Thursday, October 21, 2010

Staring at the Standings

Exciting stuff.
Robby and his friend Tyler have been playing fantasy football together since the day they learned to use computers. One night -- around the time when they first started -- my mom and Tyler's mother Debbie were talking, and Debbie voiced concern over the inordinate and potentially worrisome amount of time her son was spending on his fantasy team.

"Don't worry," my mom assured her. "Robby spends his whole night researching too, and so does every other male in this country."
"But, he's not even researching", she countered. "He's just...staring at the standings."

The other day I caught my co-worker Marshall staring at his fantasy roster for 20 minutes straight. For the purposes of this blog, I timed it. And when I caught him, he wasn't even the least bit ashamed.

"Dude, look at my team! I'm 5-0, and I just got Miles Austin for basically nothing!"

As little as girlfriends may understand about fantasy, the idea of staring and staring at a static page has to be the most baffling. It accomplishes nothing, yet I'm willing to bet that any fantasy player reading this has done it, particularly when their team's doing well.

But why? It's difficult to draw a parallel, but the art world quickly comes to mind. When I think of museums, I think of people standing and staring at paintings silently for minutes at a time, and me being up ahead at the gift shop wondering what's taking so long. I don't get pleasure from looking at a painting, but others crave it. They're not staring, they're thinking. These artists have been dead for years, and it fascinates people to think about what they were trying to say.

Well when I stare at the fantasy standings, here's what they say to me:

-Good thing I started Joseph Addai instead of Danny Amendola
-I need to get my point total up or risk losing tiebreakers
-I like being in 2nd
-My screen could use a good dusting

As happy as I am about my 4-2 record, there's lots more work to do. Champions don't get complacent, and I know any time spent wistfully staring at standings would be better spent plotting my next move.

Oh yeah, or working.

Weekend Picks

UCLA (+26) @ Oregon (Thurs, 9:00 ET). Will the Ducks be the next AP #1 to take a tumble? Probably not, but holy crap: 26 is a HUGE number! UCLA is no Washington State. 

LSU (+6) @ Auburn (Sat, 3:30 ET). Les Miles is kind of an idiot, but his defenses tend to show up for big games. 

Oklahoma (-3) @ Missouri (Sat, 8:00 ET). Lindsey thinks all the OU love from the BCS is bad luck. Hopefully some more love from FVG won't make it worse.

Air Force (+19) @ TCU (Sat, 8:00 ET). Another big dog I like here. TCU's great, and will probably win, but Air Force is no joke -- they almost beat OU in Norman.

Panthers (+3) vs. 49ers (Sun, 1:00 ET). I know the Panthers are terrible, but does anyone seriously think the Niners are any better? As in good enough to be a road favorite?

Bucs (-3) vs. Rams (Sun, 1:00 ET). I swear this is NOT just because I'm starting Josh Freeman and Mike Williams in fantasy this week. Yikes.

Last Week: 2-4
Season: 19-17-1