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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Sports Spiel


Photo by Davin Surin




Jon Mael- Stupid Pastime

Let me start off by saying that I play fantasy football. Every year I tell myself that I won’t do it and every year a group of friends or co-workers suckers me into joining a league with the allure of a 500 dollar payoff and yearlong bragging rights. What happens every year is that I start to notice my fandom being stretched in a dozen directions and my undying love of the Patriots being compromised. Fantasy football is a game made for the fan that needs a reason to get into the game. The fan that finds football itself boring but when a laptop is suddenly shoved in his or her face with the prospect of making a little money and doing a little gloating around the office or the lunch table is a diehard.

What the game does that is so destructive is force a team’s owner to root for players from across the NFL. Case in point: I have Larry Fitzgerald on my team, and the Cardinals were playing the Pats last week. He caught a pass but was stopped at the line of scrimmage and I shouted out towards the field (I work at the stadium) “WHY’D YOU STOP HIM?!”  After I realized what I was saying, I immediately kicked myself for letting my stupid fantasy team get in the way of what really matters: my love for this Patriots team.

I don’t care how good my team does in a given week. I hate rooting for the running back from one team, the tight end from another and the defense from a third. The worst situation is when you have a quarterback who’s facing a defense that you also are playing. You just sit in front of your TV unhappy, because no matter who does well, you’ll lose points. I swear that this is the last year that I’ll ever play this pointless game. No amount of money, gloating, Hooters girls or anything else should come between someone and their favorite team.

I love the game of football to a fault, but I want to be thrilled by every great play, not just the ones made by guys on my team. Football was not meant to be played on a laptop in a heated apartment. It was created for play on grass outdoors in the fall, so let’s keep it that way. Besides, to quote the late Steve Sabol, “If you were good enough to be a GM, you’d be a GM.”



Nick Dayal- Innocent Fun

Do you remember what it was like being a child? Possibilities were unlimited. Do you remember debating between being a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys or the shortstop for the New York Yankees or point guard for the Boston Celtics? Or maybe some combination of the three? Remember when people used to tell you that you could be “whatever you wanted to be” when you grew up? Well, those days are over. You are reading the Mass Media now. None of your dreams came true. Your parents are probably just happy that you are not in jail.

But rest assured: there is good news! It is called fantasy football. It is fast, easy and fun. Join a league online with complete strangers, or create a league among friends. Play for bragging rights, or throw your life’s savings in the mix and make it interesting!

If you have a favorite team like I do, then you live or die with a win or a loss. And if your favorite team is anything like mine (the Jets), then you live a sad and miserable life. Being in a league makes Sundays that much better. Fantasy teams are comprised of players from all over the NFL, so you have more than just your favorite team’s game to look forward to watching.

In fantasy football you manage your own team. You can bench players, drop them, trade them, or pick up free agents. It is the closest thing you’ll get to being in the NFL, other than possibly becoming a mascot if your background check comes back clean.

I might not be a Super Bowl champion, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, or starting shortstop for the Yankees like I had planned to be by age 23. I am probably not even a candidate for bat boy at this point. But I still have my fantasy football team. Every week I look forward to smashing my friends, talking smack and moving closer to make-believe glory. Even Jon Mael has a fantasy football team, albeit a shitty one.

So in some fantastical world of fake teams and make-believe point systems, I am still a legend. I am sure my climb from the bottom to the top will build character and gain respect from those in my league.