There are times where I have to be reminded that those who read and participate in FantasySharks.com are a different sort than most others out there. We eat, sleep and drink football all year long, from mock drafts in June and July to the Super Bowl in February. However, a couple of conversations at dinner with friends earlier this week indicated once again that most NFL “fans” are not quite as fanatical as us.
One of my friends began playing flag football a couple of years ago. A soccer player in high school and a rugby player in college, he had never played football on any sort of organized scale. He has continued at it, and I was recently informed by another friend that he has become quite the slot receiver, catching eight or nine passes a game. So I approached him.
“Hey, I hear you’re becoming a regular Lance Allworth.”
“A regular Lance Allworth.”
“I don’t know who that is.”
Oy. Allworth’s only in the Hall of Fame. I hadn’t been this flabbergasted since a so-called “hardcore Devils hockey fan” couldn’t tell me who Denis Potvin was. Maybe I should have said Steve Largent. I dropped the subject.
Also at the dinner was another of my friends, who has had Giants season tickets his entire life. I believe his family has had them since the Yankee Stadium days. He usually is in charge of the tailgates for the games, orchestrating the time of arrival as well as who brings what food/booze. So you could imagine my surprise when he revealed that he would not be attending this week’s colossal match-up between the Giants and the Bears. Why would such a Giants fan not attend the biggest game of the season?
Do you really want to know the answer? He’s going to Florida…to hang out…with dudes. Meanwhile, as you’re reading this, it’s supposed to be in the high 60s in the New York metropolitan area. Nice time to take a vacation.
I mean, I couldn’t even fathom missing this game. I’ve missed family functions for important Giants games, let alone a HUGE game like this. So this begs the question: Are these two guys strange, or is it me? Are most people really just “fair-weather” or “casual” fans? If you have any thoughts, shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a topic in the Article Discussions section of the Fantasy Sharks forum.
One last comment on the Giants-Bears game: I was a lot more riled up for the game when THE PLAYERS WERE ACTUALLY PLAYING AND NOT ON THE SIDELINES IN STREET CLOTHES. But I still have to start preparing from now, so let’s shoot through some quick storylines:
McGahee OUT: Poor Willis. He rehabs from a horrific knee injury, becomes a first-round draft pick and usurps Travis Henry as the starter. His reward? Getting saddled with J.P. Lossman and a horrid offensive line. Now he breaks his rib and is out—just as he was about to face the can’t-stop-the-run Colts. Anthony Thomas starts in his place this week.
McNair’s Revenge: You don’t think Steve McNair’s going to be jacked to destroy the Tennessee Titans? You don’t think the Ravens defense is going to be licking its chops facing a rookie quarterback? I see a lot of Jamal Lewis, a lot of defense, and McNair to Todd Heap.
Eagles get back on track? What has arguably been fantasy football’s most prolific offense has been out of commission for two weeks. Now can Andy Reid get McNabb, Westbrook, L.J., Reggie and Stallworth back on track? Big divisional tilt against the Redskins will be a strong first test.
Kansas City on a roll: Huard is throwing, LJ is rushing, Gonzalez is catching, and the Chiefs are on a winning streak. They’ll go on the road to face a rejuvenated Dolphins squad, which is still quarterbacked by Joey Harrington.
Fragile Fred’s guarantee: What, that his groin was going to explode this week? Rim shot, please. Seriously, folks, Fred should have a good day against Houston—that is if MJD doesn’t take all of his carries. And Reggie Williams has re-emerged with David Garrard at QB, hasn’t he?
Saints and Steelers: The league’s most surprising team and the league’s most disappointing team. Judging by Denver’s aerial destruction of the Steeler D, you have to like Brees—but only if his WRs play. As I was writing this, Colston had a concussion and Horn had a groin problem. On the Steelers side, Willie Parker is your man against an average Saints run defense. Hines Ward should be solid, as well.
Dallas’ pent-up rage: Start all the Cowboys: Romo, T.O., Julius, Witten. Arizona is going to pay for the Cowboys’ shortcomings last week. If Arizona wins, Parcells will quit at the end of the season. Another interesting facet of this game is Anquan Boldin, whose production had dropped steadily for the two weeks prior to the bye. This means for the last three weeks, he has basically been a nonfactor. Do you have time to get rid of him?
Big numbers: Will there be another St. Louis/Seattle shootout? Only if Jerramy Stevens can catch a friggin’ pass. Marc Bulger has quietly had a very good season so far, and Steven Jackson and Torry Holt continue to shine. If Denver avoids coming out flat, it could run it up on the embarrassing Raiders. Jake Plummer has had two good games in a row now. With the Chargers D depleted, the San Diego/Cincy game could also feature lots of yards and TDs, not to mention thrown helmets and crying wide receivers.
Tampa and Carolina: Another stinker for Monday night, which is befitting of the entire game broadcast. Horrible production, horrible announcing. Remember, football fans want to know about Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives, not the ACTUAL GAME.
No-brainers: Roy Williams; P. Manning, Harrison and Wayne; Warrick Dunn; Chester Taylor; Tom Brady (maybe not yards but TDs); and Steve Smith. I know they didn’t need to be mentioned, but what the hey.
Chicago vs. New York Giants? I ain’t saying nothing, other than it’s going to be a colossal tailgate. And take the under.
See you next week.