Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Ryan Autullo

I can't live in a fantasy world

I am not among the ever growing number of people who have a disdain for ESPN. Sure, the World Wide Leader is obsessed with covering big market teams and its over-the-top coverage of the Brett Favre saga was embarrassing. But it s a business, and any smart businessperson knows that ratings equal money. I totally get that. So I understand why ESPN is force feeding us fantasy football segments on their shows.

I understand it, but I don t like it. Last night I flipped on SportsCenter and was greeted by a live fantasy football draft participated in by everyone from Chris Mortensen to Method Man to Summer Sanders. Look, Chris Mortensen is the guy Favre texted to say he was retiring. Journalists dream of being in such a position. Now he s doing live fantasy drafts with washed up rappers? Really? You re better than that, Morty.

Listen, I love watching sports. I love playing sports. I love reading about sports and I love listening to sports talk radio. But thankfully I have not caught the fantasy bug. I simply do not get the fascination.

When it comes to nerdyness, fantasy football ranks somewhere in between Star Wars and the WWE. It s fake!!!! But what I dislike more than fantasy football is fantasy football talk. Nobody is worse than the guy at the bar who brags about picking Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss with his first two picks in the company fantasy draft. Be quiet. Again, I m in the minority. I totally understand that. But that will never keep me from making fun of my geeky friends that participate.

Other things I do not get:

Blogs. Not this one of course. I m talking about the guy living in his parents basement that works 20 hours a week at PetCo. Why do I care what he thinks? I m interested in what Joe Posnanski has to say, what Terry Pluto has to say, what Dave Hackenberg has to say. But maybe I m being a little too critical of blogs and bloggers. This guys does great work

MMA. I m not a violent guy. I don t particularly enjoy watching people s faces get beaten in. Again I m in the minority, and I totally get that. Exceeding my distaste for this sport is my distaste for the yahoos who follow it. If you re not sure what I m talking about, head to a bar when it s showing an MMA Pay Per View. Here s what you ll see: Shaved heads, barb wire tattoos, Austin 3:16 shirts, and guys ready to break glass bottles over each other s heads if their favorite fighter gets beat.

Senseless baseball stats. WHIP, OPS, OPP, BS, LBS. It s amazing that baseball experts will watch countless games yet still rely on these dumb statistics to make evaluations.

I m not trying to be negative, as there are some things in sports that I do get. For instance, the Olympics have been fantastic. And I absolutely get football. Only 15 days until BG-Pitt. That s reality, not fantasy.

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