Real balls, fantasy score
Freud wrote that fantasy was self-deception but also a compelling symbol representative of actual events in one’s life. And this is what I’m thinking about while noshing on cold cuts and Doritos mere seconds before the first pick in SN&R’s annual fantasy-football draft. I have the No. 1 slot, so of course I take Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, a former Oklahoma Sooner whom I dislike, but who nevertheless should put up big statistics—especially considering that Brett Favre’s arm will fall off by week four.
Anyway, when the draft ends I survey my 15-man roster and realize that Freud’s right: My fantasy team, a talented if motley crew (the deception), is in fact a metaphor for all things uncertain in my life (the symbol).
Is clinging on to the thin hope that Carson Palmer will be a viable starting quarterback akin to empty promises to exercise more or procrastinate less? Is taking Brian Westbrook in the third round a comment on my own faded athleticism or virility? Is drafting two Raiders reaffirming my own pitiable cultural narrative, a vainglorious commitment to a vacuous excellence? WWADD: What Would Al Davis Do?
Still, fantasy is way cooler than reality. Last weekend, Mormons beat the crud out of an Okie Heisman and the curse of Sports Illustrated’s cover persisted as college football’s season started … with a whimper. Another year, another flawed Bowl Championship Series trophy awarded to an undeserving SEC team. Florida State lost. Navy almost won. Who made the chili dip?
Locally, UC Davis and Sacramento State both were clobbered. The Aggies earned $225,000 by losing 51-0 to the Fresno State Bulldogs, so at least now we finally know the cost of a good old-fashioned ass beating.
Real football sucks, too. I could give a flying-pigskin fart about my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders, who open their season this Monday, September 14, the wondrous day of my girlfriend’s birth. And thankfully Monday is her b-day, because the last thing I want to do is be stuck on a couch watching the ol’ Silver & Black get blown out on national TV for the second year in a row. The Raiders have won a league-worst 24 games over the past six seasons; they’ll likely be 4-12 again this year.
But after dinner on Monday, I’ll definitely be checking my fantasy-football stats, you know, when we get home and she uses the restroom or takes the dog out back or something. Real quicklike. Because who knows: Darren McFadden could have a breakthrough game. Jason Witten might be the first to catch three touchdowns in a game at the new Dallas stadium.
Wait, does that make me a Cowboys fan?