Leaving it all on the field

I have a rampant addiction that even my co-bloggers don’t know about.  Any time they come up behind me at SM headquarters I quickly switch my computer desktop to make it look like I am writing a post for our blog.  In reality however, I am dedicating obscene amounts of time to managing my Fantasy Football team (The Pocket Rockets).  Yes.  During the regular NFL season I am a Fantasy Football fanatic:

Fantasy Football is a game in which the participants (called “owners”) each assemble a team of real life NFL players and then score points based on those players’ statistical performance on the field. Leagues can be arranged in which the winner is the team with the most total points at the end of the season or in a head-to-head format (which mirrors the actual NFL) in which each team plays against a single opponent each week, and at the end of the year the team with the best win-loss record wins the league. Some leagues even set aside the last weeks of the NFL regular season for their own playoffs. [Link]

I take great pride in my team and in my improvement as a coach.  I hate losing at anything.  My first year playing I was ridiculed by the other coaches in my league (my supposed friends) for not even knowing the names of some famous players.  This year (my third) I am dominating most of the teams in my league and talking smack at every opportunity.  Most of the fun of Fantasy Football comes from emasculating your friends and telling them how pathetic they are.  Yeah, yeah.  If you don’t play fantasy football then you won’t understand the appeal, but I am sure those of you who do, know what I’m talking about.  This isn’t just a passive sport.  Every week you have to research all the different football match-ups and note the teams and defenses your players are going up against, as well as injuries.  It takes A LOT of research.  If you aren’t up to speed and able to make the proper adjustments, then your team will lose.  Thankfully there are bloggers like Vinnie Iyer that make the jobs of coaches like me easier.  It is their full-time job to put in the research hours that will help the rest of  us (hat-tip to Sandeep from my league):

This NFL and fantasy football columnist grew up in St. Louis and is a 1998 alumnus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he won a decent year’s salary with his appearance on a popular “answer and question” quiz show. Shortly after graduating as a journalism major, he joined TSN in 1999 and has been covering the NFL full time since 2001. He remains loyal to his roots as a fan of the Cardinals (baseball, of course) and Northwestern’s athletic programs (inexplicably). With TiVo, iPod and HD already in his vocabulary, Iyer is ready to “blog” away on pro football and hot topics of the day.

Look.  Let’s get real folks.  There is only one desi player in the NFL.  That shouldn’t mean that all desis should be shut out of football.  I participate by coaching a fantasy team since I am not built like a linebacker.  Vinnie (who may have once had the potential to be an offensive lineman) is doing his part by being one of the best at what he does.  In Fantasy Football circles Vinnie is a celebrity.

33 thoughts on “Leaving it all on the field

  1. If you’re a 49ers fan, you have to be into Fantasy Football. :)

    Ouch. Way to kick a guy when he’s down :) Where have you gone Joe Montana, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you…woo hoo hoo.

  2. I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t know anything about sports, but are there any other Desi players in any other major US sports such as Baseball, Hockey,… etc?

    • Yeaa Vin! When I’m feeling modest about a hot pickup, I credit Vinnie in my smack talk with the goras. He’s my Fandesi Football safety net.

    • When saying he’s got O-line potential, you mean because he’s smart right?

    • Are you going to share your roster??

    • Prediction: Which will come next — the next desi on active NFL depth chart, or a desi on NCAA-IA+ coaching staff?

  3. Oh yea, and besides Chillar, I always drop mention of Dalip when confronted with the BS “you people? football?” attitude.

  4. When saying he’s got O-line potential, you mean because he’s smart right?

    Ummm. Yeah. Sure. :)

    - Are you going to share your roster??

    I’m glad someone is interested. :) Yes! I will share my roster. I play in a ten team league and I was 5th to draft. Currently I am in third place.

    B Roethlisberger A QB J Jones A RB M Moore A RB R Johnson A RB K Curtis A WR K Johnson A WR L Fitzgerald A WR J Shockey A TE R Bironas A K D Cowboys A DST M Hasselbeck RS QB W Dunn RS RB M Harrison RS

  5. Fantasy Football: The Great White (Boy) Waste of Time. What percentage of fantasy footballers are non-white? Less than 3%.

  6. What percentage of fantasy footballers are non-white? Less than 3%.

    err? i don’t play it (but i have 3 dif fantasy nba teams :( ) but i know tons and tons of browns that do, its not a racial thing, why make it one?

  7. Nice, thanks for sharing. – no wonder 3rd, you have some good consistency and sleepers. much respect for curtis… when did you pick him up?; – eh, big bye week for you.. are you points or H2H?

  8. He remains loyal to his roots as a fan of the Cardinals (baseball, of course) and NorthwesternÂ’s athletic programs (inexplicably)

    Northwestern surprisingly are not that bad this year in college football. Go figure!

  9. much respect for curtis… when did you pick him up?;

    Thanks man! I drafted him actually. Every year you should draft one player on instinct. He was mine for this year. We are a H2H league.

    Fantasy Football: The Great White (Boy) Waste of Time.

    It is a waste of time in the same way chess is a waste of time. I enjoy partaking in activities that require you to be several steps ahead of your opponent(s) to win. By playing games that require long term strategy and vision as well as delayed gratification, you are better equipping yourself to deal with life. Starting this blog falls into the same category. Some might call writing on it a waste of time, but I consider it long term excercise geared to achieve certain objectives. Truth be told I am not even that huge of a sports fan. That isn’t why I play. Oh, and 100% of my league is brown.

  10. Fantasy Football: The Great White (Boy) Waste of Time.

    yeah, whatever. i’m in a ten person league, the ethnic breakdown is 7 black, 1 brown, 2 white.

    abhi, nice roster, though you’re weak at QB, and J Jones looks to be missing some games too. you making adjustments for that?

    i got sucked into FF this year after years of resisting, but a team came up with Brady, Tomlinson and Alexander as “keepers”… so i had to pounce. i’m #1 in my league. take that ya haters!

    peace

  11. I play the “real football” on Footiemanager.com…..a very addictive addictive Fanatasy Football (or soccer as your (world) calls it) Manager. Been in the league for more than a year now…

  12. Waaaaa!

    I don’t understand any of this, I feel so left out sniff sniff

    I guess all I can do is make a typical British snide remark about REAL FOOTBALL as opposed to this nonsense. But I fear I’m outnumbered so I shan’t make myself (more) unpopular.

    About desis in football – different sport here, but same deal. There are 4 professional Asian players, 2 of which are in the premiership – Michael Chopra and Zeshan Rehman. But this year Sporting Bengal and London APSA became the first Asian teams to enter the FA Cup (like an open knock-out competition. HUGE.) Indeed Bangladeshis are tipped by many to be the next group to make an impact in British footie.

    Racism is still a big problem. Do you get the same problems in American Football?

  13. american football is the most racially balanced of the main u.s. sports. baseball is largely white and increasingly latino, basketball is overwhelmingly black (at the player level, of course; not at coaching let alone ownership); and ice hockey is almost 100% white.

    in american football, certain positions tend to be played more by black or white players, but overall things are quite even. the quarterback position (the one with the most responsibility and attendant glory) used to be all-white but there are lots of excellent black quarterbacks now.

    american football also has very mixed support — it’s the sport you’re most likely to find black and white supporters mingling at the stadium or in the bars.

    it’s an odd sport to get used to — took me years — but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun. (watching, that is. playing is scary and best left to gargantuan individuals with heavy equipment.)

    peace

  14. Racism is still an issue in association football. Especially in Europe – there have been some very nasty incidents when black players in visiting teams have played there.

    We play rugby, American Football’s harder and more painful grandfather (please, no ‘flame war’, I’m just pulling your collective legs). A friend of mine was a transfer student from Barbados, where the sporting landscape is rather American (+ cricket).

    I’m not a big fella at all, but I’m fast. Hence I was, like I’m sure many across America, called ‘Forrest’. Or maybe it was for other reasons. Anyway, this Bajan fella was HUGE. So we decided to chuck him in the team. I passed back to him and he looked confused but started running.

    By the try-line (endzone) he had FIVE Dulwich College players hanging off his limbs and around his neck. He heroically made it past the line and we all cheered. But then he had the try disqualified by shouting “TOUCHDOWN!!!

    That’s my American Football experience!

  15. in american football, certain positions tend to be played more by black or white players, but overall things are quite even. the quarterback position (the one with the most responsibility and attendant glory) used to be all-white but there are lots of excellent black quarterbacks now.

    C’mon now. Football is the most racist of the 3 major sports. That is the reason why African Americans never made it to the quarter back position. It just have started changing in last 6-7 years.

    Whenever a Black QB is playing, he is supposed to be “MOBILE” QB. You know a code word.

    Just yesterday AIR FORCE coach was saying “the other team had many Afro American kids thats why they were doing better running the football”. He might get repremanded for it

  16. Siddhartha:

    american football is the most racially balanced of the main u.s. sports. baseball is largely white and increasingly latino, basketball is overwhelmingly black (at the player level, of course; not at coaching let alone ownership); and ice hockey is almost 100% white.

    Who are you kidding. 73% of NFLers are black. Blacks are 12% of the US population.

  17. i stand by my statements.

    eddie, i don’t get your point. i didn’t say the nfl (or any other sport for that matter) was proportionate to the national population.

    rc, i hear what you’re saying, but i’m taking a snapshot of right now, not 10 years ago, for bong breaker’s benefit. i’m telling what i’m seeing. you see it differently, go ahead and share your view.

    of course there remains bias against black athletes at qb, but honestly i think this has been changing pretty quickly, albeit in the past few years as you pointed out. it also helps that there are a lot more black head coaches and coordinators in the league. still far from enough, but still.

  18. i stand by my statements.

    lol… stand by what? I think baseball would be the most “racially balanced”.

  19. Update to the Air Force coach thing!! He was reprimanded.

    Athletic director Hans Mueh said he told DeBerry his comments were inappropriate. The two went to the home of academy superintendent Lt. Gen. John Regni, who took command on Monday. Regni, who had never met DeBerry, also reprimanded the coach.
  20. C’mon now. Football is the most racist of the 3 major sports. That is the reason why African Americans never made it to the quarter back position. It just have started changing in last 6-7 years. Whenever a Black QB is playing, he is supposed to be “MOBILE” QB. You know a code word.

    RC – i dunno Doug williams was the first black quarterback to lead a NFL team to superbowl victory in 1988, thats 17 years ago. Eldridge Dicke was a black quarterback who was drafted in the first round in 1968.

    I’m not saying there isn’t any racism surrounding that position, but i don’t think that if you had a black qb back in the day,who was like terry bradshaw, that an NFL team would pass on him merely since he’s black.

    As for mobile QBs, i’m assuming your talkign about people like Culpepper, McNabb and Vick. I think that may have more to do with the evolution of offensive strategy. Coaching plays a vital role, and having the ability to run with the ball is important. In fact these types of players are putting pressure on your traditional quarterbacks to build their skill sets, someone such as peyton manning has improved his mobility on the field in recent years and is even more nasty because of it.

  21. As for mobile QBs, i’m assuming your talkign about people like Culpepper, McNabb and Vick. I think that may have more to do with the evolution of offensive strategy.

    NO. What I was referring to is the code word, “mobile QB” .. Let me just spell it out…. it means Black QB who is “mobile” is only a good QB because he can run, but he cant be SMART QB like a typical white QB.

    but i don’t think that if you had a black qb back in the day,who was like terry bradshaw, that an NFL team would pass on him merely since he’s black.

    If a kid gets a chance to play the QB position only then he can show if he is good or not. Back in the day, black kids didnt get the chance so there wouldnt be any black QB as good as Terry Bradshaw.

    Thats why you see a lot of QB’s sons becoming QB in the NFL. Dont you think if you were Archie Manning’s kid, the coach at your high school will play you in the QB position??? Finaly all 3 sons become QB wow !!!!

    Again, with all due respect to Siddhartha’s POV, I feel that NFL is most racist sport in America. In NBA there is no such prefrential position such as QB, the result can be seen.

    Offensice and Defensive line players are virtual unknowns, apart from a few who are more flambouyant so people know about them. But mostly they remain the “grunts” working for the King who is the QB.

  22. If a kid gets a chance to play the QB position only then he can show if he is good or not. Back in the day, black kids didnt get the chance so there wouldnt be any black QB as good as Terry Bradshaw.

    RC – i think you are full of shit, did you play football in HS? Clearly a lot rests in the hands of the coaches, however its hard to believe that a coach wouldn’t even give them a chance to prove themselves.

    Thats why you see a lot of QB’s sons becoming QB in the NFL. Dont you think if you were Archie Manning’s kid, the coach at your high school will play you in the QB position??? Finaly all 3 sons become QB wow !!!!

    Once again your logic in my opinion is retarded, Peyton Manning is a ridiculous quarterback, Eli is still learning. They may have had the benefit of learning from a former star, but to say thats why they are QBs in the NFL now is stupid. Which team does the third brother play for??? oh wait thats right he wasn’t that good so he’s not in the NFL and doesn’t play quarterback.

    Outside the QB position, what else is so racist about the NFL? By your logic i would say that the NBA is the most racist. Why else would they create the three point shot if it wasn’t to give white boys a chance?

  23. RC – i dunno Doug williams was the first black quarterback to lead a NFL team to superbowl victory in 1988, thats 17 years ago. Eldridge Dicke was a black quarterback who was drafted in the first round in 1968.

    Warren Moon played till his arm almost fell off. The Houston Teams he had were pretty good, and he wasn’t known as a ‘mobile’ QB. White guys Steve Young was known as a mobile QB back in the day, so was Mark Brunell. Both guys always scrambled and ran.

    Randall Cunnigham played for a long time, he was mobile, but people respected him as a QB, too, as they did with Doug Williams. You don’t hear people calling Byron Leftwich a ‘mobile qb’. The fact is, guys like McNabb and Vick ARE mobile. There are a few media idiots that use it to paint all black qbs, but the NFL doesn’t do it.

    In the NFL, if you don’t have talent, regardless of color, you won’t hack it. Thats the plain and simple truth. Mannings are there because they are talented. So is Vick, Culpepper, McNabb, Leftwich, etc, and not Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf et. al. NFL cares about money and guys who can play. THAT is the bottom line.

  24. Know any more desi players in professional sports ? All I can think of is half-indian Manny Malhotra who plays in the NHL

    not sure if you guys count golf, but vijay’s ethnically indo, and there’s half-swede daniel chopra and top indian jyoti randhawa (sp?)

  25. however its hard to believe that a coach wouldn’t even give them a chance to prove themselves.

    I think that is preety much the definition of racism. But yes I agree, its quite a stretch to think that there might be racism going on in football.

    Similarly the whole discrimination against women in the work place thing may be bogus too. May be some one can write a book debunking that whole thing !!!

  26. I think that is preety much the definition of racism. But yes I agree, its quite a stretch to think that there might be racism going on in football. Similarly the whole discrimination against women in the work place thing may be bogus too. May be some one can write a book debunking that whole thing !!!

    racism overshadows everything, i don’t think its a stretch at all, however it is a stretch to say the NFL is prejudice against black QBs, and that it is white position or some sort of conspiracy surrounding it. If anything it just proves to the readers you don’t know shit about football, GujuDude hit it right on the money.

  27. B Roethlisberger A QB K Curtis A WR J Shockey A TE R Bironas A K M Hasselbeck RS QB
    … our fantasy teams are half-alike … but the better part for me is I have Tomlinson :)
  28. I’m the commissioner of the league Abhi is in. My team is overrated. I only win because I picked up Ladanian Tomlinson. That’s all I wanted to say.