Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Sadly enough, not every team can make it to the Super Bowl. The road to the Super Bowl is an irksome long term goal as it requires superlative patience and intense drudgery to become a perennial contender. It can take a club approximately 5-10 years to reach the “Greatest Show on Earth,” the Lombardi Trophy. Unfortunately for Cardinals, Saints, Eagles ,and Chargers, it took their organizations over half a century to reach the championship title.
As for units who fell short of wielding the Lombardi Trophy, the Buffalo Bills figuratively shot themselves in the foot four consecutive times when they lost several Super Bowl titles from 1990-1993. Since their slightly-magical run with Hall of Fame quarterback, Jim Kelly and head coach, Marv Levy, the struggling Bills have not qualified for the playoffs since 1999, as they are currently embroiled in one of the longest postseason droughts in sports history. It’s been unanimously difficult for losing franchises to boost their reputation as poor management, coaching, and gameplay has ran burly units into the ground, but fortunately, Fantasy Football has provided NFL diehards with an outlet of solace and self-confidence.
With the tenacity and the excitement that glimmers from the Super Bowl spectacle, fans can easily revert their disappointment and sorrow into joyous aggressive energy. As a Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers fan, there is nothing more distasteful than putting up with heartbreaking losses and overtly pompous Broncos and Cowboys fans that tend to live in the past rather than live in the present. Thankfully, fantasy football has taken my mind off my floundering teams and has brought me to a state of empowerment.
Fantasy football is an NFL addict’s dream. For those who eat, sleep, and breathe football, this ridiculous online game will replenish your hunger for the NFL. Commonly dubbed as the “World of Warcraft for sports geeks”, fantasy football has become one of the most successful interactive competition platforms of all time.
While it is not a video game per se, it is merely a virtual competition in which the player fulfills the role of a general manager aligned to an NFL team. This provides players with the unique opportunity to commandeer a franchise as if they were actually taking an NFL team to the championship. The individual manages active professional football players as they compete with other managers statistically for a championship title much like the NFL postseason today. Before the season launches, a group of 8-12 people must carefully formulate a league and elect a commissioner who oversees all waiver and personnel operations. Once the commissioner is officially elected, whether for the duration or the season, a draft date must be confirmed in which the league selects its players. Similar to the recruitment program in the NFL, each owner will be given a chance to enlist their own players according to their placement in the draft.
For instance, if “Team Mattiola” had the fourth pick in the draft he would select his player after the first three managers respectfully. Depending on how many people are regulated in league, the draft order can vary. If “Team Smith” had the first pick in the draft, he would select his player of choice and eventually receive the option of selecting consecutively in the next round. The owner must select a quarterback, two wide receivers, two running backs, a tight end, a flexible player which can alter from a wide receiver to a running back, an NFL defense, and lastly a kicker. Once these positions are filled, the owner has the remainder of the draft to devise a bench to standardize backup talent.
For example, if wide receiver, Wes Welker is drastically underperforming and you’re looking to replace him for Week 5, you can simply adjust your starting lineup by selecting another wide receiver off your bench. If you cannot find an adequate replacement due to underperformance, injury or coinciding bye weeks, free agency and waiver wires are great alternatives to stock up on talent. Free agency can be a very bountiful market towards the season’s eve. Some players tend to go unnoticed in the draft and immediately become key pieces in the free agent market once the injury bug inflicts your roster.
When a drafted player becomes physically ill and loses playing time, the waiver system offers owners a keen opportunity to continually compete. There is also the ever-tedious option of trading away one or two players to an opposing owner in exchange for players necessary for your roster. However the process is tricky. Ultimately, the commissioner has the final word over the quality and quantity of the trade in which he or she is given the right to determine if the trade is fair or unfair.
When two or more owners participate in an unfair trade it is often regarded as an act of collusion. The key to staying ahead in the league is to follow NFL news, team rosters and updates that chiefly pertain to player health, conduct, and safety. Depending on how many members are featured in a league, the commissioner expands the conference into two divisions: east and west. My conference, infamously dubbed as the League of Nations, happens to carry 10 men in which we are separated into two divisions of five. Particular players can help navigate owners deep into the postseason.
Defenses can truly tally large numbers from turnovers inflicted upon opposing teams. Each interception, pick-six, safety or fumble forced by a defense results in a gain. If the game is a blowout or shutout, the owner is rewarded 10 points at the end of the game. Canton-caliber quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have the arm strength and the numbers to catapult your team into the championship and halfbacks such as Ray Rice and Marshawn Lynch can leave you staring at consecutive wins. Running backs are the cornerstone of any fantasy roster. They accumulate the most points for Fantasy owners through yards per carry as they muscle pass gruesome linemen.
Some of the best running backs in the league such as C.J. Spiller and Frank Gore have made this abundantly clear. However, the golden ticket within the Willy Wonka chocolate bar is no other than Minnesota Viking running back, Adrian Peterson, a man who was shy of surpassing Eric Dickerson’s single season record for 2,105 rushing yards last season. As soon as football season arrives, everyone wants Adrian Peterson on their fantasy roster as his acquisition has not only been rewarding, but quite costly. Who can blame them?
The value of Peterson is a story all by itself. When Peterson tore his ACL and MCL towards the climax of the 2011 season, many analysts speculated the dynamic halfback would never return to the field again as his injury was highly severe. Over the 2012 offseason, Peterson worked thoroughly to nurse his ruptured ligament back to health. Once he was medically-cleared, Peterson picked up where he left off, eating up huge chunks of the playing field and agilely maneuvering himself pass ball-hawking defenders. Peterson’s speed alone was enough to carry the Minnesota Vikings to the postseason for the first time since 2009 adding even more shimmer to his sterling reputation.
If you join a Fantasy Football League, be prepared to arm-wrestle rivaling owners for possession of “Sugarman” because the Oklahoma-educated running back is a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately for me, I just so happen to have Peterson on my roster as I received the first pick in this year’s draft. I am currently 3-2 in my division and so far Peterson has lit up every field he’s touched.
Peterson wasn’t the only star I drafted this year. Like every owner in our league, I’m looking to qualify for the postseason again as I won the championship last season. Fantasy Football is simply a bliss as it is the epitome of good, clean fun. Although frustration and misery commonly follows after every loss, it’s only a game at the end of the day.
The League of Nations, however, is quite compet
itive as a majority of Fantasy conferences play for a substantial cash prize. I think the object of a cash prize makes Fantasy football ever more enticing, but the fantasy of owning a franchise is just as relishing. If you are looking for something infectious to stimulate your afternoon, Fantasy Football is your ticket to paradise. Fantasy Football brings comradery and rivalry together, it helps football followers understand the game better and lastly opens the door to an uncharted territory of self-worth and confidence.
Drew Mattiola is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RM814408@wcupa.edu.

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