Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Don't More Blacks Play Fantasy Football?!?

Tom Brady is a multi-millionaire, two time Superbowl winning QB. He has a celebrity baby moms, and a Brazilian model wifey. He is generally regarded as the envy of all white dudes, so I couldn't really feel too bad for him or the legions of obnoxious and spoiled Patriots fans when he went down in a heap for the season the other day. Still, you can't help but feel sorry for all the poor saps who drafted him too early, and now prolly have their fantasy seasons hanging in the balance. Pick Matt Cassell all you want, but errybody should know better than to expect Brady numbers.

Patriots quarterback and reigning NFL most valuable player Tom Brady will miss the rest of the season, the team revealed today. The franchise QB was placed on injured reserve after tests this morning revealed the damage to his left knee will require season-ending surgery.

“First we feel badly for Tom about the injury,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “You hate to see anyone go down. Nobody has worked harder and done more for this team than Tom. It’s a tough setback for him. That’s obviously the bad news.”

The injury occurred when Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard dove into Brady’s left knee after being blocked to the ground midway through the first quarter of the Patriots’ season-opening 17-10 victory over the Chiefs. Brady remained on the field, clutching the knee, until the training staff attended to him. He was helped off the field and did not return.

Belichick talked about how to replace the huge void. Brady had started 128 consecutive games and was widely regarded among the top two quarterbacks in the game. Matt Cassel came on to replace Brady and lead the team to the win. He completed 13-of-18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
So, I repeat, if you hinged your season on either Randy Moss or Brady, you're screwed.

I'll admit, I don't really care too much for football. You'd think I'd like it, but I'm pretty indifferent because I didn't grow up playing it. Maybe it's cause I was a scrawny kid who was too small to play the sport until I hit a high school growth spurt and it was too late. Maybe it was all the bone jarring hits I took while playing sandlot ball against a notably brolic neighborhood kid who eventually ended up playing at The University of North Carolina and had a few pro tryouts. Maybe I was just a wuss. Whatever the case, it just doesn't float my boat like hoops does. I watch, but only really because of my fantasy team.

If you don't play fantasy ball, you're missing out. Even if you don't give a squat about the sport, something about the stats driven nature of fantasy football makes it worthy of following. Many a fantasy GM has gone into Monday night sweating bullets, praying his 3rd WR gets him the extra 4 points to push him over the edge. Fantasy is about much more than football, it's really just about poppin' sh*t and and having bragging rights. I'm willing to bet the sport's popularity has a lot more to do with fastasy players than the league would be ever willing to admit, mostly because some leagues involve illegal gambling and wagers. I've played in the same league with colleagues and college buddies (some of whom are commenters here) for years, and it never gets old. So, when I peeped this recent article by ESPN motormouth Stephen A. Smith about why more blacks don't play fantasy football, I wondered exactly what Mr. Quite Frankly was smoking.
According to a study by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, approximately 93% of armchair general managers are white. But honestly, I'm not surprised to learn that so few blacks are among the 30 million people who participate in fantasy sports. I've always thought that a lot of these guys (and 96% of them are guys) are nerds desperately in need of more sociable leisure-time activities.

Leisure time for black folks historically consists of direct interaction, the kind of experience you get at a family barbecue or hanging out with friends. Sitting in front of a computer screen pretending to be Bill Parcells? Sounds like work to me.

FSTA research shows that only 1.6% of fantasy players are black, 2.3% are Latino and 1.1% are Asian. And the more I learn about the typical fantasy player, the more I think most minorities simply have better things to do.
It's hard to find excerpts to do Smith's article justice, so you might wanna peep the whole thing. But it does raise a point: black folks love sports, and they definitely love poppin' sh*t, so why don't more of us play fantasy football?

Question: Do you play fantasy football? Do you have any idea what it even is? Why do you think more black folks don't play fantasy sports? Did Brady's ACL/MCL deep six your season? Who's your pick to win it all now that the Pats are toast?

To heck with fantasy. I'm about what's real. [ESPN The Magazine]

Tom Brady out for season [Boston Herald]

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