Fantasy football not worth the time or money

Paul Kix

I’ve concluded there are two types of sports fans.

My type, Type A, remembers Walter Payton forever leaping over the Eagles’ defensive line, landing shoulderpad first on the marble floor that doubles as the Vet’s astroturf, and then, in that overstated ’80s way, celebrating his touchdown by slapping high fives at the apex of his 30-inch jump with, say, Willie Gault.

And there is Type B. The type that pours over record books.

The type rattling off Payton’s total rushing yards before you can say “William ‘The Fridge’ Perry.” (16,726. But I had to look it up.)

Now, some 15 years later, type B’s lovin’ life.

When B’s significant other questions his/her need to know Elvis Grbac’s touchdown to interception ratio, B simply replies “I’m in the process of making us 10 Grand, baby.”

Fantasy Football is the place for all stats analyzed.

The place where minute turns into money.

Here’s how it works:

You pay maybe a $50 entry fee – it varies.

You enter a league – either on-line or through your buddy with DirecTV – where you are the general manager of a team whose name you pick.

You set up a draft.

You pick an actual quarterback, a couple running backs, a few receivers, maybe a punter or a kicker and a team defense.

On Sunday, you choose which guys you want to “start.” (Team defense counts as one guy.)

You collect points for their performance.

Collect enough points, you win money – sometimes $40,000 worth.

Or you might win a big-screen TV.

Or a trip to Puerto Villarta, Mexico.

Or a T-shirt.

Fantasy Football, or any other fantasy league, isn’t new to me.

(And probably not you. Thanks for reading this far.)

But its popularity is.

Earlier this week on, Bill Simmons wrote a column about 25 (25!) tips for winning football fantasy drafts.

Pointers included buying “at least two books and magazines [on player’s status] … Make lists of the top 30 players at each position.”

And then this gem: “It seem[s] like you can’t have a life and win a fantasy football league, but, well, you can’t have a life and win a fantasy football league.”

Football has officially become homework.

P.J. Caffrey is the host of a Sunday morning sports radio talk show on The Jock, 107.1, in Des Moines.

It deals only with fantasy leagues.

During his two-hour block, Caffrey gets “tons” of calls from listeners wondering whom to start that Sunday.

Often, he’ll have on “big-names.” Guys who are well-known within fantasy leagues.

Guys that run or work closely with fantasy league Web sites.

Caffrey says one site,, rubs knee pads with the general managers of the actual league.

“It’s like picking their brains,” Caffrey says.

That is, if you’d want to.

Caffrey says he spends 12-15 hours a week knowing who’s hurt, who’s playing well, who needs trading.

If you want to be successful in fantasy football, Caffrey says, “You have to stay on top of it.”

Maybe so.

But aren’t there more constructive ways to pass time?

Like reading.

Or jogging.

Or planting trees.

I searched for all things arbor under

Forty-nine sites came up for tree planting.

Contrast that with the 574,106 articles listed under’s fantasy football search.

I mean, I don’t want to get John Denver on you, but he only turned up 33 links under

It seems fantasy leagues invite fans to seek more selfish play from their picks.

How many points does Eric Lindros get for intimidation?

How many points does Pedro Martinez get for quitting after seven because he wants to rest his arm for the stretch run?

Sure, there’s big money involved with fantasy leagues.

But from what I gather, attaining it means boarding up your front door, watching only ESPN and talking to no one, save that guy from A Clockwork Orange who is squeezing water drops onto your retinas.

After all, Caffrey hosts a fantasy radio show and the most he’s ever taken home in a year is $2,000.

That’s $2,000 for 12-15 hours of work a week for at least 17 weeks.

Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

But maybe they were coming close after 17 weeks.

If you love fantasy football, that’s great.

My uncle does it.

So do my friends.

But you’ll have to excuse me.

The Walter Payton special just got over.

I gotta go plant a tree.

Maybe I’ll throw Rocky Mountain High in my discman.

Paul Kix is a junior in journalism and mass communications from Hubbard. He is the senior reporter for the Daily sports department.