Though this might seem like a reference to Mortal Kombat, in this case I really want to talk about two things: The beginning of football season and the inevitable end of baseball. Although wouldn’t it be awesome if they opened the NFL season with a resonatingly evil voice yelling “It has begun!!” with a crazy storm coming out of nowhere. If only real life were as good as the movies.
The sad fact of the matter is that for me, although I love competition, the beginning of the NFL season in September is always marked by sadness. For me, the beginning of NFL marks the beginning of the end of my most cherished sport, baseball. It is in September that the division champions and wild cards are really chosen (which can lead to the Cardinals gaining a wild card spot on the last day which began their 2011 World Series victory run). However, the beginning of football season also marks my favorite fantasy event ever! It runs under a variety of names, but on ESPN it is simply called the Eliminator Challenge.
(Sorry, seemed like a good time for a dramatically inserted image)
This game is the ultimate. Each regular season week, you pick one and only 1 team to win a game that week. Pick correctly each week to avoid being eliminated. The catch is that you can only pick each team just one time. Sounds easy right? Well out of the more than 300,000 that played last year, less than a thousand entries made it all the way through the season. If you are doing the math that is less than .4%! That said, here are a few other things to do for the NFL and MLB seasons:
Pick your favorite site for free fantasy games. Espn Fantasy and Yahoo fantasy sports are just two websites that offer free fantasy games where you can compete against friend and stranger alike and potentially win awesome prizes.
If you are interested in the growth of the fantasy football industry check out this article which has a nice summary of this more than billion dollar industry. Millions of football fans converge each year to demonstrate their prowess and, more importantly, to gain bragging rights for the entire year!! Also, taking a well deserved Shiva Blast never hurts.
On that note, you can also check out a couple seasons of The League to get your juices flowing and hone the razor edge of your competitive spirit. Take the chance to see the hilarious antics of this show as the cast tries to beg, trade, steal, and cheat their way to become the winner of their NFL fantasy league
Finally, if your tastes run more to the strategy and in-depth tactics you could try checking out one of these books on fantasy football. Or just read a few stories of the greats. Myself, I simply watch the introduction to Madden 2k13 with Ray Rice (my wife being a Ravens fan).