Sports have long been considered a manly thing – except for figure skating, nothing that majestic can be considered manly. The stereotypical high school jock walks around like an ape, with an animalistic instinct to hunt down nerds and feed their ego by giving atomic wedgies or the rarely seen in the wild swirly. These people are not sports fans. Yes, they enjoy playing sports, and come Sunday they’ll be sitting in front of a big screen TV with chips and Coors Light – official sponsor of the NFL (but not of this blog) – and when the Quarterback on their favorite team throws an interception they’ll call him a gay slur in lieu of providing any actual insight as to why the Quarterback made a bad throw, because they don’t know that the Quarterback should have thrown it to the back shoulder, and that he has a tendency to not look off the safety. They just know sports are manly, and that big hits and slam dunks and amazing catches happen. But they are no more sports fans than Adam West is a comic book fan – I have no idea if Adam West is a comic book fan, I only know he fits the example I am trying to make.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have never scored a game winning touchdown, or slammed dunked the leather pumpkin – as Liz Lemon would call it – or banged a cheerleader, but I am a sports fan. I may be better than average at playing sports, but only because the average is surprisingly bad, but I am among the best at watching sports: football, basketball, not baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, again not baseball, gymnastics, women’s softball, one last time not baseball, little league baseball, I will watch any sport (except baseball).
A true sports fan is a nerd. Sports is all about numbers, and judging by the top people in every math class I’ve ever been in nerds love numbers – also I noticed a complete coincidence that they happen to be Asian, again, coincidence. In football every yard matters, in basketball every point matters, in baseball the percentage of times you’ve got on base matters, in soccer 1 is an amazingly high number.
With the invention of fantasy sports the numbers have never been more important, and sports nerds are becoming more and more popular. In short fantasy sports would be the cool version of Dungeons and Dragons if Dungeons and Dragons wasn’t already the cool version of Dungeons and Dragons – okay, it’s not really considered cool, but think are cool those nerds playing it must really be if their egos are fine playing such a “lame” game.
In less short, fantasy sports are generally when a person and a group of friends, or in my case random strangers on the internet, get together and draft players of a particular sport, in my case professional football, which happens to be starting on Wednesday. The goal is to draft the best players as one can at certain positions. One does this not only by evaluating how the players did in the past – or in short their character traits – but what their future is. How old is he (or she…probably not), is he on a new team, or have a new coach, who else is playing at his position, is he going to get kicked off the team for headbutting his wife? All important variables. Wait a minute, variables? But that’s a nerd word – it is, you never hear, “I might hook up with Stacy tonight, but there are some variables in play,” but you do hear, “I want to join your party and raid Lord Dragatron’s master castle in Dungeon Divers 4 (not a real game) tonight, but some variables might arise…plus my asthma’s acting up.”
Nerds may never love watching sports as much as jocks will, but I guarantee you that jocks will never appreciate the numbers of sports as much as nerds do. If you’re somewhat into sports but don’t enjoy watching entire games then playing fantasy sports are a great way to learn a little bit more about sports. You don’t have to know a great deal in order to play them either. All the players are usually pre-ranked, so if you pick the players that are highest ranked at whatever position you need you’ll do fine. Then as the season goes you just pay attention to see how those players do and you’ll develop a general understanding and appreciation of sports. Plus the next time you hang out with your jock friends – I’m not sure why you have jock friends, but maybe you do – you can say, “Did you see that amazing Calvin Johnson catch Sunday?” And your jock friends will say, “Shut up and go calibrate my computer nerd.” And then you say, “Watch it jerkwad, or I’ll go Ndamukong Suh on your ass.” And then you’ll have the quiet dignity of knowing you won their respect…as your using brown paper towels to dry the toilet water out of your hair.