Sunday, November 16, 2008

Your Team vs. Your Fantasy Team

A busy Sunday afternoon. Watching your team on TV, monitoring your Fantasy team on the stat-tracker. The big question comes to mind, where are your priorities? Its the BIG "would you rather" question.

Would you rather see your NFL team of choice win over their most recent opponent? Or would you rather see your Fantasy team bring you one win closer to your own championship?

Its a tough call, but let's breakdown some scenarios...

The biggest factor here (as in most every scenario in life) is $$$Money$$$. If you've invested big dollars into your fantasy team, you are gambling (some leagues, depending on other owners are safer gambles than others, but overall, its a gamble). With all that in consideration, the more money you've invested into your fantasy team, the more important a win for your fantasy team is. The great part about fantasy football is that it brings the NFL right into your backyard.

The negative to fantasy football is the ability to turn you against your NFL team. Its a great way to "hedge" your football Sunday, but overall, being an NFL fan is about cheering for your team. I didn't get into watching football on Sundays because my fantasy team was playing. As a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, I got into the NFL because watching my team gave me a chance to enjoy the company of my family while watching the game, talk trash to my Steeler friends/frat brothers, and got me out of the house on Sundays to the bar to socialize with my other football friends. All in all, its cheering for my team that makes the NFL special to me.

Bottom line... I would take a Ravens win over a Mercer AutoWreckers victory every week. The random weeks when both are winners is a true treat. Even more so, and the point I really want to drive home is... you can't take fantasy league victories into bragging rights of your NFL team's home or (for me...) the away team's stadium. NFL team over Fantasy team every week.

I understand the money aspect to fantasy and why those well-invested into their fantasy teams would always choose a fantasy win, but for me, its hard to take camaraderie over the selfishness of a fantasy league win.

Thoughts? Opinions?


Joe Mandi said...

Yeah, pretty much a no-brainer for me, I always cheer for the Browns, fantasy team and bets be damned.

Basically when it comes to fantasy, I set the best lineup I can and let the chips fall where they may. If my top running back is playing Cleveland (and it's a good match-up for him), he's in my lineup, but I'm rooting for the Browns to stop him.

Gambling is a little different. Betting against your favorite team basically makes you a mercenary, someone without any loyalties who is just out to make a few bucks. Betting on your favorite team is ok, but I've got a really hard time disconnecting my feelings about the Browns with what I actually think will happen in the game. So basically I don't bet on the Browns.

GoodPointJoe said...

Alright, first and foremost, I root for the Redskins above any of my fantasy teams. I'm happier about a Redskins win than any fantasy win, 99% of the time (a fantasy championship might trump a meaningless Redskins win). And most everyone I talk to feels pretty similarly.

But I started thinking about it, and I'm not sure that, logically, you shouldn't actually feel more happy about a fantasy victory.

Your impact on the performance of your favorite team is essentially zero. If you attend a home game of your favorite team, it's possible that your voice, combined with the voices of thousands of others, might rattle an opposing quarterback and cause him to burn a timeout, but that's about as legitimate as your input can be. Most of the time, you have no impact on the outcome of a game, and your pride is basically a niched form of patriotism.

With your fantasy team(s), however, your impact is essentially 100%. You drafted the team, you managed your lineup, you made (or didn't make) trades, you grabbed an up-and-coming QB, you bid farewell to an under-producing WR. You control almost all facets of your team; you even get to name it. So doesn't it stand to reason that you should be more proud of the success of something you actually created than the success of a team that plays its "home" games in a stadium that's about an hour away?

I'm not saying that people are wrong to root for their home teams. As I've said, I cheer for the 'Skins and lament their inevitable failures as all good fans do. But when it comes to really identifying with your squad, taking pride, and talking trash, the fantasy team seems to just make more sense.

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