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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Commish

By Kyle Nelson

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan. I know you’re a moralist and will never forgive them for the Love Boat incident, but just go with me on this one. Last Monday night, the Patriots were playing at Minnesota. As both a Vikings fan and a fantasy football owner, you had a difficult decision to make. You had to choose between loyalties.

Of course, it would’ve made sense as a fantasy football owner to play Tom Brady. Sure, the Vikings’ D has been stout against the run, but Brady was 9-0 in dome starts going into Monday night’s game. Besides, we all know how the Golden Boy performs on the national stage.

But you’re a true fan, remember? So to honor your sincerity, you didn’t play Brady. Was this the correct decision? Of course it was. Yes, I know he threw for four touchdowns, torching the Minnesota secondary. But if you would’ve played Brady, and your fantasy team won at the expense of your favorite team, you should take all your sports memorabilia to Play-It-Again-Sports and look for a new passion in life. Because once you put your fantasy team before your favorite team, there’s no going back.

I know that the pain of watching your team get slaughtered 31-7 only increased while watching Brady’s productive day rotting on your bench. But there ought not be an inkling of joy when your team gets killed-period.

Fantasy sports are a great complement to the pro game. But when the sport played on the computer becomes bigger than the sport played on the field, you have a problem. You become dangerously close to missing what it means to be a sports fan. In fact, you become closer to being just a numbers guy. And let’s be honest, how many of us have friends who are math majors?

I’m not saying statistics don’t matter. They do. There are a handful of statistics that any self-respecting sports fan must know. You must know Hank Aaron’s career home run record (755). The longest run from scrimmage (Tony Dorsett’s 99). You must know how many no-hitters Nolan Ryan has thrown (7). You better know the number of games played in each sport’s regular season (16, 82, 162). You should know about Wilt’s 100. Jack’s 18 majors. The Packers’ first two Super Bowl wins. DiMaggio’s 56.

But let’s not get carried away. There are an infinite number of statistics out there. And some of them, if you’ve made the mistake of collecting them in your mental knapsack, reveal your true self-the borderline math major in you. And nobody likes this person. Some of the statistics you should be embarrassed to know include, but are not limited to: Cy Young’s career wins (511). Steve Young’s career passer rating (96.8). Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 strikeouts. Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games streak. Scott Skiles’s 30 assist-game. John Stockton’s career assists and steals totals (15,806 and 3,265, respectively).

There’s one statistic that I haven’t decided on. If you know that Ty Cobb holds the record for stealing home (50 times), I don’t know if you’re a nerd or really cool.

As you decide on which players to start this week, keep one thing in mind- You are a football fan first, a fantasy footballer second. How much is one regular season of fantasy football victory worth? Maybe conventional wisdom says that you should’ve played Tom Brady against Minnesota. Maybe your fantasy football team would’ve won because of it. But let me ask you this: How would you have slept Monday night? Even if you don’t have mirrors in your house, there are mirrors everywhere. Sometimes, like it or not, we have to be able to look at ourselves in them.

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