When fantasy becomes foolishness
The outpouring of concern over Arian Foster‘s tweaked left hamstring – mostly from jittery fantasy football disciples whose drafts unfold this week — raises yet another question about where our heads are at.
After Foster re-aggravated the hamstring Saturday night in the Texans’ 30-7 win over the 49ers, he made efforts to assure his Twitter followers that he’d be ready for the Colts on Sept. 11.
“4 those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick,” he wrote Sunday.
Speaking for fantasy players everywhere, ESPN’s Colin Cowherd tweeted back: “Hey Arian Foster— ‘We really do care about you as a human too. Um,now about that hammy? –signed, everybody.”
Replied Foster: “Did you want to be a critic as a child? Or did your dreams die with your humility?”
Not that the players are pure — or must be treated delicately — but Foster’s irritation is justified.
At its best, fantasy football is a not-to-be-taken-too-seriously outshoot of the game we’ve grown up with and adore. At its worst, it is a parasitic worm draining the fun out of the sport.
“I hope @ArianFoster realizes that fantasy football is the only reason 90% of chicks and 30% of guys even know who he is,” one follower tweeted after Foster’s updates.
Fans might not want to hear that fantasy doesn’t matter to the players they draft and follow with religious fervor during the season, but things might be different if not for the overly serious tone fantasy has adopted of late. For many, it’s eclipsed the sport itself. You’ll find more and more clowns roaming around town who don’t care for the game — just the raw, lifeless numbers produced.
For Foster — the player — it’s about getting back on the field and building on last season’s from-the-wilderness outburst, which included 1,616 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns.
For those who draft him, anything less will be a disappointment.