Friday, August 27, 2004

Welcome to Fantasy Football Island!

I have a few foreign friends who ask just how big is the National Football League in the U.S., I tell them the following:

Bigger than Paris Hilton's sense of self. Bigger than Willie Nelson's IRS debt. So big it doesn't return Spielberg's calls.

Not only do I have ESPN NFL 2K5 for my Xbox, but I will get Madden 2005. It's got Ray Lewis on the cover - I have to get it. Or he might kill me. Or know somebody who would.

I have no less than 20 NFL logo apparel pieces, ranging from hats, sweats, t-shirts, ear muffs and jackets. I have a Ravens' key chain lanyard. Kramer the Big Dumb Dog used to have a Ravens' collar and leash. Bubby's got an Orioles collar, but she's into the slower sport. If my dogs were athletes, Bubby would be a catcher or first baseman, and Kramer would be a running back. He'll run around you, over you, drag you, push you and simply run away from you.

Squeaky is no athlete. My cat is more of a Special Forces operative. Slinky, silent, deadly. Ask that poor mouse in the parking lot last week. Squeaky has a metal studded collar, but that's because he's into B & D.

I am in only two fantasy football leagues this year, down from three last year and five the year before that. Not because I like the NFL any less, but, well, I should pay *SOME* attention at work during the fall.

I don't obsess over Fantasy football like some guys. I usually buy a magazine pre-draft, figure out what free agents went where, what rookies look good, who's having a good camp....etc... I also figure out which guys kick my ass in Xbox and get them. Shawn Alexander, Brandon Lloyd and Peyton Manning, welcome to my team. If I can't beat you, I might as well draft you.

My Scottish friend Grant, in particular, is a big fan of their football. You know, the one where they use their feet? We call it soccer, mainly because it sounds more like "sucker" which is what you are if you think you can put your kids into a sport where they won't be hurt, little miss Soccer Mom U.S.A. I don't hate, per se, it's Euro. Euro connotes skinny guys chanting and wearing gold chains and going to discoteques.

I'm American. I don't go to discoteques. I go to a bar, a club or even a nightspot. I use my hands in sports.

And I call them "sports." Not "sport." That's so Euro.

Euro means a common monetary system that is pretty much useless. It means ratifying a treaty that gives every country in it the ability to get out of it and not follow a single damned rule set forth by the treaty. Euro means allowing a war to rage on your continent for damned near a decade with nary a hint of intervention by any neighboring countries, allow for the ethnic cleansing of a minority, and then whining about it when America comes over, brings in the tanks and BFG's and gets everybody playing nicely again. Shame Clinton will have Monica and Whitewater on his legacy moreso than ending a war in Yugoslavia.

Euro means following cycling, which is cool, but then whining about it when an American beats you at your own game. Euro means slandering him with drug allegations, jumping into his way, and having everybody treat him like a criminal, only to watch him ride off with the maillot-jeune yet again. So, yeah, France, you're so Euro. Lance kicked your boys' collective ass again, and then got some big fat Texas barbeque and tagged his hot rock star girlfriend.

That's American.


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