Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Calling All Fantasy Addicts

Even Emeka wants to knock "that guy" out

By Anthony Peretore

Let me ask a question, is it possible anymore to watch a game in public without some goon rejoicing over his fantasy team? You know who I’m talking about, the “Nice, he’s on my fantasy team!” guy? The one who honestly believes that someone besides him really cares who his starting power forward is in his 12-team league from college? Is it just me or is “that guy” everywhere? He’s right behind you at the bar; sits one office down from you at work; yaps your ear off at family parties; hell, he’s even in the TV section at Circuit City. But the problem is that this guy has absolutely no idea how obnoxious he is—until now. Today I will provide the first step in eliminating the “obnoxious fantasy addict” from society with my “ Top 10 Rules on Fantasy Etiquette.” Enjoy…

RULE #1: Know who to talk to

You must realize that no male gives two shits about your team unless they are, A) in your league, B) your father, or C) gay and hitting on you. There are no exceptions here. If it’s someone you hardly know they may stand there and toot your whistle, but trust me they'd much rather shove the straw in their drink in your eye socket.

RULE #2: Do not blurt things out that sound ridiculous/obnoxious

Examples include,

--“YES dude, I just need 5 more rebounds from Peja and Dampier and I’ll sweep Cleft de Handlogten this week!”

--“Yo, is it possible for any fantasy team to be THIS good? I’m DOMINATING”

--“You asshole, I knew I should have picked up Kasib Powell with Sweetney out nursing that sore groin. Thanks a lot.”

Stop and think about what you’re saying before people think your either a complete loser, a total asshole, or both.

RULE #3: Fantasy can wait

In other words, stop sidestepping conversations with beautiful babes to check on how many assists Filiberto Rivera has in place of an injured Eric Snow. Remember that the stats aren't going anywhere.

RULE #4: Teams come first

I’m sick of hearing things like, “Ah shit, the Jets lost again but I think those two Jerricho Cottchery touchdowns should seal the deal for me in fantasy. That’s all that matters…” No that’s not all that matters. Back in the day, around like 1600, people actually rooted for sports teams. They watched every game not worrying about the individual, but rather the results of the entire team. I know this sounds crazy, but those were good times. I swear.

RULE #5: Limit Yourself

I went on Paul’s Yahoo! Fantasy account one day and I swear he was in not one, but TWO fantasy golf leagues. Is that absolutely insane or what? To imagine a human being sitting on his couch praying to God that Rocco Mediate bury a putt so that he can face his co-workers the next day is just unfathomable. Stick to major sports please (and as of this moment, hockey still does not count).

RULE #6: No Fantasy after 3 AM

Ever wake up and see some ridiculous transaction on your league page? There’s only one explanation for dropping Tim Duncan for Boniface N’Dong: alcohol. Remember that if you happen to be awake at 3AM, you’re either, A) drunk, B) an airline pilot, or C) insane. Go to bed man, you can make that same move in the morning.

RULE #7: Stop getting perfectly sane individuals to join your league

Remember back in like 1998 when a total of 11 people even knew what fantasy sports were? A time when all of the stats had to be compiled manually because those at Yahoo! and ESPN had actual teams and games to cover? Well something happened right around the year 2000 and it gave useless individuals like Eric Karabell and James Quintong something to do besides masturbate. It also made most of the sane sports fans slowly start to creep over to the dark side. What is the dark side you ask? The dark side is what I like to call the place where all the former sports fans go who are now completely absorbed by the fantasy world—you know who you are. And while it may be impossible for those individuals to come back to reality at this point, all that I ask is that you please stop trying to expand your population. Leave those of us alone who actually care about who wins rather than how many field goals Rod Bironas nailed last week.

RULE #8: Respect the real sports fans

Ever go to a bar to watch your team play in a big game? And there’s that guy next to you (or close enough so you can hear him) who is not rooting for your team or for the other team, but just for those select individuals on his fantasy team? Is there anything more annoying? Here’s an example,

Announcer: “Celtics down by 5, just over 6 minutes to play, and there’s ANOTHER steal by Artest…”

That Guy: “Holy shit, how INCREDIBLE is Artest? What’s that like 7 steals? I wonder how many I’m up on Hal right now? I wonder if he’s seen how many steals Artest has. It’s 7 right? I thought that play when Pierce fumbled the ball under the hoop when he blew that WIDE-OPEN layup was number 7? I guess I was wrong. But still, 7 steals? That’s gotta be some kind of record!”

Me: (Aiming my best death stare at his temple)

Announcer: “Davis for 3, YES! Celtics down just 3. And Pierce steals it from Artest, gives it to West, back to Pierce for the MONSTER SLAM! Timeout Pacers!”

Me (in That Guy’s face): YES! Did you see that? Where was Artest there asshole??? Huh? How many fantasy points did you get on that play? Call Hal and tell him to check that one out on SportsCenter, dick!

Some ridiculously hot girl: “Wow, what an asshole. What’s his problem?

For the love of God, before I kill one of you, please understand where I’m coming from and give me a break.

RULE #9: The GAP parallel

I went out for a few beverages last week with our buddy Brodeur. Quick background on him: he has a great deal of sports knowledge, seemingly always makes our fantasy league playoffs, but has yet to take home a title. Perhaps the reason why is that he constantly overvalues his free agent pickups (as we all do, I’m just making Brodeur the guinea pig). As soon as he nabs a semi-decent player and they turn around to have a relatively solid night, they receive the immediate label of “dope”. For instance a few weeks ago, in need of a backup solid SF, he turned around and nabbed Boris Diaw. And while the Suns’ swingman may have had a few nice games, to go as far as labeling him “dope” is just ridiculous. It’s a nice pick up yeah, but bragging about it is the equivalent to finding a nice button-down at the GAP for like $10 and immediately calling all your friends to let them in on the good news. Eventually I’m going to see the nice pickup (shirt) and see it’s effects on your team (the ladies) and it won’t even have to be discussed. In other words, just be happy you found a bargain.

RULE #10: Never try and teach someone about fantasy when you know damn well they won’t understand and/or never join a league of their own

Can you think of a bigger waste of time than trying to teach someone how a rotisserie league works when you know damn well that they’re just trying to make small talk? Like this Thursday when Uncle Lenny asks you how that fantasy baseball thing is going and you try to dance around the topic but he fires back with, “How does that stuff works anyway? I could never figure that out.” And your Aunt Betty chimes in with, “Go ahead, tell your Uncle Lenny all about it.” At that point rather than waste the energy of your mind and larynx, just pretend to have a bad stomach ache and in 20 minutes when you get back he’ll either be asleep or wolfing down his 4th slice of pumpkin pie. Trust me, people like this don’t need to know about fantasy and if and when they do, they’ll just create and even bigger mess for the rest of us.


At 8:02 PM, Blogger Saeed said...

Nice article. :)

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Mike Plugh said...

I know for sure that I've been "that guy" at some point in my life. Like many, I've become addicted to the Fantasy Basketball madness.

I've been at a Nets game barely paying attention to anything but how many rebounds Brian Grant has as my backup center in League #3. (A slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.) I've turned to my buddy and complained, "Why can't he help me out a little with a few boards? He's better than "Net X"....

The thing is, if it wasn't for Fantasy Basketball, I'd probably never care about the NBA anymore. I've posted here a few times about my disgust with the direction of the league and the unwatchability of the product. For all the dunking mascot, stripper cheer teams, and Nelly halftime performances there's so much distraction from the point of the sport. Fantasy is just one more.

The NBA sucks. The talent is watered down and there are too many teams. The players who enter early can't play within a team structure and most of the guys out there that make big money care more about their image than their game. They care more about minutes and shots than wins. Isolation hoops is king, and the only other play anyone runs these days is the pick and roll. What ever happened to the days that the Cavs would run the triple screen for Mark Price?

I'm old school when it comes to my basketball. Until the team contracts and guys stay in school for at least 2 or 3 years the problem will continue. At least I'll have my Yahoo! league to keep it interesting....I'll just try to limit talking about it to my buddy Patrick.

Check out www.eastversuswest.blogspot.com

At 9:29 AM, Blogger "rem" said...

getting tired of people saying the NBA sucks...plenty of other sports out there to satisfy your needs

what does suck is when the teams get lazy and settle for jumpshots instead of going aggressively to the hoop, the majority of the teams out there have not understood how to run a zone defense

nice list on "fantasy etiquette" my wife still thinks its porn (too complicated to explain to her-oh that's just some centerfolds of the WNBA i say)

i kno some fantasy owners who never even look at the standings while others are unable to apreciate a solid defensive stand

At 9:44 AM, Blogger c-los said...

take ur old school ass out of here then pugh....teams still run triple screens and not everyone needs college...lebron and yao didnt go to college and their just fine...yeah not everyone is Bron...but the league is full of bright young stars that most people if they really followed and liked bball they would understand....no more than ever there is less 1 on 1 for all you haters out there who say the NBA is too predicated on individualism....zone defenses and other rules prohibit that....if you want to complain about the nba then just watch college and keep posting on ur blog

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Adam Kaye said...

first, i actually have an uncle lenny. if he asks me about fantasy football i'll let him know.
second, there should be a corollary to number 8...
8a. Don't rub it in when someone else's team loses after Matt Bryant's mustache kicked a game winner against them...which happened to put your fantasy team over the edge. We care that the giants lost. The fact that paul edinger was on your fantasy team now simply makes us want to slam your head against the bar and defecate on your limp body.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Leave it to Adam to find a priceless corollary. We could turn this into a manual. Haha, manual, what a great word.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

Nice comments.

I agree with rule #4: Teams come first. Back in my day the Boston fans didn't care if I had less points and rebounds then Mchale, as long as we won.

I think fantasy players should also have a win category.

By the way fantasy rocks.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Erik Lundquist said...

I think anthony has broken all 10 of those rules.

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you cant make fun of that brodeur kid for picking up diaw... look at what hes been doing for that team this year.. id argue that hes the 3rd best player on the team.. you underestimate how valuable a player is that can play any position on the floor... that brodeur kid seems to really know his shit and seems like a dope kid who id love to meet!!

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

haha, ok brodeur

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God. Everything in their is SOO true. One kid in my league is that annoying person. I try to tell him to stop worrying about it so much, but he won't listen. I don't worry about mine really, but i'm in first place out of 8 and he is 7th. haha at the beginning of the year he said my team would come in last.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous the sockk said...

In terms of actual basketball, Diaw is a very important part of this Suns team since Kurt Thomas has been unable to do anything and Brian Grant has wooden legs. But he's only third best on the Suns since Bell has slumped a little and Barbosa got injured.


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