Fantasy bullet points

I usually hate the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I always have. I remember at a young age ranking all of the teams in the NFL. I loved lists, and I was just beginning to understand football. I placed the Dolphins at the top, naturally, because that’s the team my father rooted for (and still does) and I placed the Buffalo Bills – the Dolphins’ natural enemy, obviously – at the bottom. Dallas was second to last. Pittsburgh was third to last.

Tonight, though, I’m rooting for them – both because I desperately want the Perfect Season Curse broken and because Ben Roethlisberger is on my fantasy team.

This is what professional football has broken into – both for good and bad. Sure, we root for our team. But we also root for everyone else, depending on the day – or more specifically, depending on who’s starting, or what the point spread is, etc. etc. Loyalties and rivalries are thrown to the wayside, with individual stats taking hold and Monday Night Football gaining even more momentum as the ultimate “make the lost bets back” game.

And as a football fan, I’m all for it. I’m rooting for Pittsburgh tonight. All because I have a drafted the rights to use the statistics of a handful of professional football names. All because I need 48 fantasy points from their starting quarterback. All because I am pretending – like a couple of kids playing house – that I’m a real life NFL general manager.

What a weird concept.

To think I usually hate the Steelers.

This was lovingly handwritten on November 26th, 2007