Has fantasy totally replace reality as a reason to watch?
Here’s something I don’t get and I’m hoping someone can do some ‘splainin’.
All around North America this week, and it probably started even before the long weekend, men and women are pouring over statistical analyses getting ready for those ubiquitous NFL fantasy leagues that at some level have replaced cheering for a team as the reason people watch games.
I get that the NFL is built on gambling and on pools and bookies and, yes, these elaborate fantasy leagues (heck, I used to make a near weekly pilgrimage across the river on Saturday afternoons to partake in a free buffet before sliding a piece of paper with two or three teams and point spreads written on it to a rather large man) but it’s getting almost out of control, isn’t it?
Are the games that bad mostly that the only way to hold interest in a long Sunday is to have something going on nearly every game, to have a head-to-head matchup with a buddy to keep you interested?
Is it vicarious pleasure that your guy is better than his guy? Do we need to be connected in that way to hold interest?
There are friends who spend an inordinate amount of time ranking tight ends and running backs and kick returners and figuring out which guy has the easiest schedule to maximize scoring potential.
It seems to be to be at some level a colossal waste of time. Whatever happened to loafing in bed on a Sunday morning with some pillow talk and easing into the day? It can’t, and shouldn’t, be replaced by having to get up to look at stats and weather reports and wondering who you should sit out that particular week.
It’s the fun of an NFL Sunday supposed to be either cheering for your team or flipping through the channels looking for a compelling game to watch?
I don’t get it. Someone explain it, please?
Full disclosure? Back in the day, and I’m talking the 1980s, I was involved in a rather elaborate Rotisserie League when baseball first went that way. We all read the book, learned the rather arcane rules and went out spending our money wisely we thought and went year-to-year following our players.
But that was new and unique, a first and, frankly, interest waned rather quickly because (a) it was too much work and (b) I wanted to cheer for teams and games rather than individuals.
Now I don’t have the time or the interest or the inclination.
I know, totally in the minority, it would appear.
But, of course.
You expected anything else?
And to those parents who woke up bright and early to get the little ones set for the first day back, don’t worry.
There isn’t a lot of this going on at schools these days.
So, best back to school story?
Way back in the day, switching schools between Grade 6 and Grade 7 could be a tad traumatic and a learning experience; you’re supposed to all of a sudden be grown up or something.
Remember in grade school when the bell would ring at the end of lunch and you’d all go line up orderly outside the classroom door and march in?
Well, first day of Grade 7 at Princess Elizabeth a bunch of us newbies (and “newbies” wasn’t even a word back then) are goofing around in schoolyard checking each other out and probably feeling a bit self conscious.
Well, we’re there for what seemed like a long time and it’s not as crowded as it was and all of a sudden here comes the teacher – Mr. Embleton, I believe it was – to tell us we’re all 15 minutes late for class, there is no bell and we need to grow up a bit.
Don’t remember being late after lunch again except for maybe that one time me and a girl went to the counter at Food City and Towers for lunch and took our time walking back along the railroad tracks.
That, and starting kindergarten in a full leg cast after an unfortunate “get your leg caught in a woven fence trying to leap away from a charging poodle on the other side” accident.
Okay, if you’re going to sit around this afternoon watching Canada down in Caracas, perhaps on a stool while daydreaming a bit and loafing through another non-week week and you think it’s only Uruguay and how in the world can Canada not beat Uruguay, know this:
The Uruguays knocked off Brazil at the FIBA Americas tournament yesterday and there are no easy touches in this event.
I don’t know how many times over the past five or six years that I’ve heard or read someone say, after what looked like an upset loss: “How could they possibly lose to that country?”
Well, those other countries have skilled and accomplished players and just because they are not familiar names doesn’t mean they aren’t good and capable.
So this is no easy touch for Canada, there is no such thing as an easy touch, I know the players and coaches know that. Fans should, too.
Oh yeah, since it is school, be careful on the roads, okay?
Several urchins are on the streets.
I wonder if Argos-Als on the Tuesday after Labour Day and the first day of school with a couple of backup quarterbacks starting will set attendance records at the Rogers Centre tonight?
I’m telling you, when they go to put together the highlight reel from the 2013 Argonaut season if they don’t call it “The Season Story, Screwed By The Schedule” they will have missed the boat.
It’s entirely too bad, too; it’s an intriguing team that’s the defending Grey Cup champion and probably deserves better than it gets.
Oh, and the rematch next Sunday afternoon in Montreal against the first Sunday of the NFL season probably won’t be a ratings grabber, either.