|"Big Ben" signs autographs for Steeler Nation|
It would seem to be a massive disconnect--my geeky predilictions for dice and wizardy, coupled with a fanaticism for smash-mouth football--but, really, the two are becoming more and more intrinsically linked, as time has gone on!
The start of this trend has to be due to the rise of fantasy football. Indeed, both the Errant Nick and I were in an ESPN league at one point--which yours truly ended up winning, riding a combination of Ladanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook to an easy title! I've since given up the fantasy football addiction, but the same tools, skills, and obsessions are present in any amount of character optimization as in setting a fantasy football roster!
For those not familiar with fantasy football, the game is pretty simple. You, along in with eight to twelve other people, initiate a rotating draft of current NFL players. Each week of the NFL season, you set a starting lineup of players--a quarterback, a few running backs and wide receivers, a kicker, and a team defense--which accrues points based on their individual performance. FF players are free to trade players between one another--which is how I ended up with the lethal duo above a few years ago--and to pick up undrafted players from the waiver wire.
|Barbarian? Avenger? Fighter?|
Even outside of the fantasy angle, football devotees show a knowledge of the game that's almost encyclopedic. We reminisce about great battles of the past, curse rival teams like they pillaged our home, and cheer on the big hits when a defenseman like Troy Polamalu (right) lays out a vicious 'crit'. The passion's the same, the banter's the same, and really...even the snacks are the same. Cheetos and Mountain Dew all around!