AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Friday, August 31, 2012
Fantasy Football is Family Football Here
This column originally appeared in the Sun Chronicle on August 31, 2012. AN INSIDE LOOK by Bill Gouveia
As we enter
the Labor Day weekend, people across the area and the country are gearing up
for the upcoming months of stress, pressure and enjoyment. No, I’m not talking about kids heading off to
college or back to school. I’m also not
referring to the upcoming election, the World Series, or the winter holidays.
boys and girls, it’s about to get rough out there. This is no time for the timid or weak. Warm up your laptops, print out your
cheatsheets, and grab a cold one. It’s
fantasy football time.
domain of geeks and nerds, fantasy football has crossed over into the
mainstream. It is now played not only by
true sports fans, but by everyone from motivated moms to disinterested
dads. The family and friends that play
together, stay together. And although
there are many extremely competitive fantasy leagues where “experts” battle for
big bucks, bragging rights are often the most treasured prize fought for each
Sunday (and Monday – and a few Thursdays).
many different variations of this computer-based hobby. Some involve simply picking the winners of
each game. But most require the fantasy
“owners” to choose players who earn points for their “team” based upon their
individual performance. That requires
participation in what is often the best part of the fantasy process – the live
My two sons
are in their 30’s (sorry boys, I know you hate it when I say that) and they
have some great friends. They have had a
fantasy football league for many years now, and over the last several have
kindly allowed me to participate. The
name of my team – Old Guys Rule – is largely indicative of the fact I am the
league’s oldest member (by a lot).
never more evident than the night of the annual draft. We gather at the home of one of the
members. There is a lot of beer, pizza
and busting of you-know-what. Every pick
is scrutinized by the group as a whole, and appropriate praise or ridicule is
heaped upon the person making the selection.
Watching the process is almost more fun than the season itself.
Some of the
individuals make a nominal effort to be informed on the personnel
available. They might have the latest
fantasy football magazine, or print out a list from one of the many helpful
websites. Others resort to far more
extreme measures such as color-coded charts and fancy excel spreadsheets with
an incredible amount of statistical information. My own draft style is much more the former
than the latter.
preparation consists primarily of scouring a few web sites and using a canned
drafting program to keep track of the selections. That’s in addition to utilizing my tremendous
personal knowledge of the sport and decades of experience as a football fan, of
course. This has led to mixed results
over the years.
season it all paid off. After being
consistently told how horrible my draft was and that my team would be lucky to
even make the playoffs, I had an incredible late season rush. I defeated the top two regular-season
finishers and won the championship. That
may not seem like a tremendous accomplishment, but neither of my sons has ever
managed to pull it off. Not that I ever
draft was last weekend. I was unhappy I
wound up with absolutely no Patriots on my fantasy squad, but otherwise
reasonably satisfied with the results. I
did raise a few eyebrows when I took a certain Bengal’s wide receiver with the
10th overall pick, and endured quite a bit of harassment for that
and several other selections. But we’ll
see who’s laughing when the season draws to a close.
There is a
monetary reward for the champion at the end of the year, but frankly the
bragging rights are worth a whole lot more – particularly in my case. And if I start getting a bit too confident, I
have only to remember that both my wife and daughter-in-law beat me in our
family league where we pick winners only.
Gee, I guess that’s how my sons must feel.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
can be emailed at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at