Sunday, October 9, 2011

Whose fantasy is this anyway?

Another weekend, another drubbing in TLOML's Fantasy Football League.

To be clear, this is American football. Not 'soccer', as Americans call actual football. I know very little about football. I know even less about American football. When I watch it, I literally don't understand what's happening. I can't even see where the ball is. When the attacking team do one of those dummy plays, and trick the defense into going in the wrong direction, I am always fooled too. I'm always following what I think is the ball till it goes off the screen, and then I realise, the action is at the other end of the screen.

Despite my ignorance, I do quite enjoy watching it. The men mostly have great big bottoms and powerful thighs, and they wear very tight leggings, and there's something transfixing about watching all of that in motion.

Those last 8 sentences sum up all I know about the NFL. Making up a team and 'playing' every week against TLOML and his buddies, is not my fantasy. Still, I do love him and I do want to play his silly game.

So last year I picked my team solely based on names. There are some excellent names in the NFL. D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one of them. Antwaan Randle El is another. Atari Bigby is another. Named after the pinnacle of technology in 1981, I suppose. Plaxico Burress has a certain ring (apparently it means 'Peace' which I suppose is better than being named for an arcade game. Then again, how peaceful was Plaxico feeling when he shot his own leg in a strip club last year?). Then there's Tyjuan (pronounced Taiwan and I am not kidding) Hagler.  And Captain Munnerlyn, whose first name is Captain, which is not his rank. Let's not forget LaRod Stephens-Howling. I could go on.

If you're not born with a silly name, you can always make one up. Like Chad Johnson who rebranded himself Chad Ocho-Cinco, after his shirt number, 85. Next to Webster Slaughter I guess he felt a bit lacklustre, maybe.

D'Brickashaw, getting stuck in
Trust me, there are dozens of guys with names like this playing pro-football over here. It would actually be harder to staff a team with fairly run-of-the-mill names.

Last year I made my selections based on compelling and unusual names. This year I let the computer and interweb make the picks for me. And yet...I have a chap with the law-firm-style name, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I feel he could be my ace in the hole...

I will keep you posted.


  1. I tried to convert Emmaline to Boro and succeeded for a short while. My finest moment was when she was captured on the ITV highlights on a rainy Tuesday night at Reading celebrating a late Craig Hignett winner. Predictably, once I'd put a ring on her finger the interest waned considerably to the point that she was standing next to Gareth Southgate (Boro's manager at the time) in a corporate box at a Wembley concert and didn't know who he was. Dopey.

  2. I share your bemusement and puzzlement at this strange version of football. Surely no other ball game was so over regulated? The rules seem designed solely to prevent any flowing action.

    Perhaps I am a compulsive clock-watcher, but the players seem to spend longer in sprawling melees and secret huddles than they do moving the ball towards the goal line.

  3. Ah! Yorkshire, God's county. I'm with you. It's sort of bobbins.

    But... I had to admit defeat in my campaign for lovely Sunday afternoon walks. If I want a Sunday afternoon with TLOML, I have to also spend it with the NFL.

    Nick, when will Emmaline learn the same is true of you, the Boro, and every Saturday and Sunday afternoon between September and May?

  4. Love this post! My personal favorite name and player is Mathias Kiwanuka. Sound it out loud. Lovely and poetic. He comes with a bonus feature by being easy on the eyes. :-) Elyse