If you’ve ever watched football at a sports bar, you’ve probably encountered rowdy fans that are way too into the game. If you’re with these people, you’re embarrassed. If you’re not, you’re frightened. When you’re sitting at the bar, sipping your beer while you casually watch the game, and some jersey-clad lunatic erupts into a frenzy after a sack or fumble, you can’t help but wonder what is going on inside their head. Why is this person so invested in this game?
The answer to this question is simple: fantasy football.
Fantasy football is deserving of its name. It gives regular Joes everywhere something to cling to and live out their post-high school football fantasies. This kind of delusional make-believe can be intoxicating, even dangerous. Especially when you add money to the equation.
Some fantasy leagues are among friends where no money is at stake, only bragging rights. Some leagues however, can have big buy-ins where the pot can exceed hundreds of dollars. When you consider the financial aspect, you can understand why some people are so prone to outbursts while watching football.
I witnessed them firsthand when I was uptown Sunday night.
It was late in the third quarter of the Steelers-Rams game. I was sitting at the bar when it happened. Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass, but the Rams defense brought pressure. Ben went down, sacked. Groans erupted around the bar because of the sack, but when Ben didn’t get up right away, that’s when it hit the fan.
As Roethlisberger was helped off the field, I could hear one patron in close proximity begin a meltdown. I approached him cautiously.
“That’s my f—-ng quarterback, man! That’s my f—-ng season right there! I’m f—ed, man,” the fan lamented, referring to the detrimental impact Roethlisberger’s injury would have on his fantasy season.
This triggered a flashback to a similar scenario a few weeks ago. I was at Buffalo Wild Wings when Tony Romo broke his clavicle just a week after Dez Bryant’s season came into question with a foot injury. This precipitated much of the same from unlucky fantasy players who thought they hit the jackpot at their draft when they secured either one or both of these star players for their teams.
If you’re just a casual football fan, I strongly advise caution when interacting with these crazies. Give them a wide berth if you aren’t prepared to risk life and limb when one of their players catches a concussion, a broken bone, or an MCL sprain.
If you’re a fantasy fanatic, I encourage you to rethink your life and consider making some changes for the sake of your sanity and overall health.
In the following days, it would be reported that Roethlisberger would be out 4-6 weeks.
I sure hope he has a good backup.