team fan wants to see the defender who made the pick dropped immediately, the fantasy fan doesn't lose any more points for a INT that's returned all the way; and, in fact, having it returned for a touchdown means the QB is going to get it back more quickly and probably need to air it out to make up for the opposing score.

This has always made me hesitant as a fantasy fan. Part of the beauty of team sports is the camaraderie that's forged within a team and its fans. As Wisconsinites, we know that camaraderie quite well when it comes to pro football; Packer fans are often heralded as among the most loyal and committed in the sport, and there's certainly a broader social bond that comes along with that.

And while I certainly have camaraderie when talking smack to my friends in the fantasy league, the fantasy mentality itself largely individualizes the sport in a way that works against broader social connections. When I'm cheering, I'm cheering for my players, which isn't something I'm going to have in common with anyone else around me.

But, I tell ya, when Romo threw his second TD of the game in the closing seconds to bring the Cowboys within two and finally give me the points I needed in my fantasy match-up to pull ahead, I bet my arms went up with just as much excitement as Wiggy and Owen displayed at the same time as Cowboy fans.

I just didn't care, at that point, whether they got the two-point conversion.

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2 Comments:

Blogger James Wigderson said...

I doubt it was with the same level of excitement. I'm watching the replay on the NFL channel later this evening.

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Well, it was about as excited as I've gotten all year over a play; but, I admit, it wasn't exciting enough for me to sit through re-runs of it anytime soon. You win.

October 11, 2007  

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