[Note by Skin Patrol, 09/04/08 2:37 PM EDT ] Ahhh frustration. I just found out KSK beat me to this story by a few hours and then I went at made a long post about it without mentioning them. I hate it when this happens. HERE IS THE LINK. HERE IS A QUOTE: "Throw in the delightful trio of Mercedes Lindsay, Christy Cooley, and the kicker’s piece of ass and you pretty much have the perfect draft. Sure Santana Moss and the ladies’ team is a bit slow at times, but they still bring more to the table than Shanoff."
Fantasy Football is a social and cultural disaster. Once upon a time people sat around watching a football game like good partisans, cheering on one team or the other either because of loyalty or because their mortgage payment depended on the outcome. When I was balls deep in Fantasy Football it wasn't uncommon to hear me say things like:
"I really hope that New England doesn't score here because, if they do, Philly, my defense, will suffer. But if New England does score, let it be Wes Welker because he's a Red Raider!!! because he's on my fantasy team. But my opponent has Tom Brady, so I'd prefer it be on some kind of strange halfback pass or reverse or something. Also if the Patriots don't score, it would be better if they kicked a field goal, because I've got their kicker. Wait, now I'm confused."
That can't be the way God intended people to watch football. Two teams lineup. What is good is what happens in team 1's favor, what is bad is what happens in team 2's favor. That's easy enough.
Having said all that, I've played fantasy football annually for the past decade, barring last year, and recently completed the Hogs Haven Fantasy League Draft. My team is really totally sweet, as I based my picks in large part on Football Outsider's Pro Football Prospectus fantasy rankings, which I think are called KUBIAK or something. It's probably the greatest fantasy team ever.
While we're on the "greatest ever" subject, direct your eyes to this video (hat tip: Extreme Skins) from Chris Cooley's Blog. There isn't anything interesting I can add to preface the video that will make it more entertaining, but cliff notes is basically Cooley got a bunch of his teammates (Fred Smoot, Reed Doughty, Shaun Suisham, Jason Campbell, Santana Moss, Colt Brennan, Mike Sellers, Fred Davis, Cooley's wife and Campbell's girlfriend who are teammates in spirit, etc.). I'll give you two highlights, though just because they are both Cooley, don't think he stole the show. Because Fred Smoot stole the show.
Chris Cooley: You've got 10 seconds Colt.
Colt Brennan: Let's go with, uhhh, Lendale White.
Chris Cooley: Yaaay that's a gaaay pick.
Chris Cooley: I'm gonna go with. Jason. Campbell.
Chris Cooley later, privately: I feel like I had to pick my own teammate. I picked Jason Campbell pretty early...
The whole video is hysterical, very well done, and renews my faith in this social and cultural disaster we call Fantasy Football. Boom (click below to watch):
That. Just. Happened.
My real football nerd-herd passion is pick'em leagues, despite the fact I'm horrid at them. It makes the rooting much easier than trying to cheer on your own running back against the other team's quarterback but not too much because you've got a defense and a receiver on the other team what the deuce!
Blogger Deathsport is also on like donkey kong. I don't know if you remember, but I was incredibly bad last season (Results.) picking winners at an ~45% rate. HOWEVA I'm told that one needs to pick at a 52.4% rate to make a profit gambling on professional sports (source!):
The large majority of people that wager on sporting events believe that they are going to win, but the fact is that the large majority of sports betters lose in the long run. In fact, the average sports bettor wins at a rate of 48%, which is worse than if they had just flipped a coin. So what does it take to beat the break even mark of 52.4% (you need to win 11 bets for every 10 you lose and 11 divided by 21 is equal to .524)?
The author of above, Dr. Bob, whom I'm told is some kind of betting guru, goes on to state some long winded analysis on how to win at sports gambling. I don't need to listen to him as it's unnecessary. All you need to do to pick winners is this: Since I picked winners correctly just 45.3% of the time last year, simply picking the exact opposite of everything I'd chosen, you would be correct 54.7% of the time, a good 2.3% profit on your investment. Good, but not great. I can improve. Er, get worse.
There's no reason to think the Midas touch when it comes to gambling is any more valuable than the Midashit touch, so long as my bad picks come at a reliable clip. If a pattern develops whereas I'm picking at below a 47.6% consistently, you're making money betting against all my picks. I have a future in failure, my failure is my work product. Say it with me.