NFL & Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy is the New Reality

     I can remember the first time that I played fantasy football. I was working for the first radio station in the infant stages of my broadcast career and my immediate supervisor, Afternoon Jock and Music Director for Colorado Springs' KRDO Jeff Zaiger, was expressing concern that a fellow coworker was dropping out of his league. He needed a warm body for the beatings. I also blame this mentor of mine for getting me addicted to another personal vice -- poker -- but that's for another blog. His league was unwelcoming to newcomers. A keeper league where you could holdover three players. I signed up onto a losing team, and my best options were Curtis Martin, Chad Pennington and Trent Green. If I remember right, two if not all of them went down with season-ending injuries. But I had some sweet pickups in the draft all the same, scooping up a young Jason Witten and drafting Steve Smith before his career best season. I was woefully short of the playoffs, but the fantasy seed was planted.

       I've never been a fan of a super team or a champion who has won it all. I've had more than my fair share of heartaches, lost bets and bummed out off seasons of misery. Fantasy football is salvation for any Cleveland Browns, Saint Louis Rams or Oakland Raiders fan. Bills, Jaguars and Dolphins fans, oh my, yes, you have something to root for on Sunday now too. While Brandon Weeden may be a terrible pro, it may not matter because a Dawg Pounder owns Calvin Johnson or LeSean McCoy bringing fantasy trophy gold to town!  How limited and narrow a perspective of rooting and caring for only one gridiron contest on the weekends. It's archaic even in this web savvy era of social media and smart phone web browsing. The NFL and ESPN recognize the popularity of the game too, offering free leagues to players in exchange for web hits and profitability. 

         But I must confess that I am on the overboard swing of intense crazy. Often the butt of prods and teases from my friends, I make, edit and redesign draft boards throughout the off season -- before and after the draft and even during training camp. This year I'm playing in 11 leagues over four websites, and, who knows, I can sign up for more.  Sports writer and best friend Jonathan Heeter even says, "Why watch the games, you own every player in one of your nine million leagues?!" But it's the thrill of the competition that hooks me like an angler. I'm not flawless and certainly make the most moves of anyone in my fantasy leagues, often obsessing about the best player. I don't win every league, but wouldn't you want someone this neurotic to be your blogger? Bottom line, the game is great -- if it wasn't, interest in fantasy football would be low. Did you know that there's such a thing as fantasy golf? You didn't? Know why? That's because golf is weak. It exists, but no one cares. And the best part is that, in this blogger's opinion, the better you are at the fantasy football game, the better fan you truly are. You win by knowing more -- nuff said. You draft an elite team strong in depth and sneaky in sleepers. You make swift moves to pick up the season's stars who break out in the first month by surprise to all. And you trash talk, trash talk, trash talk. The only thing you can twist or break in this game is ego and pride. And sports in general tickle the need to bash both. 

         My name is Jason Hawk. I've done local radio for six years and currently can be heard on afternoon drive on Peach 96.5, on the weekends on Q-106.3 or any countless commercials. Music and football are my two greatest passions. Thanks for being a first time reader, and I hope I can bring you back with some great info to prep you for your draft or help you with lineup questions throughout the year. So keep checking back. On the next blog post we'll take a look at the various websites to play through as well as the best resources for player news on the Internet. I'm a list junkie, so don't worry about my numbering favorites. Dominate on three.  1-2-3 ...

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