The Question

by Ryan

I like fantasy football.

I don’t mind how it has completely changed the way I watch meaningless regular season football games. It doesn’t change the way I root for the Bills, and it doesn’t ruin good football games if I have fantasy players involved in them. I can multi task, and I actually think fantasy football makes me a better, more involved football fan.

I can even comprehend how it has changed the way we as fans think of “good” players, and I am okay with that change. I have two different fantasy football leagues, one of which is a keeper league. That’s it. I thought I was an average football fan, but now I’m not so sure. Why?

Well, I saw The League last night and I didn’t like it.

I don’t have a particular reason for not liking it. In fact, I was sort of looking forward to it. I missed the first season entirely, but it was advertised like crazy over the past few weeks and I understood the concept enough to give it a shot. Since I watched the first four seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and was watching the start of Season 6 anyway, I figured why not give it a shot?

So I did, and I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. What’s interesting is that I really liked the concept, I just thought it could have been done better. I didn’t love any of the characters, I didn’t really laugh and despite the familiar faces, I didn’t enjoy any of the performances.

It just wasn’t for me, I guess. I know plenty of people who really like it, but I wasn’t blown away by it at first take. I’m not usually that critical about shows, either. In fact, my take on The League makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me, not the show.

The more I think about it, The League is completely unrealistic to me because I’ve never been in a fantasy league like that. I’ve done fantasy leagues with plenty of people in a number of different sports, and they all have turned out the same way: quiet.

The draft is fun, you see people you haven’t in a while and everyone gets down to business. A few hours later and it’s over, and that’s about it. You pay your entry fee and hope to get it back at the end of the season. If, you know, you see your commissioner in a few months.

There’s no ridiculous wagers, no gigantic trophy, and no relentless smack talk. In fact, the leagues I’ve been in have little to no trash talk whatsoever. There are more complaints about rules or waiver claims than anything, not smack talk about a fantasy score or someone’s team.

This isn’t just about football, either. In fact, the most vocal fantasy league I’ve ever been in was a fantasy NASCAR league I won a few years ago. (Yes, fantasy NASCAR. It was actually a lot of fun) I was a few decades younger than the rest of the members, and when I won the league they didn’t take too kindly to it. There was a pretty active message board and plenty to brag about despite the fact that NASCAR is something I know very little about. It was actually a lot of fun.

Still, nothing I saw last night was familiar to me; and maybe that’s why I didn’t like the show. What I wonder is if anyone has had the same problem I do, or if I’m just over-thinking what is actually a very funny show.

Are your fantasy leagues muted and mild, or do you have weekly email threads filled with rage and trash talk? Am I missing out on something here? Should I get new friends, or is a quiet fantasy experience a more common than we are led to believe?


  1. Mike

    Yeah, no league I’ve been in has been like that either, although I’m not a big FFer. I couldn’t watch the show though for the same reason. I wanted to like it. Although I suppose nobody would watch a show about a quiet fantasy football league. I have a feeling a lot of the humor of the show comes from it being so over the top.

  2. Mark B.

    I haven’t seen the show, but the leagues I’m in have a little trash talking but it’s always in good fun. I wouldn’t want to be in a “cutthroat” league. I love fantasy football and that would take all the joy out of it for me.

  3. Sabresfan88

    I’m just the opposite. I watched The League last year and fell in love with it because it was so familiar, sometimes mirroring the way one of my leagues used to be.

    Granted, when everyone went away to college, the league quieted down and then fizzled out. It’s back this year, but probably won’t be the same. So I think that proximity is the key. Well, that and immature personalities.

  4. Sabresfan88

    Plus, it was usually the little, less-ridiculous things that reminded me of our league. (See: someone drafting a player who had already retired/been placed on the IR).

  5. Just watched the episode. That wasn’t funny.

  6. That was the start of the second season of The League. I think if you’re watching TV for realism, you’re watching for the wrong reasons. Personally I thought the first season did start off better.

    Me and a couple of my friends give each other crap in our fantasy league all the time. Why not, it’s make believe football, it’s not like it means anything.