What is America's national pastime? Some say it still is, and forever will be baseball. Still others say football is fast becoming America's sport. I say their both wrong – fantasy football is our nation's addiction.
And how pathetic is that?
Fantasy football, despite its nauseating popularity, is the worst thing to happen to pro football since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. It symbolizes everything wrong in the sport and beyond.
We wonder how wide receivers have the gall to hide cell phones in goal posts (Joe Horn) and fake moon fans in the stands (Randy Moss). We wonder this as we dissect their individual stats one by one and cheer for the player instead of the team on Sundays.
Whatever happened to say, I don't know, caring about who wins the game instead of who runs for the most yards. From the time kids are old enough to spike a ball in the end zone, we tell them the team comes first; the individual comes second. Instead of Indianapolis Colts fans, we're becoming Peyton Manning fans. And that's scary.
And you know it doesn't stop there. Fantasy football's symptoms extend to greater depths than simply ruining our children's outlook on sports.
CNS is crippling our society. You know CNS. Computer Nerd Syndrome. I remember when on beautiful Sunday afternoons, dads would look at their sons and say, "Hey, let's go throw the ball around." Now it goes a little more like, "Hey, let's go check the free agency pool for a solid pickup."
As a football fan I'm more inclined to go out and play the game instead of worry about how my numbers on a screen stack up against someone else's, but I'm a dying breed. The Internet is cluttered with millions. The football fields are cluttered with untrampled grass.
And have any of you seen the way they score these things? A buddy of mine tried to describe a play to me last week.
Well, this guy fumbled at the 40-yard line, which is minus two points. But the guy that forced the fumble didn't pick it up so he only gets plus one. But then this guy picked up the fumble, which is plus two, and ran it 10 yards, which is plus one, and was tackled in the red zone, which is plus one for my defense, but the defense loses a point for allowing that many yards in the first place…and I'd tell you how it ended, but my brain overheated and I passed out.
Bottom line, I'm in a nightmare that never ends. On one hand I have the fantasy world, while on the other end of the spectrum, "reality" TV is turning us all in to drones who actually can't wait to see who the "The Bachelorette" chooses to eventually divorce first.
Here's a fantasy for you. Football on the field, instead of on the screen.
Brett Okamoto is a sophomore technical journalism major. He is the sports editor at the Collegian.