It’s barely Week 3 in the NFL and I’ve already seen a bunch of posts on blogs and sites about how people are annoying the hell out of them talking about their Fantasy Football points. I always wonder if people realize how crazy they sound when they talk about how they could have won had they only sat so and so. Or, they picked so and so last year and he didn’t do anything and now he’s balling out.
Kinda makes you wonder if they watch football at all. Football is a VIOLENT sport that is based on MATCHUPs which can change from season to season given the relative PARITY of the NFL. Once you realize this, you understand that winning Fantasy Football is as much about LUCK as it is about skill. In fact, even more so about the luck of the draw. And nobody wants to hear about your good and bad luck every damn week.
Fantasy football has become big business. So much so that the NFL now requires stadiums to post Fantasy updates. That was the first sign that the NFL, too, had lost it’s fantasy football loving ass mind. Can you say “gamblers anonymous?”
The first ad I saw and disliked was last week’s Chris Johnson ad that said “your fantasy picks not performing up to your expectations? Pick again on nfl.com” or something to that effect. A photo of Chris Johnson was on the front of the ad that had him looking so somber you’d think he’d had a bad season. That would be fine…if it wasn’t week fuckin two!
Now this week they come out with this Jamaal Charles ad which is totally and completely inhumane. You can’t tell exactly what injury Charles has in the photo but his face appears swollen due to his cheeks being puffed in pain. And his expression is one of pure agony. If you follow football you know why–the poor man ripped his knee to shreds which ended his season. How this makes anyone MORE concerned about their Fantasy Football leagues and LESS about a player shows the level of detachment we have to this MEN also known as human beings.
I’m not getting all Arian Foster on your ass and telling you not to worry about Fantasy Football at all when players go down. Clearly, lots of you have money at stake. In fact, if there were no money at stake there’d be less incentive for everything surrounding Fantasy Football to be so effing tasteless.
But when the NFL joins the ranks of people who just don’t “get” that portraying one of its own as some lifesize Madden savage is offensive I get worried. It makes me wonder how much they really respect the humanity of these guys who make this game what it is week after week. Do they realize they are using someone’s excruciating pain to promote what is really just a game in the loosest sense of the word?
And for the record, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the NFL used two dark skinned players with locks for these ads. There is a subconscious association of such black men to violence and beastliness. Brian on twitter pointed out to me that hey probably never would use Peyton Manning for such an ad. I think there’s some validity to that.