Miller: Fantasy football no match for the real thing

There are two kinds of people in the world:

Those who brush their teeth at the gym, and those who don’t.

Likewise, there are two kinds of people in the world of sports:

Those who play fantasy football, and those who choose to act like adults.

As you probably just guessed, I’m not a fantasy owner, and that goes for real life, as well.

My most significant investment to date has been my current car, which I purchased without hesitation despite an odometer that read in excess of 100,000 and an engine light that, to this day, shines as nonstop as the sun does.

Now, I’m not against fantasy football or similar make-believe endeavors. How could I be anti any sports industry that involves billions of dollars and generates a degree of interest that’s priceless?

In this occupation, the idea often is to sell the dream, the utopian notion that there’s a place to escape in every game, even one that ends 6-3 on a missed field goal by that stupid jerk-face you never wanted to draft in the first place.

Each major sport in America in recent years has attempted to become more closely aligned with the fantasy side of our games.

This is both a wise business decision and a sure sign of where we’re heading as a society in our continued – if also woebegone – attempt to make the Cleveland Browns matter.

I freely acknowledge all of these things. It’s just that, for me, fantasy football never has held any genuine appeal, a condition no doubt exacerbated by our 21 years without non-fantasy football.

The absence of the NFL locally made it surprisingly easy to ignore a league that otherwise insists on rumbling through our living rooms every Sunday as subtly as a skateboarding Sasquatch.

My stance on this topic makes me a “traditionalist,” which is a kinder way of saying “someone old enough to recite – word for word – the lyrics to more than one Bachman-Turner Overdrive song.”

But, honestly, this has nothing to do with age, even if saying “this has nothing to do with age” is the surest indication that something has everything to do with age.

Instead, I truly believe I was born without a certain smidgen of human DNA, the one that assures a person of the importance of scouring mountains of data before deciding whether to trust the exhibition statistics of Brandin Cooks.

To me, the time simply seems wasted, most studies suggesting the average fantasy football player spends three hours a week managing his or her team or teams.

The NFL already asks us to invest three hours to watch one game, not including the 17 hours ESPN then dedicates to breaking down each of Jay Cutler’s mistakes.

Besides, to serve you, the reader, better, I have enough actual research to do without adding more during my free time.

I mean, what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t make the commitment necessary to report today that a recent poll showed 14 percent of Americans do, in fact, believe in Sasquatch?

That, by the way, is 3 percent more than believe in the Rams.

I do understand the popularity of fantasy football and not just the gambling aspect. There’s also the competition. The camaraderie. The chance to experience life like Jerry Jones, without having to get your face lifted.

There is something to be said for being able to put your heart behind Todd Gurley without having to risk doing the same for the rest of his teammates.

Dozens of my friends play fantasy and almost religiously. Some of them, I swear, are so passionate that they spent more time narrowing down names for their team than they did names for their firstborn.

But I lack the ability to care that much about something that isn’t, you know, real. The NFL gives me enough authentic results without having to reconfigure those results into a completely new result.

I also understand that, in the opinion of so many others, I’m the one wasting time and opportunity here.

A study released in June showed that fantasy sports is a $7.2 billion business, and that’s not factoring in the two hours you just spent dissecting your upcoming draft when you were supposed to be working on the Ferguson account!

The same study determined that 59.3 million people in the U.S. and Canada play some type of fantasy sport.

Too bad an equal number don’t play some type of real sport, all that activity sure to drive down the median cholesterol level to something below that of a barrel of goose fat.

So, these days, with so many fantasy drafts happening among us, all I ask is that you remember not everyone wants to hear the round-by-round analysis of your roster.

I, for one, still prefer reality. Sure, I have fantasies. But none of them feature anyone dressed as a Jacksonville Jaguar.

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