Ready for a rant? I am.
This week came with more season-ending injuries, more frustrating performances, and more players complaining that they don’t care about our fantasy teams.
Which is valid. The athletes aren’t playing to score fantasy points; they’re playing to win the game and earn money. They shouldn’t care about fantasy football, but it’s getting to the point where many athletes are openly showing their disdain for it.
Let’s look at three recent examples.
First, Packers running back Ty Montgomery. After he suffered a rib injury, he tweeted this:Before we move on, it’s worth mentioning the top three replies to his tweet. Here they are:
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. also tweeted recently about his fantasy football thoughts, saying:
Besides the weird capitalization, we all know that starting a sentence with “no offense” means he’s about to offend someone.
Odell’s Twitter replies were along the same lines as Montgomery’s:
Most recently, Richard Sherman weighed in, after his teammate Chris Carson left the game with a severe (possibly season-ending) leg injury. In a post-game interview, Sherman revealed his thoughts on injuries and how fantasy football affects them:
“This is really devastating. I think a lot of people, a lot of fans out there have looked at players less like people because of fantasy football and things like that. You go and say ‘oh, man this guy got hurt.’ But you aren’t thinking ‘hey man, this guy got hurt, he’s really physically hurt and he is going to take some time to recover and it’s probably going to affect his mental state and now he has a long rigorous rehab.’
“You are thinking ‘oh man, he’s messing up my fantasy team.’ They don’t care about how it affects your fantasy team because they are really players — this is real life. This is real life and this is their real job. that is affecting their well-being. Now your fantasy team may not win and hey, guess what? You’ll live the next day. This is their well-being. They may not ever get another shot. They may never get another down, another play.
“I think that is why it is so devastating for players.”
More Than Just a Game
Sherman hits on something that I want to spend some time on. One of the downfalls on fantasy football is that it turns the game of football into another type of game, where athletes are only as good as how many fantasy points they get you week-to-week. I’m guilty of this, too. It’s easy to view players as part of a game, instead of real-life people. When a player gets injured, we immediately think of how it impacts our fantasy teams and who we’re going to have to start instead of the injured player. We are more worried about our fantasy team than the injured player.
And that’s a problem, especially when many people channel their inner Donald Trump and can’t resist posting a harsh Tweet about how their fantasy team is ruined because of the injured player.
I get it, though. Everybody wants to win their fantasy league. You want a starting lineup that consistently performs well and can give you a lot of points every week. When that doesn’t happen, it’s frustrating.
But it’s important to keep in mind that for these NFL players, it isn’t just a game. It’s their career, their life, and their way of living.
Sherman’s comments put it all into perspective. The injuries may hurt your fantasy team, but they hurt the injured player’s career and dreams so much more.
Fantasy Football is Profitable
However, the other side of this coin is that one reason that NFL players, and the NFL in general, are so popular is due to fantasy football. Fantasy football has helped the NFL be successful to a certain extent, and is a huge part of the game, not to mention jersey sales.
It also allows NFL players to shine and be known. Jay Ajayi is a good example of this. Last year, not many people knew who Ajayi was. Personally, I knew he was the backup to Arian Foster, but I had no desire to have him on my fantasy football team. Then, Foster struggles, gets injured, and retires. Ajayi becomes the starting running back by default, and immediately explodes. He became fantasy relevant almost overnight, and quickly became one of the most-desired fantasy football players. Now, everyone knows who Ajayi is, and a lot of that is due to fantasy football.
There is a Point to all of This…
Don’t worry, my rant is almost over.
Football is all about winning, working together as a team, getting paid millions, winning
the Super Bowl, but it’s also about entertaining.
Think about it. We watch football to cheer on our team, root for our fantasy players, and BE ENTERTAINED. We want to watch a good game, which means seeing both teams make awesome plays and score a lot of touchdowns. We want to cheer, sulk, clap, yell, and feel something. We want our fantasy team to win, yes, but we also want to see greatness happen.
Injuries suck, to both the player and fantasy teams. They can kill careers and league championship hopes. But they also can put things into perspective. Take Davante Adams for example. If you didn’t see the brutal hit that Danny Trevathan laid on Adams, then you missed the hardest hit I’ve ever seen. The helmet-to-helmet impact immediately knocked out Adams, who fell to the ground and didn’t move. Honestly, it looked like he died. It’s injuries like that that make you realize that more is at stake than just your fantasy team. It’s people that are insanely talented at playing football, that are making a living by doing what they love.
You and I are just having fun, but these athletes are out on the field every week, giving it 100 percent, so they can make an impact and help their team win another game.
So, the next time your fantasy team loses a player due to injury, remember that it’s bigger than you and your team. Don’t Tweet at players complaining how you lost your game because of them, and don’t give up because your team sucks now. Fantasy football is fun, but it’s just a game. For NFL players, football is their life.
I want to know your thoughts on this. What do you think about all of these players not caring about fantasy football? Let me know in the comments!